What is Castor Oil?
Simply put, castor oil is vegetable oil. It is extracted from the seeds of the castor oil plant (Ricinus communis).
It has a peculiar taste that isn’t pleasant and has a yellow colour. Castor oil is a highly viscous oil, meaning it is a bit thicker than other oils.
There is a type of castor oil that is dark in colour which is called Jamaican Black Castor Oil. The difference between the yellow coloured and dark coloured oil is in the way it is processed and the oil is extracted from the seeds.
Castor oil is just amazing and that is so, because of its qualities. It is used as a preservative, component of medicines, as a biodiesel, component of perfumes, etc. But apart from that, it has a number of household uses too, especially for skin, hair and health. That is what we will be focusing on today.
If you are constipated, then you don’t have to head to the pharmacy for a laxative. Castor oil has been used since times immemorial as a laxative. But make sure that you have it in the morning as it is extremely efficient.
The ricinoleic acid in castor oil is the factor that makes it a good laxative. This serves to perk up the walls of the intestine and promotes bowel movement. A teaspoon on an empty stomach is the recommended dose for adults and half a teaspoon for kids. But before you try this out, check with your doctor to rule out any issues.
My mom, recollects with a slight grimace that castor oil was used in her childhood for eliminating stomach parasites. Though it doesn’t taste appealing, the results are amazing. As mentioned above, castor oil has a laxative effect, so if you use castor oil to deworm yourself, ensure that you find a permanent spot near a toilet.
3. Cleanses the Stomach
Castor oil is good to cleanse your stomach as well. The ricinoleic acid is not just good to relieve constipation. It is also effective in cleansing the intestine without being too harsh. It stimulates the colon, thereby moving all the waste matter out.
4. Soothes Aching Joints & Muscles
After a busy day at home or work, if you feel tired and that your muscles are all wrung out, try castor oil. For relief apply some castor oil on the affected area. Place a cloth on it. Then keep a hot water bag and rest, the pain will subside. The ricinoleic acid is an anti-inflammatory agent too, so it helps to soothe those aching muscles. Castor oil is said to be of great help to patients suffering from arthritis.
5. Eases Period Pains
Apart from soothing muscles and joints, castor oil is effective in battling period pains too. Apply a thin layer of oil on your lower abdomen and place a hot water bag. This helps to relieve the pain without any pain medication.
6. Helps Babies with Colic
Yes, you heard me right. Many moms swear by castor oil when it comes to calming their colicky baby. Warm a bit of castor oil. Ensure that it isn’t too hot. Then gently massage it on the baby’s tummy.
7. Boosts Immunity
Castor oil is also said to boost immunity if used correctly. Castor oil is able to do that by aiding the drainage of the lymphatic system.
8. Natural Cleanser
Are you shocked to see this here? Well, don’t be. Castor oil mixed with olive oil or coconut oil is a good way to cleanse your face. Depending on the type of your skin, you need to make a blend of these oils.
Dry skin – Mix 1/10 of castor oil to the 9/10 parts of olive or coconut oil.
Oily skin- Mix 1/3 of castor oil to the 2/3 parts of olive or coconut oil.
Combination skin – Mix 1/4 of castor oil to the ¾ parts of olive or coconut oil.
Once you make the blend, massage it on your face. Steam or dip a washcloth in hot water and wring dry and place it on the face. (Ensure that it isn’t too hot.) The steam opens the pores and aids the castor oil to do the job. It helps to pull out the dirt and grime without drying the face out. If you are trying it out, the first week may see you having some breakouts. That is the skin’s way of getting the impurities out and also adjusting to the new skin care regime. If it persists, stop the application.
9. Moisturizes Skin
Castor oil is also an excellent moisturizer. Take a few drops of this oil, massage well and wash it off with lukewarm water. Get soft and supple skin naturally! It is also effective in softening rough elbows.
10. Heals Minor Cuts
The healing properties of castor oil are quite great. Castor oil helps in disinfecting and healing small cuts. It is because it has anti-microbial properties.
The anti-fungal properties of castor oil are also worth mentioning as it helps to heal fungal infections. For instance, if you have a fungal infection on your feet, apply some castor oil daily before bedtime.
12. Lightens Scars
Usage of castor oil can help to lighten scars. But if you are looking for a quick fix, then castor oil is not for you. Castor oil works by encouraging the growth of tissues.
13. Lightens Stretch Marks
Castor oil also works in reducing stretch marks. But as mentioned above, you have to keep massaging this oil for a while to see results. This oil restores the skin’s elastic property and applying it during pregnancy will help to reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
14. Promotes Hair Growth
I haven’t come across anyone who hasn’t been complaining of hairfall. Blame it on the water, pollution or lifestyle – hair fall is something that we all face. Massage your scalp with this wonder oil for arresting hair fall and promoting hair growth. It is also beneficial for people who have thin and weak hair because it makes the hair thicker. If you find the oil too greasy mix it with another oil.
15. Fights Dandruff
You know that castor oil has anti-fungal properties. This quality helps in fighting dandruff. All you have to do is massage castor oil on your head. You can use it with another oil to make the application easier.
16. Natural Conditioner
Apart from moisturizing the skin, castor oil helps to condition the hair. It makes it soft and manageable.
17. Brings Shine to Lackluster Hair
Using castor also adds shine to the hair.
18. Prevents Premature Greying
Using castor oil also helps to reduce premature greying and gives you dark hair. My grandma used to turn to a bottle of castor oil every time I came home for vacations. My hair had turned a wee bit brown ( my grandma called it the colour of copper though) and the remedial action was massage with castor oil mixed with coconut oil.
19. Gives Lush Lashes
If you want thick lashes without using false eyelashes, then you can use castor oil. Using castor oil for eyelashes will make it thicker. For that, take an old mascara wand. Wash and dry it well. Dip it in some castor oil and gently apply it on the lashes. Be careful, don’t get any in your eyes! Apply before bedtime.
20. Use for Thicker Eyebrows
It works for hair and lashes, so does it work for eyebrows? Yes!!! Take some oil on some cotton or on your finger tip and apply it on the eyebrows. Apply before bedtime for best results.
21. Heals Cracked Heels
Clean your feet well. Pat dry and then apply some castor oil to the heels. It helps to heal and soften the heels. Again, this treatment is best done at night. Wear socks or cover the part where you place the feet with a cloth so as to prevent staining of the bed sheet.
22. Soothes Sunburn
If your skin is prone to sunburn then keep a bottle of castor oil handy at home. Apply the oil on the affected area. Leave it on for a while and then wash it off. I mix it with some coconut oil as I find it easier to wash off.
23. Strengthens Nails
Brittle nails preventing you from rocking a gorgeous manicure? All you have to do is massage this oil on your fingernails. This is a great way of making the nails strong.
24. Removes Warts
Make a paste of some castor oil and a pinch of baking soda. Apply to the wart and cover with a bandage. Leave for 8 hours or overnight. Continue till it falls off.
25. Removes Corns and Calluses
Apply castor oil on the callus. It softens the skin and gradually will get rid of the callus. The same can be done for corns too.
26. Aids Sleep
I was curious and skeptical when I read that castor oil could aid in sleeping better. So I tried it on my mom. The instructions said that I had to apply a bit of oil on the eyelid. It worked as she fell asleep pretty soon. Be careful if you are planning to try this on your little one as a small misstep can get the oil in their eyes. So avoid trying this on small kids.
27. Good for Pets
We have seen that castor oil is a good way to deworm. So you can try it for your pets too, once you get the approval of your vet. It also good to heal minor cuts that they have. If you want them to stop licking their wound then try castor oil. It will heal the wound and also prevent them from licking the area. (While licking helps heal wounds, at times, over-zealous licking can make matters worse.)
28. Natural Anti-ageing Properties
Castor oil can give anti-ageing creams a run for their money. It gives elasticity to the skin and therefore prevents the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
29. Soothes Eyes
If you have puffy eyes, apply castor oil before heading to bed. It not only will give fuller lashes and thicker eyebrows, but it will also refresh your eyes and reduce puffiness.
30. Excellent for Dry Lips
It doesn’t taste good but it will work wonders on chapped lips. Just apply a little bit of oil on dry lips to heal and hydrate.
31. Natural Lubricant
Castor oil is a great natural lubricant. If you can’t find the lubricant to fix a creaky hinge or your garden shears, add some castor oil and voila, it will work perfectly!
Happy Health Ladies!
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