What is castor oil?
According to this article castor oil has many healing properties. It has been used for thousands of years for medicinal purposes in Ancient Egypt and India and is thought to be a powerful skin healer, immune booster, soothe digestion as well as having beneficial antifungal, antiviral and antimicrobial properties.
Many of castor oil’s healing benefits are due to it containing a special fat called ricinoleic acid. Source.
What does it do?
- Stimulate lymph flow: Castor oil can help to increase the flow of lymph throughout the body which in turn can have immune-enhancing effects. Increasing lymph flow helps the removal of toxins and excess fluids. It essentially cleans out your blood, tissues, immune and digestive organs.
- Boosts circulation: Castor oil therapy stimulates circulation, bringing fresh oxygenated, nutrient rich blood throughout the body. This process is vital for nourishing every cell and ensuring that wastes are also carried out of the body effectively.
- The liver: is a major detox organ. A well-functioning liver keeps the blood cleansed of toxins, hormones and chemicals. Castor oil can help detoxify the liver. Applying a castor oil pack to the liver area can be soothing, detoxifying and healing.
- Antifungal and antibacterial: Ricinoleic acid is effective in preventing the growth of some viruses, bacteria and yeasts.
How it can help
Constipation: The increased circulation and elimination will help ease these complaints. Apply the oil to the colon area.
Joint/Muscle pains, Inflammation, Arthritis or pain: Castor oil packs can be done over areas of pain because of their anti-inflammatory benefit.
Sleep issues: Castor oil may help to bring about a peaceful night’s sleep. It has been amazing for me recently, I was having problems with sleep. Since using it, I’ve been able to get to sleep quickly and if I wake up in the middle of the night, I’m able to get back again easily and deeply!
Infertility: Castor packs can bring a healthy blood flow to the uterus and increase lymph. They maybe useful for endometriosis, fibroid, blocked fallopian tubes and heavy periods
Fungal infections: Due to its strong fungicidal properties, it can be used to help common fungal infections like athlete’s foot, fungal toenails. Wrap the affected area each night in a cloth soaked with castor oil. Pop a sock over it to prevent getting oil on your sheets. Another tip is to soak a plaster in the oil for fungal toenails.
Healthy, strong, fast growing hair:
- By improving circulation to the follicles, hair growth and condition may improve. Rub into the roots. Shampoo twice to rinse out the oil.
- Castor oil contains omega-6 fatty acids which can help make hair shine!
- Add a bit to split ends, it’ll help to strengthen the hair.
- If have an itchy/dry scalp or dandruff, rub a little castor oil into your scalp to help alleviate the itchiness and flakes.
Moisturiser: Castor oil is great for dry skin. It is able to penetrate deeply into skin tissue. Also good for sunburn, stretch marks, boils or warts.
Dry/chapped lips: Castor oil works well for dry, cracked or chapped lips. Some lip remedies that you can buy include castor oil!
How to apply castor oil:
Castor oil packs used on the skin increase circulation and encourage elimination and healing of the tissues and organs below the skin.
You can place the packs on different areas such as the liver, colon, adrenals, kidneys, thyroid or even the lungs. The packs can be detoxifying, so make sure you drink plenty of water the next day.
Look for a reputable brand of cold-pressed, pure castor oil. I personally like Pukka castor oil.
There are different ways to do a castor oil pack. The simplest way works best for me, but you can find another way if you prefer.
- Soak a flannel cloth (undyed) in cold-pressed organic castor oil
- Ring it out a bit so that it’s not too messy!
- Place it on your preferred area (e.g. liver).
- Cover the oil with an old towel or clothes (it does stain).
- Place a hot water bottle over the top and chill! I find them super relaxing. Start with 10 minutes and gradually increase up to an hour.
- Rinse off if you wish, bicarbonate of soda can help to remove the oil.
Alternatively, you can simply apply it directly to the skin. This can be a good way to start, as it’s a bit gentler than a pack. This is a great way for children, just rub a little on the preferred area you want to support before they go to sleep.
*Contraindications: Castor oil is not to be used during pregnancy, nursing, heavy menstrual flow or the presence of internal bleeding.