It is found to be growing in many parts of the country, rugged in nature and can survive with minimum inputs and easy to propagate.
Medically it is used for diseases like cancer, piles, snakebite, paralysis, dropsy etc.
Jatropha grows wild in many areas of India and even thrives on infertile soil. A good crop can be
obtained with little effort. Depending on soil quality and rainfall, oil can be extracted from the jatropha nuts after two to five years. The annual nut yield ranges from 0.5 to 12 tons. The kernels consist of oil to about 60 percent; this can be transformed into biodiesel fuel through esterification.
Family: Euphorbiaceae Synonyms: Curcas purgans Medic. Vernacular/common names: English- physic nut, purging nut; Hindi - Ratanjyot Jangli erandi; Malayalam - Katamanak; Tamil - Kattamanakku; Telugu - Pepalam; Kannada - Kadaharalu; Gujarathi - Jepal; Sanskrit - Kanana randa.Jatropha curcas grows almost anywhere , even on gravelly, sandy and saline soils. It can thrive on the poorest stony soil. It can grow even in the crevices of rocks. The leaves shed during the winter months form mulch around the base of the plant. The organic matter from shed leaves enhance earth-worm activity in the soil around the root-zone of the plants, which improves the fertility of the soil.
Regarding climate, Jatropha curcas is found in the tropics and subtropics and likes heat, although it does well even in lower temperatures and can withstand a light frost. Its water requirement is extremely low and it can stand long periods of drought by shedding most of its leaves to reduce transpiration loss. Jatropha is also suitable for preventing soil erosion and shifting of sand dunes.