Castor Oil

Castor oil has a wide ranges of uses from improving acne and skin sores, to supporting immune function and increasing hair growth. Castor oil is a commonly found ingredient in DIY hair and skincare recipes. Because of it's high concentrate of fatty acids, castor oil makes an optimal conditioning agent for both skin and hair. 

Castor oil is derived from cold pressing castor beans. Although castor oil has numerous health benefits tied to an omega-9 fatty acid, it's source is lethal when eaten. Castor beans are rich in a poisonous substance called ricin, so if consumed, just one or two will likely cause death.

However, when they are cold pressed the oil excreted is packed with a highly nourishing substance called Ricinoleic acid. There is no ricin excreted in this process, making castor oil safe for consumption.

Jamaican Black Castor Oil

Jamaican Black Castor Oil, although being used for many years, has only recently become a common item found in hair and skin care.

Jamaican Black Castor oil is very similar to regular castor oil, the difference is in the processing. Regular castor oil is cold pressed and the oil is varying shades of gold. Sometimes it's further filtered to lower the iodine content, and it will lighten to a clear or light yellow color.

Jamaican black castor oil, however is done a little differently. First it is cold pressed to separate the oil. Then the beans are roast, ground into the find powder and mixed in with the oil, making it a very dark color.

Black castor oil is only for topical use. It is still very nourishing for the skin and hair, but is not for consumption. The oil is a little bit heavier, and people with hair of a more course consistency might find that it hydrates their hair better. However, if your hair is very fine it might weigh it down or make it look quite oily. 

Black castor oil can help your hair retain color if you're coloring it darker. This is not for blonds, as it might tint your hair brown with continued use.

The properties for your skin and hair with black castor oil verses regular castor oil are very similar, and it really comes down to personal preference. 

Castor Oil and Hair Growth

Castor oil has been said to have an amazing affect on the hair. Although no clinic research has been conducted, castor oil has been rumored to aid in hair growth.

Ricinoleic acid in castor oil is an anti - inflammatory, when applied topically. It also cleanses the scalp of impurities.

By massaging a small amount into the roots of your hair, it strips away anything that might be clogging the root follicle, as well as decreasing any inflammation around the area. This helps the roots relax, and the hair follicle expands a little bit, allowing the individual strands of hair to grow thicker. 

This is also helps the hair grow a little faster. Hair is made up of dead cells, so once the hair grows out where you can see it, it's already the texture, thickness, and consistency it is going to be forever.

You can moisturize it and help it relax a little bit, or it can dry out and split, but these are the only real changes that existing hair can undergo.

Diet has a major effect on the consistency of hair strands as well. Castor oil can help condition hair when applied throughout, but it will only make the new hair thicker. Existing hair is already as thick as it is going to be.

However, people have been using castor oil to fight balding for hundreds of years, and there are many reports of success. Unfortunately, there have not been any clinical studies on this process yet.

Castor Oil for Skin

Ricinoleic acid is an unsaturated omega-9 fatty acid. Skin absorbs this type of fat very quickly, and uses it to help regenerate skin cells, making it a helpful aid in home remedies for cuts, scrapes, scars and acne. These fats also condition the skin very well. Dry skin especially drinks these fats very quickly, without leaving too much of an oily layer on the skin.

Because of it's antibacterial properties, castor oil is a natural disinfectant for the skin. Incorporating castor oil in skincare regimen can help reduce acne and fight topical impurities. 

If you're looking for something to reduce puffiness around the eyes, castor oil is useful again. Ricinoleic acid also acts as a natural anti-inflammatory, and has been used for years in natural medicine to help sooth the skin and reduce swelling.

Castor oil was also shown be helpful in reducing the appearance of stretch marks, fading scars and dark spots, and repairing dry skin. It's even shown to be helpful in soothing burn pain, and helping skin regrowth. 

Castor Oil's Health Benefits

According to Dr. Axe, castor oil has numerous health benefits including these: "fatty acids, flavonoids, phenolic compounds, amino acids, terpenoids, and phytosterols." 

  • Flavonoids are helpful for reducing the appearance of bruises, and can help regulate female's monthly flow.
  • Phenolic Compounds have strong antibacterial and antibiotic properties.
  • Amino acids are used by the body to build and repair damaged tissue and skin cells.
  • Phytosterols help your body process cholesterol, and lower cholesterol levels in the blood stream, reducing risk of blockage and heart disease.

Additional Properties:

  • Anti-inflamatory
  • Healing to wounds
  • Anti-microbial
  • Antioxidant
  • Supports liver function
  • Digestive aid
  • Lowers risk of heart disease

Castor oil has long been used to relieve constipation. The flavonoids and phytosterols help break up blockage in the blood stream and lubricate the digestive track. A tablespoon of caster oil taken internally is a very fast acting natural laxative. 

Castor oil has been used to induce labor, but is not considered safe by doctors. Because it is such a powerful laxative, it can cause the baby to expel in the womb, which is highly dangerous. If the infant inhales meconium during birth, it can be fatal. This is why castor oil is not a recommended induction method.

Castor oil has been used as a very versatile ingredient in natural medicine. Taken internally, it can support immune function, relieve stomach pain, and support healthy liver function.

Topically, castor oil can be used on cuts, scrapes, bruises, and acne to heal it more quickly. It's disinfecting as well as nourishing, so it cleanses the skin as well as supporting healthy cellular regrowth.

Castor oil is a relatively inexpensive, widely versatile ingredient, making it a must have addition to any family remedy cabinet.

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