Castor Oil is a type of vegetable oil that has been in use for centuries, and it’s produced from castor seeds. Castor oil and its derivatives have a number purposes such as they’re used in the manufacture of soaps, lubricants, dyes, paints, waxes and polishes, perfumes, resistant plastics and pharmaceuticals. It was greatly used in Egypt during the 1550BC for multiple factors, for example, it was burned in fuel lamps, stimulating labour in pregnant women and also used as a natural remedy to treat eye irritations.
Health Benefits of Castor Oil
The benefits from the use of this oil are tremendous. Castor oil is a natural, powerful laxative. It consists of properties that stimulate bowel movements by increasing the contraction and relaxation of smooth muscles in the small intestines, therefore helps clear the bowel and treat constipation. Although drinking it in large amount can be dangerous, which is why it is advised to take it in small doses (as little as one to one and a half tablespoons of the oil), as large intakes of castor oil can cause abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea and diarrhoea. And, let’s keep castor oil as one of the last steps of treatment for constipation. Try laxatives, lots of fibres and psyllium husks, before considering forcing down that bitter tablespoon full of the oil with some sugar.
This oil can also be used for weight loss; it can be applied to the lower belly. Massaging the lower belly with slight pressure stimulates the breakdown of belly fat as it increases blood circulation and tightens the saggy skin. Taking in 2 to 3 teaspoons of the oil before breakfast can reduce hunger and water retention in the body. However, it’s recommended to do this just once in a week.
To a great extent, castor oil can benefit the hair, skin and eyelashes as its rich in monounsaturated fatty acid, called ricinoleic acid. The oil is commonly used in cosmetic products, such as in lotions, ointments and moisturizers as it keeps the skin hydrated and prevents cracked or flaky skin. More importantly, has healing properties, studies show that it assists healing of skin ulcers and removes layers of dead skin which in turn stimulates the growth of new skin cells. It also reduces acne. A common condition in which the dead skin cells and the oil produced from the skin clogs the hair follicles, causing pus-filled pimples, oily skin, blackheads or whiteheads and can lead to scarring over time. In the development of acne, inflammation frequently occurs, and this can be treated with castor oil as it contains anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties which helps reduce inflammation and prevents the overgrowth of bacteria on the skin. It’s also used in hair conditioners as it has anti-dandruff properties. It lubricates the scalp and increases the smoothness in hair and eyelashes, and this reduces breakage. Its also helps keep the hair healthy by decreasing irritate-red scalps, due to its anti-inflammatory qualities.
As mentioned above, castor oil consists of anti-inflammatory properties, although this is due to the presence of ricinoleic acid. Castor oils help reduce pain and inflammation. Its mainly used in the treatment of inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis. Health experts have conducted multiple tests, and studies have shown that the oil is highly effective in reducing pain and inflammation experienced in arthritis. However, how ricinoleic acid has this effect on the body is still unknown to experts and further research is still going on.
Although castor oils makes for some easily available & an excellent home remedy for hair, skin, nails and even as a laxative, however, I would always strongly recommend a skin patch test to check for allergic reactions. Rub in a little bit of the oil on a small patch of your skin, 24 hours before using it. If you’re searching for a multi-purpose oil, consider stocking up on castor oil in your medicine cabinet.