We’ve all heard of castor oil and no doubt most of us have experienced its joys in the course of our lifetime! But how much do you really know about this versatile oil? Do you know where it comes from for example? Why is it so popular? Why do we trust it so much? How much do we produce each year? Well you’re about to find out as we take off the layers and discover just how versatile it can be in so many areas of life!
OK So Where Can We Find the Oil?
We can get castor oil from the plant of the same name otherwise known as ‘Ricinus communis’. It actually comes from the seeds or beans of the plant and it’s actually quite thick and colourless in its original state. This vegetable oil was used for many centuries in places like China, India and Egypt before the west started to feel its many benefits. It’s what we call a triglyceride of fatty acids, containing things like linoleic acid, oleic acid and ricinoleic acid. These are responsible for the medical properties of castor oil!
How Does It Work?
Basically the acids contained in castor oil are extremely powerful and in themselves can stop the growth of virus, yeast and bacteria. This is why it can treat the pain involved with infections and inflammation, bringing relief quickly and efficiently. These acids can help remove things like warts! But there are many more things we should appreciated about castor oil!
Let’s Look at the Health Benefits?
For many years here in the West we used castor oil largely as a laxative and an anti- inflammatory agent. It’s legendary for relieving constipation and even perish the thought, ‘bleeding piles’. It actually promotes regular bowel movement and as you would expect can also help in inflammatory bowel disorders! But there are many more uses!
Castor oil can be used to gently treat burns and sunburns bringing fast relief. It can also take care of abrasions, small cuts or other minor skin disorders. The fact it’s easily absorbed means it can help with dry skin conditions. It can also be used for skin ulcers and finger and toenail infections of varying types!
The acute soreness related with Arthritis, Gout and Rheumatism can be relieved thanks to the properties of castor oil! Rubbing the oil on stiff joints can help loosen them up!
Help for the Hair?
Absolutely as it can form a protective barrier for the scalp to ward off any microbial or skin infections. Massaging your head with castor oil regularly can condition the scalp and give you shiny strong hair! It can also help prevent dandruff.
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Smooth Up That Face!
It’s no surprise the oil is used in facial oil cleansing therapy as it carries a high viscosity and can be used with another carrier to massage the skin. Acne and skin blemishes can be quickly taken care of in this case. Use it as part of your regularly beauty routine for excellent results.
A pack made from castor oil can help in treating liver disorders, muscle and arthritis pains, stomach problems, and many other problems. It consists of a piece of flannel cloth soaked in a basin of castor oil. Flannel or wool is commonly used as this kind of fabric can easily absorb the thick, heavy liquid of castor oil.
In the case of menstrual disorders castor oil can help relieve both pain and discomfort!
The oil is so trusted it’s used as an ingredient in quite a few drugs like miconazole, paclitaxel, tacrolimus, saperconazole, and nelfinavir mesylate.
The world’s production of castor oil amounts to a million metric tons every year!
Castor oil has a range of industrial uses from preserving pulses and grains in India from would be pests, to preventing the growth of mould on food products. It can also be used as a food additive in certain cases. But that’s not all as the oil can be used as a vital lubricating agent for industrial products like brake fluid and polish, waxes and paints, soaps and dyes, plastics to hydraulics. In fact the list is almost endless! The cosmetic industry too is feeling the benefit using castor oil both lipsticks and lip balms.
But remember never take too much as this can result in a range of side effects these can include nausea & cramping, an irregular heartbeat & feeling of weakness.
Castor seed is now being produced in more than 30 countries such is its popularity and uses. Like anything else any medical professional will advise you on when to use it and how! It can almost be described as the oil of life!