Castor oil may not seem like the sexiest supplement out there, but it can do a whole lot more than relieve constipation and induce labor. If your mom never gave you castor oil when you were a child to get things moving, not only are you lucky, but you also wouldn’t understand the general public’s aversion to it.
But castor oil’s bad rap is a little unfair. This oil has a ton of health benefits and unusual uses that will help you hack everything from hair growth to period cramps.
Castor oil is pressed from the castor bean and originally contains a toxin element called ricin, but due to the heating process during the creation of castor oil the ricin is deactivated and safe to ingest or apply externally.
Castor oil historical uses
Historically, castor oil has been used as an all-in-one miracle elixir, treating everything from constipations to achy joints to skin rashes. Because unpleasant taste and thick texture taking castor oil as an internal remedy has gone out of style in the recent past. It doesn’t smell or taste like anything you would want to eat, but the health benefits might be worth it for you.
Castor oil is incredibly high in fatty acids, flavonoids, phenolic compounds, amino acids and phytosterols. Each of these components offer your body something unique and beneficial.
Castor Oil Health Benefits
Ricinoleic acid, the main fatty acid in castor oil, has been shown to help severely reduce inflammation, relieving pain from the joints or affected areas.
Flavonoids and phenolic compounds are antioxidants that help your body scavenge for free radicals that damage cells and can lead to various cancers and heart disease. Some studies suggest that flavonoids also protect the brain by boosting your memory and possible your mood.
Amino acids are beneficial for keeping your neurotransmissions firing at all cylinders and keeping you sharp. They also play a role in building muscle and strengthening your immune system.
Castor oil is also helpful with regulating your cholesterol since it has high levels of phytosterols. Phytosterols are found in plants and are thought to be responsible for lowering your body’s LDL cholesterol levels.
Castor Oil Uses and DIYs
There’s no doubt castor oil is loaded with health benefits. Here are some ways you can utilize castor oil on a holistic level to take care of your overall wellness.
Castor oil does wonders for the scalp. If you are having any problems with hair growth try applying castor oil directly to the affected area. It has antifungal and antibacterial qualities that will help with a number of scalp issues like dandruff, itchiness, and bald patches due to infection. The nourishing properties of the oil will also provide moisture to the scalp.
Some people use castor oil for lash and eyebrow growth as well by painting it onto the lashes and brows before bed. It’s the perfect way to get that thick, boy-brow look and a great alternative to spending money lash extensions.
Like I mentioned earlier, drinking castor oil is a timeless trick for a quick bowel movement. It has been used as a natural laxative for centuries and can be a safe way to detox and empty out your digestive tract.
It can also be used as a liver detox by externally rubbing it on the right side of the abdomen to stimulate liver function.
Joint Pain Relief
Those who suffer from arthritis pain or any other joint pain can turn to castor oil as a natural remedy. You can either warm castor oil and apply to the area in pain directly or you can make a castor oil pack by soaking a piece of flannel cloth in castor oil then wrapping the affected area in the cloth and applying heat (a warm water bottle with do the trick).
For those women who suffer from severe menstrual cramping, castor oil packs are also hugely beneficial for soothing period cramps.
Just like it helps with joint pain, it also helps with muscle pain since it decreases inflammation. You can apply it externally to any areas in pain similarly to how you would treat your joints.
It's anti-inflammatory properties can also help treat acne. It will reduce redness and swelling, while its antibacterial properties will fight the bacteria cause the outbreak. Add a dime size amount of oil to a warm wash cloth and apply to your skin. Let it sit over night, then rinse in the morning.
Studies show that castor oil consumption also boosts your body’s T-11 cell count. This means your body is producing more of the cells that fight pathogens and toxins by creating antibodies. This boost in T-11 cells was seen to last 7 hours after the castor oil was consumed.
The fatty acids in castor oil help nourish and hydrate your skin. This will help you keep a youthful glow as you mature, since fine lines and wrinkles often come from cell damage due to dry skin.
The antioxidants in castor oil also help fight off free radicals that damage skin cells causing the aging process to show more defiantly.
Castor oil’s many uses have been around for centuries, and it’s about time we utilize it for all its worth. Whether you’re backed up, balding, or just trying to prevent crows feet, turn to castor oil as a natural alternative.
Jessica is a writer & designer who captures the spirit of her generation. She approaches her craft with an anthropological mindset to find the perspective often unseen.
Jessica has studied the art of the written word & honed her craft over the last 8+ years.
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