The bean of the castor-oil plant, Ricinus communis, is used in the production of castor vegetable oil and ricin, a poison.
Sasha Vasko/via Flickr
April 17, 2013 Ricin is a naturally occurring toxin that's found in castor beans. Castor-oil plants, the source of beans, are popular with gardeners. You can get sick by eating beans. But purified ricin can be made pretty easily and used for no-good.
NPR thanks our sponsors
Become an NPR sponsor