If you’ve been searching for an affordable, multi-purpose carrier oil that can also treat skin conditions, lower constipation and improve hair health, castor oil is a strong contender. In the past, our ancestors used castor oil (both internally and topically) to naturally boost the immune system and speed up the healing process. It also continues to be used today as an ingredient in laxatives, as well as hundreds of skin care products.
Castor oil has been connected to maintaining a healthy lymphatic system, as it promotes circulation from the heart to the other organs in the body through small capillaries and arteries, which in turn assist with detoxification by bringing oxygen to the cells.
In detail, other positive effects of castor oil have also been shown to deeply condition hair and thicken hair strands. If you have very fine, damaged hair, it may help reduce split ends, promote a richer hair colour, as well as build up and strengthen hair strands. Combining the use of organic coconut oil and castor oil as a conditioner may also benefit your hair. Some also suggest it can strengthen weak and cracked nails by applying it direct onto cuticles.
This content is strictly the researched opinion of BioHax Australia and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal doctor or health care professional. All viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither BioHax Australia nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their doctor before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.
Benefits of Organic Castor Oil Include:
Castor oil has been used for thousands of years as a powerful natural treatment for a variety of health issues and is prized for it its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It has been shown to help relieve digestive issues, moisturise dry skin, strengthen nails, induce labour and to soothe sore muscles and joints.
In India, it has been prized for its skin-healing, digestive-soothing, antibacterial properties, plus it’s commonly used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine practices.
Castor oil has been used to also treat other problems such as ingesting poisonous material, tapeworms and roundworms. A thorough cleansing of your digestive system using castor oil would help eliminate the stomach malfunctioning. It is popular in natural medicinal practices due to its germicidal, purgative, and disinfectant properties.
What is Castor Oil and How is it Made?
Castor oil (Ricinus Communis) non-volatile fatty, vegetable oil that is extracted from the seeds of the castor bean plant. It is native to India and some tropical areas in Africa, Algeria, Egypt, Greece, France and Asia. Castor oil is rich in ricinoleic acid; a monounsaturated fatty acid, which help with weight loss, reduce the risk of heart disease and decrease inflammation in the body.
It’s colour ranges from clear to a very pale-yellow liquid with a very distinct taste and odour. Due to its consistent viscosity, castor oil is not able to be frozen, and its boiling point is 313 Celsius, making ideal to use in warm and cold climates.
Castor oil is an unsaturated, triglyceride fatty oil (Omega-9) derived from the seeds of the castor bean plant (Ricinus Communis), where 90% of its own fatty acid content comes from a rare compound called ricinoleic acid. With a strong taste and translucent yellow in colour, it was used commonly in our parents and grandparents’ days as a natural remedy to relieve constipation.
Castor oil properties include:
- Fatty acids
- Phenolic compounds
- Amino acids
Aside from the strong taste, it’s unique compound of ricinoleic acid (the primary healing ingredient) has led to its use in over 700 cosmetic products. This combined with its beneficial salts and esters help stabilise the texture and consistency of external skin products and act as a skin-conditioning agent. Taken orally, the oil is broken down in the small intestine by the pancreatic enzymes, which in turn releases its beneficial compounds and metabolites.
Castor oil has been classified by the Food and Drug Administration as generally safe for both topical and internal use and approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for medicinal use.
Castor oil is an extremely economical and efficient method of infusing the ricinoleic acid and other healing components of castor oil directly into your cells and connective tissues. However, like anything used topically or internally for the first time, best practice is to always do a "patch test" prior to applying a castor oil to ensure you don’t have an allergic reaction.
The actual castor bean itself (outer hard layer of the bean) contains a toxin called ricin, but don’t worry, ricin does NOT partition into the oil when extracted.
Castor oil can be used in many ways to improve your health including some of the following:
- Used as a laxative in small quantities to coat your stomach should you be suffering from nausea or chronic vomiting.
- Used topically on dry skin or hair (including dandruff) to improve the shine and texture.
- Used on wounds to speed the healing process and prevent infections.
Side Effects (immediate and prolonged use):
Pregnancy: Castor oil has been known to induce early labour in high doses, which can lead to a miscarriage or premature delivery, so it is not advisable for pregnant women to consume it. It may also interact or interfere with other medications, so you need to consult your doctor before using castor oil.
A research article was published in PubMed where pregnant mice were given castor oil, which caused their intestines and uterus to contract and in turn, stimulated labour. A clinical trial on 100 pregnant women was then conducted and more than half of those given castor oil went into labour within 24 hours, with some experiencing nausea afterwards.
Skin: best practice is always do a “patch test” if using castor oil (or any product) for the first time to ensure you’re not allergic to it.
Stimulant Laxative: If you have the occasional occurrence of constipation, castor oil is a natural proven and inexpensive remedy. Classified as a simulant laxative, this means your bowel will work double time to contract more intensely than it normall would to move waste through your digestive system and out the other end. This supplement is not recommended to use internally for more than one week, but always read the instructions on the label.
Gut issues: if you suffer from IBS, ulcers, colitis, haemorrhoids or diverticulitis or prolapse, the lining of your gut may not be strong enough to take internally, so it’s best to see your doctor before proceeding.
It is often recommended to take around 15mls (3 teaspoons) per day. And as mentioned previously it has a strong taste, so it may be a good idea to mix it in with another flavoured liquid or water. For constipation relief, bowel movements may occur within two to three hours, but can take up to six hours to have an effect.
However, please consult your doctor or health care professional, as the dosage will largely depend on what you’re using it for along with age, existing medical conditions and known allergies.
Before administering it to children or taking it longer than a week, please check with your doctor.
Note: it can work quite quickly for the purpose of relieving constipation, so it’s not recommended to take it before bed. On average it causes bowel movements to occur anywhere between two to six hours.
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