- Moisturizes Skin
- Soothes Inflammation
- Helps Clear Phlegm
- Resists Harmful Organisms
- Boosts the Immune System & Heals Wounds
- Promotes Eye Health
- Stimulates Hair Growth
- Relieves Constipation
Due to its thick texture, castor oil stays put when applied and deeply penetrates your skin’s tissue.
This is particularly soothing for dry, patchy skin caused by eczema because the anti-inflammatory properties in the oil help reduce itching and discomfort.
Spend too much time in the sun? Apply castor oil! The antioxidants present in the oil help prevent skin damage caused by sunburn.
This acid has been credited for its ability to decrease inflammation while increasing circulation in the body.
The ricinoleic acid found in castor oil may prevent the growth of harmful organisms, including bacteria, yeasts, viruses, and molds.
The castor seed protein has antibacterial and even anti-cancer properties. When combined with ginger, castor oil can significantly reduce the number of bacteria growing in the mouth and can be helpful after oral surgery. This method is like oil-pulling, where you swish an oil in your mouth.
Take a tablespoon of castor oil and a quarter teaspoon of fresh ginger, juiced or minced, and swish in your mouth for 10 minutes, then spit it out.
When you apply castor oil packs on the abdomen, it may stimulate the immune system. This increases the production of lymphocytes — white blood cells that help defend the body against invaders.
Applied topically, castor oil can also stimulate wound healing. Not only does it resist the harmful organisms common to wounds, but it also has anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-relieving) properties.
Humans have been using castor oil to improve eye health for thousands of years. It is said that Cleopatra used castor oil to brighten the whites of her eyes! Castor oil promotes collagen and skin cell production when taken by mouth. The high content of ricinoleic acid and omega-3 fatty acids protect the eye’s “tear film” layer that keeps moisture from evaporating.
Some naturopathic doctors recommend castor oil for eye health. However, over-the-counter castor oil may not be sterile and using it in the eye could lead to an infection. Always check with your healthcare provider before using any new remedy.
Rich in fatty acids, vitamin E, and other proteins and minerals, castor oil can nourish hair follicles and moisturize your hair down to its roots. The antibacterial and antifungal properties in the oil can reduce dandruff as well as scalp infections.
An olive oil-castor oil combination works well for split ends in your hair. It can even prevent hair loss and improve your hair’s thickness and shine when used as a conditioner. If you are looking for a supplement to promote hair growth, consider biotin, also called vitamin B7.
With all these varied benefits castor oil provides, we wanted to share some great DIY recipes for you to use. Below are our favorites.
Castor oil packs are an effective and easy home therapy option for various conditions. They help reduce inflammation throughout the body, help balance your digestive system, relieve pain from headaches or sore joints, and improve your overall health.
- Cold-pressed castor oil
- Hot water bottle or heating pad
- Plastic wrap or bag
- Buy cotton flannel cloth. There are specific flannels you can buy for creating castor oil packs, or you can use an old flannel sheet or pillowcase. Avoid wool flannel.
- Make sure the pieces are big enough to cover the area where you intend to place it — most commonly, the abdomen or chest.
- Pour castor oil on the flannel cloth. You can do this by folding them and placing the flannel into a jar or bowl and adding enough castor oil to soak them. You’ll want the fabric to be saturated but not completely soaked and dripping.
- Unfold and place the flannel cloth over the desired area.
- Cover flannel cloth with a plastic wrap or clean cotton fabric. You can buy special wraparound packs online. You’ll want any plastic covering to be larger than the flannel to prevent oil dripping on your bed, couch, or floor. You can also place plastic underneath you, so that if oil does drip, it does not get onto any furniture.
- Place a heating pad or hot water bottle over the plastic. If you’re using a heating pad, set it on low heat.
- Relax for one to two hours with the castor oil pack in place. This is a great time to practice deep breathing, meditation, or other relaxation techniques.
- When finished, shower or wash the excess oil from your body.
- Repeat as needed, up to four times per week.
- Castor oil packs can be stored in a plastic bag and re-used up to 30 times.
While it may go against everything you’ve been told about skincare, applying certain oils to your face can actually be good for your skin. Some cosmetics and acne products strip skin of its natural oils, causing inflammation, which leads to pimples. The essential fatty acids in castor oil help restore your skin’s natural moisture balance, help deter acne-causing bacteria, and clear facial blemishes. It also encourages the growth of healthy skin tissue.
How to Use: As an acne treatment, apply 2 to 3 drops of castor oil gently on your face and massage in circular motions. Leave it on overnight and wash your face in the morning with a mild soap. If you prefer, you can wash it off after 5 minutes, instead of leaving it overnight.
Using a regular castor oil treatment can soothe an itchy scalp, get rid of dandruff, and improve the appearance of your hair. Its anti-inflammatory properties can reduce the redness and swelling that contribute to an itchy scalp.
How to Use: Apply oil directly to your scalp and massage in well. Leave it on for an hour, and rinse. You can also leave it overnight and then rinse out in the morning.
If you add 2 to 3 drops of a high-quality peppermint essential oil, it will increase blood circulation to the scalp and promote hair growth. Combining coconut or jojoba oil with the castor oil can make your hair shinier. No conditioner is necessary after a treatment!
The high concentration of ricinoleic acid in castor oil makes it an excellent natural remedy for joint pain. Topical application works effectively for osteoarthritis with no adverse effects.
How to Use: For pain relief, rub the oil directly on your sore joints as often as needed. You may wish to apply heat by using a heating pad or hot water bottle afterward to help your body absorb the oil. Repeat as needed.
Castor oil has antifungal and disinfectant properties, making it a useful treatment for athlete’s foot and other fungus-related skin infections. It also deters Candida albicans yeast, which can cause oral plaque overgrowth and gum infections.
How to Use: Apply small amounts of castor oil directly to the infected area. Just a few applications over one to two weeks should be sufficient.
Thanks to its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, castor oil can help heal wounds. It also helps ward off infections. It’s effective against many types of bacteria, including Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, and Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria. Castor oil is used in veterinary care, as well, on both open and closed wounds.
How to Use: Directly apply a generous amount of castor oil to the wound and cover with a bandage. Repeat this process daily until the wound has healed.
There’s no need to spend a lot of money on expensive lotions to moisturize your skin! Castor oil is a natural anti-aging and skin moisturizing remedy. Its monounsaturated fatty acids — including ricinoleic acid — act as humectants, substances that naturally retain and preserve moisture by protecting the outer layer of skin.
Some people even say it reduces wrinkles! It penetrates the skin and boosts the production of collagen, hydrating your skin and making it appear softer and smoother.
How to Use: Apply a small amount of castor oil over your face, neck, and décolletage, and leave overnight. If preferred, dilute with a carrier, such as organic grapeseed, almond, or extra virgin olive oil. It is safe to use this oil under the sensitive eye area. Wash off with a gentle facial cleanser the following morning. Repeat two to four times a week.
Castor oil per day is “generally recognized as safe and effective” by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for use as a laxative. It is also considered safe for external use. Make sure to drink enough water when taking castor oil.
Castor seeds contain the lectin ricin, which can be toxic at high servings. The heating during commercial processing removes ricin, however. Still, remain cautious when consuming castor oil internally and never exceed a teaspoon per day. Do not take castor oil if you are pregnant, as it can cause uterine contractions and induce labor.
External use should be safe and is a great way to bring down inflammation. Before using topically, apply castor oil to a small area of your skin to check for any allergic reactions. Consult your healthcare provider if you have any medical conditions or have questions about use.
Castor oil is a unique natural remedy thanks to its intense concentration of healing nutrients. These nutrients, especially ricinoleic acid, make it useful for several common health concerns.
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