Castor oil might make your stomach churn just by the mentioning of it due to grandparents who gave their kids a spoonful of this stuff every now and again to keep quote,unquote all the pipes clean. They were onto something though. Castor oil is really an ancient gem. Castor oil have been used by many cultures and have been proven to help with many issues from head to toe literally.
Taking a spoonful of castor oil have a laxative effect because 90 % of the oil consist of ricinoleic acid. This fatty acid binds to a particular receptor in the intestines and that cause a laxative effect. This action also happens in the uterus and that is why midwifes also use castor oil for babies that are overdue. However it can be dehydrating so be very careful when taking it internally.
Another very important point is that when you take castor oil internally to use the highest quality oil.
Now castor oil is a very sticky oil and I can’t think of swallowing any of that anytime soon but castor oil has great benefits when applied topically and used in castor oil packs.
Benefits of using castor oil
1. Hair growth and scalp conditions
So the claim is that castor oil massaged into the scalp will thicken hair and help it grow.
Ricinoleic acid improves blood circulation to the scalp and nourishes the hair follicle. Poor circulation and poor nutrition affect hair growth because when hair follicles are deprived of blood supply and nutrients they can’t grow properly.
So what happens is that the castor oil can help the hair to grow by creating a better environment for growth. The oil needs to be massaged into the scalp and that by itself relieve some scalp tension. Scalp tension is a key factor in hair loss and the pattern in which hair loss occurs.
A little bit of castor oil can also be used as a detangler and to repair split ends.
The antibacterial and anti fungal properties makes castor oil a good treatment for dandruff and scalp infections and scalp conditions such as psoriasis.
I recommend that you massage a bit of oil unto the scalp and leave it on for quite a while before shampooing it out. Castor oil is sticky and very oily so a little goes a long way. If you leave it on overnight I would recommend that you cover your pillowcase with an old cloth or use a pillowcase that you don’t mind getting dirty or covered in oil stains.
You can also mix castor oil with some other carrier oils to make the consistency lighter.
2. Eyelashes and eyebrows
The benefits of castor oil is not only for the hair on your head but also your eyebrows and eyelashes. Putting a little bit of castor oil on the eyelashes and eyebrows to promote growth is a natural remedy that a lot of women swear by. So I thought I might try this out and have been putting it on my eyelashes and eyebrows every night before going to bed for the last couple of weeks. I was a bit apprehensive at first because I wear contact lenses but it does not seem to affect my contacts at all when I put them in in the morning.
3. Skin health and acne treatment
Castor oil has been used in beauty treatments for centuries. Due to the antibacterial and anti fungal properties Castor oil makes a great skin treatment. Age spots and other blemishes as well as fungal infections can be treated effectively with Castor oil.
The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties in Castor oil makes it a useful and very effective treatment for acne. The Ricinoleic acid helps to inhibit the growth of bacteria and help with forming healthy skin tissue. Castor oil can be used on sensitive skins as well although if you have a very sensitive skin I would recommend that you do a skin test on your inner arm first before applying it on your face.
Castor oil is a emollient or skin softener so very beneficial for eczema sufferers.
4. Muscular pain and relief for stiff joints
Applying castor oil topically has been a trusted method recommended by natural health care professionals. It is due to the anti- inflammatory properties that castor oil helps to relieve stiff joints. Applying a castor oil pack to the affected and painful area is an easy way to bring pain relief and loosen those joints. If you don’t have a castor oil pack you can simply rub some castor oil onto the muscle or joint and put a heat pack over the affected area at least twice a week. I have been rubbing some castor oil mixed with a couple of drops of lavender essential oil on my feet and then putting on a pair of socks before sleep and my feet doesn’t feel so stiff in the mornings.
5. Detox aid
Castor oil is great to help your body to detox. Castor oil actually helps your lymphatic system to move along. Your lymphatic system is what clears your body of toxins but unlike the vascular system that has a pump, namely the heart, the lymphatic system does not have a pump.
You are the pump.
If you move the lymphatic system moves.
The lymphatic system is quite fascinating and impacts so much of your health and vital for your well being.
Castor oil can penetrate into the dermis due to the molecular weight of the oil. The dermis contains the lymphatic vessels. Now applying a hot water bottle help to assist with the deep penetration. The heat helps but the compression or pressure on the skin is also important.
6. Natural laxative
Castor oil packs are a very effective and easy method to treat constipation.
Applying castor oil packs on a regular basis can bring relief for those struggling with constipation.
Taking castor oil internally have a laxative effect because 90 % of the oil consist of ricinoleic acid. This fatty acid binds to a particular receptor in the intestines and that cause a laxative effect. If you plan to take it internally I suggest that you get the highest quality oil and use it in a veggie cap rather than just swallowing it down.
7. Get a better night’s sleep
So Castor oil can help your nervous system and get you into the rest and digest stage instead of the fight and flight mode that most of us run on everyday and even when we go to bed we are still so anxious.
When you apply the castor oil pack to your body, especially the area liver area – that would be the area under your ribs, it stimulates the sensory receptors in your skin. This sends a message to the organs and that can put us in the parasympathetic state which is the relaxed state. The area in the brain that lights up is the same as when we eat a fatty meal which is dopamine stimulating.
8. Happy tummy, happy brain
Castor oil can help with the gut-brain axis. The gut-brain axis is the connection between the gastrointestinal tract and the nervous system.
In Dr. William A. McGarey’s book – “The oil that heals” he states that castor oil has the ability to reconnect the Vagus nerve. The Vagus nerve runs from brain stem to our intestines and connects all organs. A castor oil pack placed on the abdomen every night for four days and then taking a break for 3 days for about 3 weeks can improve not only your lymphatic flow but improve the gut brain connection.
Which Castor oil do I buy?
There are 3 types of Castor oil
Cold pressed Castor oil
To extract the oil the castor bean seeds gets pressed basically. This method gives a great quality product and you can use this internally. However have a look that it is free from any nasties such as pesticides, para-bends, phthalates, artificial colour or fragrances.
Yellow castor oil
This is made from castor beans . Although no heat is involved, some use chemicals in the manufacturing method. A good rule of thumb is the lighter the oil the better the oil.
Jamaican black castor oil
The castor beans are roasted prior to extracting the oil. This gives a darker colour and a burnt smell. The ph of the oil is alkaline due to the roasting and ash present in the oil. This is the reason why the Jamaicans believe that it has more clarifying properties.
You can read more about Jamaican black castor oil when you click here.
Use the code LIZ0326
Castor oil packs
What are they and can I make it myself?
Castor oil packs are easy enough to make yourself.
Castor oil packs are made by soaking a piece of soft organic flannel with castor oil and placing it on the skin. It is the soft sensation of the cloth on your body that stimulates the sensory receptors and put the body in the relaxed state, so therefor the material matters as well.
The flannel is covered with a sheet of plastic, and then a hot water bottle is placed over the plastic to heat the pack. You can leave the castor oil pack on for about an hour or sleep with it. Just make sure that you cover the flannel cloth with some sort of plastic to prevent oil stains.
You can put the oil pack in a zip lock bag in the fridge between uses and use for many weeks or months. Just top up the oil on the cloth if necessary.
Consistent use is important which is not a bad thing in a time when a lot of us are always running around to get stuff done for others and putting ourselves on the back burner. So taking an hour for yourself for 4 days of the week can help not only with some much needed self care but a can really make a difference in sleeping better, healing easier, eliminating better and improving your immune system. The recommendation is 4 days on, 3 days off.
If you would rather buy one than make it yourself you can order one here