Castor oil is a vegetable oil that offers a range of health and beauty benefits. It's thought to have been used since Ancient Egyptian times.
Pale yellow in color, castor oil is made by crushing the seeds from the ricinus communis, the castor bean or castor oil plant.
If you've never used castor oil before, you're missing out! There are so many ways to make use of this affordable oil. Read on to learn of the best benefits and uses of castor oil for health and wellness.
Castor Oil Uses
1. Acne Treatment
Acne is a common skin condition that can have a big impact on self-esteem. While the best acne treatments vary from person to person, castor oil is an effective natural treatment that typically works for a variety of skin types.
While some acne remedies dry out the skin, castor oil simply helps to draw out dirt, oils, dead skin cells and bacteria.
To use castor oil as an acne treatment, first fill a bowl with boiling water and lean over the steam. This will open your pores. Stay over the bowl for up to two minutes, then moisten a washcloth with water. Add a dollop of castor oil to the cloth, then use it to rub your face gently.
Leave the oil on your skin overnight, then wash with cold water in the morning. Dry your skin and follow with your usual morning skincare routine.
2. Eyelash Lengthening
Castor oil contains vitamin E, minerals, and proteins that make it an effective eyelash lengthening treatment. When applied to the skin at the base of your eyelashes, the oil absorbs into your skin, moisturizing the area and promoting long, thick eyelash growth.
3. Arthritis Treatment
Arthritis is a painful long-term joint condition that can cause inflammation and affect your mobility. Though arthritis is not easy to cure, there are numerous natural treatments that can ease arthritis pain and inflammation, including castor oil.
The anti-inflammatory properties of castor oil makes it ideal for massaging arthritic joints. Castor oil also contains ricinoleic acid, which is a known remedy for pain caused by arthritis.
The best way to treat arthritis with castor oil is to soak the oil in a flannel cloth and place it directly onto your joints. Leave the cloth in place for between 30 and 45 minutes to allow the oil to take effect. For even bigger benefits, place a hot water bottle or heat pad over the cloth.
4. Reduce Stretch Marks
Many women have stretch marks - in fact, they're thought to affect nine out of 10 women during pregnancy. While stretch marks are very common, some people would rather not have them.
Commercial remedies for stretch marks can be very expensive. Castor oil is a much more affordable, natural alternative that works particularly well as a skincare treatment.
The stretch mark reducing benefits of castor oil are thanks to its fatty acids content.
Castor oil is considered an effective moisturizer, and its antioxidants fight the free radicals that are often responsible for stretch marks.
To use castor oil for stretch marks, massage the oil into the affected area every morning and every night. It's best to mix one part castor oil with two parts almond or coconut oil.
5. Thicken Eyebrows
Castor oil is perhaps best known for its ability to thicken hair - so it makes sense that it can encourage thicker eyebrow growth, too!
Thick eyebrows aren't for everyone, but they do come back in fashion from time to time. Because of castor oil's proteins, antioxidants, vitamins and fatty acids, it can encourage eyebrow growth and fight the bacteria that are responsible for hindered growth.
6. Facial Cleanser
Even the most basic skincare routine should include a daily cleanse. But commercial cleansing products tend to be expensive, and they often contain harsh chemical ingredients.
Castor oil has cleansing and moisturising properties. It can clean bacteria, dirt, dead skin cells and excess oils without drying out your skin.
To use castor oil as a cleanser, simply combine castor oil with a carrier oil, like coconut oil. Scoop the oil onto the palm of your hand and rub your palms together to warm it up. Apply the oil to your face, then leave for two minutes, before washing off with warm water.
7. Targets Wrinkles
Another of the skincare benefits of castor oil is its ability to reduce wrinkles and fine lines. When you apply the oil to your affected areas, it absorbs into the skin, stimulating elastin and collagen production.
Collagen and elastin are needed to keep the skin taut and elastic. The more collagen and elastin we have, the younger, plumper and more hydrated our skin will look.
To use castor oil to reduce wrinkles and fine lines, wash your face and pat your skin dry with a towel, then massage a small amount of warmed castor oil into your skin. Repeat the process once a day to reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
8. Encourages Hair Growth
Castor oil is an incredibly popular hair growth remedy. Regular use of castor oil on your scalp can encourage thicker, shinier hair growth. It can also reduce heat and stylish damage, prevent dry scalp issues, and hydrate hair. Applying castor oil to the ends of your hair can reduce breakage, split ends, and frizz.
Jamaican black castor oil boasts the biggest hair health benefits. To use this oil, massage a dollop between your fingers and massage onto your roots or scalp. Spread it evenly across the area, but be careful not to apply the oil too liberally. Castor oil is thick and sticky, and can cause knotting and clumping if you use too much.
Cover your head with a towel or shower cap and leave the oil for at least an hour overnight. Wash your hair with shampoo, and repeat once weekly for the best results.
9. Relieving Constipation
Constipation affects us all from time to time. If you'd rather avoid over-the-counter remedies to get you regular, castor oil is worth considering as a natural alternative.
Castor oil is commonly recommended as a means of clearing out the intestines before bowel surgery - so you can guarantee that it's a good remedy for when you're dealing with constipation. Castor oil acts as a natural laxative, encouraging the small intestine to move food through the digestive system. Castor oil's fatty acids also prevent the intestinal tract from absorbing too much liquid, which ensures draws natural moisture to the stool.
Castor oil may be used as a one-off constipation remedy. Mix between 30 and 60 grams of the oil with a glass of lukewarm milk or water, and drink the contents of the glass in one go. If the castor oil smell is too strong, you can try adding fresh ginger. You should feel the effects of the oil within 1 hour.
10. Improves Immune Function
Studies have shown that using castor oil daily can support the immune system, helping to improve lymphatic drainage and blood flow, and boost the health of the thymus gland. Castor oil can help increase production of white blood cells, which are needed to attack pathogens like bacteria and protect us from illness. Applying castor oil packs to your abdominal area is also one of the most effective means of absorbing the oil.
11. Treating Ringworm
Ringworm, a fungal infection, causes a red, ring-like rash on the skin. Antifungal gels, sprays and creams tend to be good ringworm treatments, but if you have castor oil in your cupboards, try that first.
Castor oil contains undecylenic acid, an antifungal agent that works just as effectively as commercial treatments to kill the bacteria responsible for ringworm.
12. Additional Skin and Nail Health Benefits
We know by now that castor oil can be used to treat acne, wrinkles, and stretch marks - but it doesn't end there! Castor oil may also be used to minimize the appearance of scars, thanks to its fatty acid content, which stimulates the body's lymphatic system.
If you've been caught in the sun, you can use castor oil to relieve pain associated with sunburn. The ricinoleic acid in castor oil will prevent infection in blistered skin, and reduce redness and inflammation.
Finally, castor oil's vitamin E content makes it ideal to treat dry, brittle nails. Get into the habit of applying castor oil to your nails every night for strong, healthy cuticles.
13. Repels Garden Moles
Castor oil has plenty of health benefits - but it can also be useful in your garden! Studies have found that castor oil is a highly effective mole repellor. Using castor oil in your garden won't kill your garden visitors, but it will prevent them from digging up your lawn.
To repel moles with castor oil, mix one part dish soap with three parts castor oil. Fill a bottle or container with a gallon of water and add four tablespoons of the dish soap and castor oil mixture. Pour this mixture onto the entrances and molehills in your garden. This should evict any current residents and prevent moles from paying a visit in the future.
Castor Oil Benefits
14. Supports the Lymphatic System
The lymphatic system is an important organ system that works within the circulatory system and the immune system. This system protects against disease and infection by removing metabolic waste from the body. When applied to your lymph nodes, castor oil packs increase the flow of lymph throughout the body. This encourages the removal of toxins in the lymphatic system and can even reduce the size of swollen lymph nodes.
15. Reduces Skin Inflammation
With its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it's no surprise that castor oil is such a popular treatment for skin inflammation. Castor oil may be used to reduce inflammation caused by rashes and bug bites.
To use castor oil to reduce skin inflammation, simply soak a cloth with the oil and place it onto the affected area. You could also soak a cotton pad in castor oil and dab it onto the area. Leave the oil for at least an hour before rinsing off.
16. Hydrates Chapped Lips
It's common to experience issues with dry, chapped lips when the season gets colder and dryer. Try using castor oil as a lip balm alternative to moisten and hydrate your lips. Castor oil can prevent painful splitting and cracking of the lips when used at intervals throughout the day. If you're feeling creative, try mixing castor oil with lemon juice and glycerin for an overnight lip hydrating treatment.
17. Relieves symptoms of migraines
Migraines can affect people of any age. Their exact cause is often unknown, which makes them difficult to treat. If you suffer frequently from migraines, the best thing you can do is find an effective remedy to manage the pain.
Castor oil is a natural pain reliever, making it ideal for soothing headache and migraine discomfort. It's easy to use castor oil for migraines - just dab a teaspoon of the oil into your forehead and let it sit for a few minutes. You should start to notice pain relief within 5 minutes.
18. Relieve Insomnia
Finally, if you suffer from sleep problems or insomnia, it's worth trying castor oil as a natural sleep treatment. Many medications for sleep can be harmful and habit forming. As a natural alternative, castor oil can help you to improve your sleep cycle without the harmful side effects.
Before going to bed, rub castor oil onto your eyelids. This should help promote relaxation and induce sleep.
Castor oil is one of the best hair growth treatments and remedies for constipation - but did you know just how many benefits it has? Castor oil can be applied to the skin, hair, and face. According to research, it's castor oil's unsaturated fatty acid content that makes it so widely beneficial to human health.
When buying castor oil, look for 100% pure, organic, cold-pressed oil in a dark glass bottle. A tinted bottle will prevent the oil from going rancid too early.
Castor oil is definitely something you should add to your daily health and wellness routine. The oil is widely available year-round, so you can enjoy its benefits in every season.