What is Castor Oil?
Castor oil is made by extracting oil from castor beans, the Ricinus communis plant's seeds, a vegetable plant. The castor beans contain an enzyme called Ricin, which is toxic in nature, but the process of heating it deactivates the toxicity making it safe to use when taken in small doses and under supervision. Ricinoleic acid is present in castor oil as one of the main components. It possesses anti-inflammatory properties and is popularly taken orally as a laxative, stimulates hair growth, and is applied as a skin lubricant, induces labor, and helps start the flow of breastmilk, etc.
Castor oil is known to increase blood, making it highly useful in treating deadly diseases like cancer. It is also a powerful antioxidant that prevents cancer from spreading further. Castor oil has proven its uses medicinally and holistically; however, this oil should only be used under proper medical guidance and supervision. It is so because castor oil is known to cause adverse side-effects when doses and usage are not properly administered. Castor oil and its derivatives have various uses, and various compounds are prepared using this oil in food, cosmetic, chemical industries, etc.
The Many Uses of Castor Oil: A Versatile Ingredient
Castor oil is one of the most multipurpose oils that we know of. Used in various skincare products ranging from personal hygiene to beauty products, castor oil, and its derivatives are extremely popular in the cosmetic industry. Additionally, it is a major component in formulating products that do not block our skin pores, thereby preventing acne advancement and aggravation. Some of the products using castor oil's benefits are sunscreens, lubricants, hair oils, moisturisers, etc. Castor oil benefits in treating skin disorders and acts as an excellent moisturiser contributing to overall skin health.
The food industry also finds castor oil and its derivatives very useful in several applications. Ranging from food processing to food packaging, the food-grade castor oil has found many uses in food flavoring as food additives, chocolates, etc. It has also proven useful in packaging as a mold inhibitor. Another variant of castor oil known as polyoxyethylated castor oil is used when water-insoluble compounds are taken orally or intravenously.
Ayurveda is a traditional medicinal system that raves of castor oil and its benefits. Castor oil has proven useful in treating and controlling many common and uncommon ailments that are known to have severe effects on the human body. Some of this oil's basic uses can be seen in treating allergic eyes , cyst, skin disorders, inflammations, dandruff, etc. Its powerful laxative effect is exceptionally useful in clearing out the colon and removing excess heat from the body.
Also, castor oil has proven beneficial in treating constipation, both mild and severe, almost instantly. According to Ayurveda, castor oil imparts heating when taken internally whereas it renders a cooling effect when applied externally. Not only that, castor oil is capable of breaking down unwanted tissue, which makes it highly useful in treating all kinds of non-malignant benign tumors, cysts, and fibroids.
As castor oil is a potent laxative, it has found its way into manufacturing industrial lubricants. The high content of the ricinoleic hydroxy acid makes castor oil valuable and useful in the chemical industry. This high content in this oil renders it a longer shelf life than other oils by preventing peroxide formation. This also makes it a great candidate in performing a variety of chemical reactions like halogenation, dehydration, etc. Resultantly, this characteristic allows castor oil to be an excellent candidate to be used in industrial applications such as paints, inks, and lubricants.
Benefits of Using Castor Oil: Solve Multiple Skin and Hair Issues with This Traditional Cure
Castor oil is highly recommended for treating various types of skin conditions, hair issues, etc. Let us talk a bit amount the many benefits of this oil that has been known to us for centuries but never got the due credit.
Castor oil is a wonderful anti-inflammatory oil that helps fight free radicals in the skin that accelerate the aging process, thereby improving skin texture and minimising the appearance of wrinkles. It is also an effective antioxidant, and the fatty acids and triglycerides in castor oil render moisture to the skin and a very healthy appearance. For the best results, simply take a drop of castor oil and evenly apply it on the skin. Now massage gently and leave for 20 minutes. The castor oil will be absorbed in your skin, and regular application will prevent wrinkles and other aging signs.
Moisturises the Skin
There are several benefits of castor oil for the face, and the ingredients such as fatty acids and triglycerides help in overall skin health by imparting hydration and helping fight free radicals. As this has anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties, it is useful in treating irritated, infected, and dry skin. It also has humectant properties, which draws moisture from the surrounding air into the skin, imparting hydration. All you need to do is dip a cotton ball in the castor oil and apply it on the face, especially around the eyes, forehead, and mouth, before going to bed.
Prevents Acne and Helps Treat Acne Scars
The anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties of castor oil can help in the prevention of acne. The oil does not allow microbes to clog the pores, thereby preventing acne control and preventing aggravation. It is also known to fade the stretch marks and treat acne scars. Castor oil has also proven to be potent in healing sunburns. For the best results, wash your face of clean and dirt and then massage slightly warm castor oil for 10-15 minutes. You can wipe off the excessive oil from the face and leave it overnight.
Amplifies Overall Skin Health
As castor oil imparts many skin benefits, it majorly contributes to enhancing skin elasticity and health. It is instrumental in acne treatment, scar treatments, reducing puffiness, healing sunburns, fighting dryness, etc. The presence of healthy fatty acids nourishes and moisturises the skin, keeping it soft and supple. Use it with other essential oils or directly on the skin for nourished and healthy skin.
Use in Ayurveda Medicines
The ancient medicine system Ayurveda has tons to say about this oil. From skin health to body health, this oil finds its uses in many ways. Essential and potent in treating wrinkles, Arthritis, Cysts, Fibroids, Asthma can be attributed to the presence of extensive natural compounds, making it popular in Chinese medicine.
The cooling property aids in lessening body heat like prickly heat. The strong anti-infectious, antifungal, laxative, immune-boosting properties are valued and used to treat various medical conditions like Arthritis, labor induction, etc. Medicinally, castor oil is rich in anti-viral, anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory properties, and many more and therefore extremely popular and useful in Ayurveda.
Speedy Wound Healing
As castor oil is a humectant and fatty acids make it moisturising, this oil provides optimal conditions for wound healing. The moist environment accelerates the healing process and prevents sores from drying out. Castor oil also promotes tissue growth, which helps create a barrier between the wound and the surrounding environment and lowers infection risk. Additionally, it helps lower the dryness, prevent cornification, and prevent the building up of dead skin cells that delay the healing process. If you do not want to apply castor oil directly on the open wound, go for the market's ointments with the castor oil extract.
Castor oil is known to increase blood flow by increasing the oxygen content in our blood. The increase in oxygen content increases the blood flow providing excellent circulation and helps the blood flow right. Castor oil helps in strengthening our limbs when massaged externally, making it extremely healthy for our body. It can be mixed with various essential oils for added advantages and multiple uses. You can buy castor oil packs available online for regular use and improving circulation. The alternative medical practitioners use the packs for curing inflamed and swollen joints, curing digestive disorders, etc.
Prevents Hair Fall
As castor oil is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, it helps in complete hair nourishment by improving blood circulation at the roots as well as imparts intense moisture to dry and damaged hair. Among other benefits of castor oil for hair, the anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antibacterial properties help in the treatment of dandruff, cure scalp infections, and a few components in castor oil are potent in helping to treat split ends.
This oil strengthens the hair shaft and decreases the chance of hair fall, and increases flexibility. For DIY Castor oil Serum, take 1 drop of tea tree oil, 1 drop of lavender oil, 1 tbsp castor oil, and 1 tbsp of virgin coconut oil. Warm the coconut oil and castor oil, and then add the other two oils. Apply in the hair roots and massage to prevent hair fall and reduce flakiness.
Treats Constipation Issues
As castor oil is a powerful laxative, the ricinoleic acid gets released in the intestine and the heat thus released helps in digestion. It helps in cleansing by stimulating proper bowel movement and also efficient in cleaning out the colon. The castor oil remedy is known to relieve temporary constipation rapidly. Before starting with the treatment, however, we recommend our readers consult with a doctor to understand the right method and dosage.
Helps in Treating Arthritis
The ricinoleic acid present in castor oil has powerful analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties; it is excellent massage oil and has proven to be extremely useful as a natural treatment for Arthritis, inflammation, and joint pains. You can use the castor oil packs available in the market to cover the affected area for up to 45 minutes to get relief.
Can Improve Skin Conditions Like Psoriasis or Eczema
The anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal properties of castor oil make it highly effective in treating psoriasis and eczema. The ricinoleic acid in castor oil helps relieve pain and inflammation. The presence of fatty acids provides nourishment to stimulate recovery from extreme dryness, which feeds into eczema problems.
This oil moisturizes the skin. Researches have been done to understand the removal of fungal infections from human tooth roots using castor oil and the treatment of diseases or skin conditions like melasma to reduce skin pigmentation. The presence of undecylenic acid makes it efficient in treating ringworms as well.
Side Effects of Castor Oil You Must Keep in Mind
Irrespective of how beneficial Castor Oil is, for some people, it could not work as intended. Before using castor oil in any form, you should know the probable side-effects. We suggest, if you have sensitive skin or any other condition, the consumption of castor oil in any form should be done only after consulting a health expert or a doctor.
- Skin Rashes and Itching: Although proven beneficial in many diseases and ailments, castor oil can cause severe skin allergic reactions causing irritation and rashes. Castor oil in itself is not known to be a skin irritant, but the presence of ricinoleic acid in it may aggravate pre-existing skin conditions. It may even lead to diseases and conditions like hives and itching.
- Dizziness and Abdominal Cramps: Another common side-effect of castor oil is dizziness when it is used in excess. As castor oil is a strong and powerful laxative, muscle weakness and abdominal cramps are commonly seen as side-effects when this is taken in large quantities. It is also known to cause intestinal cramps and abdominal pain when taken without prior proper meal intake.
- Low Blood Pressure: Castor oil is known to cause low blood pressure in some cases. As castor oil stimulates the blood to flow right and supports good blood circulation, it has proven beneficial in lowering blood pressure supporting overall heart health.
Precautions to be Taken When Using Castor Oil
- Never take whole castor seeds orally: As castor seeds contain Ricin in the outer seed covering, which is highly poisonous in nature, its toxicity is only removed by heating it through a process that renders it fit for consumption. That is why whole castor seeds should not be consumed as it can cause a toxic effect and can prove fatal.
- Use castor oil under doctor's supervision: As castor oil is known to have both positive and negative impacts on one's body, it is essential to use it under supervision. Castor oil dosage and usage greatly depend on your pre-existing medical conditions, and overdose or improper use could have adverse side effects. As castor seed as a whole is toxic, it has proven beneficial when taken in small doses under the guidance of knowledgeable healthcare practitioners or estheticians. Castor oil, due to its laxative nature, can sometimes induce contractions in women during pregnancy and during menstruation, which is why it is refrained from using during those times. It can also cause intestinal cramps and abdominal pain if taken on an empty stomach.
Be Careful while Selecting a Castor Oil Product Online
If you're convinced about using castor oil for daily usage, then the most crucial thing to keep in mind is only to use the right castor oil products; avoid using products that people have reported to have side effects, and also the ones that claim to produce quick results, as generally, these are market gimmicks which mislead the consumers, eventually making them lose interest in the genuineness of the product!