CASTOR BEAN ALLERGY
Castor oil is made from the seeds of castor plants. The seeds are not suitable for human consumption as they contain the toxin ricin. The beans are harvested and processed to make castor oil which is used in various health remedies and cosmetics.
The main allergen in castor bean allergy is called Ric c 1. This is a 2S albumin protein
. This group of proteins are involved in seed storage, plant growth and development.
Castor oil contains ricinoleic acid and is a common ingredient in lipsticks and lip care products. This has been known to cause contact allergic reactions.
Allergic cheilitis is the name given to swollen lips from a contact allergic reaction. This can be cause by castor oil in lipcare products.
Other food containing 2S albumin seed storage proteins are cashews, peanuts, brazil nuts, mustard seed, rapeseed, turnip, chickpeas, hazelnuts, pistachio, buckwheat, soya, sunflower seeds, walnuts, kiwi, castor beans and sesame seeds.
Please note that this food list is not exhaustive, the most up to date information is on the Cross Reactivity Tool.
Science Direct - Ricinoleic Acid
DermNet NZ - Contact Reactions to Lipsticks
Anaphylaxis Campaign - Vegetable Oils
Allergy information for: Castor bean (Ricinus communis)
Articles and Journals
Food Allergens of Plant Origin, 2023
2S Albumin Storage Proteins: What Makes them Food Allergens? 2022
Allergic contact cheilitis in an adolescent to Ricinus communis seed oil (castor oil) in a lip balm, 2018
Anaphylactic shock following castor bean contact: a case report, 2017
A Case of Castor Bean Poisoning, 2008
2S Albumin Storage Proteins: What Makes them Food Allergens? 2008
The Ricinus communis 2S albumin precursor: a single preproprotein may be processed into two different heterodimeric storage proteins, 1990
Allergy to castor bean: II. Identification of the major allergens in castor bean seeds, 1988
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