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Castor oil might be something that your granny or grandad are familiar with as a cure for everything during their childhood. And they might not have been far wrong. It is now being celebrated for a number of benefits to skin, hair and overall health. So Check out the Castor Oil Benefits below

What is Castor oil?

Castor oil is a vegetable oil produced by pressing seeds found in a castor plant (known as Ricinus communis). In its original form, it is a pale yellow oil, often used in manufacturing, soap, paints and perfumes.

What is Castor Oil good for?

Castor oil as a ‘go to’ remedy is not new. It has been a staple in medicine cupboards for years and a home remedy. It has also been used in its originating countries (Africa and parts of India and the Mediterranean) for medicinal purposes for years. Today, it is now promoted for beauty, as well as health and is best known for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits.It contains ricinoleic acid which helps in constipation as well as against fungal bacteria

Castor Oil Uses

A common question that we hear is what is castor oil good for so to let you know Castor oil is used in a variety of things, from massage oils, soap and beauty products to medicines and industrial settings due to its lubricating feature (e.g. manufacturing and automotive industries). Sometimes when people think about it, they have heard of it due to its laxative effect. It is best known for this. It is also used widely for various health benefits and cosmetic reasons.

Health Benefits of Castor Oil

It is well known for its health properties and its natural too. It’s important to check out claims with your doctor or healthcare professional first and do your research, but here are just a few of the ailments castor oil is said to be effective for …

  1. Cuts and grazes.
  2. Due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties,it is often used directly on scrapes as a natural disinfectant for and can help alleviate pain.

  3. Athletes Foot.
  4. It is often used to help reduce foot or toenail infections or even cracked heels due to its anti-fungal properties and moisturising benefits.
    Constipation. Conventionally, it is known for its laxative properties due to its ricinoleic acid and can be used for people suffering from constipation.

  5. Back pain.
  6. Lots of people credit castor oil as a natural remedy to help alleviate back aches and pain. Massaging the oil onto the affected area can help ease stiffness and reduce pain (again, because of its anti-inflammatory benefits).

  7. Arthritis.
  8. Similarly to its usefulness for people with back pain, it can reduce joint pain in general. It relieves tissue and nerve inflammation and joint aches or pains, including arthritic pain. The idea is to soak a piece of material in castor oil and place over the area causing pain and keep in place with clingfilm. For added relief, place a hot water bottle over the area. Leave on the area for an hour whenever it is very painful.

  9. Upset stomach.
  10. It acts as a stomach cleanser. It detoxifies the area and alleviates abdominal pain. As well as a laxative, it can help against sickness, irritable bowels, bloating, cramping and trapped wind. It does this by reducing stomach toxins and improving digestion. There are a number of concoctions to make, including mixing castor oil and milk, castor oil and orange juice or castor oil and ginger that can be combined for even more effective treatment of upset tummies and good gut health.

  11. Ringworms.
  12. Mixing castor oil with coconut oil effectively treats ringworm in any age group due to the undecylenic acid found in it.

  13. Immune system.
  14. Castor oil is believed to boost the immune system, helping you to feel stronger to fight against illness. This is due to the fact that it increases T-11 cells which form antibodies.

    Castor oil benefits for skin

    It’s not just illness, aches and pain that it can help. Castor Oil is also used cosmetically to treat skin conditions and help improve complexion and is well known in the beauty world for its natural ingredients and benefits.It is a great addition to any beauty box or cupboard! Here’re a few reasons why …

  15. Fight against premature ageing.
  16. Castor oil applied to the skin (especially areas that tend to wrinkle such as around the eyes ( eyelashes), forehead and above the top lip) can slow down signs of ageing such as fine lines and wrinkles. This is because when it is applied topically (directly onto the skin) it helps stimulate collagen production which helps keep skin hydrated and soft. It also promotes elasticity in the skin, meaning your skin keeps its youthfulness.

  17. Skin inflammation.
  18. Castor oil is used for a whole host of skin inflammation issues including sunburn or pimples. It can be treated and soothed by dipping cotton wool in the oil and applying it directly onto affected skin. Just leave it to work its magic for about an hour before washing it off. In the same way, as it helps muscle inflammation, it can offer an anti-inflammatory property for skin conditions, leaving red and sore skin looking much better.

  19. Reduce acne outbreaks.
  20. Oily skinned people who are prone to acne outbreaks will be glad to hear that castor oil might be the remedy. It might sound odd to apply oil to the already oily skin, but castor oil contains ricinoleic acid that fights against the bacteria that causes spots and acne in the first place. The best way to apply it is after washing the whole face with warm water (to open pores), massage the oil directly onto skin and leave on overnight before washing off in the morning and splashing in cold water to close pores. A few drops of it can go a long way which also means it is an inexpensive treatment.

  21. Reducing brown spots.
  22. Some people are afflicted with marks on their skin, known as pigmentation. It is a great way to clear the skin of all kinds of marks, spots and patches. It can help uneven skin tones, reduce large freckles or sun spots and reduce pigment. This is because it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that hydrate the skin, as well as help it to renew and grow new healthy cells that are free of brown spots.

  23. Moisturising treatment.
  24. Perhaps the most popular use of castor oil for the skin is as a moisturiser. It can leave skin feeling super smooth. A few drops of castor oil can leave skin feeling rejuvenated when massaged onto it gently in small, circular movements. Again, this is mainly due to the fatty acids it contains and the way in which it absorbs and works deep under the skin layers. Due to its moisturising qualities, it can also be effective against skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis. It can even be used as a lip moisturiser (lip balm qualities).

  25. Helps fade scars and marks.
  26. Applying castor oil daily on problem areas can help blemishes, scars and marks fade. Fatty acids work to renew skin cells with repeated use. Lots of people use it to help fade surgery scars.

  27. Prevent or reduce stretch marks.
  28. In much the same way as it helps fade blemishes, castor oil is often used on areas prone to stretch marks. Stretch marks, most common in pregnant women, can be reduced by massaging castor oil onto them but they can also be prevented by applying the oil to the areas that are most commonly affected prior to stretch marks forming. Castor oil promotes elastin in the skin and is a source rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

  29. Nappy Rash.
  30. Mum’s might be pleased to hear that castor oil can be beneficial in preventing your baby’s nappy rash. A rash or skin complaint can be very irritable for your child causing them distress and there castor oil has soothing properties and can reduce any inflammation. It can also moisture the area and prevent the rash forming.

    Castor oil for hair benefits

    Health, skin … and hair it is good for all? It is a great, natural remedy for a whole range of hair problems such as hair loss, hair fall or hair growth as much as it is for skin conditions. Here are some of the reasons castor oil can be a useful addition to your own home salon collection of goodies …

  31. Treats Scalp Infections.
  32. Castor oil has great antibacterial properties. Infections of the scalp can cause dandruff and itchiness or more serious side effects such as hair loss (balding patches). The antifungal properties in it can help fight the cause of the infection by adding it to your shampoo rinse or massaging directly onto the affected areas.

  33. Stop early signs of grey hairs.
  34. Many men and women suffer from premature greying of the hair. This is because the pigment in the hair reduces and leaves it appear white or grey. Castor oil added to hair rinses can prevent the loss of pigment and therefore, delay the signs of greying hair.

  35. Hair growth.
  36. Massage a drop or two of castor oil on to your eyebrows and see them grow quicker and more thickly. Additionally, it can be massaged into your scalp and worked through the hair to help it grow stronger and appear to grow quicker. The reason is that the fatty acids present in it promote healthy follicle growth, moisturises the hair and prevents the hair from splitting or breaking. Massaging the oil in can help blood circulate in your scalp area and is very relaxing.

  37. Hair moisturiser.
  38. Castor oil is not only a great skin moisturiser but perfect for hair as well. It can be used as an occasional hair treatment for dry or damaged hair. If you suffer with split ends, fine hair or have damaged the hair by overuse of products or colour, a few drops of it to your shampoo or conditioner can moisturise it. Oils are great for smoothing hair and leaving it feel silky soft.

    Castor Oil On Face

  39. Castor oil for Acne
  40. The ricinoleic acid that can be found in castor oil can help for treating the mild acne. It just needs to apply a little amount then massage softly to the acne and let it remain overnight.

  41. Castor Oil for Chapped lips: Alternative for lip balm
  42. You can also use it as a replacement for your lip balm. It will definitely provide you with a soft and moisturised lip. It can also aid for the dryness of your lips.

  43. Reduces the scar appearance
  44. The regular castor oil application can help for the reduction of scar appearance making it a very functional and effective oil.

    Castor Oil for Eyes

  45. Cataract Treatment:
  46. There is research (1) which proves that in treating early stages of cataract it can be very useful . It is recommended that you take 1 drop of oil every night before going to sleep if your cataract is in early stages this treatment should show an effect in 3-6 months. Do Note that you should NOT use castor oil that is made for baths or oil packs.

  47. Dry Eyes:
  48. If you are looking for a natural treatment for dry eyes than it is your best solution as it provides moisture to your eyes. Ideally, if you are looking for a safe and natural option you should use castor oil eye drops specially made for dry eyes.

How to use castor oil

Castor oil has a distinct taste and flavour but it is totally safe when applied directly to an affected area (such as skin or even wounds and cuts). It doesn’t sting or burn. The best way to use castor oil is to add a few drops to cotton wool and apply on to the area you want to ‘fix’ such as muscle ache or sunburn, or a few drops can be added to face wash, body wash or shampoo/conditioner and applied. It can be ingested but is best added to milkshake or smoothies to help with ailments such as constipation. It is one of the easiest natural oils to use.

Where to buy castor oil

Castor oil is widely available. It can be bought at most supermarkets, food or health stores. Many people buy it online and this gives you the advantage of checking reviews by others who have purchased it. There are two main types of castor oil – clear or black castor. The one you need is clear (or a pale yellow) and looks a bit like honey. The higher the purity of the oil the lighter it is in colour. When buying castor oil, look for an organic brand that is 100% castor oil. It is usually advertised as pure, jamaican black or commercial. The pure is the best for natural health, hair and skin benefits and the label should read 100% natural or cold-pressed. This means it is naturally extracted oil and not chemically extracted.

Castor oil Side Effects

It has very few side effects when used in moderation. When consumed in large quantities it can cause diarrhoea and nausea. In all, like other oils, is a great addition to any household cupboard for a whole range of health reasons.

Castor oil is a popular all-around oil to have as a natural treatment. The oil is very absorbent. It is very versatile and can be used for the various ailments described above, but also just as an additive to creams or a lip balm to help provide extra moisture. So this was our piece highlighting uses and Castor Oil benefits do let us know your thoughts below

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Rachel Argyle

Graduate in Journalism & Professional freelance Writer and Communications Consultant with over ten years experience. I write for a number of national and international magazines and newspapers including Cosmopolitan UK, Telegraph, That’s Life UK and BBC Magazine.
* Over 3 years experience as a Senior Multimedia Journalist for Trinity Mirror UK, covering front page, exclusive stories, features and interviews, with accurate copy and to tight deadline