[quote="Ashleigh"]Correct me if I'm wrong...but Castor oil comes from the Castor bean...and Ricin (a deadly toxin) also comes from that bean?
It's used as a preservative. Do you REALLY want to ingest it?
Your grandparents and/or great-grandparents probably ingested their fair share way back when!"The use of cold pressed castor oil (CPCO) in folk medicine predates government medical regulations." 
Other sources indicate that castor oil has been used medicinally for over 4,000 years, dating back to ancient Egypt. "The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has categorized castor oil as "generally recognized as safe and effective" for over-the-counter use as a laxative, with its major site of action the small intestine." [ibid]
It's also used as an ingredient in many modern drugs. The castor seed contains ricin, a toxic protein. Harvesting castor beans is not without risk. Allergenic compounds found on the plant surface can cause permanent nerve damage, making the harvest of castor beans a human health risk. India, Brazil, and China are the major crop producers, and the workers suffer harmful side effects from working with these plants.
Ricin has to be extracted/purified from the "waste mash" of the outside of the castor bean seeds after the oil has been squeezed out, and it's apparently most toxic when inhaled or injected, less so when it's ingested orally since digestive enzymes help break it down.
So the oil itself is safe, but the outside of the seeds are not.
Cyanide is a deadly poison. It's also found inside the seeds/pits of apples, peaches, mangoes and apricots! Do you really want to go eating those