Castor oil has been celebrated for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties for centuries. Most of the therapeutic benefits of castor oil are derived from its high concentration of unsaturated fatty acids, particularly ricinoleic acid. Although it has a rather unpleasant smell and taste, castor oil finds its way in various natural cosmetic products, medicines and massage oils. Here are five unique healing properties of castor oil.
1. Relieves Constipation
A tried and tested remedy for constipation, castor oil encourages peristalsis (the intestinal contractions that aid in removing solid waste). Ricinoleic acid functions as a powerful laxative, stimulating your bowels and making it easier to pass stools. Simply take 1tsp of pure cold-pressed castor oil every morning to keep your bowels working regularly. You can also mix 1tsp of the oil in a glass of orange or cranberry juice to avoid the unpleasant taste. (Related Article: 5 Natural Remedies For Constipation)
2. Treats Joint Pains
The high triglyceride content of castor oil consisting of ricinoleic acid is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It is an ideal massage oil for relieving joint pain, inflammation and sore muscles, particularly for those suffering with arthritis. Apply ½tsp of the oil directly to the painful area and then cover with a heating pad or hot water bag to alleviate pain. (Related Article: Natural Remedies To Treat Arthritis)
3. Improves Immunity
Naturopaths believe that castor oil boosts immunity by increasing the production of white blood cells, which fight off infections. Take 1tsp of castor oil daily basis to keep your immune system healthy. (Related Article: 5 Wonder Herbs To Boost Immunity)
4. Treats Skin Problems
This oil works as a boon when it comes to treating skin problems. It not only aids in warding off and treating skin infections, but also has several beauty benefits.
- The active compound, undecylenic acid, present in castor oil is particularly effective in treating ringworm. Apply a mixture of 2tsp of castor oil and 4tsp of coconut oil over the affected area and leave it overnight.
- It also works as a great treatment for cystic acne by decreasing inflammation and killing bacteria. Simply massage two to three drops of castor oil on a clean face and let it work overnight. Wash your face the next morning with cold water.
- Castor oil penetrates the skin easily when applied directly. It stimulates the production of collagen and elastin, which can soften and hydrate the skin. It thus works as a wonderful treatment for wrinkles and fine lines. Dip a cotton ball in castor oil and apply it on wrinkled skin before going to bed daily. Use only a small amount around the eyes.
- This oil may be your permanent remedy to fade unwanted scars and stretch marks. Although it works slowly, it sure is effective.
- Apply castor oil with a pinch of baking soda to a skin wart or tag on a daily basis to get rid of them. Topical application of this oil is also known to dissolve cysts and corns.
5. Gives You Healthy Hair
Castor oil has been advocated for ages to get healthy, long tresses. When applied directly to the scalp and hair, it boosts blood circulation to the hair follicles. This speeds up hair growth, repairs dull and damaged hair, and frees the scalp of any bacterial or fungal infection and dandruff. You can apply it directly to the scalp or mix it with coconut or almond oil. Castor oil can also be used to thicken eyebrows.