The times when Castor Oil was considered the gold standard treatment for constipation are over. Other safer and gentler methods have taken its place. This is not to say that we should discard other healing properties of Castor Oil.
Castor Oil (Ricinus Communis) is thick, very light yellow oil expressed from castor beans which grow mainly in India, China and Brazil. The oil itself is a triglyceride which consists of fatty acids, most notably Ricinoleic acid, Oleic acid and Linoleic acid.
As with many other natural remedies, Castor Oil too has a long history. The history is… mixed. Used externally – as a natural remedy – Castor Oil has been praised for its safety and effectiveness for hundreds and even thousands of years and is mentioned as a remedy in ancient Indian, Chinese and Egyptian writings. Unfortunately, Castor Oil has been also deliberately MISused to intimidate and humiliate political opposition in the 1940s. With that said, ANYTHING can be misused.
This article isn’t about the human character and its many flaws but the healing properties of Castor Oil. Before we go any further however it should be noted that ANY use of Castor Oil by pregnant women is a bad idea because it may induce premature labor. Likewise, I don’t recommend taking Castor Oil internally unless recommended by a physician.
If and when using Castor Oil, choose organic, cold-pressed Castor Oil because that’s its purest and therefore most effective form. (Store it in the refrigerator.) Finally, Castor Oil is staining and the stains are hard, if not impossible to remove. Keep it in mind while using Castor Oil: chances are that you’ll have to throw out the item – clothing or a pillow case – that came in contact with Castor Oil!
It may appear that there are thousands of sources providing information on the healing properties of Castor Oil already so writing another article on such a well explored subject is a waste of your time and mine. NOT SO!
I know of a few therapeutic uses of Castor Oil that apparently no other source is aware of. (Once again, I’d like to stress out that I’m not a medical doctor. My knowledge is based on my own research, personal experience, or both.)
Two specific situations make me think of Castor Oil. Whenever a female celebrity gets diagnosed with breast cancer and when someone complains about persistently dry eyes.
When my Mom suddenly developed fast-growing lump in her breast and went to see a doctor, he was fast to guess that it is likely breast cancer and was eager to schedule a biopsy. It gave us a HUGE scare!
My Mom sought second opinion. The second doctor was quite old and experienced. He thought that since not every lump or tumor is cancerous, it would be prudent to try a home remedy, first. He suggested a Castor Oil pack on the affected breast.
Mind you, the procedure was quite messy as he advised my Mom to stick the pack in her bra and wear a bra with the Castor Oil pack 24 hours a day. She was to replace the oil pack daily and continue for 10 days. Her next appointment was scheduled 10 days later. By then, the lump has shrunk by 90%. After another week, there was no lump at all and the breast cancer scare was permanently over!
Please DON’T misunderstand me. I’m not saying that there is no breast cancer. I’m not saying that Castor Oil is a cure for breast cancer. I am saying that some types of breast tumors / lumps / fibrocystic breasts respond to Castor oil packs.
(The reason I’m reminded of this incident whenever a female celebrity is diagnosed with breast cancer is that I wonder whether fame and fortune aren’t the reasons for the rush toward more radical and more profitable – to the physicians, NOT the patients! – treatments.)
How to prepare a Castor Oil pack?
- take a piece of natural fabric (we cut up an old, light-colored, woolen sweater)
- soak it in an organic, cold-pressed Castor Oil
- make sure the fabric is well saturated but not dripping wet
- apply the fabric to the area over the lump
- cover the fabric with a plastic wrap
- put on a bra
- have a large, glass Mason jar handy to store the excess Castor Oil and a ziplock bag for an alternate piece of natural fabric for the next application. The same oil pack can be reused up to 30 times. Store in the refrigerator but apply at room temperature.
(One more thing, the use of deodorant is discouraged during the time Castor Oil packs are used daily.)
The Castor Oil packs’ treatment may – or may not – help in your specific case. (There are different types of breast tumors.) I know it helped my Mom which is why it is my belief that it is well worth trying before medical treatment commences. It won’t cause any harm; the delay is short; it’s worth trying even if there is a small chance it will help you. IF it does, you’ll save yourself A LOT of anguish.
As I mentioned in my other writings, natural remedies aren’t as well researched as drugs seeking approval of the Food and Drug Administration because no researcher would benefit financially from such a research.
With that said, there was some research done on Castor Oil. A study on Castor Oil packs published in the Journal of Naturopathic Medicine (“Immunomodulation through Castor Oil Packs” by Harvey Grady) concluded that external application of Castor Oil Packs (for at least 2 hours at a time) enhances the immunological function of the lymphatic system by increasing the number of disease-killing T-11 cells.
When it comes to dry eyes that can’t be relieved by moisturizing eye drops, one drop – only one, not more! – of organic, cold-pressed Castor Oil in each eye before going to sleep for 7 consecutive days relieved my dry eye symptoms. (I suffered from dry eyes for several years: I used moisturizing eye drops and prescription eye drops but the symptoms didn’t go away. After 7 days of using Castor Oil, I no longer suffer from the itchiness and redness that accompany dry eyes. I don’t need Castor Oil or any other eye drops anymore because I’m symptom-free.)
Be sure NOT to use Castor Oil for dry eyes daytime, vision is significantly diminished right after the application.
There is a little “side effect” I experienced while using Castor Oil to cure my dry eyes: I grew very nice, long lashes….
Castor Oil – used externally – helps relieve many common conditions and even beauty concerns.
- Aching muscles: Castor Oil packs can be used to relieve the pain of aching muscles.
- Arthritis: make a paste of Cayenne Pepper and Castor Oil and apply to aching joints. IMPORTANT: cayenne pepper bites! Wash your hands after each application and whatever you do: don’t touch your eyes with a hand that was in contact with Cayenne Pepper!
- Ringworm: apply Castor Oil to the “rings” at least twice a day
- Nail fungus: apply Castor Oil to nails at least twice a day, massage it well for better absorption
- Corns: apply Castor Oil to the corn at least twice a day for a week or so: it will soften the corn and diminish pain. With prolonged use it will help the corn disappear altogether.
When it comes to beauty:
- Castor Oil helps grow lashes and eyebrows: put a drop of Castor Oil on your finger and massage it into the roots of your lashes / eyebrows. It will take at least a week before you’ll see noticeable results.
- Castor Oil can help heal and prevent split ends: take a drop of Castor Oil and massage it into the ends of hair.
- Castor Oil with its antibacterial properties will support your fight with teenage or adult acne: massage on the pimples and the surrounding areas before going to bed.
- Castor Oil is terrific for chapped lips! (It is used as ingredient in many commercial lip balms.)
- Castor Oil nourishes skin and is great especially for relieving dry skin.
- Castor Oil is said to have anti-aging properties: it hydrates, supports collagen building and improves skin’s elasticity. (Many believe that it reduces wrinkles and sagging.)
Castor Oil is NOT a miracle cure. It will help some individuals and fail to help others. It will resolve some common ailments and may not produce expected outcomes in others cases. That’s how natural remedies work: their effectiveness from individual to individual and from condition to condition varies. One more thing, Castor Oil isn’t a surgery or stem cell therapy, it doesn’t work instantly. Be patient.
EXPECT the above! Try Castor Oil for what it is: a natural ALTERNATIVE treatment. IF it works for you, the “payoff” justifies the effort. If it doesn’t, there is conventional medicine with its many modern miracles which aren’t foolproof, either…. Still, it’s worth remembering that when it comes to health, gentle first is a good policy.
Statements made on GreenSelfCare.com Website have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Likewise, blog posts published on GreenSelfCare.com are not a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment.