Castor oil is used by folk healers around the world to treat a number of ailments. It is an antioxidant oil - used over centuries for its medicinal and therapeutic benefits.
This pale yellow liquid extracted from castor seeds (Ricinus communis) is an anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, used topically for certain skin conditions, reduces pain and stimulates the immune system.
Surprisingly this foul tasting oil is widely used in cosmetics, soaps, textiles, medicines, massage oils and many more products. Castor oil is very effective for a number of ailments because it has a high content of unsaturated fatty acids. It can treat major ailments like multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, arthritis and rheumatism.
At home it can be safely used for yeast infections, wrinkles, to thicken eyelashes, migraine, sunburn and acne. This is a popular remedy for constipation – one teaspoon once a day – for three days only, though it needs to be pure cold pressed castor oil. It sometimes causes nausea and people with weak constitutions or pregnant and lactating mothers should avoid using this oil internally.
Topically it is used safely for packs-
For Arthritis and Joint Pains-
Take a piece of flannelette or a soft cotton fabric, fold it into squares. Soak this in castor oil. Press out excess oil and place on the affected joint, taking care to cover with a plastic wrap. Place a hot water bottle or heating pad on this – the plastic will save the bottle from getting oily. Leave it on for an hour. Keep the oil pad in a zip lock bag and store in the fridge – it can be used again. Repeat this treatment twice a week for positive results.
For The Lymphatic System and Liver-
The same way as for arthritis but with a larger piece of cloth – this pack can do wonders for lymph and liver to drain excessive fluids. This pack needs to be placed on the abdomen, covered with a plastic sheet and an old towel. Place a pillow under the knees and lay flat on your back for better results. Leave it on for an hour.
For problems like sun burn, warts, yeast infections, fungal infections and acne etc. dip a ball of cotton wool in castor and apply to the skin directly – leave it on for an hour before washing off. Do this in the morning and night.
For a small area - soak a band-aid in castor oil and apply, cover it with a clean one.
For a larger area - a cloth can be soaked and placed on the affected area.
Castor oil promotes hair growth and can be applied to the scalp to thicken hair. It is very thick so it is easier to use when it is mixed with coconut or almond oil.
When fungal infections are stubborn on the skin or nails, soak the area in a bowl of water with Epsom salts for 15 minutes before applying castor oil.
Castor oil is good to treat styes (oil gland infections found on the eyelid), apply a small drop with a fingertip 2-3 times a day.
Castor oil is a natural emollient and stimulates production of collagen and elastin, which hydrates the skin making it appear smoother and softer. Great when used for wrinkles and age spots.
The high vitamin E content in castor oil is excellent for brittle nails and ragged cuticles. Massage a small amount of oil for 2-3 months.
Castor oil should be bought from a health store or medical store as in supermarkets you may confuse it with the oil meant for industrial use. Use the cold pressed or cold processed oil.