Castor oil is derived from the Ricinus communis, or castor bean. Castor oil may be applied directly to the skin or consumed in very small amounts. The benefits of castor oil are thought to be due to the oil’s unique chemical composition. Castor oil’s main ingredient is ricinoleic acid, which is credited with the oil’s many health and beauty benefits.
Castor oil and healing date back to ancient Egypt. To date, Ayurvedic medicine, Chinese medicine, and Naturopathy recommend castor oil packs due to its ability to promote healing and to reduce inflammation. Castor oil packs are known to improve elimination and circulation of the lymphatic system. Castor oil packs aid with Hepatitis C, Hyperthyroidism, pelvic pain, Tendonitis, Kidney stones, Fibroids, Ovarian cysts, swollen joints, Irritable bowel syndrome, and other digestive disorders.
Castor Oil as Treatment for Skin and Hair
Castor oil benefits the skin. Castor oil is an effective moisturizer and emollient. Castor oil is commonly used as an anti-wrinkle treatment. When applied regularly, castor oil will increase skin elasticity, make the skin appear more soft and diminish the appearance of wrinkles. Many people have also found castor oil effective in getting rid of stretch marks.
Castor oil seems to improve the quality of the hair. Castor oil applied to the hair will lock in moisture, soften the strands, add shine and protect against heat and other damage. Castor oil rubbed into the scalp, actually makes the hair grow faster. Some people even apply castor oil to their eyelashes to increase their volume and length. The many cosmetic benefits of castor oil make this oil an inexpensive, widely available and extremely healthy beauty treatment.
Castor Oil to Fight Infection
Castor oil acts as an antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial when applied directly to the skin. Castor oil’s antifungal properties have made it a popular treatment for ringworm. It also works as an antifungal, many people rid themselves of warts by applying castor oil to their skin on a regular basis. Studies show that using castor oil packs can improve thymus gland function and increase the production of lymphocytes which help to fight infections.
Make a Castor Oil Pack
Castor oil packs are constructed with several layers of flannel and cold-pressed castor oil. When placed on the affected area, the pack acts to draw out infection, dissolve cysts, scars, and tumors.
Materials to gather:
A soft, clean, thick material like flannel, wool, or cotton (preferably organic cotton)
•A glass bowl or glass jar that you can pour the castor oil in over your flannel
•A hot water bottle or heating pad
•Old clothes that you don’t mind getting stained since castor oil will stain fabric
•A plastic bag
•A large towel
1.Put on your chosen older clothes.
2.Take a piece of flannel, or organic cotton place it in your bowl or glass container, and pour enough castor oil over it to saturate and soak it.
3.Obtain your hot water bottle or heating pad ready.
4.Place your towel on a flat surface. For additional protection, put down a garbage/plastic bag so that your bed, couch or floor will not be stained from castor oil that may drip. It will drip onto the protective plastic cover.
5.Lie down and place the saturated flannel or cotton over the affected area of your body.
6.Cover the pack with plastic.
7.Place the heating pad or hot water bottle over the pack and let it sit for at least 45-60 minutes. During this time, just rest, listen to music, or read a book of your choice.
8.When the time is up, remove the pack and clean the area with water and a bit of baking soda.
9.The castor oil pack may be kept in a plastic bag in a cool place or in your refrigerator.
10. For the next session, add another tablespoon of castor oil.
Castor Oil is not without Side Effects, particularly if you ingest it. All alternative therapies must be discussed with your primary care physician or medical provider.
For more information on Castor oil and its healing properties click here or here, and here.
Photo by: pmarkham License: flickr – Creative Commons