Castor oil is a vegetable oil obtained by pressing the seeds of the castor oil plant (Ricinus communis). The common name “castor oil”, from which the plant gets its name, probably comes from its use as a replacement for castoreum, a perfume base made from the dried perineal glands of the beaver (castor in Latin). Castor oil and its derivatives are used in the manufacturing of soaps, lubricants, hydraulic and brake fluids, paints, dyes, coatings, inks, cold resistant plastics, waxes and polishes, nylon, pharmaceuticals and perfumes.
Castor Oil is a very pale yellow liquid. 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.
Castor Oil is 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Castor Oil for Hair and Skin
Castor oil is an age old beauty treatment that has been largely replaced over time by fancier beauty products with more ingredients and a bigger price tag.
Castor oil has natural antibacterial and antifungal properties and is high in Vitamin E, minerals, proteins, and Omega 6 and 9 beneficial fatty acids. Its unusually high ricinoleic acid ratio makes it beneficial to skin and hair.
In fact, castor oil has traditionally been used topically for acne and other skin conditions, as well as hair loss, rashes and more.
Castor Oil for Natural Hair Regrowth
Castor oil can be used on the scalp to help prevent and remedy hair loss and it is effective at this for several reasons. It’s antibacterial and anti fungal properties make it beneficial against follliculitus, dandruff and scalp infections and its ricinoleic acid content helps increase circulation to the scalp and improve hair growth.
Ricinoleic acid is also said to help balance scalp pH which can also help replenish the scalp’s natural oils and undo some of the damage of harsh chemical hair products (and even damage from no-poo, due to over alkalinity). The antioxidants in castor oil also support the keratin in hair and help make hair stronger, smoother and less frizzy.
Arthritis Pain Reliever
Massaging castor oil into achy joints will give you a bit of relief from the pain of arthritis. You can mix castor oil with enough turmeric or cayenne powder to make a paste and then rub it into your joints. Be sure that you don’t get this in your eyes, especially if you choose to use cayenne pepper instead of turmeric.
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