You’ve heard about coconut and avocado oils, but do you know all the health benefits of castor oil? You’ve probably learned a little about it since it’s been around for thousands of years, but few know that it’s a vegetable oil that has so many uses.
It’s made by collecting the seeds of the Ricinus communis plant, and then machines extract oils from within those seeds, called beans, to deliver a powerful oil.
Within each of these beans is an enzyme called ricin, which is quite toxic to humans and pets. The good news is that as it goes through the manufacturing process, it gets heated, and this procedure neutralizes the toxins. Thankfully, it becomes safe to use in many applications.
Seven Excellent Health Benefits of Castor Oil
Castor oil has several therapeutic, engineering, and pharmaceutical uses, not to mention that it’s commonly used in skincare lines, some foods, and even medications. Due to its chemical structure, many are shocked to find that it’s also used as a bio-diesel fuel, as it serves well as a lubricant in industrial processes.
Castor oil can also be burnt as petrol, and it was a commonly used fuel in Egypt during the ancient days. It’s also been touted as a stimulation method for pregnant women who want to go into labor, according to an article published in the National Library of Medicine. Yet, it’s gentle enough to be used for treating eye inflammation too.
The many health benefits of castor oil cannot be denied, and yet many people have no clue all the uses of this valuable lubricant. To show you how excellent this product is, here are seven advantages to know.
Castor oil has amazing anti-inflammatory properties due to the ricinoleic acid in it. This oil can not only relieve pain but can also reduce inflammation to an affected area. Those who have chronic inflammatory diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis, seem to benefit.
If you have painful, dry skin conditions like psoriasis and contact dermatitis, you can also benefit from its moisturizing properties. A few studies have been done on the effects of castor oil and inflammation, one of which was regarding knee pain.
Many people suffer from arthritic conditions that affect their knees. However, a study published by the Wiley Online Library shows promising results. During the research, participants who used this oil three times a day for four weeks showed a dramatic reduction in their symptoms.
2. Can Help Your Wounds Heal Faster
When you have a cut, burn, or other skin irritation, it goes through a process as it heals. At the middle stage of healing, the lesion will dry out. Apply castor oil to your wounds can help to avoid this drying phase, which also causes itching, according to an article published on the National Library of Medicine.
Additionally, one of the health benefits of castor oil when it comes to wound care is that it helps to stimulate new tissue growth. Additionally, coating the sore in this oil facilitates protection properties from the elements and further risks of infection.
3. Fights Fungus
Another fantastic health benefit of castor oil is that it can help to fight oral bacteria. Gum infections due to plaque overgrowth are pretty common in folks. The Candida Albicans fungus causes it, and it’s painful when it affects the tender tissues in the mouth. Thankfully, castor oil has many attributes, including antifungal properties.
It’s also been used to assist with painful conditions like denture-related stomatitis, which is quite common among the elderly crowd. Not only can it clear the inflammation, but it can also attack the fungus that causes pain. A study was done on the benefits of this oil for denture wearers.
The Canadian analysis used 30 participants who wear dentures daily, according to an article published in the National Library of Medicine. They found that this common fungal problem improved by adding a bit of this oil to the soak each night. Castor oil was compared with other over-the-counter treatments, and those who used this natural oil had better results.
4. Keeps Constipation at Bay
Since castor oil is a lubricant, it can do wonders in the digestive system. One of the most popular uses for it is as a laxative. Not only does it assist in clearing the bowels, but its super laxative abilities trigger the muscles in the area to clear anything in its path.
Often referred to as a super laxative, it acts amazingly fast to bring relief. Though it’s not recommended for long-term use in this aspect, it’s great for occasional constipation. When you take a tablespoon orally, the small intestines work to break down the fatty acids within this oil.
The acids, known as ricinoleic, start working to clear the bowels within minutes. The good news is that you won’t strain as much, and you will empty the area, bringing relief. Keep in mind that this oil is powerful, so you should only use it in small doses.
While it has superb laxative properties, it can also cause you to have some abdominal cramping as well as nausea. Though it’s suitable for short-term usage, you should never consider it a long-term solution to an ongoing problem.
5. Helps with Hair and Scalp Health
There are many conditioners on the market that make bold promises to heal and restore your hair. However, few can stand up to the power of castor oil. Yes, you can use this oil on your hair to have shiny locks and a flake-free scalp.
Hair can become dry and damaged when exposed to the elements, but using castor oil can help bring life back into your lackluster tresses. Since there is a high-fat content in this oil, it will lubricate each strand and reduce the risk of breakage.
If you have dandruff due to a dry scalp, then it can help with that too. Since it has soothing properties, it nourishes the scalp and keeps the dry, flaky skin at bay. Since dandruff can be caused by seborrhoeic dermatitis, the antifungal properties of this oil can treat that too. When using it on your hair, remember that a little goes a long way.
6. Moisturize the Skin
The fatty acid in castor oil adds to its benefits, another being the ability to moisturize your skin. The ricinoleic acid within this oil can help to prevent water loss. Since it’s known to promote hydration, it’s often used in cleansers, makeup, and lotion products.
The next time you’re at the drug store or makeup counter, look for castor oil or the acid compounds in the ingredient list. It’s important to note that you can replace your current products with this oil as it doesn’t have the harmful dyes and perfumes of many manufactured products.
Another great benefit of adding castor oil to your beauty regimen is that it’s very affordable, and it’s safe to be used anywhere on the body, even the face. Though it’s considered safe, some people are allergic when applying it directly to the skin. Should any irritation develop, discontinue immediately.
7. Reduces Acne
Acne is a horrible condition that causes the skin to be covered with pus-filled pimples and black and whiteheads. These bumps can be painful as well as unsightly to look at. While it’s commonly thought of as a teenage problem, it can affect adults too.
Clearing acne is beneficial as it can affect self-esteem. One of the amazing health benefits of castor oil is that it has both inflammatory and antifungal properties, so it’s excellent for stubborn acne. Zits are caused by staphylococcus aureus, which is a bacterium that forms on the skin.
Not only can castor oil fight this common bacterium, but its anti-inflammatory properties can help to soothe the inflammation in the area too. This oily substance would appear to add more grime to an already greasy area, but it has an opposite effect.
Though there are many health benefits of castor oil, and it’s considered safe to use in all these applications, side effects are possible. Even herbal remedies come with minor risks. It can cause painful sensations in the stomach and bowels when taken orally, so it’s essential to use a little bit.
Applying it to your skin, face, scalp, and cuts can be a mess if you use too much. Try to use the minimum amount and increase as needed. The last thing you want is an oil mess to clean up on top of your issue.
While castor oil might not be the first remedy you reach for when you have dandruff, stubborn acne, constipation, and want to moisturize your skin, it should be. The excellent health benefits of castor oil are not widely known, but it’s becoming increasingly popular. As people look for more natural remedies for what ails them, herbal treatments like this gain attention.
Since castor oil is cost-effective, easy to find, and doesn’t require a trip to the doctor, it should be in every medicine cabinet across the country.