Because castor oil is sooo great I decided to make an entire page just about the healing and beneficial properties of castor oil.
These days, castor oil, like many of mother nature’s gifts, are at best dismissed as an ‘alternative’ therapy. However, castor oil has been used and recommended for its powerful medicinal and curative effects for centuries by physicians.
But as science and cynicism have replaced the desire to heal sickness with the modern-day desire to protect drug & pharmaceutical profits, much of this valuable information has been forgotten.
What is Castor Oil?
When handling castor oil, be sure to protect your clothing or bedding from drips as castor oil can stain fabric irreversibly (although Arm & Hammer washing soda may help remove castor oil stains).
In Spanish, castor oil is called Aceite de Ricino or Aceite de Castor. In India, where the plant is native, it is called Erand Oil. It is known as Kharwa in Arabic. In China, it is known as Ma Hong Liang. It is known as Minyak Jarak in Indonesia.
Castor Oil use through the ages
There is evidence that it was cultivated in England as early as 1562 but castor oil use goes back even further. In ancient Rome, the castor oil plant was also called the Palma Christi, or the hand of Christ. 4,000 year-old castor bean seeds have been discovered in Egyptian tombs. Historical documents reveal that castor oil was used medicinally in Egypt, India, and China as well as Persia, Africa, Greece and Rome.
The Healing Properties of Castor Oil
While the castor bean contains toxins that make it poisonous, the oil has only trace amounts of those toxins and instead of poisoning the body, causes purgative effects instead. When rubbed into the skin, castor oil penetrates deeper than any other essential plant oils. Rubbing castor oil on the skin relieves pain, reduces inflammation, detoxifies the body and boosts lymphatic circulation.
Castor oil also contains Ricinoleic Acid, a very unusual fatty acid that can be found only in castor beans and ergot (a fungus). Ricinoleic Acid inhibits the growth of many bacteria, viruses, molds and yeasts. This is why castor oil has been known to work well on acne as well as other skin conditions like ringworm, keratoses, scars, and fungal infections. Read more about castor oil’s uses for beautiful, healthy skin and hair.
Many ailments can be cured with Castor Oil – but scepticism abounds
Castor Oil has many medicinal uses, including constipation (when taken internally), relief from pain, inflammation and stomach problems. It also has cosmetic uses and has been said to restore a youthful glow, and maintain smooth and supple skin.
Unfortunately, castor oil’s humble nature and its long list of medicinal uses generally cause people to view it with skepticism. It is also virtually unknown within the medical community or dismissed as a poison, which is unfortunate because so many take their cue from those folks in white coats. I personally think it is far too long that we have equated skepticism and cynicism with intelligence. There is much more to healing than what science can adequately explain.
1. Castor Oil is a mild and effective laxative
A half ounce of castor oil taken internally will have a quick and mild laxative effect, giving relief for constipation. To improve the taste, take the oil by floating in a glass of warm milk or mixing it with a fresh egg yolk.
2. Castor Oil expels tape worms and other intestinal worms
Castor oil taken internally has been documented to discharge tape worms successfully. Take a tablespoon of castor oil in a glass of warm milk in the morning and at night. The worms will be passed out of your system.
3. Castor Oil relieves arthritis, back pain and muscle aches
Castor oil applied topically can give immense relief from arthritis, back pain and general muscle aches and soreness.
You can improve its effectiveness by applying a cloth soaked in castor oil over the painful joint and covering it with plastic (such as cling film). Place a hot water bottle over this (this method is also known as a ‘castor oil pack’). The heat will help the castor oil to penetrate your inflamed tissues and joints.
Even without external heat, a castor oil pack will still work wonders. Just leave it on for longer. You can do this easily by putting the castor oil pack on before going to bed, leaving it to work overnight.
4. Castor oil cures sleeplessness and insomnia
If you suffer from insomnia, rub a little castor oil over your eyelids before going to bed. Castor oil applied this way will bring about a feeling of deep relaxation for a peaceful slumber without the use of drugs.
5. Castor Oil treats skin infections
To treat small skin infections, apply a few drops of castor oil onto a plaster or bandaid and apply it over the area you wish to treat each day. For a larger skin infection, use a piece of clean cloth soaked in castor oil instead.
6. Castor Oil relieves stomach aches and colic in babies
To relieve stomachaches, warm some castor oil by rubbing it between your palms and massage this gently over the abdomen and the bellybutton area (the navel). This relieves stomach pain and helps to expel trapped gas. Castor oil used this way also helps relieve colic in newborns and helps them sleep.
7. Castor Oil alleviates period pain and menstrual cramps
You can similarly massage some hand-warmed castor oil over the lower abdomen to relieve period pain and menstrual cramping. Using the castor oil pack method over the lower abdomen can also help reduce menstrual irregularities and uterine and ovarian cysts.
8. Castor Oil shrinks swollen lymph nodes
Rub castor oil over the swollen lymph nodes each day and it will gradually shrink in size. Castor oil works by speeding up the circulation of the lymphatic system.
9. Castor Oil cures vaginal infections and urinary tract infections
Apply castor oil directly to the skin, and cover with a warm washcloth or hot water bottle for half an hour to an hour.
10. Castor Oil shrinks haemorrhoids
Soak a cotton ball with castor oil and apply it to the hemorrhoid. Lie down to do this. However, if the cotton ball stays in place, you can also walk around with a towel wrapped around your waist.
11. Castor Oil relieves gallbladder pain
Pain from gallstones can be relieved by using hot castor oil packs. Place a castor oil pack over the area to relieve pain from gallbladder attacks.
12. Castor Oil relieves aching feet
If you have the type of job where you’re standing on your feet the whole day, you can use castor oil to soothe your tired and aching feet. At the end of the day, simply massage some hand-warmed castor oil over your feet. You should feel immediate relief.
For greater comfort during the day, rub a generous amount of castor oil over your feet and put on cotton socks before leaving the house. You will experience greater comfort while standing on your feet or walking all day.
For severe foot pain, apply a generous amount of castor oil over your feet’s problem areas, wrap it up in some plastic (such as cling film) and finish this off by putting on socks before going to bed. Your foot pain should lessen by morning. Repeated application of this for a few weeks will eventually resolve most foot pain completely.
Using castor oil like this will also get rid of corns and soften thick calluses.
Castor Oil's uses for beautiful, healthy skin and hair
1. Castor Oil cures acne
The Ricinoleic Acid in castor oil works to inhibit many viruses and bacteria, and as castor oil is able to penetrate skin tissue deeply, this makes it an effective treatment for acne.
To treat acne, dab a hot damp washcloth all over your face in the evening before you go to bed. The heat will gently open the pores on your face. After this, massage a little castor oil gently into the skin. Leave on overnight. Repeat this daily for 1 to 2 weeks to see results. You can also repeat this twice in the day, once at night and once in the morning.
2. Castor Oil keeps the skin looking smooth, youthful and unlined
Castor oil’s ability to penetrate more deeply than any other essential plant oil make it an excellent way to keep skin looking youthful and fresh. Castor oil works better than any store-bought anti-ageing creams.
The best way to use castor oil is to rub in a small amount over your face and around your eyes before bed. This may be hard to do at first because castor oil is extremely thick and sticky. Therefore, rub the oil in as thoroughly as possible and then pat your face gently with a tissue to get rid of the excess. This will keep wrinkles at bay. Be sure to use only cold pressed castor oil that is hexane free. Any other kind may clog your pores.
Castor oil is found in several anti-ageing creams, wrinkle creams and undereye creams.
3. Castor Oil breaks up external and internal scar tissue, and prevents new scars from forming
Castor oil’s unrivaled deep tissue penetration help to soften and remove both external and internal scars, like those that form following surgery.
Castor oil will penetrate deep into the tissues to slowly break up scar tissue. Amazingly, castor oil is able to distinguish between healthy cells and abnormal ones. In healthy cells, castor oil will detoxify and stimulate them, while increasing circulation. In abnormal cells like scar tissue and growths, castor oil will instead work to aggressively dissolve cells thanks to the solvent property of castor oil.
To break down internal scarring, soak a piece of clean cloth with castor oil and place it over the scar area for an hour or two each day. You can also simply rub castor oil over the scar each day. More serious internal scarring will take longer to break down.
On another note, castor oil can also prevent scars from forming in the first place. Applying castor oil over cuts or scrapes will promote excellent skin healing.
Remarkably, applying castor oil after surgery, cuts or wounds will also minimize scar formation. This could be because of castor oil’s ability to increase our body’s lymphocytes (because of this, castor oil packs are especially useful for people with HIV or AIDS). Lymphocytes, or white blood cells, appear to regulate wound healing. And studies have shown that T lymphocytes may play an important role in wound healing and scar formation. Babies and young children have naturally higher levels of lymphocytes than teenagers and adults. These higher lymphocyte levels could be one of the reasons why our skin healed with much less scarring when we were younger.
Several commercial scar reduction creams also contain castor oil (eg Scar Zone, Scar Repairex). However, they also contain more chemicals than they do castor oil!
3. Castor Oil thickens eyelashes and eyebrows
Rub a little castor oil over the base of your eyelashes before bed. This prevents thinning and promotes rapid growth, leading to thicker and fuller lashes. In fact, many commercial products for eyelashes contain castor oil.
To thicken sparse eyebrows, rub a little castor oil over the brow line before bed.
4. Castor Oil prevents hair loss and regenerates hair
The anti-bacterial and anti-fungicidal properties of Ricinoleic Acid in castor oil protects the scalp and hair from infections which can cause hair loss. The Omega-9 fatty acids in castor oil also nourish the hair and prevent the scalp from drying.
Rubbing castor oil on your scalp and the roots of your hair will regenerate new hair growth within months. This will also thicken thinning hair.
5. Castor Oil keeps hair looking soft and shiny
Castor oil is a humectant as it draws moisture into the hair and skin. Applying castor oil on hair will keep it looking soft, shiny and strong.
6. Castor Oil softens thick calluses and removes corns
Castor oil application will soften any rough or thickened skin, including calluses and corns. To treat corns, apply castor oil over your feet and put cotton socks on before going to bed. (Incidentally, sleeping with castor oil socks on will also soothe painful heels and foot pain.)
7. Castor Oil cures skin infections like athlete’s foot and ringworm
Apply a castor oil soaked cloth on the affected area. If it is small enough, a bandaid with a few drops of castor oil can be used instead.
8. Castor Oil prevents stretch marks
Rub a small amount of castor oil over your stomach and thighs daily to prevent stretchmarks during pregnancy or periods of weight gain.
9. Castor Oil will remove moles and warts
Rub castor oil into moles or warts every night. The moles (or warts) will start to shrink over a few weeks, and continued use will eventually remove the mole without any scarring. Complete removal may take 2-3 months, but this slow healing will also ensure there is no “hole” in your skin. (The surgical removal of moles will often leave a hole where the mole was. This indentation can often be permanent.)
10. Castor Oil will remove age spots (liver spots)
Rub castor oil into your age spots every night. The age spot will lighten over time, and continued use will eventually remove the age spot completely.