From folk healers to modern healthcare practitioners, castor oil is being used for centuries because of its many health benefits. Perhaps the most well-known is its laxative effect, but castor oil does much more than that.
It can also be used to make your hair and skin more beautiful, as well as boost your immune system and help fight infections. Indeed, the uses for castor oil go on and on.
Learn more about the various castor oil uses by reading the rest of this article.
What Makes Castor Oil Effective?
Before delving into the health benefits of castor oil, it might be helpful to know first about the ingredients of castor oil that make it an effective remedy for a variety of health conditions.
Castor oil is essentially a triglyceride made from castor seed, which contains high amounts of ricinoleic acid. This is the ingredient that is thought to be responsible for many of castor oil’s healing properties.
Aside from that, castor oil also contains high amounts of vitamin E, which is responsible for its positive effects on the hair and skin. It also has omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids, which help in boosting immunity and avoiding infections.
What is Castor Oil Used for?
The uses of castor oil are numerous and varied, as it is being utilized not just for its health benefits but also for its industrial uses. Check out this list of the different castor oil uses.
Castor Oil Uses for Hair
Frequent application of castor oil to your hair can help stimulate healthy hair growth. If you are not suffering from hair loss, you can also use castor oil to keep your locks shiny and smooth. In fact, a lot of castor oil users testify that castor oil is actually effective in managing their kinky hair, and even for the treatment of split ends and hair breakage.
The benefits of castor oil on the hair can be credited to the fatty acids, vitamin E, and ricinoleic acid inherent in castor oil. These provide hair the nourishment that it needs, and also stimulate blood circulation in the scalp. Hence, it can also solve bald patches, dry scalp, and dandruff problems. You may also use castor oil for thickening your eyebrows, as well as for darkening your hair color.
You can take advantage of the castor oil uses for hair by applying a pea-sized amount of castor oil on your hair and massaging it on your scalp. You can leave it on overnight and rinse it in the morning, or you can also leave it for 15-20 minutes before rinsing it with water and shampoo.
Castor Oil Uses for Skin
Because castor oil has low molecular weight, it can be readily absorbed by the skin, hence providing multiple skincare benefits. You can use this in getting rid of acne, sunburn, dry skin, fine lines, wrinkles, and stretch marks. It can also help moisturize skin, leaving your skin soft and smooth.
To use castor oil on the skin, pour a small amount of castor oil on a cotton ball, and then apply this directly on the affected area. Leave it on for about an hour before rinsing it with clean water. Repeat this process in the morning and at nighttime for best results.
Castor Oil Uses for Constipation
Perhaps the most famous of all the castor oil uses is its laxative effect for the treatment of constipation. Ricinoleic acid stimulates contractions of the smooth muscles in the intestines, hence paving the way for bowel movement to take place.
Even if you are not constipated, you can also use castor oil for bowel cleansing. One teaspoon of castor oil taken daily for three consecutive days is enough to reap its laxative effects.
Castor Oil Uses for Labor Induction
In the past, castor oil has been used to initiate the labor process for women who are already full term but are not yet experiencing contractions. Since it stimulates the smooth muscles of the bowels, it also tightens the uterine muscles in the process, thus inducing labor. Aside from that, ricinoleic acid also activates the prostanoid receptor in the uterus, hence making the delivery process easier.
Unfortunately, only a few healthcare practitioners use castor oil for inducing labor these days, since it has a nauseous effect on pregnant women. Other modern methods of inducing labor have also been discovered, making the use of castor oil for inducing labor rather obsolete.
Castor Oil Uses for Pain
Pain relief is another one of the many castor oil uses for the body. The amazing ricinoleic acid also has anti-inflammatory properties, hence lessening the swelling and inflammation of tissues and joints for people with rheumatoid arthritis. It can also be used for providing relief for menstrual cramps, abdominal pain, and back pain.
Those with severe rheumatoid arthritis can ingest 2 tablespoons of castor oil mixed with a glass of water to soothe their pain. For less severe cases, the topical application of castor oil will do the trick.
Castor Oil Uses for Immunity
According to studies, one of the castor oil uses is increasing the total number of lymphocytes and T-11 cells in the bloodstream, thus boosting the immune system. It can even get rid of surface tumors.
This can simply be done by applying castor oil to the body, since its low molecular weight gives it the ability not just to penetrate the skin but also reach the deeper organs of the body. Castor oil can even be used for massage therapy in order to take advantage of its immunity benefits.
Castor Oil Uses for Infections
Rounding up the list of castor oil uses is its antimicrobial effects on the body, which include antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. That being said, it is effective for the treatment of ringworms, cysts, and warts, plus also helps in the healing of minor wounds and scratches. It can also reduce pain and itchiness on the affected areas.
Other Castor Oil Uses
Aside from the many castor oil uses for health, there are also several castor oil uses that are non-medicinal, such as the following:
• Component of plastic, rubber, varnishes, lubricant, paint, and dyes
• Mold inhibitor
• Aircraft lubricant
• Flavoring agent
• Food additive
• Ingredient in cosmetic products
Castor oil is certainly one of the most useful oils in the world today. But before you ingest castor oil, make sure that you consult your doctor first to know if it is the best treatment for you, as too much castor oil can also have side effects.