Castor oil has been valued for generations due to its versatility. Whether it is for skin, hair, inflammation, or overall well-being, this wonder oil is an essential part of body care and medicinal practices. It has a long history that spans many nations and civilizations.
Castor oil extraction is done from the seeds of the castor plant (Ricinus communis). The oil is also used in ancient Ayurvedic practices in India and is known as “Eranda Taila.”
It has been used for its potential medical and aesthetic effects, as seen in ancient Egyptian and Ayurvedic practices. Castor oil’s versatility has made it a mainstay in various communities, from medical purposes to lubricants and beyond.
The history of castor oil continues today, with potential benefits being rediscovered by health enthusiasts, natural beauty aficionados, and people seeking alternative alternatives.
Versatile Uses of Castor Oil
There are a plethora of uses for this oil, ranging from traditional cures to current health practices. The versatility of this wonderful oil has no boundaries, making it a household staple all over the world.
- Nourishing Hair Tonic
- Radiant Skin Enhancer
- For Lush Lashes and Brows
- Digestive Aid
- Joint and Muscle Comfort
- Nail and cuticle care
- Aromatherapy Base
- Oil Massage
- Household Lubricant
- Spot Treatment
|Use of Castor Oil||Benefits|
|Haircare||Promotes hair growth|
Prevents hair breakage
|Skincare||Moisturizes dry skin|
Helps with acne
Reduces fine lines and wrinkles
Stimulates bowel movements
|Antibacterial||Fights skin infections|
Prevents fungal growth
|Anti-Inflammatory||Reduces inflammation in joints|
Eases arthritis pain
|Pain Relief||Alleviates muscle and joint pain|
Relieves menstrual cramps and pain
|Immune Support||Boosts immune system|
|Inducing Labor||Traditionally used for inducing labour in pregnant women|
Health Benefits of Castor Oil
Ricinoleic acid, oleic acid, and linoleic acid are the major components of castor oil and there is scientific evidence that claims their role in improving immunological function.
According to some research study results, the extract from castor oil suppresses the cancer cell development in mice.
Oleic acid is a fatty acid that has anti-inflammatory effects. It is considered to act by inhibiting the synthesis of inflammation-promoting enzymes.
Linoleic acid, found in castor oil, is an important fatty acid that is required for the formation of prostaglandins, which can help regulate the body’s inflammatory response.
By lowering inflammation and discomfort, castor oil may assist in enhancing joint health.
Castor oil’s anti-inflammatory qualities help in reducing swelling and discomfort due to osteoarthritis. It aids in enhancing joint lubrication, which contributes to pain reduction.
Castor oil as a laxative
Ricinoleic acid promotes bowel motions by promoting the synthesis of prostaglandins, which are substances that relax the muscles in the intestines. Castor oil can also increase the quantity of fluid in the intestines, which can help soften and pass faeces.
Castor oil dosage
For constipation, 1-2 teaspoons of castor oil taken orally are advised. It is critical to begin with a low dose and gradually raise it as needed.
Possible Adverse Effects of Castor Oil:
- Abdominal cramps
- Flushed skin
- Allergic reaction
It is important to drink plenty of fluids and avoid driving or operating machinery after taking it.
Avoid oral administration of castor oil if you have:
- Intestinal obstruction
- Crohn’s disease
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Expecting or Breastfeeding
Castor oil for hair
Castor oil promotes hair growth, prevents hair loss and improves hair health. It can help detangle hair, making it easier to brush and style.
The benefits of castor oil for hair growth and strengthening are attributed to its composition. Castor oil contains ricinoleic acid, which is a fatty acid that has been shown to stimulate hair growth. Castor oil also contains vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that can help protect the hair from damage.
It is also said to be beneficial for dry, damaged hair because castor oil is a humectant, which means that it attracts moisture. This can help keep the hair hydrated and prevent it from becoming dry and damaged.
- Apply it directly to the scalp and hair. You can do this by massaging the oil into your scalp and hair or by applying it with a cotton ball.
- Add it to your shampoo or conditioner. This will help distribute the oil evenly throughout your hair.
- You can also use castor oil as a pre-poo treatment. This means applying it to your hair before you shampoo it. This will help moisturise your hair and make it easier to detangle.
- You can even make a castor oil hair mask.
No matter how you choose to use castor oil for hair, it is important to leave it on for at least 30 minutes before washing it out. This will give the oil time to penetrate the hair shaft and work its magic.
Tips for using castor oil for hair:
- Use pure, cold-pressed castor oil.
- Warm the oil slightly before applying it to your hair.
- Apply the oil to clean, dry hair.
- Wash the oil out with a mild shampoo.
|Method||How to apply|
|Scalp massage||– Warm castor oil slightly|
– Apply to the scalp and massage in circular motions
– Leave on for at least 30 minutes, or overnight if preferred
– Shampoo and condition as usual
|Hair mask||– Mix castor oil with other oils (like coconut or olive oil) and apply to hair|
– Cover hair with a shower cap and leave for a few hours or overnight
– Shampoo and condition thoroughly
|Eyebrow and eyelash||– Dip a cotton swab or mascara wand in castor oil |
– Apply to eyebrows and/or eyelashes before bedtime
– Rinse off with warm water in the morning
|Hair serum||– Mix a small amount of castor oil with your hair serum or leave-in conditioner |
– Apply to damp hair after washing
– Style as usual
|Split ends treatment||– Apply a small amount of castor oil to the ends of your hair |
– Leave on for at least 30 minutes or overnight
– Wash and condition your hair as usual
|Hot oil treatment||– Warm castor oil and apply to the scalp and hair|
– Cover with a shower cap and use a hot towel to create heat
– Leave on for an hour or more
– Shampoo and condition thoroughly
Use castor oil regularly for best results.
Castor oil for skin care
Castor oil is a natural moisturiser that can help keep the skin smooth and moisturised. It is also high in fatty acids, which are necessary for skin health and the prevention of moisture loss.
It includes vitamins E and A, which are both antioxidants that can help protect the skin from free radical damage. Castor oil, in addition to moisturising, helps nourish the skin.
Castor oil helps with a range of skin issues.
- Dry skin: Castor oil moisturises dry skin and keeps it from becoming flaky and irritating.
- Acne: Castor oil can help decrease acne-related irritation and redness. It can also aid in the removal of excess oil and grime that can block pores.
- Blemishes: Castor oil can aid in the fading of scars and blemishes. It can also aid in the reduction of the appearance of age spots and other forms of hyperpigmentation.
DIY recipes for natural skincare with castor oil
There are many ways to use castor oil for skin care. Here are a few simple recipes:
- Moisturising cream: Mix equal parts castor oil and almond oil and apply as needed.
- Acne treatment: Mix 1 tablespoon of castor oil with 2 tablespoons of honey. Leave it for 10 minutes after application in the affected areas. Rinse with room-temperature water.
- Bleach cream: Mix 1 tablespoon of castor oil with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Keep it for 10–15 minutes, depending on the colour of the skin and hair, and remove it by gently rubbing.
Recommended Article: Benefits of Castor Oil for Hair and Skin
- Castor Oil for Hair Growth: Does It Work?”. Harvard Health Publishing. Harvard Health Publishing, 2023
- Castor Oil for Hair Loss: What the Research Says”. American Academy of Dermatology American Academy of Dermatology, 2020
- Effect of Castor Oil on Hair Growth in Patients with Androgenetic Alopecia: A Randomised Controlled Trial”. Skin Pharmacology and Physiology Springer Nature, 2020.
- Castor Oil for Alopecia Areata: A Pilot Study”. Dermatology and Therapy, Springer Nature, 2020.
- Castor Oil: A Review of the Literature https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK551626/
- Castor Oil: Properties, Uses, and Optimisation of Processing Parameters in Commercial Production Lipid Insights. 2016; 9: 1–12. Doi: 10.4137/LPI.S40233