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Ricinus communis L. (Euphorbiaceae), known as castor plant, is widespread throughout tropical regions of India and grows as an annual or perennial soft wooded small tree. A decoction of the root is administered to relieve lumbago, and a root paste is applied to alleviate toothache. The roots contained glycosides, phenolic compounds, steroids and acidic components. The root bark of R. communis furnished 5.74% of the total ash, 2.03% of the acid insoluble ash and 2.98% of the water soluble ash. There was 9.46 % of water content. Successive extraction of the roots (50 g) yielded 0.362 g, 0.482 g, 1.243 g and 2.643 g of the extracts in petroleum ether, chloroform, methanol and water, respectively. Individual extractions of the roots (15 g) with these solvents produced 0.235 g, 0.727 g, 7.425 g and 12.017 g of the extracts, respectively. Fluorescence behavior of powdered root bark of R. communis indicated that the light yellow powder of the bark powder changed to black at max 366 nm. Among the nine elements, calcium (350.45 ppm) was present in the maximum amount followed by followed by potassium (330.50 ppm), magnesium (230.68 ppm) and cadmium (198.57 ppm). Sodium (56.26 ppm) and lead (8.18 ppm) were detected in trace amounts. The HPTLC scanning of the petroleum ether, chloroform and methanol extracts of the roots exhibited 5, 4 and 4 major bands, respectively.
Ricinus communis, roots, phytochemical screening, HPTLC fingerprint