Castor Beans – Are They Poisonous?

I was giving a talk at a local Master Gardner meeting the other day and I mentioned that castor beans contain one of the world’s most deadly organic compounds. Someone in the audience commented that you can actually eat several castor beans and you would only get a mild stomach ache.

These two points of view seem to contradict one another. What is the real story?

Castor beans, caster bean plant, Ricinus communis
Castor beans, Ricinus communis

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