Castor oil has been used for medicinal purposes for hundreds of years in its native lands of Africa, India, and the Mediterranean basin. While many people may consider it a crude product, the truth about this different vegetable oil is that it has many uses that can benefit one's health.
What Exactly is Castor Oil?
Castor oil is a triglyceride composed of fatty acids, extracted from the seeds of the plant Ricinus communis that typically grows in tropical regions. It's famously known all over the world as an anti-inflammatory and contains antibacterial properties. It's been used as an industrial product for many years, commonly found in soaps, massage oils, textiles, and even medicine.
Historically, it has been a common ailment in ancient civilizations including the early Egyptians, Chinese and Persians, and used typically as a topical remedy in the Middle Ages for skin diseases.
How Can I Use Castor Oil?
Castor oil has numerous uses for the hair, skin, and body, most of which are remedial.
For the hair, castor oil can promote hair growth if gently rubbed into the scalp and on the eyebrows. The oil should be heated up until hot to the touch then cooled down until warm, and then with your fingertips, massaged into the scalp to improve circulation.
When applying it on the eyebrows or even eyelashes, you can use a Q-tip and rub it where you want the hair to be thicker. For better natural hair color, you can rub a small amount of oil in your palms and run it through your towel-dried hair, making sure to get it on as many strands as possible.
Because castor oil has a high viscosity, it will penetrate deep into the skin and nourish it with essential nutrients and fatty acids. It may be a bit tricky to apply, so rubbing it and warming it between your palms and then spreading it on your skin will ensure an even and thin layer.
Try not to use too much to avoid a greasy and sticky feeling, for a little can go a long way. You can additionally use the oil topically to treat fungal infections, skin problems, or joint pain.
Food grade castor oil can be ingested to act as a laxative and is safe for children and adults with constipation or indigestion. It starts working its magic after a couple of hours of taking it and starts in the small intestine to clean out the bowels.
If you do choose to use castor oil as a laxative, make sure you don't take more than 1-2 teaspoons in a day, high doses of the oil can be harmful. For use on babies with colic, rubbing a small amount on their abdomen can relief gas pains or other issues, and coconut oil can be used to dilute the solution for a less strong effect.
What to Look for in Castor Oils
While there are a few types of castor oil such as black castor oil, hydrogenated castor oil, and castor oil granules, if you're planning to use it on your hair or skin, make sure you get cold pressed castor oil since this type has the greatest concentration of nutrients.
It's also free from excessive heat, chemicals, and solvent during the extraction process which many manufacturers would do to obtain the substance quicker and for cheaper.
Natural methods of pressing are used for cold pressed castor oil, and these methods produce 100% pure and natural castor oil. If you want the purest form of castor oil, virgin castor oil would be the way to go since it has the highest amount of nutrients, minerals, and essential fatty acids meant for internal and external use.
What are the Benefits of Castor Oil?
For a quick overview of what castor oil can do, there are many videos online that can give you a clue of its useful properties.
Castor oil has been used for remedial purposed for hundreds of years due to its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties that can help detoxify the body's intestines and blood vessels, which in turn keep the body healthy and prevent infections.
If ingested (in a small amount), it can reduce swelling inflammation, improve digestion, boost the immune system, and stimulate the liver and gall bladder. If you apply castor oil directly on the skin, it can treat many skin diseases such as warts, fungal and yeast infections, cysts, and aching joints and muscles.
When used on skin and hair, the oil is quickly absorbed because of its balm-like properties and lasts for days. While keeping the skin soft and hydrated, which is especially great for dry skin, it also gets rid of fine lines, wrinkles, and stretch marks.
Using the oil on hair strengthens the hair shafts and brings essential nutrients to the roots, and if your hair is thinning and has lost its natural luster due to aging, castor oil could be an effective topical remedy for stimulating hair growth and thickening hair. For scalp conditions like dandruff, castor oil can help with these as well.
Kate Blanc's Castor Oil
Kate Blanc's castor oil is USDA certified and cold pressed, free from any chemicals and is guaranteed to be 100 % pure and hexane free. It's easily absorbent and great for use on hair, eyebrows, and skin, and the glass droplet allows for smaller and more precise doses.
This castor oil can be used for thicker and more vibrant hair and to grow fuller eyebrows and eyelashes which are great for those who are experiencing hair loss due to age and constant eyebrow plucking. For those who have dandruff, this oil can be used to hydrate the scalp and prevent flaking and itching.
It can also keep your face moisturized and hydrated, reducing blemishes and acne for those with problem skin along with eliminating wrinkles and fine lines. Results can be seen in as little as seven days with regular application.
- Oil is light, no odor, no sticky and greasy feel after application
- Is gentle enough for use on sensitive skin and eyelids
- Comes with application tools such as eyelash brush and fine tip brush
- Not food grade, so not meant to be ingested
- Can irritate or break out skin if allergic
- Can stain pillowcase if generously used on face
Sky Organics Castor Oil
The Sky Organics castor oil is made up of 100% organic ingredients cold pressed by the expeller method, which means it was processed mechanically without heat or harmful chemical substances.
The castor plant seeds used for pressing are sourced directly from artisanal farmers in India, and the oil itself is free from any additives and preservatives making it safe to use for adults and small children. This is an ideal oil to use if you have problems with hair growth, dry and itchy skin, and other similar issues.
Thanks to its healing properties, the Sky Organics castor oil can be used directly on the skin for numerous issues such as fungal infections, warts, corns, and acne. Due to the oil being free from artificial additives, it won't cause any harsh allergies or irritation when used.
Also being rich in vitamins and fatty acids, this castor oil can give beneficial results as your hair and skin absorbs the nutrients it needs to keep healthy and looking its best.
- Very thick consistency, so a little goes a long way
- Generously sized so will last a long time
- Smell is not that pleasant
- Not recommended for overnight hair masks, makes hair gummy
- Not for internal use
Rejuve Naturals Organic Castor Oil
There's only one ingredient contained in this vegan product which is pure, hexane free, organic cold pressed castor oil with no fillers or bases. Since this oil is certified by ECOCert ICO and the USDA, you don't have to worry about any GMOs, pesticides, or chemicals harmful to humans.
You can use this castor oil to bring back a healthy complexion to your skin. It deeply cleans the pores and reduces the appearance of blackheads, age spots, acne scars, and dark circles.
Castor oil has a high concentration of ricinoleic acid, which makes it an ideal topical remedy for acne prone skin. It also acts as a youth revitalizer, helping to moisturize dry and dull skin and minimizing wrinkles for a younger look.
Furthermore, you can apply this oil on dry, frizzy hair to deeply hydrate the scalp and prevent dandruff and split ends with overall improved hair growth.
- Can be used as a carrier oil with other essential oils
- Pure and gentle enough for those with sensitive skin
- Clean and odorless, thick enough, so it's not runny
- Although vegan, not necessarily food grade
- Can stain bedding if applied for overnight use
- Very thick consistency makes for tricky application
Pure Body Naturals Castor Oil
For beautiful eyelashes, stronger and fuller hair, and hydrated skin, Pure Body Naturals castor oil aims to bring back your youth through its healthful benefits. Originating from India and being 100% pure and natural, this cold pressed AAA grade castor oil contains more omega-6 essential fatty acids, vitamin E, and other nourishing elements than other forms of castor oil.
It can help strengthen and hydrate brittle and dry hair, fight against itchy scalp and dandruff, grow eyelashes and eyebrows thicker, and provide overall nutrition for healthier hair.
Pure Body Naturals castor oil is cruelty-free and not tested on animals, so you can bring back your skin's natural glow since castor oil works to penetrate deep into the skin and give it the essential nutrients it needs to prevent flakiness, treat acne and other skin issues, and to heal infections.
It's gentle enough for all skin and hair types and won't cause any irritations due to the oil being free from any additives, artificial scents, or chemicals added during the extraction process.
- Comes with treatment applicator kit
- Small enough bottle for easy fit in travel bags or purses
- Light enough, so there's no heavy or greasy feeling after application
- Can be irritable for sensitive eyes/eyelids
- Can get messy and sticky if correct dosage is not used
- Application can be difficult due to oil thickness
Foxbrim Organic Castor Oil
Foxbrim Organic Castor oil is great for multiple uses including hair, lash, and brow growth, split ends, aging skin and wrinkles, acne, healing infections and scars, and more.
True to its name, this cold pressed oil is 100% vegan and is USDA certified, free from any chemical processing or pesticides that castor seeds can be exposed to today.
It's also hexane free, preservative free, and has no artificial fragrances, yielding incredible results being that it's highly concentrated with bacteria fighting antioxidants, essential Omega-6 and Omega-9 fatty acids, and Vitamin E (which is known for its revitalizing properties).
This castor oil helps to promote more blood flow to the scalp for faster hair growth and thicker, more shiny locks. It also has many anti-aging properties to bring back dull skin's elasticity and youthful complexion.
Additionally, it can be used for chapped, cracked lips, nails, cuticles, infections, acne, acne scars, and any other skin problem. Foxbrim Organic castor oil is made to provide you with key nutrients for healthier skin, hair, and nails.
- Application is not messy, not sticky or greasy after applying
- Gentle enough for those with allergies
- Great carrier oil for serum blends
- Unpleasant smell, but very mild
- Doesn't come with a dropper so can be messy extracting oil from bottle
- Can leave grease stains on fabrics and is not food grade
Out of all the quality castor oils mentioned, Kate Blanc's Certified Organic Castor Oil is the top product of the lineup. This product has everything you need in a castor oil such as being USDA certified (so you know it's truly organic unlike some of the other oils that just say organic in the name).
Although it can't be ingested, it can still be used topically and be just as effective for abdominal or joint pains. It's an ideal solution for all your ailments without worrying about harsh chemicals and additives and is safe to use on small children.