The usage of castor oil dates back to ancient Egypt where it was burned as fuel in lamps, used as a natural remedy to treat eye irritation and few other ailments, and also given to pregnant women to stimulate labor. Eventually, newer and more refined benefits of castor oil went on to be discovered. Today, it is used in cooking, for various natural beauty and medication purposes, in industries and also as a biodiesel fuel component. Owing to its natural benefits, it is most popularly used as an additive in foods, and in the health and beauty industry. Find the full list below:
Extracted from the seeds of Ricinus Communis plant, castor oil is a multi-purpose product with a number of medicinal, industrial and pharmaceutical uses. Originally including ricin, a toxic enzyme, castor beans (castor seeds) undergo a heating process which negates the toxic ingredient thus making the oil safe for internal as well as external consumption.
Benefits of Castor Oil for Skin Care
1. Natural Moisturizer
Rich in ricinoleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid, castor oil is a type of fat that moisturizes the skin by retaining the moisture content in the outer layer of the skin. The oil is being incorporated in most beauty products in the present times and is specifically recommended for people with dry skin. Alternate to using products with castor oil, raw castor oil can also be used. In a rare case of having side effects due to castor oil, discontinue use. Good news is that castor oil is not only affordable but is also versatile to use for both face and body.
2. Treats Acne
Acne needs no introduction. Symptoms may include blackhead formation, pus-filled pimples, large/painful bumps. It is most common in teens, young adults and some times noted in later adulthood as well. Castor oil can act as one of the most natural and safe ways to treat symptoms of acne. Acne can often be associated with an imbalance of certain types of bacteria found naturally on the skin and the oil’s antimicrobial/antibacterial properties help fight bacterial overgrowth thus controlling/preventing acne.
3. Reduces Inflammation
Ricinoleic acid, the fatty acid found in this oil, is a great source of anti-inflammatory properties. According to studies, applying it directly to the affected area reduces inflammation. People with inflammatory ailments like rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis can benefit from this oil among whom the pain, swelling, redness is believed to be reduced.
4. Catalyzes Wound Healing
Many medicines contain castor oil in them to create a moist environment thus promoting the healing process. It stimulates tissue growth so that a barrier can be formed between the wound and the environment, decreasing the risk of infection. It also reduces dryness and cornification, the buildup of dead skin cells that can delay wound healing.
5. Naturally Heals Chapped Lips
Castor oil contains Vitamin E, certain antioxidants and minerals which are all beneficial in keeping an overall healthy skin and additionally, help in healing chapped, dry, dull lips. With the increased use of make-up and lipsticks, dryness tags along the skin and lips. It can be a great product that helps bring back the lost health of the skin and heals dry lips. Be careful not to ingest the oil. Also, it is recommended to do a patch test before using the oil.
Benefits of Castor Oil for Hair Care
a. Healthy Hair, Healthy Scalp
Conventional hair conditioners available in the market incorporate chemicals which is why they portray strong results. Castor oil acts a great natural replacement for the same owing to its high moisturizing properties – especially for dry and damaged hair. It lubricates, softens and helps make the hair silky. With regular use, it also helps reduce hair breakage, boost hair growth and thus improve the overall health of the hair.
b. Other Benefits
Castor oil is also strongly believed to treat dandruff and split ends – however, there are no sufficient studies or evidence to support this statement. Other claims are that it darkens hair, thickens hair, increases hair shine and also acts as a natural hair protectant from damage. The fatty acids present in castor oil form a healthy, protective layer on the hair thus acting like a protective layer from sun damage and loss of color.