The effects of soxhlet extraction of oil from castor seeds (Ricinus communis Linn) using n-hexane as solvent on hematological and histopathological properties of albino rats was investigated using standard method. The haematological analysis of the animals’ blood showed that the extract caused a reduction in the packed cell volume (PCV) from 49.3 to 46.7%. Histopathological analysis of the organs of the animals showed that the extract caused dilation of the sinusoid with less prominent nucleus of the liver, homogeneity of the muscle fibres of the heart with inflammatory cell infiltration, infiltration of kidney cells with increased hyaline casts, while the small intestine showed acute erosion of superficial and middle parts of the intestinal villi. Since the oil has deleterious effects on the organs of the animals used and also reduced the PCV, it is conceivable that when the oil is consumed by humans, it will have the same effect. Therefore, it is advocated that the oil should not be consumed until further work is done on it.
Key words: Castor, oil, albino rats, haematology, histopathology.
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