Family: Euphorbiaceae
Genus: Jatropha
Botanical name: Jatropha curcas Linn
Sanskrit: Dravanti
English: Purging nut
Hindi: Jungli erand, Pahari erand
Malayalam: Katalavanakku, Appa, Kammatti
Euphorbiaceae, that is native to the American tropics, most likely Mexico and Central America. It is cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions around the world, becoming naturalized in some areas. The specific epithet, "curcas", was first used by Portuguese doctor Garcia de Orta more than 400 years ago and is of uncertain origin Jatropha curcas is a poisonous, semi-evergreen shrub or small tree, reaching a height of 6 m (20 ft). It is resistant to a high degree of aridity, allowing it to be grown in deserts.
The seeds contain 27-40% oil (average: 34.4%) that can be processed to produce a high-quality biodiesel fuel, usable in a standard diesel engine. The seeds are also a source of the highly poisonous toxalbumin curcin.
The leaves have significant variability in their morphology. In general, the leaves are green to pale green, alternate to subopposite, and three- to five-lobed with a spiral phyllotaxis
The male and female flowers are produced on the same inflorescence, averaging 20 male flowers to each female flower, or 10 male flowers to each female flower. The petiole length ranges from 0.24 to 0.90 inches (6.1–23.1 mm)
The fruits are produced in winter, or there may be several crops during the year if soil moisture is good and temperatures are sufficiently high
The seeds are mature when the capsule changes from green to yellow. The seeds contain around 20% saturated fatty acids and 80% unsaturated fatty acids, and they yield 25%–40% oil by weight.
Latex of Purging Nut is used to grinding pills.
Purging Nut
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