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Castor oil and its properties.

Published on 4 October 2021 at 14:16

Picture: Missouri Botanical Garden, Peter H. Raven Library

Castor oil and its properties.

The variety of positive properties of castor oil is astonishingly large. The benefits have been known since time immemorial in natural medicine and certain applications are currently being used in regular medicine. The oil is pressed from the seeds of the Ricinus Communis plant, native to India and Africa. (Sanskrit name: eraṇḍa)

The main benefits are for the skin, hair, joints and intestines. It is usually applied cutaneously (on the skin) but can also be taken orally for some uses, for example as a laxative. The oil consists of 90% ricinoleic acid, a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid with anti-inflammatory properties. The oil can be massaged easily into the skin and hair when warmed and is used in hot compresses to relieve back-, stomach- and menstrual pains. It is one of the most powerful remedies for rheumatoid arthritis and treatment with compresses is also recommended for cysts. Castor oil, with its ricinoleic acid and vitamin E, nourishes and moisturizes the skin as well as the roots and ends of the hair. It is said to prevent hair loss and eliminates bacteria, fungi and dandruff. When applied to the skin, castor oil improves blood circulation and reduces wrinkles, stretch marks, acne, marks, fissures, warts, scars and certain rashes. Castor oil is also recommended for sunburn. In addition, there is an immediate positive effect on the immune system by stimulation of the white blood cells.

There are two types of castor oil; cold pressed and roasted. The first is obtained from the pressing of raw seeds and is transparent and light yellow in color. By itself, castor oil does not have a pleasant smell, and the cold-pressed has the least pungent of the two. Roasted castor oil is distilled from roasted seeds and is slightly cloudy and brown in color. Burnt castor oil is known in a.o. Jamaica as "black" castor oil and has a strong and penetrating smell that not everyone finds tolerable. The PH of the latter would be slightly more base.


Castoroilbath.eu only sells its oils for massage and body care. The above information is for documentation purposes and is never intended as medical advice. Always go to a medical professional for treatment. Most applications mentioned are from Ayurveda. For knowledge of this natural medicine we recommend to consult a certified specialist from its country of origin, India.