Castor Oil Benefits: Improving Health and Beauty

Castor oil benefits people in a good number of ways. This oil can be used to enhance health and beauty, contributing to the body in curious and unexpected ways. Castor oil comes from the beans of a castor plant which originated in India, and is now growing in tropical and Mediterranean areas.

Castor Oil Benefits: Health and Beauty

Castor oil abounds with a substance called ricinoleic acid, which is an unsaturated omega-9 fatty acid. This element is suspected to be the reason behind the many castor oil benefits related to health. Here are some of the uses of castor oil to the body:

Castor Oil Contributions to Health:castor oil image

  • Antibacterial and Antiviral – The ricinoleic acid in castor oil prevents the growth of many types of viruses and bacteria, protecting the skin and body.
  • Improves Lymph Fluid Flow – Castor oil exerts a positive influence on the thymus gland and the lymphatic system. It stimulates the free flow of lymphatic fluids, reducing swelling in the lymphatic nodes and easing depression and fatigue.
  • Castor oil for Constipation – Castor oil is an effective laxative and is even used as an enema agent in hospitals for those who are suffering from constipation. It also eases symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Treats Skin Ulcers and Ringworms – Aside from ricinoleic acid, castor oil also contains undecylenic acid, which has germicidal and disinfectant properties. It helps treat skin ulcers and kill fungi around fingernails and toenails. The same acid can also effectively treat ringworm infestation.
  • Arthritis Remedy – Castor oil contains anti-inflammatory properties, making it an excellent massage oil for aching joints and sore muscles.
  • Stye Treatment – An eye infection called stye can be treated by applying a few drops of castor oil. The oil can also be used to remove debris that has entered the eye, causing irritation. For stye treatment, simply apply a small drop of castor oil to the stye 2-3 times daily.
  • Improves Lactation – Rubbing castor oil onto the nipples of a breastfeeding mother can help stimulate the mammary glands to produce more milk. Wash the area with a mild soap and water before letting the infant feed. Consultation with a doctor is important before using castor oil as a means to increase lactation.

Beauty:

  • Skin Treatment – Skin infections such as acne, dry skin stretch marks and age spots can be effectively lessened with the application of castor oil. Massaging the body with castor oil before taking a bath can help the skin retain its natural healing properties as well as stimulate muscles and internal organs.
  • Anti-aging – Castor oil is packed with antioxidants which are responsible for sweeping away free radicals that cause damage to the skin. With the abundance of antioxidants, the skin will remain young looking and wrinkle free.
  • Castor oil for eyelashes – Rubbing castor oil over the base of the eyelashes before going to bed will stimulate hair growth, leading to thicker and fuller lashes.
  • Prevents hair loss – The ricinoleic acid in castor oil prevents the occurrence of scalp and hair infections which can cause hair loss. Applying castor oil on the scalp may also cause regeneration of new hair within months.

Castor Oil Side Effects:

Castor oil is normally safe in moderate doses. However, pregnant and lactating women are advised against taking castor oil orally as this may cause acute inflammatory intestinal disease, abdominal pain and appendicitis. Overdose of castor oil may cause diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramps, nausea and vomiting.

Other castor oil benefits include the manufacture of castor oil soap, shampoos, lipsticks, plastics, dyes, fibers, lubricants and greases. Castor oil may also be used as food additives and flavorings.