After I heard on the news that a letter laced with Ricin was sent to Washington DC addressed to US Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi, I thought what the heck is Ricin, I'd never heard of it.

Ricin is found in the waste produced from making castor oil. It is from castor beans. Ricin has been used in the past experimentally in medicine to kill cancer cells.

If castor beans are chewed and swallowed they release ricin and can cause injury.

It would, according the the CDC, take a deliberate act to make a poison out of ricin to poison people. If made into a partially purified product it can be used to contaminate through the air, food or water.

Ricin works by getting inside the bodies cells preventing them from making protein, without the protein the cells die and can be harmful to the whole body causing possible death.

There is no known antidote for Ricin.