If you have heard of castor oil then you probably know that it is commonly used as a laxative. A rather nasty tasting one, actually. And if you have been pregnant with a stubborn baby not wanting to come on his or her due date, then you may have heard of it being used to induce labor. But did you know, Castor Oil is also great for your hair and many other things?!
Before we get into Castor Oil’s many benefits, lets learn about it real quick.
Castor Oil 101
What is it? Well, castor oil is pretty much a vegetable oil. It is obtained by pressing the seeds of the castor oil plant. It is usually a colorless liquid, you may also find it sometimes as a pale yellowish color. And it has a very distinct taste and smell. If you ever do drink it, make sure to drink it in Orange Juice. It still isn’t that pleasant, but it is much easier to go down in a TALL glass of OJ. (Side note: I actually drank this while I was pregnant and past due. I did not want to be induced medically and had already tried everything else in the book from bumpy car rides, pineapple, teas, long lonnnnnggg walks, etc. I put about 1tbsp of the castor oil into about 20ounces of orange juice, pinched my nose and drank it. Sure enough, I went into labor the next morning. Not sure if it was the castor oil or just coincidence.)
Castor oil is used in automotive lubricants, and the company, Castrol actually got its name from Castor Oil. Interesting right?
Castor oil has been used in manufacturing soaps, lubricants, inks, pharmaceuticals, perfumes and many more. Some even say that rubbing castor oil on the skin can help cure cancer! Although, there isn’t any actual scientific evidence to support this claim. Would be awesome though! None the less, it is a very versatile oil.
Castor Oil is high in Vitamin E, minerals, proteins and omega 6 and 9 beneficial fatty acids. Making it highly beneficial for skin and hair.
So, now that you have the quick run down. Let’s get to the health and beauty part.
Massage Oil / Sore Muscle Rub
Castor oil promotes the circulation of fluids in the body. Therefor, it works great as a massage oil and it can even relieve tired sore muscles. Just apply a little onto your sore muscles and rub it in, or have someone give you a nice massage using it. And even though the smell isn’t “potent” it still isn’t a wonderful smell. Try adding in a few drops of lavender essential oil or any other that you find nice and relaxing.
Promotes Hair Growth (Like, for real!)
Many people like to use this interesting oil on their eyelashes. The idea behind it is that because it is promoting circulation, in turn it improves the ability to grow thicker stronger hair. You can apply it daily to your eyelashes or eyebrows using a clean mascara wand, a Q-tip. I even learned one way from a friend, you can use a spoon to apply it to the lengths of your eyelashes and even curl them at the same time! If you use it daily, you can expect to see results in as little as two weeks. Oh, and did I mention it is great for dandruff too! Castor Oil helps to balance the scalps pH and replenish the scalps natural oils.
Enhance your natural hair color (Goodbye costly John Frieda products)
Castor Oil will lock in moisture, which will make each strand of hair thicker and darker. After showering, rub a few drops into your palm and run it through the lengths of your hair trying to get all the way to the ends of each strand. Or you could get a spritzer bottle and mix it with some water and just spritz it on your hair. It can even be used lightly on dry hair to tame away frizz, thanks to its antioxidants that support keratin in the hair. Take that John Frieda!
Moisturize your skin
Winter time getting rough on your hands? Or maybe you work in a warehouse with boxes all day. (yes, working with boxes in a warehouse can actually dry your hands out tremendously, ask anyone that works in one.) A lot of the skin moisturizing products that you pay lots of money on in stores actually contain Castor Oil. How about we skip the middle man and all their bells and whistles. All you need is a small amount of the oil. rub it into your palms and spread a thin layer from your hands and up your arms. It will feel slightly sticky at first but this oil actually absorb pretty quickly and not leave an oily residue. You can also use it alongside other great oils and butters to make it more aromatic and easy to apply.
Get some beauty sleep
There are many over the counter and prescription products that promise to help you sleep. But most of those products still carry slight chance of dependency. Even melatonin. If you are having trouble getting to sleep, use a Q-tip and rub a little on your eyelids. You can even add a little to your hair before bed to add to the effectiveness of the sleep aid as well as strengthen your hair while you sleep. Ahhh…sweet relaxation. Just make sure to do it when you know you won’t have to be up in a mere few hours as it can make you groggy if you don’t get a full night’s rest with it.
Castor oil has undecylenic acid which makes it a great anti-fungal without the added toxins of other anti-fungal drugs. It can be used to treat common fungal diseases like ringworm, athletes foot and crotch itch. Just heat some castor oil and allow it to cool until it is warm to the touch. then apply it to the affected area around bed time and allow to sit overnight. Doing this daily for a week should yield significant improvement. Continue use of the treatment until the area clears up. If you have very sensitive skin, this should generally be harmless but please consult a doctor if you have any doubts. As always, you should keep your doctor informed of any vitamin supplements and over the counter treatments that you are using if you take medications, to know if there will be any adverse reactions.