What are the benefits of castor oil? Which diseases is it good for? Is it beneficial for hair? How should I use it? Is it good for the skin? Are there any harm? You can find the answers to all these questions and much more below.
Does castor oil have any benefits?
The benefits and unpleasant taste of castor oil have been known since ancient times and are used for many purposes. It is obtained from the seeds of the Ricinus communis plant. In ancient Egypt, castor oil was given to pregnant women to induce labor. It is also believed to be used as a treatment for eye irritation.
Castor oil is commonly used as an active ingredient in many medicines, skin care products, and shampoos. For this reason, the benefits of castor oil have been examined in many ways.
This all-purpose essential oil has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and laxative properties and provides a variety of health benefits. As such, it is claimed to help relieve constipation, induce labor, and treat arthritis.
In this article, we provide information about the potential health benefits and possible side effects of castor oil.
What are the general health and skin benefits of castor oil?
The most important use of castor oil is as a laxative to relieve constipation . Its anti-inflammatory properties help treat medical conditions like arthritis pain and other cosmetic issues like acne, scarring, and dandruff.
Here are the benefits of castor oil substance by substance:
1- Effective in the treatment of constipation
An important benefit of castor oil is that it helps relieve constipation. Castor oil is a stimulating laxative. When you consume castor oil, it causes your intestines to move more and pass stool easily. ( Source )
But remember to use the oil sparingly. Excessive use of stimulant laxatives can impair the functioning of your intestinal muscles. So be sure to consult your doctor.
Studies show that castor oil can relieve symptoms of constipation. It can reduce straining during defecation and induce a feeling of complete evacuation after bowel movement. ( Source )
Be careful with the dosage though. A typical dose is 15 ml, which equates to about 3 teaspoons. You should defecate within 2 to 3 hours after taking the oil.
Using castor oil to treat constipation may cause nausea or vomiting. This is a normal side effect. But if you experience it too much, stop using it and visit your doctor.
2- It helps to give birth
Sometimes, when the birth is delayed, you may become anxious and fearful. This is exactly where castor oil can help. As you can see, among the benefits of castor oil, there are also properties that help in childbirth.
The labor-inducing properties of castor oil are due to its laxative nature. It causes spasms in the intestines. This stimulates the intestines and vagal nerve. This irritates the uterus and can cause it to contract. ( Source )
A small study shows that women who take castor oil are more likely to go into labor within 24 hours. ( Source ) Another study describes castor oil as a safe non-pharmacological method for labor induction. ( Source )
Castor oil can also aid in labor in women who have had multiple births (who have given birth to more than one child). ( Source )
But in a larger study, there was no induction of labor after castor oil use. The study also reported that it did not harm the mother or the baby. ( Source )
Therefore, studies are mixed. Castor oil may not have adverse effects, at least in most cases. However, you should definitely consult your doctor before using it to actually induce labor.
3- Treats arthritis
Among the benefits of castor oil is that it effectively treats inflammation. Castor oil reduces inflammation. The ricinoleic acid it contains has excellent analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. ( Source ) Topical (regional) application of this acid showed a pronounced anti-inflammatory effect.
Another study showed that castor oil can be used to effectively treat primary knee osteoarthritis. ( Source ) When subjects with osteoarthritis were given castor oil capsules three times a day for four weeks, their symptoms improved.
Using castor oil for arthritis treatment is quite simple. You can easily apply it by applying it topically (to the affected area).
4- It is good for heel spurs
Among the benefits of castor oil is that it is good for heel spur inflammation. A heel spur is an inflammation of the thick tissue that runs under your feet, connecting your heel bone to your toes.
In one study, castor oil provided great relief to patients dealing with heel spurs. ( Source ) Heel spurs are a problem associated with a condition medically called plantar fasciitis .
5- Reduces the symptoms of fibroids
Fibeoids are tumors that develop in the uterus. They are benign and not cancerous.
There is no research stating the benefits of castor oil in the treatment of fibroids. But some anecdotal evidence suggests that oil can relieve constipation (this is the main symptom of fibroids).
Placing a castor oil cotton over the pelvis for about 30 minutes can help relieve the associated pain. Some believe it can also increase the flow of energy to the area. However, there is no scientific evidence to confirm these effects.
6- Reduces the effects of hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the lowest part of your rectum and anus. These often cause discomfort and bleeding.
Studies show that castor oil seeds can be used to treat hemorrhoids. ( Source ) This can be attributed to the anti-inflammatory properties of the seeds and oil.
However, you should consult your doctor to find out if there are any benefits of castor oil for hemorrhoids for you.
7- Delays the signs of aging
Although castor oil has properties that delay signs of aging (such as wrinkles), there is no direct evidence. We know this oil fights inflammation. This can help fight free radicals that accelerate aging.
You can use the oil under your eyes, around your mouth, on your forehead, chin and neck. Wash these areas in the morning and apply a drop of castor oil. Gently massage and leave for about 20 minutes. Then wash with normal water. You can then follow your normal skincare routine.
However, you should be careful against allergic reactions on the skin. These may include itching, redness, swelling, and rashes. Before applying castor oil to your skin, you can test it on a small area.
8- Effective in acne and scars
Among the benefits of castor oil, its anti-inflammatory properties can also help in this regard. ( Source ) Using castor oil to treat acne is quite simple. Cleanse your face. Dampen a clean cloth with warm water and add a few drops of oil to it. Gently rub the cloth over your face in circular motions.
You can follow this method before going to bed. Let the castor oil stay on your face overnight. You can wash it the next morning. But if you have oily skin, use castor oil very carefully.
This method can also be used to treat scars. It can help treat skin inflammation and soothe irritated skin.
Applying plenty of oil can also help fade stretch marks. ( Source ) You can apply castor oil to the affected areas in the morning and at night.
Castor oil can also heal sunburns. Castor oil contains ingredients found in most sunscreens. ( Source )
In addition, the benefits of castor oil also play a role in wound healing. Studies show that formulations containing castor oil promote wound healing. They help expel damaged skin cells, stimulate localized blood flow, and have local antimicrobial and analgesic effects. ( Source )
Castor oil can also help treat hot spills and burns. However, it is a good idea to test a small area to make sure you are not allergic.
9- It can be used in the treatment of psoriasis and eczema
The benefits of castor oil can also be used in the treatment of psoriasis and eczema.
Animal studies show that ricinoleic acid in castor oil can relieve pain and inflammation. ( Source ) These properties can potentially help alleviate psoriasis and eczema. Still, there is no direct research to support these claims.
You can apply the oil to the affected areas before going to bed. Let it absorb overnight. Because in this way, castor oil effectively moisturizes the skin.
Castor oil can also fight Candida, a fungal infection. In one study, castor oil eliminated Candida albicans from contaminated human tooth roots. ( Source )
Another thing among the castor oil benefits is that it also helps in the treatment of melasma, a condition that causes brown spots on one’s face. One study showed that a phenol-castor oil peel reduced pigments in a severe case of melasma. ( Source )
Some research also shows that the oil can treat ringworm, thanks to one of its active compounds, undecylenic acid. ( Source )
10- Removes genital warts
Anecdotal evidence suggests that applying castor oil to the affected area daily can help with warts. Additionally, you can apply and tape a thin slice of garlic to the affected area, provided you don’t leave it on for too long. This can further help remove warts.
What are the benefits of castor oil for hair?
The benefits of castor oil are not limited to these. It also makes great contributions to our hair.
While there is no clinical evidence to show that castor oil can increase hair growth, many people claim to benefit from it. For this, apply castor oil on your scalp and leave it for at least two hours. Then wash your hair with shampoo.
The anti-inflammatory properties of castor oil can also help treat dandruff. It can also help treat seborrheic dermatitis, another inflammatory condition that causes scaly patches on the scalp. ( Source )
Some castor oil advocates also state that it can treat split ends. They also state that a blend of jojoba oil, mustard seed oil, and castor oil can reverse gray hair. However, there is no research to support these statements.
Are there any harmful effects of castor oil?
We learned what are the benefits of castor oil. What about the damages?
- May cause birth
While this counts among the benefits of castor oil, it can also be an undesirable effect. Women at all stages of pregnancy should avoid consuming castor oil. ( Source ) If they also need to consume it, they should only do so after consulting their doctor.
- May cause diarrhea
This has to do with ricin, a potentially dangerous component of castor oil. Although ricin is removed in the process of refining castor oil, you need to be careful. Related side effects of castor oil include diarrhea, abdominal pain , vomiting, and even heartburn .
- May cause allergies
Castor oil can cause allergic reactions in some people when applied to the skin. That’s why we recommend doing a patch test before using it on your skin. This can prevent possible allergic reactions. ( Source )
As a result
As you will see above, the benefits of castor oil are potentially enormous. Castor oil has been used for thousands of years to treat a variety of health problems. It has many benefits, from relieving constipation to treating hair and skin issues. However, more research is needed to understand the above claims in detail.
Castor oil intake is likely safe when consumed in limited quantities. However, excessive amounts can cause some adverse effects. Therefore, limit the use of this oil and consult your doctor in case of any side effects after consuming it.