Top Benefits & Uses of Castor Oil
Used for centuries, Castor oil’s benefits and uses are many which is why we were thrilled to add it to our collection of pure, high-quality carrier oils. And while carrier oil is primarily known for its moisturizing properties and ability to dilute potent essential oils, carrier oils often carry with them unique benefits like those of essential oils, and Castor is no different in this regard.
To give you the scoop on why we love this oil, our experts have laid out all of the top benefits and uses of Castor oil in this short guide. Read on to learn more.
What Is Castor Oil?
Castor oil’s history dates back to ancient Egypt, when it was used as a fuel for lamps. Today Castor oil (Ricinus communis) is commercially used for its stimulant laxative properties and its ability to induce labor when ingested–a route of absorption we don’t recommend without consulting your doctor.
Though Castor oil is obtained from what’s commonly known as “castor bean” it is derived from the seed of the castor oil plant. Castor oil plants are identified by their long, glossy, purple and green leaves, spiky fruit and clusters of small, white flowers. The plant is native to India, the Mediterranean and East Africa.
Castor oil is frequently expeller pressed, using a machine that presses the plant material until its oil is released. An expeller press controls temperature to ensure the oil’s therapeutic properties remain intact.
What Are The Benefits And Uses Of Castor Oil?
Castor oil’s composition is unique in that it contains up to 90% ricinoleic acid–an unsaturated fatty acid with healing properties. Here are three top benefits of castor oil.
Castor oil has been used profusely for its anti-inflammatory properties.
A study from the Department of Pharmacology in Italy examined the properties of ricinoleic acid and found that it reduced pain and swelling.
A separate study from the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in Ohio found that a gel containing ricinoleic acid helped to significantly reduce inflammation.
HOW TO USE
Combine Castor oil with anti-inflammatory essential oils and apply topically to areas of pain and inflammation. Use twice daily or as needed.
Some of the leading causes of hair damage include:
Hygral fatigue or the process of hair constantly being wet and dried from bathing.
Harsh surfactants and hair products.
A lack of lubrication on hair follicles.
Researchers say that adding a nourishing oil to your hair care routine can prevent hair damage in all of the above areas by:
Keeping hair conditioned between wetting and drying.
Acting as a barrier against harsh hair products.
Keeping each hair shaft lubricated and nourished, preventing split ends and breakage.
And when it comes to oils for hair, Castor oil is one of our top picks for its ability to promote hair growth, heal an itchy scalp and clear dandruff.
HOW TO USE
For itchy scalps and dandruff, massage a few pumps of Castor oil onto your clean, dry scalp and let sit for at least 20 minutes. Wash your scalp thoroughly using a mild shampoo afterward.
To prevent hair loss and boost your hair’s overall health, combine Castor oil with hair nourishing essential oils. Apply the oil to sections of your hair from scalp to ends. Put hair up and cover with a shower cap. Let sit for at least 20 minutes before washing thoroughly using a mild shampoo.
Castor oil is often described as being thick and slow to absorb, making it an ideal oil for those with dry skin types. Those with skin damage or whose skincare routine is lacking may also want to opt for Castor, whether or not they have dry skin, due to its rich, emollient properties and ability to heal.
Regarded as a superbly effective humectant, Castor oil helps to draw moisture to the skin while also locking in moisture, preventing trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL). One such product that highlights Castor oil’s skin nourishing and healing properties is an over-the-counter ointment called Venelex, containing Castor oil and Peru Balsam essential oil.
If you prefer to use thick creams as moisturizers, you may want to opt for richly nourishing Castor oil.
HOW TO USE
Substitute your regular body moisturizer with Castor oil. For facial use, use Castor oil as the last step in your skincare routine.
What Can I Mix With Castor Oil?
If you’re looking to create synergy to boost Castor oil’s benefits, then look no further. Here are some of our favorite Castor oil combinations.
For Dry Skin
Combine Castor oil with equal parts Avocado oil, Hemp oil and/or Jojoba oil to create a supremely skin moisturizing mix.
For Oily Skin
Castor oil may be too oily when used alone, so add in equal parts of a fast absorbing oil such as Coconut oil, Kukui Nut oil and/or Evening Primrose to balance your skin’s oil levels.
For Mature Skin
To smooth over fine lines, combine 10 ml each of Castor oil, Rosehip oil and Argan oil, then add 6 drops of Age Defy. Apply a few pumps to skin as the last part of your skincare routine.
For Damaged Skin
Blend 12 drops Skin Love in one ounce of Castor oil. Apply as a spot treatment to damaged patches of skin.
For hair care, there may be no better essential oils than Rosemary and Peppermint. Make a hair nourishing blend by mixing 7 drops Rosemary, 5 drops Peppermint in 1 ounce of Castor oil. Massage into the scalp and apply to sections of hair before washing thoroughly.
For pain and inflammation, mix 1 ounce of Castor oil with 18 drops Plai and 12 drops Hemp. Apply to the area of injury as needed.
Wikipedia contributors. “Ricinus.” Wikipedia, 27 April 2021, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ricinus.
LEAFtv Contributors. “Differences in Castor Oil.” LEAFtv, 27 April 2021, www.leaf.tv/articles/differences-in-castor-oil.
Kubala, Jillian M. “7 Benefits and Uses of Castor Oil.” Healthline, 14 Apr. 2018, www.healthline.com/nutrition/castor-oil#TOC_TITLE_HDR_5.
Vieira, C. “Effect of Ricinoleic Acid in Acute and Subchronic Experimental Models of Inflammation.” Crystal Wishart, 2000, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1781768.
Boddu, Sai. “Anti-Inflammatory Effects of a Novel Ricinoleic Acid Poloxamer Gel System for Transdermal Delivery.” PubMed, 1 Feb. 2015, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25542985.
Fernanda Reis Gavazzoni Dias, Maria. “Hair Cosmetics: An Overview.” PubMed Central (PMC), 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4387693.