Castor Oil: 12 Benefits and Uses to Improve Your Health
Do you know castor oil, sometimes also called ricino oil? It is the most recommended oil when looking for the effects of a laxative, only it is completely natural and has a long history of curing people.
The castor plant, scientifically called Ricinus communis , is native to the Mediterranean, East Africa and India, but nowadays it is harvested in several regions with tropical climate, such as Thailand and Brazil. Colloquially it is called “Palm of Christ”, because the peasants said that the leaves of this plant resembled the hands of Christ. In India it is considered as one of the most precious plants, not only for its curative powers but also because it can be at the same time lethal.
But do not be afraid, castor oil is only toxic when taken in large quantities or when the seed is consumed in the raw state, but a small dose that has gone through a careful process to extract the toxic parts of the plant make this oil a Ideal remedy to cure many discomforts.
Its properties have been proven in great diversity of cultures and times. For example, ancient Pharaohs are known to have used this plant, as have the Persians, Chinese and Greeks, who used castor oil as a lamp fuel and as an ingredient in the preparation of healing balms and ointments.
Many countries in Europe and America have begun to take an interest in castor bean and are now used in various industries: in textiles to produce some fibers and dyes, in chemistry to make varnishes and paints, in cosmetics as an ingredient in several products of Beauty, in the food as a nutritional additive and, of course, in the medicinal.
Table of Contents
- 1 Castor Composition
- 2 What the scientists say about castor oil
- 3 Benefits of castor oil
- 3.1 1. Strengthens the immune system
- 3.2 2. Increases circulation
- 3.3 3. Beautifies the skin
- 3.4 4. Balances hormones and improves libido
- 3.5 5. Induce labor
- 3.6 6. Relieves dry or irritated skin
- 3.7 7. Eliminate Acne
- 3.8 8. Remove moles
- 3.9 9. No more fungus on toenails
- 3.10 10. Relieves Constipation
- 3.11 11. Decreases the symptoms of arthritis
- 3.12 12. Accelerates hair growth
- 4 Warning on the use of castor oil
- 5 Improve your skin with castor oil
- 6 What is the best castor oil?
Castor seed is composed mainly of fatty acids, of which 85-95% is ricinoleic acid, one of the rarest triglycerides in existence, to which all its healing properties are due.
Castor oil is quite appreciated because few natural ingredients contain such a concentration of ricinoleic acid, which is known for its analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects , and if applied topically it also has a bactericidal effect. In addition, doctors use this acid to produce polyurethane, which is then used to fill bone defects.
In addition to ricinoleic acid, castor oil also contains salts and other types of acids, such as oleic, linoleic, stearic and palmitic, which act as cellular conditioners that stabilize the composition and consistency of the substances, which is why this oil is used to produce cosmetics And products for the care of the skinand the hair .
And to top it off, the chemical composition of castor oil hides perhaps the best of its health properties: the ability to increase the amount of white blood cells or leukocytes in the blood, specifically T-11 cells, a type of lymphocyte Responsible for coordinating the immune response of the rest of the cells. In other words, castor oil is excellent for keeping our immune system in top condition so we can fight almost all diseases, including cancer.
Although castor oil has been used for millennia, the extension of its use today has caused scientists to investigate and analyze their composition and properties in depth, in order to offer people the best product and Remedy possible.
After discovering its bactericidal property, it has begun to be medically recommended as a topical treatment to relieve abrasions, burns, itching, acne , infections and keratosis, as it is absorbed by the skin and improves the function of the thymus gland and other functions of the system Immunological. To obtain these benefits it is recommended to use the castor oil in the form of compresses or cataplasmas, as these increase the topical absorption.
On the other hand, doctors have found that the ancient uses of castor oil in India to cure dysentery, asthma, constipation, intestinal inflammation and bladder infections are also checked in the laboratory.
What they do warn is that you should always apply or take the recommended dose, never take too much, as an overdose of castor can cause digestive problems such as colic, diarrhea and nausea. In addition, some people may have adverse reactions to castor oil and observe the occurrence of skin allergies. Therefore, castor oil should be avoided by people who normally suffer from colic, ulcers, hemorrhoids, colitis, irritable colon or have undergone some recent surgery.
A wide variety of conditions can be treated with castor oil, from calming muscle pains, stimulating the immune system and healing skin wounds to powerful anti-bacterial, antiviral and fungicidal to soothe those pesky fish eyes, stop bad odor Feet or even dandruff. Despite this, its best known use is as a laxative, ideal for curing the symptoms of constipation.
For centuries, mothers and grandmothers of India have had the habit of giving children a tablespoon of castor oil at the time of presenting any sign of disease, this to increase and strengthen the immune system, prevent the progression of the disease and cure Symptoms more quickly.
Why does it have that effect? Castor oil works directly as a support for the immune system, helping it distribute through the lymph nodes leukocytes that will cleanse, absorb, and expel all toxins or excess fluids, proteins, and cellular waste. As you will understand, the lymphatic system is of utmost importance when it comes to keeping the human body healthy.
In addition, in the tradition and belief of Ayurveda castor oil has been widely used to cure the many ailments related not only to the body but also to the mind, this clearly following the holistic precepts of this Indian practice.
In summary, some of the benefits of castor oil are:
- Strengthens the immune system.
- Increases circulation.
- Prevents the appearance and growth of viruses, bacteria and fungi.
- Combat infections and skin disorders.
- Decreases skin inflammation.
- It reduces the itching and burning sensation on the skin.
- Cure acne.
- Accelerates hair growth.
- Moisturizes dry lips.
- Calms the pain of burns .
- Relieves constipation.
Let’s take a closer look at 12 of the most important uses of castor oil.
1. Strengthens the immune system
It is proven that castor oil improves lymphatic drainage, blood flow and health of the thymus gland, as well as other functions of the lymphatic system. Studies have shown that people who use castor oil pads over the abdomen have a significantly larger production of lymphocytes compared to patients who only use hot compresses with a placebo effect.
Lymphocytes are the “soldiers” of the immune system that repel enemies, that is, the bacteria and viruses that attack the body and its organs. In addition, the immune system intervenes in the circulatory and digestive system, so it is very important to keep it in the best possible state.
2. Increases circulation
A healthy circulatory system goes hand in hand with a healthy immune system, if one fails the other will feel the consequences and the whole body will be more prone to get sick.
The circulatory system, as we know, is responsible for pumping blood through the veins and arteries that run through the body, doing this, oxygen reaches all organs and other systems so they can perform their functions; And castor oil helps the capillary walls of the veins to be in their best state, improving circulation.
3. Beautifies the skin
When it comes to the health and beauty of our skin it is important to understand that its strength is a direct reflection of the inner strength of the body, ie the health of the immune system and the balance of hormones . Therefore, the best remedy is castor oil, since it is a completely organic and natural ingredient, free of synthetic chemicals that will protect all our organs.
Castor oil is an excellent moisturizer that serves as an emollient that softens and protects the skin. In addition, it relieves very dry skins, mild ulcers or burns and superficial wounds.
4. Balances hormones and improves libido
Optimizing the absorption of fat molecules in the digestive tract is essential for the production of hormones, which is why consuming castor oil, which works directly to improve digestion, helps balance hormone levels.
Also, with fewer toxins and better blood circulation, the sex organs work more efficiently. In addition, women often have fewer premenstrual symptoms, fatigue, depression and mood swings if they add castor oil to their diet.
5. Induce labor
Castor oil is one of the oldest and most recommended remedies to induce labor, so before the midwives gave a spoonful of castor oil to pregnant women. The reason is that ricinoleic acid activates the prostanoid EP 3 receptor that is located in the uterus.
However, the reason why hospitals do not use this ingredient is that many women feel nauseous after taking it. So its use falls under the preferences of each woman and her doctor.
6. Relieves dry or irritated skin
Almost the same way that coconut oil alleviates skin discomfort due to its antibacterial agents, castor oil also works as a moisturizer and an excellent anti-inflammatory. In addition, its use can delay the signs of aging, such as the appearance of wrinkles , as it increases the production of collagen and elastin.
7. Eliminate Acne
If you are looking to eliminate acne for life, it is not enough to apply creams or gels to prevent it from appearing: you have to root out the problem. Castor oil and its ricinoleic acid are the best remedy to combat acne, because by penetrating to the deeper layers of the skin, castor oil helps to kill bacteria while it cleans pores and moisturizes the skin. In addition, as already mentioned above, if your acne problem is due to a hormonal imbalance this oil will also end it.
8. Remove moles
Are you one of those that has many moles or spots on the skin and you do not like how they look? This ingredient can help you a lot, just mix baking soda with castor oil and apply it over the moles or stains you want to remove.
Moisten a gauze in the mixture and secure it with a Band-Aid, leave it all night and wash in the morning with cold water. Repeat the same procedure several days until you begin to see how the mole or stain disappears. Just be careful of exposure to the sun so as not to cause more stains.
9. No more fungus on toenails
Due to its antibacterial property, castor oil is a great ally to kill fungi that form under the toenails, which cause an unpleasant sea odor.
Apply a little castor oil with a pinch of baking soda directly into the affected area, let stand a few moments and then rinse. Repeat this several times a day. In addition, being a good source of vitamin E, it will keep the nails looking beautiful.
10. Relieves Constipation
One of the most beneficial benefits of castor oil is its function as a laxative, because when you ingest its ricinoleic acid, it reaches the intestine where it helps the digestion process, increases the absorption of nutrients and improves the general cleaning of the digestive system.
Thanks to the above, you will not only be able to go to the bathroom more easily, but you will feel a total evacuation of the intestine, diminishing the inflammation, the colics and the syndrome of the irritable colon. The recommended adult dose is a spoonful of castor oil the day before breakfast .
11. Decreases the symptoms of arthritis
If you or someone in your family suffers from pain caused by arthritis or has inflammation of the joints, I share this tip: castor oil works as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic. Rub a little oil followed by a hot compress to increase the absorption of the same, soon you will feel a great improvement.
Before the massage, heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a pan and soak with it a cloth, which you leave on the joint for half an hour or maximum one hour, accompanied by the heat of a compress or an electric cushion. It is recommended not to use this remedy only if the area is very inflamed, in which case it is best to consult a specialized doctor.
12. Accelerates hair growth
Because coconut oil and castor oil have a similar composition, castor oil also has great benefits for hair. This is due to the presence of omega 6 fatty acids that will make the hair stronger, thick, shiny and silky.
By absorbing itself directly through the follicles, it improves circulation by accelerating hair growth and thanks to its antibacterial properties can also kill dandruff. To do this, mix three tablespoons of castor oil with three tablespoons of olive oil and apply directly to the root, massage and scatter the rest of the hair. Then wear a bathing cap and let it sit all night.
Warning on the use of castor oil
As you can see, castor oil has many benefits but it is important to know that scientists suggest certain measures that must be taken before using it. Mainly you should know that its topical and oral use is safe, and its laxative effect has also been proven in several medical studies.
The World Health Organization’s only warning is to keep daily intakes below 0.7 milligrams per kilogram of body weight in adults, because excessive consumption of castor oil can cause digestive problems such as diarrhea and stomach pains, including nausea or irritation.
As for its topical use there are almost no side effects or allergies, but it is recommended to first try a small area of the skin to observe its reaction before using it on the rest of the body.
The only people who should refrain from using castor oil are pregnant women, as mentioned above, their use can induce labor. Check with a doctor first.
Improve your skin with castor oil
If you are looking to improve the appearance of your skin, here are some tips and recipes for using castor oil in your beauty routine, take note.
- To cure acne: apply the oil with a cotton swab directly on the acne or where there is inflammation or reddish areas. You can also mix the castor with a little apple vinegar or coconut oil .
- To prevent the appearance of acne: when you wash your face at night, first open the pores with hot water and then massage with a little castor oil, let it absorb all night and rinse in the mornings.
- To moisturize your skin: Mix ¼ cup of castor oil together with ¾ cup of coconut oil and apply on your body and face, or areas that you want to moisturize. This mixture will not cover pores or leave oily skin.
- Moisturize drier areas: if you have very dry areas, then mix ¼ cup castor oil with ¼ jojoba oil or olive oil. Give massage and let it act all night.
- Moisturizing mask: soften your face by making a mask with a spoonful of castor oil and an egg yolk. Beat well and apply throughout your face, let it act for 10-15 minutes and wash with warm water.
- To relieve sunburn: To reduce pain and redness, apply a mixture of castor oil with coconut oil directly into the affected areas and ready.
- As a balm: apply castor oil directly to split lips to moisten them, although you can also mix it with a little coconut oil so that it has a rich and fresh aroma.
What is the best castor oil?
Since castor oil has various functions and applications in a topical or oral manner, there are many presentations and different qualities to choose from on the market; For example, the quality of the oil to be consumed orally is usually higher than that of topical oils.
To choose the best quality, look for a brand that specifies that the oil was obtained through cold pressing or get pure castor oil in organic stores, because there you will be sure that it is an organic product without chemicals or preservatives.