Castor Oil. Ayurveda compares its strength with that of a lion.
Castor oil also known as Ricin oil has attracted the attention of mankind for more than 4000 years. It is very thick and viscous, with a specific smell and a slight golden hue. Castor oil is extracted from the seeds of the castor bean, an evergreen shrub that grows in tropical and subtropical regions. Although the plant is very poisonous, the oil is absolutely safe – thanks to a special technology. After it is extracted from the seeds, all toxic substances remain in the cake.
Castor oil’s formula is unique – it is almost 90% composed of rare ricinic acid, which is not found in any other oil. It has an analgesic, bactericidal, anti-inflammatory and regenerating effect. Castor oil also contains stearic, palmitic, oleic and linoleic acids. In addition, it is rich in vitamin E, which strengthens hair and nails, smoothes the skin and protects it from early aging.
Ashtanga-hrdayam – the main book of Ayurveda – (1.5.57-58) says: “Castor oil (Eranda Tailam) is bitter, pungent and sweet in taste, laxative, difficult to digest, cures enlargement of the scrotum, hernia, swelling of the abdominal cavity, diseases caused by vata and kapha dosha, enlargement of the abdomen, intermittent fevers, pain and swelling in the lumbar region, genitals, abdomen and back, has the property of deep penetration, hot (by virya) and with an unpleasant odor.”
Rasa (taste): sweet, pungent, astringent
Virya (action): hot potency. Once inside, castor oil acquires warming properties and removes excess Pitta dosha from the gastrointestinal tract. Acts cooling, when applied topically
Vipaka (post-digestive effect): sweet
Doshas (constitutions): Balances Vata and Kapha doshas, excessive ingestion can increase Vata dosha
Prabhava (special effect): Laxative, anti-inflammatory, analgesic
Strong laxative, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antirheumatic, relaxes muscles, aphrodisiac, stimulates agni, dilates capillaries and acts on deep connective tissue.
Arthritis, rheumatism, bloating, chronic constipation, hemorrhoids, diverticulosis, muscle pain, muscle stiffness or muscle spasms, most skin conditions, vaginitis, dry eyes, conjunctivitis.
Castor oil finds applications in various fields both internally and externally.
Laxative. It is recommended to use it one hour before a meal, or 2-3 hours after a meal. You need to be careful with the dosage. Otherwise, you may expect the reverse constipation effect of the intestines. For 1 kg of human weight, 1 g of castor oil is recommended. When taken one time per day for three days, it will free the intestines from all kinds of harmful toxins that have accumulated there. It is not recommended to give castor oil for constipation to children under 12 years of age. So that the stomach does not forget how to defecate on its own, the procedure is prescribed orally for a course of no more than 2-3 days in large doses and no more than 10 days in smaller quantities.
Nourishes the liver. Polyunsaturated acids, which are part of castor oil, contribute to the metabolism of lipids at the cellular level. So, it stimulates the assimilation of nutrients in the human body, which has a very beneficial effect on liver function.
Ayurvedic detox. In Ayurveda, castor oil is used in cleansing programs such as Panchakarma or Ayurvedic detox. (See Panchakarma).
Calluses and corn on the feet. Castor oil can help alleviate the problem and even avoid surgery. Apply 2 times a day – in the morning and before going to bed to lubricate the skin on the soles and toes. You can wear cotton socks at night after the procedure.
For lower back and heart pain, take a decoction of 1 teaspoon castor root powder with 1 teaspoon linseed oil in 1 cup warm water.
For eczema and to smooth out scars on the skin, for cuts, scratches and other skin lesions, mix equal parts castor oil and ghee (clarified butter) and apply topically. (See Ghee-clarified butter).
For rheumatoid arthritis (ama vata), take castor oil internally with ginger tea. Drink 1 cup of ginger tea (1 teaspoon of ginger in 1 cup of hot water) with one or two teaspoons of castor oil before bed at night.
For diverticulosis, drink a cup of milk with 1 teaspoon of castor oil at night.
For psoriasis, eczema, severe itching and dry skin apply topically in pure form or mixed with Ghee.
To eliminate pain (including joint pain), warm up the oil, apply to the painful area, massage, leave for 15-30 minutes, rinse with warm water.
For coughs and colds, rub the chest with a small amount of warm oil.
For gynecological diseases: compresses and applications according to the doctor’s recommendation.
For hemorrhoids – compresses and microclysters according to the doctor’s recommendations.
Today, castor oil is included in many beauty products, from mascara and hair care products to scrubs. You also can add it to your favorite cream or make a homemade mask from it.
Gives hair shine and elasticity
Helps restore eyelashes
Makes brows thicker
Moisturizes and nourishes the skin
Helps get rid of acne
Strengthens the nails
Some practical beauty recipes:
Against skin pigmentation put a small amount of oil warmed to the temperature of the human body onto a cotton swab and apply it to the problem area. The procedure is recommended to be done twice a week (for oily skin – once a week). If the skin is too sensitive, castor oil should not be used in its pure form. You can mix it with sea buckthorn oil in equal proportions.
For dry skin prepare a mixture of two ingredients: olive oil and castor oil. Adding a drop of peach essential oil to the solution will give the composition a pleasant cosmetic aroma. The mixture should be warmed, then applied to the appropriate places. Wash off the oils after 15 minutes. You may perform the procedure up to two times a day.
Against warts and papillomas gently rub castor oil with light movements into a wart or papilloma for no longer than 20 minutes. Before starting these measures, you need to see a dermatologist so that they can determine whether it is appropriate.
For the beauty of eyelashes and eyebrows spread castor oil with light movements on the eyelashes of the upper and lower eyelids with a brush or a cotton swab. Treatment of eyelashes with this oil has another useful point. A little oil during the procedure involuntarily gets into the eyes nourishing them.
Important! Individual intolerance to acids in the composition of castor oil is not ruled out, therefore, we advise you to first treat the eye in a minimal dose. If you have an allergy in the form of itching or slight redness, this remedy is not suitable for you.
For thicker eyebrows apply castor oil to the eyebrows with a cotton swab or a small brush.
For hair growth and strengthening gently rub the oil into the scalp with your fingertips and leave on the hair overnight. It is recommended to wear a shower cap on your head. In the morning, rinse under warm running water with shampoo several times. This procedure should be done once every seven days for two to three months. The result will not be long in coming. Your hair will “come to life”, become radiant and strong.
Of course, like any remedy, castor oil has a number of specific contraindications. The possibility of an allergic reaction must be always remembered. Therefore, before using the oil externally, do an appropriate test on a small area of your skin to see if you have an allergic reaction to castor oil. If you are going to take it by mouth as a healing (or laxative) remedy, please consult a doctor first.
If you have overly sensitive skin, castor oil in its natural form might not be suitable for eyelash or skin care. You can prepare a mixture of castor oil with oils such as olive or burdock 1 : 1.
Contraindications: for ingestion – pregnancy, diarrhea, dysentery, rectal polyps, ulcerative colitis, foreign body in the intestine; external use – bacterial infection, boils, ama diseases associated with internal toxins.
TODAY’S TIP: Notice how poetically Ayurvedic scriptures describe the effect of castor oil on rheumatism: “The [mad] elephant of rheumatism roaming the forest of the body [and destroying everything in its path] is undoubtedly killed by the lion of the castor oil alone.”
More about castor oil see: