Castor oil is the oil from the seeds of the castor plant. It is an herbal remedy that has been used for thousands of years dating back to the time of ancient Egyptians. It is still commonly used today in herbal medicine and Ayurvedic medicine.1
Castor oil can be ingested or it can be applied topically for a variety of ailments.1
Castor Oil Uses and Health Benefits
Castor oil is a triglyceride that contains fatty acids, including ricinoleic acid. This is believed to be the root of castor oil’s natural healing abilities.2
Because it has been used as an herbal remedy for so many years, there are several castor oil benefits that have been discovered.
Here are some of the top castor oil benefits for health:
- Stimulates the immune system
- Reduces pain
- Treats skin conditions safely
- Aids in digestive conditions such as constipation and IBS
- Helps to clear respiratory conditions including asthma
- Balances hormones and reduces fatigue and depression
One of the most well-known uses is castor oil as a laxative that can help with constipation by creating movement in the intestines.
Because of its multiple benefits for skin, castor oil for acne is a common use for this natural remedy. Castor oil for hair growth is also an effective use as it helps to moisturize skin and stimulate hair. This is includes castor oil for eyebrows and healthy and strong hair.
Here are some of effective uses for castor oil:
- Genital Warts - Use castor oil as a natural genital warts treatment. Castor oil benefits provide antifungal support which helps to kill off the warts.
- Insomnia (Sleep Condition) - Castor oil can help to naturally balance hormones and improve sleep conditions.
- Peyronie’s Disease - Castor oil has terrific skin healing benefits which can help to reduce scar tissue including within the penis caused by Peyronie’s disease. Castor oil helps to slowly break down the scar tissue which lessens the penis curvature
- Warts - Castor oil is a natural antifungal and antibacterial remedy that can be applied to warts. Using castor oil can help reduce fungal infections and the presence of warts.
- Blepharitis - For blepharitis and eyelid swelling use castor oil for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial health benefits to reduce pain and inflammation in the eye.
- Hemorrhoids - Castor oil can help treat hemorrhoids and reduce infection and inflammation.
Castor Oil Side Effects and Precautions
Castor oil is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use topically and internally including as a stimulant laxative. However, there are some castor oil side effects and precautions to be aware of:1
- Taking too much castor oil can cause digestive issues such as diarrhea, cramping and bloating
- If you are pregnant, do not take castor oil without speaking to your doctor as it can induce labor
- If you are applying castor oil to your skin for the first time, apply it in a small patch first to test for any potential allergic reactions