Maybe you’ve heard of castor oil, but confused it with the similar sounding Castrol oil which is a brand of motor oil used in automobiles. Castor oil is made from vegetables. It is extracted from the seeds of the castor bean plant and is a pale yellow color with an unpleasant odor.
The oil is safe, but the bean hull that carries the seed is not. The oil of the castor bean is only part of the plant that is safe to use for health benefits. Unlike motor oil, it is safe to use directly on your body.
In fact, it often is an ingredient in beauty and health products. You can put it right on your skin with no adverse effects. Although, you should note that some people may have an allergy, so when using it for the first time, be cautious.
There is a lot to say about this type of oil because it has many uses and benefits. It has been around for quite some time, so it also has a rich history.
Castor Oil Uses and Benefits
It has a long history of treating a variety of health conditions. Ancient Egyptians used castor oil for skin care and to treat irritated eyes. Castor oil benefits are used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine as well.
Castor oil was the “go to” medicine at the first sign of illness and was believed to boost the immune system and speed up the healing process. Today, castor oil uses remain aplenty and is often used in beauty products and cosmetics. Whether you use castor oil for dry lips or to treat another skin ailment, it’s safe and effective.
From sitting in front of a computer all day to environmental factors, dry and inflamed eyes are caused by many things. Although common, dry eyes can be painful and can cause serious problems if you don’t keep them lubricated. While regular eye drops can be expensive and ineffective, castor oil used as eye drops can help you get relief quickly.
In addition to soothing dry and red eyes, castor oil uses include treating early cataracts.
Promotes Hair Growth
Another one of the many benefits of castor oil is to help your hair grow thicker and stronger. Is your hair looking dull, brittle, and full of split ends? Forget the expensive conditioning products and treatments from a salon or beauty supply shop. The ricinoleic acid in the castro oil helps balance your scalp’s pH level. A healthy scalp has healthier hair and less dandruff.
If your eyebrows and eyelashes are looking a little sparse, the oil may help with growth, too.
Arthritis Pain Relief
Pain relief from arthritis is just one of the many castor oil uses and benefits. Anyone who suffers from arthritis knows that some days are better than others. One day you have no pain and the next, you can barely move. By massaging the swollen joints or making an “oil pack” with oil, it can help to reduce the inflammation.
Natural Sleep Aid
Even though we’re supposed to get a solid seven to eight hours of sleep each night, it’s not uncommon to suffer from restlessness and insomnia. What is castor oil used for? Sleepness, of course! Simply rubbing some oil on your eyelids while help you fall asleep, stay asleep, and wake up feeling like you had a great night’s sleep.
Constipation is a natural and unfortunate part of life. It is frustrating and uncomfortable, but it doesn’t need to be with castor oil. Although most of the castor oil uses are on the skin, it can be carefully ingested to keep your bowels moving naturally.
Relieves Muscle Pain
Our bodies are hardworking machines, and muscle pain can be a result of exercise, injury, or even manual labor. What does castor oil do for muscles? Much like the effects it has on arthritis pain, the oil is a great substitute for massage oil. Skip the stinky topical ointments and reach for the oil.
Treats Fungal Infections
Fungal infections can be difficult to treat, and many antifungal treatments are toxic and expensive. The undecylenic acid in castor oil makes it an effective treatment for common fungal infections like athlete’s foot.
Enhances Hair Color
When your hair is unhealthy and damaged, it can look dull. Conditioning your hair with castor oil will not only make your hair healthier, but it will add shine back to your locks, revitalizing your beautiful natural color.
Many people ask, “Is castor oil good for skin?” Many of the castor oil health benefits include using castor oil on skin. Hundreds of dollars are spent each year on skin moisturizers and lotions, many of which are ineffective and not derived from natural ingredients.
Castor oil skin is supple, looks healthy, and feels smooth. You can also use castor oil on lips; castor oil lips stay soft and moisturized in the driest of atmospheres.
Homemade natural mascara
Women who buy mascara wear it to make their eyelashes appear longer, thicker, and as if they have more. A little castor oil can replace your need for mascara because it will help your eyelashes grow and become healthier. To add color, use castor oil, beeswax, and charcoal or cocoa powder to make a natural mascara.
Treats Inflamed skin problems
Inflamed skin is often caused by dermatitis or sunburn. The itchiness and redness can be so bothersome that it can be hard to get comfortable. Rather than having a medicine cabinet full of products to treat various skin issues, castor oil is a multi-use product.
Treat Babies with Colic
Among the various uses of castor oil, treating colicky babies may be a helpful tip for new parents. When a baby has colic, he or she has severe pain in the abdomen. As a result, the baby is unable to get comfortable and can scream for hours on end. Massaging warm (not hot) castor oil on a baby’s stomach, in a circular motion, can help relieve symptoms of colic.
Heal Pets Skin Ailments
If you’re wondering how to use castor oil to benefit your pet, it can be particularly beneficial for skin ailments. Some dog breeds are prone to dry noses and various skin issues like dermatitis. Castor oil can be used topically or used in the bath to treat and relieve symptoms related to skin issues.
Castor Oil as Preservative
We’ve discussed different uses for castor oil and how it benefits the body, but did you know it can also be used in food preservation? Castor oil is commonly used in food additives and flavorings as a mold inhibitor. Food grains are also preserved in oil (in some countries) to prevent rotting.
Reduce Skin Pigmentation
People with skin pigmentation (uneven skin tone) are often self-conscious of their skin’s appearance. The same way it benefits other skin conditions, castor oil can eliminate spots, marks, and even out skin tone.
Reduces Stretch Marks
Stretch marks can happen to anyone, but they occur when the skin stretches quickly as with pregnancy or weight gain or loss. Castor oil can help reduce stretch marks from happening because it helps to retain moisture and elasticity.
Acne, the pesky skin condition that affects a majority of people at least a few times in their lives, can be fought with castor oil. The oil pulls out the impurities that clog up the skin’s pores and also helps to kill bacteria.
We rely on our lymphatic systems to work properly so we can stay healthy, but sometimes our systems need a little TLC. By using an oil pack, the ricinoleic acid absorbs into the lymphatic system and helps to increase blood circulation. As a result, the immune system gets a healthy boost when the lymphatic system functions properly.
Treats Back Pain
Whether you have arthritis in your back or a strained muscle, back pain is very common and can be tricky to treat. Whether you use an oil pack or substitute castor oil as a massage oil, you can expect to get some long lasting pain relief.
Like other common fungal infections, the antifungal properties in castor oil can help clear up and get rid of ringworm quickly. It can also heal and relieve irritated skin.
How to Apply Castor Oil
Now that we’ve discussed some castrol oil uses, it’s important to know how to apply the oil. Before using the oil on your skin, it’s a good idea to put a small amount on your skin to rule out any allergic reactions.
As we mentioned earlier, there are many uses for castor oil and some methods of application are more effective than others. For many skin ailments, such as a fungal infection or dry skin, the oil can be massaged directly into the affected skin. You can also mix castor oil with equal parts coconut or sweet almond oil; you can also mix in some Vitamin E oil.
To make an “oil pack,” take a clean piece of cotton fabric, fold it into squares, and soak it in castor oil. Squeeze out any excess oil, place the cloth on an area of the body (swollen joint or backache). Cover the area with plastic wrap and place a hot water bottle or heating pad on the spot for an hour.
Where to Buy Castor Oil
Castor oil can be purchased at most health and general stores as well as online. You may find a lot of products that contain castor oil, but you will want to purchase pure castor oil if possible. Experts recommend buying cold-pressed and cold processed castor oil for the most effective results.
Castor oil is very useful as you've discovered. Its many uses mean it is something you should keep on hand. It makes for a great addition to your home medical kit.
Take note of the many uses and be sure to grab the caster oil the next time you need a preservative, want to treat muscle pain, or desire a boost to your hair's shine.