Castor oil is a multi-purpose vegetable oil that has been used for thousands of years.
Castor oil is a natural remedy derived from the castor bean (Ricinus communis) by extracting oil from the seeds of the castor plant, a native plant in tropical areas of Africa and India.
Long used in traditional medicine, castor oil is often found in lubricants and laxatives. The main component of castor oil is ricinoleic acid, a type of fatty acid shown to possess anti-inflammatory properties.
Castor oil can be linked to a number of benefits for your skin, hair, and health. It is one of the most widely used ingredients owing to its many health-protective properties.
Castor oil is commonly used as an additive in food, skin and hair care products, and even medicines. It continues to be a popular natural remedy for various health issues such as constipation, cough and cold, menstrual disorders, skin and hair problems, etc.
Castor oil is claimed to have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, moisturizing, and some other useful health properties.
Although relatively common, castor oil is not generally as well-known as olive oil. High in vitamin E, minerals, proteins, and even beneficial fatty acids, castor oil is great for both your skin and hair.
This means it not only moisturizes, hydrates, and replenishes, but in terms of your skin, it will also offer anti-aging properties.
Reported benefits are:
- Acne: The antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties of castor oil make it useful in reducing acne. Ricinoleic acid can inhibit growth in the bacteria that cause acne.
- Texture: Castor oil is also rich in other fatty acids. These can enhance smoothness and softness when applied to facial skin.
- Complexion: The fatty acids in castor oil can also promote the growth of healthy skin tissue, making it helpful in restoring uneven skin tones.
- Anti-inflammatory for treating irritated skin.
- Moisturizing: Castor oil contains triglycerides. These can help maintain moisture in the skin, making it a useful treatment for dry skin.
Other benefits include:
- Skin Hydration
- Skin Conditions
- Constipation Relief
- Immune System Support
- Anti-Inflammatory Agent
- Antimicrobial Agent
- Lymphatic Stimulant
- Fights dry lips
While castor oil has a range of promising properties, it is important to note that the scientific evidence supporting many of these claims is not conclusive, and much of the evidence tends to be anecdotal rather than scientific.
What to watch out for when purchasing castor oil:
- Cold-pressed. This means that the castor oil has been extracted independently, without adding heat and chemicals.
- Virgin. When a bottle is labeled this way, it means that castor beans are cold pressed for the first time. This ensures that the product is high-quality and offers enhanced health benefits through essential nutrients, fatty acids, and minerals.
- Hexane-free. This is a popular solvent frequently used to extract oils from vegetables. It’s said to be non-toxic and presents only a low risk, yet there is still a great deal of controversy when it comes to inclusion in consumer products.
- USDA-certified organic. The label means that the castor plant has been given the “go-ahead” from USDA organic inspections. This guarantees that there are no dangerous chemicals or pesticides involved in any step of the castor oil making process.
Castor oil is not only effective for your skin and body, but it’s also cost-effective when compared to other beauty regimes. It helps you benefit from a wide range of uses with just one bottle.
Whether you want to brighten the look of your hair or combat eczema, its uses are endless.
Note: The product is recommended to be used much more sparingly than coconut oil due to its thick consistency. Since castor oil can be toxic when consumed in large amounts, medical experts typically recommend using it only externally over unbroken skin. Avoid ingesting castor oil if you are pregnant.