Castor oil is a multi-purpose vegetable oil that people have used for thousands of years. It is extracted by pressing the seeds of a plant called Ricinus communis. These seeds, which are known as castor beans, contain a toxic enzyme known as ricin. However, the heating process that castor oil goes through deactivates it, making it safe to use. There are a number of medicinal, industrial and pharmaceutical applications for castor oil.
In addition to being an additive in foods, medications and skin care products, it is also used as an industrial lubricant and component in biodiesel fuels. Historically, castor oil was burned as fuel in lamps, used as a natural remedy to treat eye irritation and even given to pregnant women to stimulate labor. Even today, castor oil remains a popular natural treatment for common conditions like constipation and skin issues, and is often used in natural beauty products.
The following are the common uses and benefits of castor oil.
As a famous laxative
Castor oil is known for its natural laxative properties. It is classified as a stimulant laxative, which means it activates the muscles that push material through the intestines, helping to clear bowel movements. The use of stimulant laxatives to relieve temporary constipation is common. A mouthful of castor oil releases ricinoleic acid, the main fatty acid in castor oil, in the small intestine when consumed. As ricinoleic acid is absorbed into the intestine, it stimulates a laxative effect. In fact, several studies have shown that castor oil can relieve constipation.
The best moisturiser
Ricinoleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid, is abundant in castor oil. In addition to providing moisture to the skin, these types of fats also act as humectants. By preventing water loss through the outer layer of the skin, moisturizers retain moisture. Castor oil is commonly used in cosmetics to promote hydration and is added to products like lotions, make-up, and cleansers. As a natural alternative to store-bought moisturizers and lotions, you can also use this rich oil on its own.
For wound healing
When castor oil is applied topically, it reduces inflammation and relieves pain. Ricinoleic acid, the main fatty acid in castor oil, is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties. Studies show that ricinoleic acid in castor oil has impressive anti-inflammatory properties. Topical application of castor oil helps reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Castor oil's pain-reducing and anti-inflammatory properties may be due to its fatty acid content. In addition to its ability to reduce inflammation, castor oil may be useful in easing dry, irritated skin in people with psoriasis due to its moisturizing properties.
To prevent acne
Castor oil may help reduce acne symptoms by preventing blackheads, pus-filled pimples and large, painful bumps on the body and face. Acne is most common in teens and young adults and can negatively impact skin health. Acne is thought to be caused by inflammation, so applying castor oil to the skin may reduce inflammation-related symptoms. Acne is also thought to be caused by an imbalance of the bacteria naturally found on the skin. As a natural moisturizer, castor oil may also help soothe acne-prone skin that is inflamed, irritated, and infected.
To remove fungus
Plaque overgrowth, gum infections, and root canal infections are often caused by Candida albicans, a type of fungus. Castor oil has antifungal properties and may prevent the growth of Candida, keeping the mouth healthy. A study in found that castor oil eliminated Candida albicans from contaminated human tooth roots. Dentures soaked in castor oil solution led to significant reductions in Candida in elderly people who wore dentures after brushing and soaking them.
For healthy hair & scalp
Natural hair conditioners such as castor oil are popular among many people. Using an intense moisturizer like castor oil can be especially beneficial for dry or damaged hair. Regularly applying castor oil to the hair will lubricate the hair shaft, increasing flexibility and decreasing the chance of breakage. Castor oil can reduce inflammation, which is why it can be an effective treatment for seborrhoeic dermatitis-based dandruff. Furthermore, castor oil can soothe and moisturize dry, irritated skin as well as reduce flaking.
Castor oil has been used as a powerful natural remedy for a variety of health problems for thousands of years. Many other uses have been shown for it, including relieving constipation and moisturizing dry skin. Keeping castor oil in your medicine cabinet may be the answer if you want an affordable, multi-purpose oil.