You’ve heard of coconut and avocado oils, but do you know all the health benefits of castor oil? You’ve probably learned a bit about it since it’s been around for thousands of years, but few know that it’s a vegetable oil that has so many uses.
It is made by collecting the seeds of the Ricinus communis plant, then machines extract the oils from these seeds, called beans, to produce a potent oil.
Inside each of these grains is an enzyme called ricin, which is quite toxic to humans and pets. The good news is that during the manufacturing process it is heated and this process neutralizes the toxins. Fortunately, it becomes safe to use in many applications.
Seven Excellent Health Benefits of Castor Oil
Castor oil has various therapeutic, technical, and pharmaceutical uses, not to mention it’s commonly used in skincare lines, certain foods, and even medications. Due to its chemical structure, many are surprised to discover that it is also used as biodiesel fuel, since it serves as a lubricant in industrial processes.
Castor oil can also be burned as gasoline and was a common fuel used in Egypt during ancient times. It has also been promoted as a stimulation method for pregnant women wishing to give birth, according to an article published in the National Library of Medicine. However, it is gentle enough to be used to treat eye inflammation as well.
The many health benefits of castor oil are undeniable, yet many people have no idea of all the uses for this valuable lubricant. To show you how awesome this product is, here are seven benefits you should know about.
1. Remarkable anti-inflammatory properties
Castor oil has incredible anti-inflammatory properties thanks to the ricinoleic acid it contains. This oil can not only relieve pain but can also reduce inflammation in the affected area. Those with chronic inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, seem to benefit.
If you have painful and dry skin conditions, such as psoriasis and contact dermatitis, you may also benefit from its moisturizing properties. There have been a few studies on the effects of castor oil and inflammation, one of which involved knee pain.
Many people suffer from arthritic diseases that affect their knees. However, a study published by the Wiley Online Library shows promising results. During the research, participants who used this oil three times a day for four weeks showed a drastic reduction in their symptoms.
2. It can help your wounds heal faster
When you have a cut, burn, or other skin irritation, it goes through a healing process. At the intermediate stage of healing, the lesion dries out. Applying castor oil to your wounds can help prevent this drying out phase, which is also itchy, according to an article published in the National Library of Medicine.
Also, one of the health benefits of castor oil in wound care is that it helps stimulate new tissue growth. Additionally, coating the wound with this oil facilitates the protective properties against the elements and increases the chances of infection.
3. Fight fungus with castor oil
Another fantastic health benefit of castor oil is that it can help fight oral bacteria. Gum infections due to plaque overgrowth are quite common in humans. The Candida Albicans fungus is the cause, and it is painful when it affects the soft tissues of the mouth. Fortunately, castor oil has many attributes, including antifungal properties.
It has also been used to relieve painful conditions such as denture-related stomatitis, which is quite common among older people. Not only can it eliminate inflammation, but it can also attack the fungus that is causing the pain. A study was conducted on the benefits of this oil for denture wearers.
The Canadian analysis used 30 participants who wear dentures daily, according to an article published in the National Library of Medicine. They found that this common fungal problem was improved by adding a little of this oil to the soak each night. Castor oil has been compared to other over-the-counter treatments and those who have used this natural oil have had better results.
4. Keeps constipation at bay
Since castor oil is a lubricant, it can work wonders for the digestive system. One of the most popular uses is as a laxative. Not only does it help cleanse the intestines, but its super laxative abilities activate the muscles in the area to flush out whatever gets in its way.
Often referred to as a super laxative, it works incredibly quickly to provide relief. Although long-term use is not recommended in this regard, it is excellent for occasional constipation. When you take a tablespoon orally, the small intestine works to break down the fatty acids in this oil.
The acids, known as ricinoleic, work to cleanse the intestines within minutes. The good news is that you won’t be straining as much and you’ll be emptying the area, which will give you relief. Keep in mind that this oil is potent, so you should only use it in small doses.
Although it has excellent laxative properties, it can also cause abdominal cramps and nausea. Although it is suitable for short-term use, it should never be considered a long-term solution to a persistent problem.
5. Helps Healthy Hair and Scalp
There are many conditioners on the market that promise to heal and restore hair. However, few can resist the power of castor oil. Yes, you can use this oil on your hair for shiny locks and a dandruff-free scalp.
Hair can become dry and damaged when exposed to the elements, but using castor oil can help bring your dull locks back to life. Since this oil has a high fat content, it will lubricate every strand and reduce the risk of breakage.
If you have dandruff due to a dry scalp, this can also help. Since it has soothing properties, it nourishes the scalp and keeps dry, flaky skin at bay. Since dandruff can be caused by seborrheic dermatitis, the antifungal properties of this oil can also treat it. When using it on your hair, remember that a little is enough.
6. Moisturizes the skin
The fatty acid in castor oil adds to its benefits, another being the ability to moisturize the skin. The ricinoleic acid in this oil can help prevent water loss. Since it is known to promote hydration, it is often used in cleansers, makeup, and lotions.
Next time you go to the drugstore or makeup counter, look for castor oil or acidic compounds in the ingredient list. It is important to note that you can replace your current products with this oil, as it does not contain the harmful dyes and fragrances found in many manufactured products.
Another great benefit of adding castor oil to your beauty regimen is that it is very affordable and safe to use anywhere on the body, including the face. Although it is considered safe, some people are allergic to it when applied directly to the skin. If irritation develops, stop immediately.
7. Reduce Acne
Acne is a horrible disease that causes the skin to become covered with pus-filled pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. These masses can be painful and unsightly. Although it is generally considered a problem in adolescents, it can also affect adults.
Eliminating acne is beneficial as it can affect self-esteem. One of the amazing health benefits of castor oil is that it has anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties, which makes it ideal for persistent acne. Pimples are caused by Staphylococcus aureus, a bacteria that forms on the skin.
Castor oil can not only fight this common bacteria, but its anti-inflammatory properties can also help calm inflammation in the area. This oily substance seems to add more dirt to an already oily area, but it has the opposite effect.
Although castor oil has many health benefits and is considered safe in all of these applications, side effects are possible. Even herbal remedies carry minor risks. It can cause painful sensations in the stomach and intestines when taken orally, so it is essential to use some.
Applying it to the skin, face, scalp and cuts can be messy if you use too much. Try to use the minimum amount and increase as needed. The last thing you want is an oily mess to clean up your problem.
Final Thoughts on the Health Benefits of Castor Oil
While castor oil might not be the first remedy you seek when you have dandruff, persistent acne, constipation, and want to moisturize your skin, it should be. The excellent health benefits of castor oil are not widely known, but it is becoming increasingly popular. As people search for more natural remedies for their problems, herbal treatments like this are gaining more and more attention.
Since castor oil is affordable, easy to find, and doesn’t require a trip to the doctor, it should be in every medicine cabinet nationwide.
By Chris Butler. Articles in English