Castor oil has been in use for thousands of years. This multi-purpose oil is extracted from Ricinus Communis plant seeds. The seeds of this plant are also known as castor beans. Castor beans contain a toxic enzyme which is deactivated when the oil is heated. It is perfectly safe to use in medicine, pharmaceutical and several other industries. Medications, foods and skin care products contain this as an additive. It is also used as an additive in industrial lubricant and biodiesel fuel components.
Ancient Egyptians have used it in natural remedies for eye irritation. They used to give this oil to pregnant women to stimulate labor. Still, it is used in natural treatments for skin problems, constipation and many other common conditions.
Here are the top 7 castor oil uses and benefits:
It Is A Powerful Laxative
It is a stimulant laxative. It helps in clearing bowels as it increases the movement of the muscles in the intestine. So, this helps in relieving temporary constipation.
When you consume it orally, it breaks down in the small intestine to release ricinoleic acid. When absorbed by the small intestine, this acid stimulates a strong laxative effect. However, it should not be consumed in larger amounts as it can cause abdominal cramping, vomiting, nausea and diarrhea.
It Is A Natural Moisturizer
The ricinoleic acid found in the oil acts as humectants. It can moisturize the skin. Humectants are capable of retaining moisture and preventing loss of water through the epidermis (the outermost layer of the skin). This is the reason why this oil is also used in cosmetics. It is also added to lotions, cleansers and makeup products. You can also use it as a natural alternative to store-bought lotions and moisturizers. These products contain preservatives, perfumes, dyes and other potentially harmful ingredients.
You can mix castor oil with other skin-friendly oils such as olive, almond and coconut oil. This makes an ultra-hydrating moisturizer.
It Promotes Wound Healing
You can apply this oil to wounds. This promotes healing and prevents sores by creating a moist environment around the wounds.
It also stimulates the growth of tissues. This forms a barrier between the environment and the wound to lower the risk of infection. Ointments containing castor oil help in healing pressure ulcers.
It Has Impressive Anti-inflammatory Effects
Ricinoleic acid is the main fatty acid in castor oil which has anti-inflammatory properties. When applied topically, castor oil can reduce inflammation and relieve pain. The anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing qualities make castor oil ideal for people with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis or some other inflammatory disease. This oil also provides relief from dry, irritated skin.
It Reduces Acne
Acne causes pus-filled pimples, blackheads and painful bumps. The problem of acne is very common in teens. It often negatively affects self-esteem. This oil is known for qualities that can reduce symptoms of this skin condition. Inflammation is an important factor contributing to the development and severity of acne. This oil also reduces inflammation-related symptoms. With its antimicrobial properties, the oil can also eliminate the bacterial imbalance.
It Fights Fungus
Candida albicans fungus is responsible for gum infections, plaque overgrowth and root canal infections. The antifungal properties of castor oil keep Candida at bay and hence keeps your mouth healthy. Stomatitis is a painful dental condition caused by Candida overgrowth. This condition is very common among people who wear dentures. Castor oil can treat this condition as well.
It Is Good For The Health Of Your Hair And Scalp
You can use this oil as a natural hair conditioner. This oil is an intense moisturizer and hence very beneficial for dry or damaged hair. It lubricates hair shaft, increases flexibility and as a result, reduces the chances of breakage. It can also treat dry, flaky skin on the head.
So, these were castor oil uses and benefits. Make sure that you are using the best quality castor oil.