Versatile vegetable oil that humans have utilised for thousands of years is Castor oil. It's manufactured by pressing the seeds of the Ricinus communis plant for oil. These seeds contain ricin, a deadly enzyme often known as castor beans. The heating procedure that castor oil goes through during manufacture, on the other hand, deactivates the ricin, allowing it to be used safely.
Castor oil is used in various medical, industrial, and pharmaceutical applications. It's a common food, pharmaceutical, skin-care product addition, and an industrial lubricant and biodiesel fuel component. People in ancient Egypt utilised castor oil as a fuel for lamps, a natural cure for disorders, including eye discomfort, and even a stimulant for labour in pregnancy. Castor oil is still a popular natural remedy for common problems like constipation and skin rashes, and it's frequently included in natural cosmetic products.
Here are some potential castor oil uses and benefits.
A Powerful Laxative
Castor oil's most common therapeutic application is as a natural laxative. It's categorised as a stimulative laxative, which means it helps cleanse the bowels by increasing the activity of the muscles that push material through the intestines. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved castor oil as a stimulative laxative.
Stimulative laxatives work quickly to treat transient constipation or clear the bowels before medical operations. Castor oil, when consumed by the mouth, breaks down in the small intestine, yielding ricinoleic acid, the primary fatty acid in castor oil. A severe laxative effect occurs when the colon absorbs the ricinoleic acid. Castor oil has been demonstrated to help with constipation in several trials.
In a 2011 study, for example, older persons who took castor oil reported fewer constipation symptoms, such as less straining during bowel movements and more occasional feelings of incomplete bowel movements. Furthermore, another study found that castor oil efficiently cleans people's stools before they had a colon capsule endoscopy, a noninvasive type of colonoscopy.
While moderate dosages of castor oil are deemed harmless, greater doses might produce abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea. Castor oil is not advised to treat long-term health problems, even though we can use it to relieve occasional constipation. Also, before taking castor oil to treat constipation, consult with a healthcare expert to receive their advice. When castor oil is misused, it can cause hazardous adverse effects such as electrolyte and acid-base imbalances, proving fatal.
A Natural Moisturiser
Ricinoleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid, is abundant in castor oil. These fats keep the skin moisturised. They function as humectants, retaining moisture by reducing water loss through the skin's outer layer. Castor oil is a moisturising component that is commonly found in cosmetics. Lotions, cosmetics, and cleansers are all examples of products that include them. This rich oil can also be a natural substitute for store-bought moisturisers and lotions.
Many store-bought moisturisers contain potentially dangerous substances such as preservatives, fragrances, and dyes, which can irritate the skin and affect overall health. If you substitute castor oil for these products, you can decrease exposure to harmful compounds. Castor oil is also affordable and may be used on both the face and the body.
Because castor oil is thick, it is frequently mixed with other skin-friendly oils such as coconut, almond and olive oil to create an ultra-hydrating moisturiser. Though castor oil is generally regarded as safe for use on the skin, it might trigger allergic reactions in some people. Furthermore, pure castor oil may irritate certain people's skin, so it is preferable to dilute it with jojoba or coconut oil. Before using it on more significant regions, test the combination on a tiny skin area to determine how your skin reacts to castor oil.
May Promote Wound Healing
Castor oil generates a wet environment around wounds, which may aid recovery and prevent sores from drying out. Castor oil and Peru balsam, a balm derived from the Myroxylon balsamum tree, are combined in Venelex, a popular ointment used in clinical settings to treat wounds.
Venelex is a wound dressing used to treat chronic and acute wounds and skin ulcers like:
- Sores caused by pressure
- Surgical wounds
- Diabetic ulcers
It aids in the reduction of odours, the protection of wounds, and the creation of a moist environment conducive to healing. Additionally, the major fatty acid in castor oil, ricinoleic acid, has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving qualities. It may help persons with wounds reduce skin inflammation, promote healing, and relieve discomfort.
According to research, castor oil ointments help treat a variety of wounds. In a 2013 case report, an 81-year-old man who could not tolerate conventional topical medication was treated with a spray comprising a combination of balsam of Peru, castor oil, and an enzyme called trypsin. Castor oil topical wound treatments, unlike castor oil, comprise a combination of substances. You should consult a healthcare expert before applying castor oil to any wound.
It May Be Helpful For Cleaning And Storing Dentures
On dentures, a variety of bacteria and fungi, including Candida fungi, thrive. If dentures aren't cleaned and stored properly, this can cause mouth problems. Candida species, such as Candida albicans, are particularly problematic for denture wearers because they cling easily to denture surfaces and mouth tissues.
Denture stomatitis is an infection that causes inflammation, redness, and irritation in the mouth due to an overgrowth of Candida fungi. It turns out that cleaning dentures with castor oil can help minimise the chance of developing denture stomatitis by killing germs and fungi.
According to one study, soaking contaminated acrylic teeth in a solution containing 10% castor oil for 20 minutes reduced the quantity of Candida albicans and other dangerous bacteria such as Streptococcus mutans and Staphylococcus aureus. Furthermore, treatment with a castor oil-containing mouthwash improved the clinical indicators of stomatitis, including inflammation, in 30 older persons with denture-related stomatitis in a 2013 study. Another study discovered that scrubbing and soaking dentures in a solution containing castor oil reduced Candida significantly in older adults who wore dentures.
When you're past due, you might desire anything to kick-start your labour. Castor oil can be an excellent labour inducer. Castor oil's labour-inducing qualities originate from laxative characteristics. It makes the intestines cramp. This stimulates the bowels and vagal nerve. The uterus is irritated, and it may contract.
According to a short study, women who take castor oil are more likely to give birth within 24 hours. Another study claims castor oil is a safe, non-pharmaceutical way of inducing labour. Castor oil can also help post-date multiparous (women who have given birth to more than one child) women get pregnant. However, there was no inducement of labour following the use of castor oil in bigger research. According to the study, neither the mother nor the infant got harmed. As a result, the findings are contradictory. Castor oil is unlikely to cause harm, at least in most circumstances. Should you, however, use castor oil to induce labour? Inducing labour is a good medical option for your and your baby's safety. It is advised for late-term pregnancies (between 41 weeks and 41 weeks and six days). However, each pregnancy is unique, so see your doctor first. You can also use castor oil as directed by the manufacturer.
Castor oil contains ricinoleic acid with anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. This acid had a robust anti-inflammatory effect when applied topically. Another study found that castor oil might effectively treat primary knee osteoarthritis. Their symptoms improved when osteoarthritis patients were given a castor oil capsule three times a day for four weeks. Castor oil is a great aid to treat arthritis straightforwardly. You can use a castor oil pack or apply it topically.
Ease Symptoms Of Fibroids
Fibroids are uterine tumours that form. They are non-cancerous and benign. No evidence proves that castor oil is effective in treating fibroids. Anecdotal research suggests that the oil may help with constipation (a significant fibroids symptom).
A castor oil pack applied to the pelvis for 30 minutes may relieve the pain. Some speculate that it will boost the amount of energy flowing into the area. However, there isn't enough scientific proof to back up these claims.
Swollen veins in the lower area of your rectum and anus are haemorrhoids. These frequently cause pain and bleeding. Studies show that Castor seeds are effective in the treatment of haemorrhoids. The reason can be due to the seed’s and oil's anti-inflammatory qualities. However, there is no evidence that castor oil is effective in this aspect. Consult your physician.
Treat Psoriasis And Eczema
Castor oil's ricinoleic acid has been shown to reduce pain and inflammation in animal experiments. These qualities may be helpful in the treatment of psoriasis and eczema. However, we don't have any evidence to back up these statements. Before retiring to bed, apply the oil to the affected areas. Allow it to absorb overnight. The oil is said to hydrate the skin.
Candida, a fungal infection, can also be fought using castor oil. A study found that castor oil effectively removes Candida albicans from contaminated human dental roots. Melasma, a skin disorder that causes dark areas on the face, may benefit from castor oil treatment. According to a study, a phenol-castor oil peel reduced pigments in a severe case of melasma. Undecylenic acid, one of the oil's active constituents, has also been shown to treat ringworm in some studies.
Scalp Health And Hair Growth
Castor oil is often used for natural hair treatment. Castor oil contains moisturising characteristics, which may assist in lubricating the hair shaft, boost elasticity, and reduce the risk of breaking. Although some people use castor oil as part of their hair care routine, there is no scientific evidence that it promotes hair health, stimulates hair growth, or lowers hair loss.
Using castor oil on your eyelashes has the same effect. Some people use castor oil to help grow their eyelashes, but there is no scientific evidence that it works. Castor oil is also often used to treat dandruff, a common scalp ailment marked by flaky, dry skin on the scalp. While castor oil is an ingredient in some effective dandruff hair treatments, there is no proof that castor oil helps treat dandruff on its own.
Castor oil has been linked to a condition known as acute hair felting in adults with long hair. Due to this disorder, the hair becomes coiled and tangled, resembling a hard bird's nest. According to one case study, a 20-year-old lady with long hair who used coconut and castor oil on her hair became extremely matted after washing it. According to the researchers, the viscosity of the castor oil and the women's long hair caused abrupt felting.
Acute hair felting is usually untreatable, and you have to take out the hair. Although this is a rare occurrence, people with long hair should exercise caution while using castor oil as a hair treatment.
What is Castor Oil, and How Is It Made?
The seeds of the Ricinus Communis (castor oil) plant are pressed to make castor oil. Take the castor beans and roast them to make castor oil. After that, press the beans to get the oil out. The plant is highly toxic and includes alkaloid ricin and protein.
Please be aware that producing castor oil at home is not recommended owing to its high toxicity.
Jamaican Black Castor Oil vs Regular Castor Oil
Users consider Jamaican black castor oil one of the most potent combinations. The increased potency of Jamaican castor oil results from its processing. Jamaican black castor oil, unlike conventional castor oil, is made by manually roasting and grinding organic seeds before boiling to extract 100 per cent pure dark oil.
Cooking the beans for an extended period increases the amount of ash produced. Castor oil with a high concentration of ash is thought to be more effective because the ash boosts the oil's efficacy. The more ash in the oil, the darker it seems.
Oral Castor Oil Uses
As recommended by your doctor, take this medication by mouth. If you're self-treating, read and follow all of the product instructions. Consult your doctor or pharmacist regarding any concerns.
- Take this medication on an empty stomach. Using a measuring device/cup, precisely measure the dose. You won't be able to get the correct dose if you use an ordinary spoon. To improve the flavour, mix it with juice.
- The amount of medicine you take is decided by your age, medical condition, and reaction to treatment. Do not raise your dose or take this medication more frequently than recommended. Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, do not take this drug for longer than seven days. Overuse of this medicine may result in serious adverse effects.
- If you suspect you have a significant medical concern, seek medical help. This drug may take 6 to 12 hours to generate a bowel movement. Contact your doctor if your illness persists or worsens or if you experience rectum bleeding.
Side Effects Of Oral Use
You may experience stomach/abdominal pain or cramps, nausea, diarrhoea, or weakness. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if any side effects persist or worsen.
- If your doctor has recommended this prescription, your benefit outweighs the danger of side effects. The vast majority of persons who take this medicine have no noticeable adverse effects.
- If you experience chronic nausea/vomiting/diarrhoea, muscle cramps/weakness, irregular heartbeat, dizziness, decreased urination, or mental/mood abnormalities, contact your doctor straight once (such as confusion).
- Rarely does this medication induce a severe allergic reaction. However, if you notice any signs of a severe allergic reaction, such as a rash, itching/swelling (especially of the tongue, face, or neck), acute dizziness, or breathing difficulties, seek medical attention.
- There is not an exhaustive list of potential adverse effects. Contact your doctor or pharmacist if you have any other side effects not listed above.
What are Castor Oil's Negative Effects?
Castor oil is a natural medicine that is safe in small doses. If you take too much of it or consume it for an extended period, you may still experience mild to moderate effects.
Conduct a patch test before applying considerable castor oil to your skin or consuming it to see if you are allergic. Allow a little amount of castor oil to sit on your forearm for 24 hours. Don't use castor oil if you have any reaction, even if it's just a slight redness or itching.
It is crucial to use caution when ingesting castor oil. If you consume too much castor oil, you risk overdosing or poisoning, leading to more severe health problems.
When Used Orally
- Low blood pressure
- Pelvic congestion
- Abdominal Cramps
- Electrolyte disturbance
When Used Topically
- Stinging sensation
- Difficulty breathing
- Uncomfortable Rash
- Swelling of the face and throat
- Skin inflammation
Castor oil is widely used to treat various ailments, either by eating it or applying it to their skin. Although castor oil is generally regarded as safe, some people may experience negative responses and unpleasant side effects. If you're thinking about trying castor oil, keep the following potential adverse effects in mind:
- Labour: Castor oil is sometimes used by doctors to help pregnant women go into labour. As a result, pregnant women should avoid castor oil at all stages.
- Gastrointestinal (GI) side effects: While castor oil can help with constipation, it can also bring GI side symptoms such as diarrhoea, vomiting, cramps, and bloating. It can also make you feel dizzy. Only use it under medical supervision if you have constipation.
- Allergic reactions: When administered to the skin, it may induce an allergic reaction. Apply a small amount to a small skin area and observe how your body responds.
Furthermore, persons with specific medical disorders, such as appendicitis, gastrointestinal obstruction, bowel perforation, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), should avoid stimulative laxatives like castor oil since they might have dangerous side effects. You should never use castor oil to treat any medical ailment or symptoms, especially in excessive doses, unless a physician has recommended it. Misuse of any laxative, including castor oil, can be harmful, resulting in electrolyte and acid-base imbalances that can be fatal. If you wish to use castor oil to address a health problem, such as constipation, seek advice from a trustworthy healthcare provider first.
If you take different medications or herbal supplements simultaneously, the effects of some pharmaceuticals may alter. That could put you at risk for dangerous side effects or prevent your meds from working correctly. These drug interactions can happen, but they don't always. Changes in how you use your drugs or regular monitoring by your doctor or pharmacist can often prevent or control interactions.
Before beginning therapy with this product, tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of the products you use (including prescription pharmaceuticals, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) so that they can provide you with the best care possible.
Is There Any Evidence That Putting Castor Oil On Your Skin Is Beneficial?
Castor oil's topical application has received very little research. Castor oil was discovered to have substantial antioxidant and antibacterial properties in a 2012 study. There hasn't been any research on applying castor oil directly to the face. Scientists have established the chemical composition of castor oil. Ricinoleic acid, a powerful fatty acid, accounts for around 90% of the total.
Potential Consequences Of Applying Castor Oil To Your Face
According to the safety review, the topical application of castor oil affects the skin of some patients with dermatitis. Consult your doctor before trying any new items if you have dermatitis or any skin disease. According to the FDA, there was also some evidence that castor oil could irritate the eyes. Castor oil has been utilised as a natural remedy for several health problems for thousands of years. It can be used as a natural skin moisturiser and denture treatment and reduce constipation.
Although castor oil is commonly used to treat dry or thinning hair, there is no evidence that it helps enhance hair health or encourages hair growth when taken alone. If you think of using castor oil to treat constipation or other health problems, consult your doctor about its safety and acceptability.