Castor oil uses stem from its many healing virtues and desirable qualities. Based upon its diversity of usage, it is commonly incorporated into natural formulations for hair, skin, nails and lips.
Castor oil is also used as a thickener in recipes, hair and nail care. It is a rich, smooth oil great for solid perfumes, lip balms and products designed to provide a protective barrier. It leads as the primary oil used in most creamy and glossy lip balms, as it is naturally shiny and protective to the lips. Since it dissolves in alcohol, it is often used as a perfume fixative. In the creation of perfume, oftentimes both oil and alcohol-based plant extracts and other substances are used to make the right scent.
It has many applications for natural skin and hair care. One well-known castor oil use is as a hair growth stimulator, strengthener and conditioner. Its use for hair care and growth was stated in the Ebers Papyrus, a medicinal text from ancient Egypt. Something that has been used for that long is worth looking into.
Ricinoleic acid is the main constituent of castor oil and is known to prevent the growth of viruses, bacteria, yeasts and molds. It is used topically for ringworm, keratoses (non-cancerous wart-like growths), skin inflammations, abrasions, fungal-infected finger and toenails and chronic itching (pruritis). Castor oil packs soothe inflammation and are the recommended way to apply it for these ailments.
Other conditions that may be alleviated with castor oil use include skin ulcers, eye irritations, wounds, abdominal stretch marks, sebaceous cysts, warts, liver and age spots (senile lentigo), local infections and infected puncture wounds! Please consult with your health care practitioner before using castor oil for more serious conditions.
Castor oil’s ability to alleviate boils and swellings along with its antimicrobial and antifungal properties make it ideal for infected skin including warts, fungus, pimples and acne.
The Benefits of Castor Oil
The benefits of castor oil are many. Here I will focus on the external applications though castor oil has numerous internal and medicinal uses as well.
Castor oil is highly emollient, meaning that it makes the external layers of skin more pliable and soft. It increases hydration by preventing evaporation of water from the skin and hair layers. Moisture is the basis of healthy hair and skin.
It is used specifically for softening rough, dry heels, knees and elbows and additionally it penetrates patches of eczema and psoriasis with its moisturizing abilities. Being a warming oil, it is very good for dry skin.
As a traditional hair oil, castor makes the hair shiny as a conditioner and encourages hair growth by strengthening the shaft, removing dandruff and debris and moisturizing the scalp.
On the nails castor oil forms a protective shield against soap, hot water and winter dry skin. It also is a nail strengthener.