Dietary Supplements

Castor Oil Health Benefits

Castor Oil Health Benefits

What is Castor Oil?

Castor Oil is a very pale yellow liquid that is extracted from castor seeds (Ricinus Communis). It is an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant oil which has been used for centuries for its therapeutic and medicinal benefits. It is believed that most of castor oil's benefits are derived from its high concentration of unsaturated fatty acids. Although it has a strong and rather unpleasant taste, castor oil is used in cosmetics, soaps, textiles, medicines, massage oils and many other everyday products.

What are the Benefits of Castor Oil?

Castor Oil has been used both internally and externally for thousands of years due to its many wonderful health benefits. Since it can strengthen the immune system, castor oil is considered a great remedy to treat the following major illnesses and ailments:

  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Hair loss
  • Pain from Arthritis and Rheumatism

It has also been found to help with many everyday problems such as:

  • Yeast Infections
  • Constipation
  • Gastrointestinal Problems
  • Menstrual Disorders
  • Migraines
  • Acne
  • Sunburn
  • Athlete's Foot
  • Ringworm
  • Skin Abrasions
  • Inflammation

Castor Oil is also commonly used to induce labour, so pregnant women should always consult a doctor before using it.

Uses of Castor Oil

Arthritis Natural Remedy

The anti-inflammatory properties of Castor Oil make it an excellent massage oil for relieving arthritic joints, nerve inflammations, and sore muscles.

  • Make a small pad by folding a small piece of unbleached cotton flannelette into 3 or 4 layers.
  • Dip the cotton pad into Castor Oil and place it on to the affected joint or muscle.
  • Cover the pad with a plastic wrap.
  • Place a hot water bottle or heating pad over the plastic wrapped cotton pad. The plastic wrap will prevent the water bottle or heating pad from getting oily.
  • Leave the cotton pad on for 45 minutes to an hour, once per day.

This Castor Oil pack can be reused. Simply place it into a plastic ziplock bag and refrigerate it until it is ready to be used again. It can be refrigerated in a ziplock bag.

Constipation Remedy

Studies have shown that Castor Oil is a very strong laxative, which makes it very effective against constipation. Therefore, simply take a teaspoon of castor oil in the morning. You can mix the oil with orange juice, cranberry juice, prune juice, or ginger juice to take away from the bitter taste without affecting the laxative effects. However, do not take it continuously for more than 3 days. If symptoms persist for longer than 3 days, consult your physician immediately.

Ringworm Treatment

Ringworm is known to be a stubborn condition to treat, but one of the active compounds of Castor Oil (Undecylenic Acid) has been found to be very effective at treating this fungal infection.

  • Spray Castor leaves with some hot water and coarsely crush the leaves.
  • Soak the leaves in pure coconut oil.
  • Warm the leaves to a temperature that will not burn the skin, and apply the leaves over the affected area as a poultice.
  • Leave on the skin for at least one hour, or optionally overnight.
  • You may wrap the leaves with unbleached cotton fabric to prevent the oil from staining your bed sheets.

Repeat the procedure every night before going to bed until cured. However, if you notice any redness or discomfort around the area, discontinue this remedy.

Skin Problems

Successful studies have approved the use of Castor Oil for skin infections and other skin problems such as sunburn, abrasions, acne, dry skin, boils, warts, stretch marks, liver/age spots, athletes foot and chronic itching and inflamed skin.

  • Dip a cotton ball into Castor oil and apply it onto the affected skin in the morning and at night.
  • Alternatively, for larger skin areas, soak an appropriately large piece of unbleached cotton cloth in Castor Oil and wrap the affected area overnight.
  • If the area is very small, soak a Band-Aid in Castor Oil and cover the infected skin overnight.

For stubborn fungal infections that affect the skin or nails, it is recommended to soak the affected skin in Epsom Salt for 10-15 minutes to soften and disinfect the skin before applying Castor Oil. This can help speed up the healing process.

Stye Treatment

The anti-bacterial components of castor oil have been found to be effective against styes (oil gland infections on the eyelid). Simply apply a very small drop of the oil directly onto the stye 2 or 3 times per day.

Wrinkle Treatment

Castor oil is a natural emollient that penetrates the skin and helps stimulate the production of collagen and elastin which can soften and hydrate the skin. Therefore, it is a wonderful natural treatment for wrinkles since it restores and rejuvenates skin's natural youthful appearance by making skin smoother, softer and pliant. Dip a small cotton ball into the oil and apply it on wrinkled skin before going to bed. Use only a small amount of oil when applying it to the skin near the eyes.

What are the Side Effects of Castor Oil?

Castor oil is normally safe if used in moderation. However, pregnant and lactating women and people with intestinal blockage, acute inflammatory intestinal disease, appendicitis, or abdominal pain should not take Castor Oil without their doctor's approval.

Note that precautions must be taken when taking the oil internally, so you should always follow the directions on the package and consult your doctor or naturopathic professional before consuming it. A typical recommended dosage for the oil is no more than one-half to one full teaspoon per day. Overdosage of Castor Oil may result in diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain or cramping.

Where and How to Buy Castor Oil

Castor Oil is best purchased from a health food store, since the oil that can be found in a supermarket may be meant for industrial use only (which is not safe for human consumption). Look for cold-pressed or cold-processed oil only and confirm it with a naturopathic doctor before taking it. The color of the oil should be a very light or pale yellow.

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Comments

  1. on said:

    @Lori Janine, Castor oil can be applied all over the face to treat dry skin and to improve uneven skin stone or dark spots. For smooth application, mix it in a small amount of coconut or olive oil. You can use it as your regular face moisturizer if you are okay with the smell. I apply it all over my face, feet, elbows and knees every night. It's a natural emollient.

  2. on said:

    Can castor oil be applied to large areas of the face for treatment of uneven skin tone and age spots? Or is it just spot treatment only?

  3. on said:

    For IBS, try Aloe Vera Juice.

  4. on said:

    Hi, What kind of Castor oil do you use?

  5. on said:

    @Mary, I would definitely wash and dry the fabric before soaking it into the Castor oil. For Castor oil pack, you don't put the fabric in the ziplock bag. You need to place the Castor oil soaked fabric/pack onto the affected arm directly and it should make a direct contact with the affected area. And then it should be wrapped with plastic wrap over it so it doesn't stain your clothes or bedding and can stay on the skin and doesn't slide off. DO NOT put it in the ziplock bag before putting it on your arm.

  6. on said:

    Riaana - If you are trying to get pregnant, avoid using Castor oil. Because it is used to speed up the labour. So if taken during pregnancy, castor oil may cause miscarriage.

  7. on said:

    Can I use Castor oil if I want to be pregnant?

  8. on said:

    @Ingrid - The symptoms sound so much like IBS. Although I believe that castor oil may have helped her, she should still go to a doctor and remove certain foods from her diet. The castor oil is perhaps masking the problem but the damage could still be happening inside. If she does have IBS (which does not show up on x-rays, etc.), she will need to stop eating a number of foods that cause the stomach to blow up. Castor oil could be part of a good health program but unless the doctors ruled it out - can't imagine how the castor oil packs helped. The symptoms sound exactly like IBS which millions of people suffer from.

  9. on said:

    Castor oil is a miracle when I put it on my dry skin. I had itchy skin on my chin area for the past three years and it's better now. Also it helps with hair-loss. After using Castor oil on my head, my hair doesn't fall out anymore.

  10. on said:

    To Senga Baird - yes Castor oil helps with hair growth. It's good for thin lashes, thin brows or thin hair.


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