What is Castor Oil?
Castor Oil is a very pale yellow liquid that is extracted from castor seeds (Ricinus Communis). 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.
USES : Although it has a strong and rather unpleasant taste, castor oil is used in cosmetics, soaps, textiles, medicines, massage oils and many other everyday products
Castor oil for Pain
Castor oil is a triglyceride and around 90 per cent of the oil consists of ricinoleic acid, which has anti-inflammatory properties. Thus, castor oil is used for reducing inflammation and swelling of joints and tissues. Oral consumption of 2 spoonfuls of castor oil in a glass of water provides relief in cases of severe rheumatoid arthritis. The oil can also be applied on the painful area. Castor oil packs are used to provide relief from back pain and abdominal pain. It also gives a soothing effect in menstrual cramps.
Castor oil for Hair
Fatty acids and Vitamin E of castor oil aid in hair growth. When applied on hair and scalp, castor oil stimulates hair growth, charges up blood circulation and frees the scalp of any bacterial and fungal infections and dandruff. Hair roots get the required nourishment through castor oil. The usage checks hair loss and split ends. The oil traps the moisture of the hair and prevents it from becoming dry. The same theory comes into force when castor oil is applied on eyebrows. Topical application of castor oil helps in thickening of eyebrows.
Castor oil as Laxative
Castor oil is known for its laxative benefits. When taken orally, ricinoleic acid gets released in the intestine and then it starts functioning as a laxative. Its hotness initiates action by digesting the undigested food residue and cleanses the system by helping in proper bowel movement. Many women tend to complain about constipation after delivery. If they consume castor oil prior to going to bed at night, the acid helps in proper bowel movement.
Castor Oil for Allergies
Castor oil is anti-allergic in nature and this helps in doing away with allergies related to skin and naso-pharyngeal area. On an empty stomach, five drops of castor oil taken in morning in a little juice or water helps solve the problem.
Castor Oil for Warts, Moles and Cysts
Castor oil also helps in getting rid of warts and moles. In Edgar Cayce’s Encylopedia of Healing, Cayce suggests applying castor oil with a pinch of baking soda on the area concerned, for the desired result. Topical application also solves the problem of cysts and corns by dissolving them. Using castor oil packs helps dissolve cysts in the ovary as the fatty acid in castor oil is easily absorbed by the skin.
Castor oil to Increase Immunity
Those relying on naturopathy say that castor oil strengthens the immune system by increasing white blood cells and thus fights infections. After a scientific study, Harvey Grady said when applied on body, castor oil increases the count of T-11 cells and total lymphocytes in the blood within 24 hours of application. This energises body’s defence mechanism.
Castor oil for Inducing Labour
When castor oil is given orally to pregnant females at full term, it induces labour by pushing uterus contraction, say scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research. The ricinoleic acid in the oil activates EP3 prostanoid receptor in uterus, thus helping in delivery. But it is not recommended much as it creates a nauseous feeling.