Obtained from the seeds of the castor bean plant, castor oil has been used for centuries to treat constipation, ailments of the skin and improve hair health. However, new research has shown that the benefits of castor oil go far beyond that. Castor oil can increase the count of a type of white blood cell in the body that can help to kill bacteria, viruses, fungus and even cancer cells.
Castor oil stands out amongst most of the carrier oils on our list because it contains ricinoleic acid, a rare unsaturated fatty acid that is found in high-quality cold-pressed castor oil and provides many healing benefits such as enhancing immunity through improving the lymphatic system, which in turn helps the body to detoxify, positively impacts circulation and supports the digestive system.
In fact, research shows that castor oil packs used on the abdomen (see procedure below) are great for detoxifying the liver, alleviating ailments of the uterus and ovaries, improving circulation and reducing inflammation.
Castor oil is a natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory which makes it great for healing skin infections and treating topical fungal infections and sunburns. Ricin oleic acid is excellent for fighting acne as it kills bacteria that clogs pores while also moisturizing the skin at the same time. Omega-6 fatty acids in castor oil give hair a natural glow, improve circulation in the scalp and accelerate hair growth.
How to use castor oil:
1. Castor Oil Detoxifying Pack: Placed on the abdomen to detoxify the liver and support the digestive system, the lower abdomen to support uterine issues and alleviate menstrual pain, or on strained muscles to speed up healing, a castor oil pack is extremely helpful for detoxifying and reducing inflammation through activating the lymphatic system to soothe and cleanse the body.
You will need:
- Large piece of cotton flannel (3 feet by 1.5 feet)
- High-quality cold-pressed castor oil
- Big sheet of plastic (garbage bag will work fine)
- Hot water bottle
- Baking Soda
- Old clothes and towels (Castor oil stains)
Fold flannel into three parts and cover the abdomen or use a smaller piece if you are using the pack on strained muscles. Soak the flannel with castor oil (saturate it, but not heavily soak it so it is dripping with oil). Lie on your back over an old towel or sheet and place the cloth over your abdomen. Cover with the plastic bag and place the hot water bottle on top. Elevate your feet (a pillow under the knees works well) and relax! Leave the pack on for 45-90 minutes. Apply a blend of baking soda and water to remove castor oil from the skin. Make sure to drink lots of water to help in the detoxification process after you complete the treatment.
Note: You can reuse the soaked pack! Simply store in the fridge in a zip-lock bag and re-saturate with 1 tbsp. of oil if needed. Replace the pack if the color changes. For best results use 3-4 times a week for a month and experience the healing benefits!
2. Joint and Muscle Pain Relief: Relieve joint and arthritis pain naturally with castor oil. Massage a few drops of oil to aching muscles and joints. The anti-inflammatory components in the oil work to reduce swelling and inflammation. Repeat twice a week.
3. Dandruff and Scalp Infections: Being both anti-fungal and antibacterial, castor oil is an excellent home remedy for clearing dandruff. Mix 3 tsp. of castor oil with an equal amount of olive oil and 3 tsp. of fresh lemon juice. Massage it into your scalp (rubbing it into the roots) and leave for 30 minutes. Use a natural shampoo to rinse out. Repeat once a week.