Though you’ll mainly see this plant in northern tropical climates, it’s full of ricin, a deadly toxin. If you chew and swallow the castor beans, you’ll feel the toxic effects of the poison almost immediately. Ricin is poisonous because it gets into the cells of a human and stops proteins from working properly. You’ll have difficulty breathing, nausea, heavy sweating, and eventually, respiratory failure and death. Ricin poisoning is a federal crime, and if detectives suspect death by ricin, it’s one of the first things they’ll look for (CDC).