Castor oil is extracted from the seeds of the Ricinus communis plant, and has been used internally and externally for centuries amongst folk healers.
It is rich in a monounsaturated fatty acid called ricinoleic acid, as well as antioxidant compounds like flavonoids and phytosterols. These compounds are responsible for many of castor oil’s health benefits, including its anti-inflammatory properties, ability to treat skin issues and its effectiveness as a laxative.
Castor oil is great for topical use as it has antibacterial properties, locks moisture into the skin and hair, and reduces pain and inflammation on the skin.
Castor oil is a natural and effective laxative; however dosages for internal use can differ so speak to your doctor before using this oil to treat constipation.
To moisturize skin and treat damaged hair, sunburn, acne, psoriasis, eczema and other skin irritations, mix castor oil in a 1:1 ratio with a carrier oil and apply it to the affected area. You can also soak in a warm bath with 1-2 teaspoons of castor oil added.
Use castor oil as a massage oil to relieve painful muscles, tissues and joints due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It can also be used as a carrier oil to dilute essential oils for massage or aromatherapy.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice to diagnose, treat or cure any health condition. The International Federation of Aromatherapists does not recommend that essential oils be taken internally unless under the supervision of a medical doctor who is also qualified in clinical Aromatherapy. All cautions, listed or not, for individual oils do not include those cautions from ingestion. Unless otherwise specified, all essential oils should be diluted with a carrier oil when used externally. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have an existing health condition please consult your doctor before attempting to use a new essential oil.