Castor oil uses in ancient cultures
Herbalists for centuries have used castor oil to treat a wide variety of health conditions.
The use of castor oil goes back to the ancient Egyptians, who used it to treat eye
irritations and as a powerful natural skin care remedy amongst other things.
In India, it has been revered for its skin-healing, digestive-soothing, antibacterial
properties, plus it’s commonly used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine practices.
For centuries, at the first sign of illness, many parents would immediately turn to giving
their children castor oil either topically or internally to naturally boost immune function and
speed up healing.
What Is Castor Oil?
Castor oil’s most popular use has been for treating skin infections, reducing constipation
and boosting the appearance of hair health, but research has shown that it has even more
important applications for supporting the immune system.
It is a non volatile fatty oil that comes from the seeds of the castor bean (Ricinus
communis) plant which belongs to the flowering spurge family (Euphorbiaceae).
Castor oil, also called ricinus oil, is very thick and sticky – a yellowish coloured oil with a
mild scent and taste….definitely not offensive.
It’s a triglyceride fatty acid, and almost 90 percent of its fatty acid content is a specific and
rare compound called ricinoleic acid.
Castor oil is considered to be pretty unique because ricinoleic acid is not found in many
other substances, plus it’s such a dense, concentrated source. It is produced by coldpressing
the castor bean seeds to extract their natural oil content. This is important and
you should always choose an organic cold pressed oil.
Castor Oil Benefits
Castor oil contains many beneficial components, including fatty acids, flavonoids, phenolic
compounds, amino acids, terpenoids and phytosterols.
These various compounds give the oil the following properties and potential health
• Hepatoprotective (ability to prevent damage to the liver)
• Free radical scavenging
• Lymphatic cleanser
The oil and other parts of the castor plant have been used in traditional medicine for the
following health conditions:
• Uterine Fibroids
• Deep Fibrous Scar tissue
• Muscle aches
• Parasitic infections
• Chronic headaches
• Gallbladder pain
• Lymphodema, oedema, fluid build up
• Dry itchy skin
• Safely can induce labour in a full term pregnancy
One of the major reasons castor oil has strong immune-enhancing effects is because it
supports the body’s lymphatic system. The most significant role of the lymphatic system,
which is spread throughout the whole body in small tubular structures, is that it absorbs
and removes excess fluids, proteins and waste materials from our cells.
Lymph nodes located within these tubes act like the body’s natural filters for toxins, and
they also pump out antibodies when we’re sick to keep foreign proteins or bacteria at bay.
If you’ve ever had an enlarged lymph node in your neck or near your genitals, for example,
this is a sign that a high level of antibodies are being released in order to fight an infection
near that area.
Helps Dry, Irritated, Sun-Burnt or Acne-Prone Skin
As a natural antibacterial agent, castor oil works similarly to coconut oil for boosting skin
health. It also makes a great general skin moisturiser and anti-inflammatory blemish
If you want to get rid of acne forever, you need to get to the source of the problem. Castor
oil is a great natural home remedy for fighting mild acne. As it penetrates deep into the
skin, it fights bacteria overgrowth that can clog pores, while softening and hydrating
irritated skin at the same time. Plus as I mentioned earlier, castor oil has been shown to
fight off Staphylococcus aureus which is huge since acne is commonly caused by this
strain of bacteria.
Here are several ways to improve skin health using castor oil:
• For a natural acne treatment that’s beneficial long term, dap castor oil onto the
affected area with a clean cotton swab. You can also try to use apple cider vinegar
and essential oils like frankincense mixed with a small amount of pure coconut oil.
All of these options reduce redness and swelling of acne blemishes along with
scarring and pain.
• To prevent future breakouts, wash your face first in warm water to open up the
pores and then massage some of the oil into your face and leave it on overnight,
rinsing the next morning.
• To hydrate skin without clogging pores: mix 1/4 cup of castor oil and 3/4 cup virgin
coconut oil (or 3/4 cup sesame oil), then apply to your body and face.
• To moisturise skin that’s normal or oily, try using 1/4 cup of castor oil with jojoba oil,
grape seed oil or olive oil instead of coconut and sesame oils. Gently massage dry
areas of your skin with the mixture, then dab off any excess using a clean towel.
Allow the treatment to soak in overnight and then rinse well in the morning with
• Another option is creating a fast-acting face mask using one teaspoon of castor oil
along with one egg yolk. Apply the mixture to your face for 10–15 minutes, then
clean your face.
• To soothe a sunburn, castors oil’s anti-inflammatory properties reduce pain and
redness. Apply castor oil mixed with coconut oil (in a 1:1 proportion) to the affected
area, or try the same remedy as a natural lip balm to solve chapped or sun-burnt
Castor Oil Hair Treatment: Helps to Encourage Strong, Shiny Hair
Just like coconut oil benefits your hair, using castor oil may help your hair grow faster,
thicker, stronger and shinier.
Massage the slightly warmed-up oil into your hair and scalp, and it can improve the blood
circulation to your follicles to hopefully speed up hair growth. You can try making a
homemade hair mask by massaging the oil into your roots and spreading it all over your
hair, tying up your hair and covering it with a cap, then leaving the oil on overnight before
washing it out.
The most effective use of castor oil is castor oil packs or poultices.
These might be able to help increase topical absorption through the skin’s pores.
Especially after being heated. Soak 100% cotton flannel material with Castor Oil – apply to
area of skin – wrap with plastic to prevent dripping – place a hot water bottle or heat pack
over the top. Leave on for 30 minutes.
Article: DIY Hair Growth Tonic
Internal Dose of Castor Oil Liquid
One tablespoon once a day. Many people mix it with water or another beverage. Beware
that castor oil can work for constipation relief quite fast so it’s not recommended to take it
before bed. For many people, taking it causes a bowel movement to occur within two to
three hours, but it can take up to six hours.