Growing up with castor oil in the medicine cabinet is a familiar memory for almost anyone. It has so many uses that having a small bottle in the home at all times is very important. This precious bottle is store-bought even though the castor oil tree can be seen growing wildly on roadsides, backyards, river banks and pastures in tropical areas across the world.
Then, why do people purchase it and not make it themselves? The process of extracting the oil of the Ricinus communis plant is a laborious task. You have to pick the thorny castor pods off the tree, lay them out to dry in the sun, patiently shell hundreds of the tiny black seeds for hours, crush the seeds with either a mortar and pestle or an extraction machine, boil them and then scoop out the oil for use. Also, remedies using castor oil do not require much of the substance and the price is affordable so it is best to leave the hard work for the manufacturers.
The benefits in castor oil have been shown in medical research. These include anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal qualities. The seeds, which are known as castor beans, contain a toxic enzyme called ricin. When making castor oil, ricin is deactivated through the heating process allowing the oil to be used safely. Here are 10 common home uses and benefits of the castor oil super plant.
10 home uses and benefits of castor oil
1. Relieves constipation
Castor oil is the most popular laxative used in many homes to relieve constipation. One tablespoon of the bitter tasting oil increases the movement of the muscles that push material through the intestines, helping clear the bowels. If this does not occur, do not repeat the dose as the problem may require medical attention. Internal use of this remedy is for temporary constipation and should not be used by pregnant woman unless guided by a medical doctor to induce labour.
2. Increases fertility
When trying to conceive, using a castor oil pack increases fertility naturally as it detoxifies the reproductive system. You need a large container, wool flannel, a heating pad or hot water bottle, plastic wrap and of course, castor oil. Place the flannel in the container and drizzle the castor oil all over it. When you are not on your period, lay on your back, expose your stomach, place the flannel over your entire pelvic area, cover it with the plastic wrap, rest the heating pad over it, set to medium and leave for an hour. ParentingHistory says the therapy should be done around 4 times in a week, ranging for at least 3-4 months.
3. Shrinks cysts and fibroids
Using a castor oil pack on the pelvic area regularly clears impurities like cysts and fibroids. According to Healthline, research shows castor oil is antimicrobial. It’s notably effective at killing bacteria that live in the skin, which can cause acne and cysts. AdvancedGynecology states that cysts are fluid-filled sacs that develop on the outside of the ovary, while fibroids are noncancerous masses that may develop inside or outside the uterine wall. While using a heating pad alone helps to shrink cysts and fibroids, treatment with castor oil speeds up the process.
One product, so many uses. Castor oil is a beauty essential for hydrated skin, replenishing moisture and shine to dry hair, and building bolder brows and lashes. It also has a long history of supporting general wellness dating as far back as the Ancient Egyptian era.
4. Boosts immune system
Castor oil has been used to boost immune system for many years. A healthy lifestyle helps to improve lymphocytes which are the white blood cells that fight off infections and diseases in your body. Since the oil is an effective laxative, grandmothers have recommended ingesting it for cleaning out the system to improve these lymphocytes. However, research shows that while castor oil is considered safe in small doses, larger amounts can cause abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. A castor oil pack is safer for boosting your immune system as you gradually flush out your system externally.
5. Helps blood circulation
Applying a castor oil pack from under your bust up to your pelvic bone 3 times a week helps the blood in your body to flow freely. As it also improves lymphocytes, proper circulation of these white blood cells allows your body to heal wounds fast. Your brain, heart, lungs, muscles and sexual organs receive a healthy blood supply to function efficiently. This prevents blood clots that cause restless legs and feet, ulcers, skin discoloration, pelvic pain or discomfort, hair loss and swollen veins and arteries.
Designed to help castor oil more deeply absorb into your skin, our wellness pack kit is all you need to relax and unwind. The kit includes:
- 16oz Castor Oil
- Wool Flannel 18” x 27”
- 40 ct. Castor Clean Towelettes
While inflammation plays a vital role in healing, chronic inflammation is detrimental and can be reduced with castor oil. Healthline states that ricinoleic acid, the main fatty acid found in castor oil, has impressive anti-inflammatory properties. Use castor oil in your massage therapy. Apply a heating pad or hot water bottle on massaged areas such as your back, arms, stomach, buttocks, legs and calves for 30 minutes to an hour twice a week. As you destress your body, using the oil allows you to reduce the risk of some cancers, asthma, peptic ulcer, tuberculosis, active hepatitis and hay fever.
7. Eases arthritis and joint pain
People have used castor oil to massage painful joints during therapeutic treatment for many years. Studies show that castor oil’s ricinoleic acid reduces swelling and pain caused by inflammation. Detoxing chronic inflammation from your body helps to ease arthritis and joint pain. Apply the oil to the painful area and massage. Add heat to the area to increase the benefits of this treatment. Do this every day until the pain eases. Avoid ingesting the oil with the intention to speed up the process as this only gives you an immediate bowel movement and will not reduce pain in the joints.
A multipurpose balm with a petroleum-free formula that alleviates irritation, eczema, cuts, burns and scrapes.
8. Improves lactation
One of the popular home remedies used to increase breast milk supply is castor oil. It is said that when milk production is low, women massage their breasts with the oil for 40 days. Nursing mothers however should consult with their medical practitioner on the topic of increasing milk supply. According to DoctorLib on pregnancy and drugs, evidence for this effect of castor oil on breast milk flow has not been located. The principal active ingredient, ricinoleic acid, is absorbed systemically and could be excreted into milk. Diarrhea in the nursing infant is a potential complication.
9. Treats skin infection, ringworm, acne
The antibacterial and antifungal contents of castor oil treats skin infection, ringworm and acne effectively. People use the oil topically to clean affected areas on the skin. A common remedy for dealing with skin issues including pimples, boils and sores is to apply Wonder of the World, castor oil and a bandage. Pour a quarter teaspoon of the oil onto the front of the leaf and warm the back of it over fire. Directly place the warm leaf onto the wound and flatten it over the skin. Cover the area with a bandage and leave overnight. Repeat this remedy every day until the area is healed.
Hair and scalp moisturizing, healing, strengthening and conditioning. Use daily to condition, moisturize and restore natural sheen to your hair and scalp. Helps prevent split ends and breakage. Excellent conditioner for natural, pressed relaxed or color treated hair. Recommended as a conditioner for babies hair and skin.
10. Makes hair longer, thicker and stronger
Castor oil is a cheap and effective natural remedy for growing hair longer, thicker and stronger. It contains a substantial amount of vitamin E, proteins, Omega 6 and antioxidants. It is used to treat hair that is thinning, balding or damaged. To apply to scalp, mix castor oil with almond or coconut oil. Add an essential oil to mask the pungent smell. Use your fingers to massage the mixture into your scalp thoroughly. Cover your head with a shower cap for 30 minutes and rinse. Then, use a mild conditioner and rinse. You can also leave the oil in your hair overnight and rinse in the morning. Do this treatment twice a week for great results.
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