castor oil
Beauty, Health Tips, Women Health

12 Health Benefits of Castor Oil

Castor oil is one of the age old home remedies used by our ancestors for an array of health problems. There are innumerable castor oil uses and benefits for health, skin, and hair which make it an incredible oil for use in every household.

Rich in antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it is made by cold pressing the seeds of the “Ricinus Communis”, that is, the castor plant. Largely castor oil for weight loss is used by the people as it delivers astounding results in a shorter span of time. Also, the effects of castor oil on skin and hair can amaze anyone.

How Castor Oil Offers Innumerable Health and Beauty Benefits?

The beauty and health benefits of this amazing oil can be attributed to its richness in the “Ricinoleic Acid”, which is an unsaturated omega-9 fatty acid having the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also rich in proteins, minerals and vitamin E.

Owing to its amazing benefits, it is an integral part of various beauty soaps, cosmetics, medicines and massage oil.

Benefits of Castor Oil

Here are the top 12 benefits of the castor oil, which you should know about and must use in your day to day life.

1. Treat the Fungal Infections

Due to the presence of undecylenic acid in the castor oil, which is a breakdown product of the ricinoleic fatty acid, it possesses the strong fungicidal properties. That’s why, it can be used for treating the common fungal infections such as tinea cruris or the crotch itch, athlete’s foot and the ringworms.

How to Use?

– In order to use the castor oil to treat fungal infections, heat some oil and let it cool till it becomes warm.

– Apply this warm oil on the affected area at night before sleeping, and let it stay overnight. You will see significant improvement within 3-4 days.

– Repeat it every night until the infection disappears completely.

2. Relieve Muscle Soreness

Being warm in nature, the castor oil promotes the fluid circulation in the body. It’s an excellent oil for massage and can soothe the sore muscles while relieving you of the muscle cramps which occur in the overworked muscles.

Even the muscle cramps developed after a strenuous workout can be relieved with this oil.

How to Use?

– Apply the warm castor oil on the affected muscles, massage with it and it will eliminate all the cramps easily.

– It is also an excellent carrier for the essential oils, and you can use a few drops of the peppermint oil or Roman chamomile oil with a tablespoon of the castor oil for a muscle relaxing massage.

3. Acts As a Natural Laxative

It is an outstanding laxative and is even safe for the children. However, you may come across a myth which is probably promoted by the pharmaceutical companies that castor oil is not safe for ingestion.

It is a plant based oil and is harmless, but if you want to ensure complete safety, you should use the virgin organic castor oil, which can be ingested.

Though there is a toxin present in the castor bean, called ricin, but it gets deactivated during the process of the oil extraction.

Castor oil helps in relieving chronic constipation by acting as a laxative. Unlike the other laxatives, which act in the colon, it starts its action right from the small intestine and thus, helps you get rid of any waste in the body within 2 – 6 hours of its consumption.

However, ensure that you don’t take it in excess and limit your dose from up to 2 tablespoons if you are over 12 years of age and up to teaspoon for the children under 12 years of age. Avoid giving to toddlers below 2 years of age.

4. Offers Effective Colic Pain Relief

In the early months after their birth, most babies experience colic pain due to which they cry uncontrollably. While the exact reason for colic pain is unknown but many experts believe that it could be due to abnormal spasms, gas or the obstructions in the gastrointestinal tract which is under development during this phase.

How to Use?

– Gently rub the oil on the abdominal area of the babies externally.

– Both, the soporific effect and analgesic properties of the castor oil helps babies to get quick relief from the colic pain.

5. Enhances Natural Sleep

Those who struggle while sleeping properly at night can use the castor oil to promote sleep and get rid of insomnia.  It fixes your biological clock gone haywire.

While it’s not clear that how exactly the castor oil induces sleep, but the ones who use it around their eyes and their hair vouch for its effectiveness.

How To Use?

– If you are facing trouble sleeping, dab a few drops of the oil on your eyelids before sleeping.

6. Nourishes Dry Skin

It is an efficient moisturizer for the dry skin. It is capable of penetrating deep into the skin and thus, effectively treats the dry and flaky skin patches.

As the castor oil is rich in high concentrations of fatty acids, it promotes glowing and healthy skin and can be used for the skin conditions such as severely dry skin, or dermatitis.

How To Use?

– Mix equal quantities of the coconut oil and castor oil, and massage your dry skin areas with this oil blend. Wait for 20 to 30 minutes before taking the bath after the massage. Repeat daily or on the alternate days for the best results.

7. Reduces Wrinkles

The natural emollient present in this oil helps in reducing the appearance of the fine lines, wrinkles, and crow’s feet.

As it penetrates easily into the skin, it doesn’t clog the pores and nourishes the skin from within.  It also helps in reducing the appearance of scars and blemishes on the skin.

How To Use?

– Take a few drops of the castor oil and gently massage it on the skin in the circular motion at night before going to sleep. Do it continuously for 4 – 6 months for getting the best results.

8. Thickens Your Eyelashes and Eyebrows

If your eyelashes and eyebrows are very thin, you can use the castor oil to thicken them. Thickening of the eyebrows and eyelashes is one of the best applications of this amazing oil.

It possesses follicle stimulating properties along with a unique blend of vitamins, proteins, and fatty acids which promote the hair growth and nourish the hair follicles.

Also, it fights the micro-organisms which hamper the natural growth of hair in these areas.

How To Use?

– Put a few drops of the oil on a cotton swab, and rub it on your eyebrows every night before going to bed until the time you the desired thickness.

9. Prevents Stretch Marks

If you use the castor oil during pregnancy, it can help in avoiding the stretch marks. By acting as a humectant, it helps in maintaining the elasticity and retaining the moisture in the skin.

Also, the fatty acids present in the oil to enhance the skin’s natural ability to regenerate the tissues while improving the skin’s texture.

How To Use?

–  Make a blend with 2 tablespoons of sweet almond oil and one tablespoon of castor oil. Apply this mixture daily on the areas which are prone to stretch marks such as breasts, thighs, and stomach to prevent the stretch marks.

– If you have the stretch marks, you can fade them by massaging the affected areas with the pure castor oil for about 10 – 15 minutes and cover the massaged area with the plastic wrap. Use a heating pad to apply heat for about 15 – 20 minutes. It will lighten the stretch marks gradually.

10. Promotes Hair Growth

Apart from the skin, castor oil is very good for the hair growth as well. It conditions the hair while thickening the hair strands to give you shiny and beautiful tresses.

The ricinoleic acid in it helps in balancing the pH of the scalp and thus, reduces the split ends, the risk of dandruff and the hair breakage.

How To Use?

– Massage the lukewarm castor oil into the hair, scalp and the roots at night before going to bed. Shampoo the hair in the morning. Repeat it twice a week for the best results.

– You can also mix the castor oil with sweet almond oil or the coconut oil if you have oily hair.

11. Softens the Calluses

If you have calluses, then you can use the thick castor oil, which offers excellent moisturizing qualities to treat the dry and rough skin. When you apply it to the calluses, it helps in restoring the moisture and adding the softness.

Also, its anti-inflammatory properties help in alleviating the pain and the swelling which often make it difficult to walk.

It can also treat the cracked and dry heels, and the corns.

How To Use?

– Clean your feet with water and dry them. Then, dab a cotton in castor oil and place it over the callus or corn.

– Secure the cotton ball with a small piece of tape and leave it for a couple of hours.

– Repeat daily till your calluses become completely soft.

12.Heals the Chapped Lips

Castor oil is an amazing remedy for the chapped and dark lips. The moisturizing properties of this thick and viscous oil ensure that your lips become nourished.

How To Use?

– Mix one teaspoon each of castor oil and glycerin with a few drops of the fresh lemon juice. Mix this blend well and apply it on your lips at night before going to bed.

– Wipe it off the next morning with a cotton ball which has been dipped in the lukewarm water.

All these benefits indicate the goodness of this oil in multiple ways, One can leverage the castor oil benefits for hair growth to get faster results than many other popular hair growth home remedies.

It can naturally enhance the overall health and treat many ailments without the allopathic medicines. For instance, the castor oil for constipation is one of the best natural ways to cure chronic problems of constipation.

So, keep on using the castor oil and preferably, buy its virgin and organic variety to ensure that you get all its natural benefits and it does not harm your health, skin or hair. The inorganic counterparts may contain some harmful elements which may not be good for consumption or topical use.