has been used medicinally in the United States since the days of the pioneers, though it appears to go back much further, as castor beans were found in ancient Egyptian tombs. Rich in omega-9 fatty acids, castor oil comes from the seeds of the Ricinus communis
, or castor plant, and has many applications for natural health and beauty. Here are some great reasons to incorporate this beneficial oil into your daily life.
Castor oil benefits for skin & body care
Castor oil supports healthy skin in numerous ways. For one, it can be used to deep clean the complexion, as with this Damascus Rose deep facial cleanser.
Castor oil is also a rich, natural dermal moisturizer, free of the potentially harmful preservatives, perfumes, dyes and chemicals found in many mass-market products.
Try this multi-use black castor oil-tea tree combination
, for example, or pamper your complexion with this lush castor oil serum
. You can also infuse your bath with a bit of pure castor oil or apply it to damp skin post-shower for skin-soothing natural therapy.
Castor oil benefits for hair and scalp
Castor oil benefits your scalp and tresses, too. For example, when applied directly, it helps to lubricate the hair shaft, increasing flexibility and minimizing the risk of breakage, especially for dry, damaged, and/or color treated hair. Additionally, given its anti-inflammatory properties, castor oil may also help protect against dandruff, a pesky, common problem characterized by dry, flaky skin on the scalp. While causes of dandruff may vary, it has been linked to dermatitis, an inflammatory skin condition.
To fortify your locks and nurture a healthy scalp, check out this Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Grow shampoo
combo. For extra dry or damaged hair, this rich, castor-oil infused leave-in conditioner
may be especially helpful.
Castor oil for pain and inflammation
According to a variety of peer-reviewed studies, ricinoleic acid, the primary fatty acid found in castor oil, has impressive anti-inflammatory properties. One research team demonstrated that applying a gel containing ricinoleic acid to the skin, also called transdermal delivery, led to a significant reduction in pain and inflammation compared to other treatment methods.1
Other research confirms that when used topically, castor oil may help soothe pain and inflammation.2†
Warm castor oil
can be gently massaged into arthritic joints, sore muscles and inflammation. Castor oil packs have also been used for centuries as a topical remedy for body soreness.†
Castor oil for acne
To help relieve acne, which is a blight on the lives of many young people especially, one must address the factors that cause it. One of these is inflammation, which is thought to be a factor in both the development and severity of acne. Studies have shown that applying castor oil to the skin may help reduce inflammation-related symptoms.3
Another cause of acne is an imbalance of certain types of bacteria normally found on the skin. Given its antimicrobial properties, castor oil might help fight bacterial overgrowth, also called skin microbiome dysbiosis, when used topically.4
Learn more here about the importance of cultivating a healthy skin microbiome
Castor oil laxative benefits
For those who suffer from occasional constipation but prefer to avoid harsh, potentially habit-forming commercial laxatives, castor oil appears to offer a safe, natural alternative by stimulating both the small and large intestines and encouraging the transition of waste through the colon, safely and comfortably. Researchers explain that when ingested, castor oil is broken down in the small intestine, releasing ricinoleic acid, which is then absorbed by the large intestine, resulting in a natural laxative effect.5†
Some studies have found that when elderly people took castor oil, they experienced decreased symptoms of constipation.6
Rather than consuming the oil directly, you can also try castor oil in capsule form
. An important caveat: castor oil should be avoided during pregnancy as it may cause uterine contractions, and even induce labor.7†
As you learn more about this extremely beneficial oil, you will see it offers useful applications well beyond those covered here, but these ideas should get you started. Cheers to your health, naturally!
†These statements have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.