Castor Oil for Babies - Health Benefits, Side Effects & Precautions

Is Castor Oil Safe for Babies?

Babies have extremely soft and delicate skin, so naturally, we can’t use just about anything on their skin. Using one wrong product on your munchkin’s skin can lead to rashes, irritation, chafing, dry skin, etc.  So you should be extremely careful while shopping for baby products. To protect your baby’s skin, one product that you can consider is castor oil.

Castor oil is known to cure a lot of skin and health problems in babies. It has been in use for generations now. But since we are talking about your baby’s health, we know you will have doubts. And here we are to clear your confusion. Read on to know about the properties of castor oil and how using castor oil can be beneficial for your baby’s hair, skin and body. Of course, there are a few precautions you will need to follow while using it on your baby. However, it is best that you consult your healthcare provider before using castor oil for your baby.

Properties of Castor Oil

Castor oil is manufactured by extracting ricinolein which is found in the seeds of the castor plants. These seeds roughly contain around 60% vegetable oil. The castor bean’s plants contain ricin proteins and are poisonous. Only after processing it, can castor oil be obtained from the seed.

The primary colour of castor oil is yellow. It can be used for a variety of medicinal as well as therapeutic purposes. Castor oil contains unsaturated fatty acids in high amounts. One of the fatty acids that is found primarily in castor oil is ricinoleic acid. The presence of ricinoleic acid in castor oil makes it very beneficial, giving it anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties.

It has a strong odour, but it used in soaps, cosmetics, textiles, oils, medicines and many more products that are used on an everyday basis. It is not uncommon to use castor oil for constipation in babies as it is a natural laxative. It can also be used to induce labour.

Is Castor Oil Safe for Babies?

Castor oil is safe to use for babies. There are many benefits linked to the use of castor oil. However, it is important that you take due precautions while using it on your baby. If used correctly, castor oil can help relieve your baby of many apparent skin and health problems, but you must use it carefully. Administer caution while using it if your baby has sensitive or broken skin.

Benefits of Castor Oil for Infants

Here are the different ways in which you can use castor oil for your baby.

  1. Castor oil is a great remedy for dry skin in babies. It acts as a great moisturizer and can help keep your baby’s skin smooth and supple.
  2. Castor oil can be used to treat warts or blemishes that may occur on your infant’s skin. You can apply warm castor oil on the affected area. However, make it a point to check the temperature of the oil before applying it on to your baby’s skin.
  3. Castor oil can be used to massage your baby. It can be used on their tender areas as well.
  4. Another great advantage of castor oil is that it promotes hair growth in children. Applying castor oil on to your baby’s scalp will eliminate dry spots on the baby’s scalp and give his hair a nice sheen. Castor oil can also help strengthen the roots of his hair.
  5. Castor oil can also provide relief from colic. Ensure that you heat a pot of water before you place the bottle of castor oil inside it. Apply the oil in a clockwise direction and ensure that it isn’t too hot.
  6. Castor oil is a great massaging product as it relieves sore muscles. Wrap a packet of the oil in plastic before you massage them with it. Also, ensure that they do not play with the plastic as it is a choking hazard.
  7. Diaper rashes are extremely common in babies. If you don’t have a diaper rash cream for your little one, worry not. Use castor oil on the affected area. It can provide relief from the pain associated with.
  8. Applying castor oil on to the baby’s skin can provide relief from sunburn too. It can also be used to cure problems like eczema, which is common in babies.

Benefits of Castor Oil for Infants

Precautions to Take While Using Castor Oil for Your Child

Using castor oil on babies is a topic of debate, but it is generally agreed that it can be used on an infant if the doctor gives a go-ahead. However, the reason that it is debated is that it can be dangerous if used carelessly. There are a few precautions that you will need to adhere to in case you’re using castor oil on your baby:

  • While using castor oil on your baby’s skin be very careful. Don’t use castor oil on broken skin as it can cause irritation for your baby.
  • Don’t apply the oil anywhere near your baby’s lips, mouth, eyes, or genitals.
  • Castor oil has poisonous properties so make sure your baby doesn’t put it in his mouth.

Side Effects of Using Castor Oil on Babies

Mentioned below are some side effects of using castor oil on babies.

  • While it is a proven constipation reliever, it is better to look for alternatives as the incorrect administration can cause aspiratory pneumonia, paralytic illus or even hyperalbuminemia.
  • A pregnant woman should not use castor oil as it can negatively impact her menstrual cycle.
  • Castor oil does have poisonous properties and can affect the health of the baby. If a baby consumes this oil accidentally, it can lead to death.

Castor oil has benefits but its side effects are fatal. If used correctly, it can help provide relief to your baby from various skin and health problems. But if it is administered in a wrong way, it can prove to be fatal.

As mentioned, it is always best to consult a doctor before you go ahead and use castor oil for your baby. If you’re a pregnant woman, it is best that you stay away from the product as it can have adverse effects on your health.

Also Read: Psoriasis in Children

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