Have you heard all the buzz around castor oil lately? The word of how amazing this stuff really is seems to be circulating the social network platforms in a major way.
I discovered castor oil last year when I was visiting one of my favorite natural health sites, Wellness Mama. I noticed it was used a lot for growing thicker, and more luxurious hair – but I wasn’t sure if it really worked.
What is Castor Oil?
Castor oil is a pale yellow vegetable oil that is made from pressing castor oil plant (Ricinus communis) seeds. Known for it’s amazing beauty benefits, castor oil plays a role in collagen and elastin production and contains natural fatty acids which aid in the rejuvenation of skin, hair and nails. Due to it’s ricinoleic acid content, castor oil also has important anti-inflammatory properties. It is also antifungal and antibacterial because it naturally contains castor oil plant undecylenic acid.
Amazingly, castor oil remedies have been used since biblical times for medicinal uses and beauty regimes. It used to be referred to as the “Palma Christe” because the leaves were said to resemble a human hand, more specifically, the hand of Christ.
Commercially, castor oil has primarily been used in the manufacturing of soaps, hydraulic and brake fluids, lubricants, paints, dyes, inks, coatings, pharmaceutical drugs, and perfumes.
I remember the first time I read about castor oil it was in a recipe for eye cream and I recall thinking “hey, isn’t that what they use for car engine oil”? I always thought it was a lab made synthetic substance and had no idea that it was a natural product.
I found this super interesting and decided since I keep hearing how great this stuff is, I better look into it further. I am an easy mark for natural – my motto is that if nature put it there, then there must be a good use for it and it’s up to us to discover what that is.
The Benefits of Castor Oil
It turns out that cold-pressed and hexane-free castor oil has dozens of benefits. I am excited to share with you 10 reasons why you will want to be using castor oil now. There are hundreds of testimonials from people about the benefits they have experienced from this age old beauty remedy.
1. Reduces Eye Puffiness And Dark Circles
With it’s natural fatty acids and anti-inflammatory properties, castor oil will have your tired, puffy eyes looking wide awake and smooth again and rid you of dark circles all at the same time.
There is no need to do anything but add castor oil straight on to your skin. Just make it a habit to dab a little and spread under your eyes and the sides of your eyes (crow’s feet area) every evening before you go to bed.
I tried this and found that it really works. I now make it part of my nightly routine and feel my eyes look less puffy and much brighter because of it. The bonus too, is that my eye wrinkles are also less prominent. I have even read that a drop of castor oil in each eye is very effective for dry eyes.
2. Hair Health
The high level of ricinoleic acid paired with anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and antibacterial properties has huge benefits for the scalp. Ricinoleic acid is said to balance the pH level, helping to diminish dandruff, psoriasis, and scalp infections, replacing important natural oils and improving scalp circulation. The result of this is said to produce healthier, thicker, and faster growing hair!
I have researched and read about how great castor oil is for hair health and growth. Although it is too soon for me to know for sure, I have been using it on my hair everytime I wash it for a month now (two to three times a week). I plan to go for at least 6 months and report my findings.
I can tell you that so far the thing I really notice is that my hair is shinier and appears to be healthier looking.
I have also been using castor oil on my eyebrows and eyelashes. There are several suggestions on how to put castor oil on eyelashes, however I found the no fuss way is to simply rub castor oil all over my face at night before bed and make sure I rub all over my eyelashes too. I don’t experience any issues from doing it this way. When I did try a mascara wand to apply it I found it was a bit too much oil and it would smear inside my eyes (which is fine but I would rather not as I am not trying to correct dry eyes).
3. Diminishes Dry Scalp
When our scalp skin is under stress due to several factors, such as chemicals in our products, environment, or by emotional stress, the scalp balance is thrown off and dandruff can occur. As mentioned above, castor oil not only provides pH balance to the scalp, it also moisturizes it by penetrating deeply and offers antifungal and antibacterial properties.
I often struggle with dry scalp, particularly when I have high levels of stress in my life. I got to experience castor oil correcting my dry scalp and dandruff as a side effect of doing my hair treatments. I found after just 4 treatments my scalp was moisturized and healthy again and completely flake free. I would definitely suggest castor oil as a remedy for dandruff to anyone before using a commercial product of any kind.
4. Use As A Natural Laxative
Castor Oil not only helps to lubricate the bowels and intestines, it also acts as a stimulant to get the intestines moving. This makes castor oil a preferred choice by many in use for chronic constipation.
Castor oil should never be taken orally until you speak to your health care provider. If you do decide castor oil is safe for you, I found the instructions on castor-oil.com are easy to follow.
5. Skin Elasticity
As we age, our levels of collagen and elastin are lost at a much quicker rate. It becomes increasingly important to hydrate our skin and keep stimulating collagen as time goes on. With the loss of skin elastin, skin sagginess will be more prominent. Castor oil helps to stimulate our natural collagen and elastin and penetrates deeply into the skin, resulting in supple, bouncy, and well hydrated skin.
Castor oil can be put directly on the skin and massaged in. It does tend to be sticky and a little challenging to rub in easily so you may choose to do it with a lot less effort by mixing it with a carrier oil such as coconut oil or sweet almond oil.
6. Removes Calluses And Corns
Once again, the benefit of castor oil for those annoying hard little lumps on your toes is the ability it has to penetrate so deeply. When it comes to calluses and corns, be persistent about using castor oil every day and see amazing results after just a week or two.
Rub the oil into your calluses and cover with socks for a couple of hours. If treating corns, it is helpful to apply at least a few times a day and cover with a band-aid to keep the oil from rubbing off.
7. Excellent Skin Emollient
Castor oil is absorbed so easily into the skin due to it’s low molecular weight. It is also very high in Vitamin E which offers antioxidant properties that help to protect and repair your skin. When a product can penetrate so deeply, the results happen at deeper levels of tissue, ultimately eliminating dryness all together. A good daily regime of applying castor oil to your entire body will leave you feeling very moist all day long.
8. Fade Stretch Marks and Scars
Due to the skin rejuvenating benefits of castor oil, it is possible to see stretch marks fade and scars diminish over time. Try a daily regime of applying castor oil all over your body, paying special attention to areas you want to correct for scaring or stretch marks and compare a few months after.
I have my c-section scar from both of my kids and it has almost faded to unnoticable after using castor oil as my daily regime.
9. Arthritis and Joint Pain Relief
Ricinoleic acid has very powerful pain relieving properties that will bring quick relief to joint and arthritis problems. Castor oil will penetrate the skin where applied and lubricate the stiff and cracking joints to provide better pain management. To do this properly, check out homemade castor oil packs for putting directly on sore areas.
10. Sore Muscle Relief
Castor oil packs can be handy when dealing with minor muscle injuries and soreness/stiffness. The idea is to place the pack on the sore area, apply heat and let it do its magic. After an hour or so the muscle should be feeling better. Since castor oil has anti-inflammatory and healing properties, it is helpful to use to help speed up recovery.
11. Cures Acne
This is one of my favorite uses for castor oil. Acne is caused by accumulated dirt and impurities on and under the layers of the skin. The skin then becomes inflamed and irritated, resulting in pimples, blackheads and red blotchy skin.
Applying castor oil to acne will draw out impurities and toxins such as dirt, dead skin cells, and bacteria. You don’t need to worry about the castor oil blocking pores, in fact, the oil will actually work to draw out the substances such as dead skin that are the real culprits for clogged pores. The end result in choosing this natural remedy for acne will be detoxified, pure, hydrated, and healthy skin.
12. Removes Warts and Skin Tags
Warts are unsightly and skin tags are just annoying to have. Both are not a dangerous condition in any way but most people would want them removed if they could. I have come across several articles (such as this one) that swears by castor oil as a method to remove warts, moles, and skin tags.
It is said that it takes 2 months at the most to remove a stubborn mole and much less for warts or skin tags.
13. Cures Allergies
Castor oil has been known to be very effective in treating allergies. The suggestion is to ingest 5 drops of castor oil per day (in a glass of juice) during your allergy season. I want to mention a word of caution here. I am not a huge fan of suggesting anything to be ingested that hasn’t first been OK’d by your family doctor. Please do all of your research before using castor oil this way and take the proper steps to protect yourself.
I have not tried it myself, but I do suffer a lot with seasonal allergies. I have been quite affected this year especially so I have already been taking ginger for my allergies. Because of this, I am not planning to test this natural remedy method as of yet.
Here is a warning from castor-oil.com website:
“In spite of the many benefits of castor oil for the body, it can still have a number of side effects in some individuals. Castor oil side effects range from mild digestive symptoms, like nausea and vomiting, to serious allergic reactions, such as difficulty breathing”.
Once again, please have a discussion with your doctor before ingesting castor oil as a remedy.
14. Remedy for Sunburn
Too much sun exposure? Try a mix of coconut oil and castor oil as a natural remedy. The castor oil is a good anti-inflammatory and contains skin rejuvenating benefits that begin to repair damaged skin. Additionally, castor oil has the same cooling effect as pure aloe when applied to your burn so it feels good. Adding coconut oil to the mixture will help to ease spreading and also provide healing benefits.
15. Boost Immunity
According to research, castor packs have significant benefits by increasing lymphocyte production, which helps to initiate the immune response:
“Castor oil packs have been scientifically proven to increase lymphocyte production and activity of T-cell lymphocytes, a type of white blood cells (1). Increasing lymphocyte ‘traffic’ throughout the body initiates and perpetuates the immune response (1). This equates to the body producing more antibodies as well as killing viruses, fungi, bacteria and cancer cells. This increase in T-cells peaks at seven hours after the treatment and declines to normal within 24 hours (exemplifying the importance of daily use).”
The benefits of castor oil provide some use for everybody. I know for myself and my family, we can choose to use it as a remedy for a handful of things.
I look forward to sharing with you my results on hair growth and thickness. Please check back for updates in the future.
Have you used castor oil? What was your experience and what is your favorite remedy for castor oil?