So many tiktok videos have been made in the past year or so making epic claims for the humble castor oil – from fighting inflammation to helping grow longer eyelashes, castor oil has it all…apparently…or does it? Join us as we break it down for you.
Organic Castor Oil
Castor oil is a seed oil made from the castor seed, and with a centuries old tradition of use in Indian and south east asian cultures where it originally grew. Hair quality in Indian culture was considered a particularly important virtue, and castor, along with coconut and other fatty acid and nutrient-rich oils, were applied liberally as part of an ancient beauty regimen.
Castor oil is especially rich in ricinoleic acid – an omega-9 fatty acid that has the ability to drive deep into tissues when applied and break up blockages and congestion – along with many fat soluble vitamins and antioxidants, along with proteins…the sort of molecules that are rarely found in other cosmetic oils. The sort that nourish the cells that make up new tissues. Exciting stuff.
Up until about 2 years ago, we would never have recommended castor oil for anything other than decongesting your bowels, but as more and more exploration has taken place, the benefits for this unique fat mean that we’ve broadened out our recommendations. Some of our top ones are listed below!
Is Castor Oil Good for Hair and Skin
Put simply -yes. Castor oil has some really interesting properties that support skin and hair health. The pH of our skin is a very delicate balance, relying on sebum production from our sebaceous glands, and acids produced by the skin microbiome to regulated the environment, preventing bacterial infections, protecting the delicate skin cells from sun damage and abrasion and regulating the immune system in the epidermis and subdermal layers that can trigger inflammation and various skin conditions if the ph goes out of order.
Castor oil has been shown to help regulate the ph, normally maintained at 5.5 in this thin protective film known as the acid mantle, helping to both prevent and heal outbreaks of acne, psoriasis, eczema and other problematic skin conditions.
Castor oil is also rich in fat soluble antioxidants, the vitamin A and E associated nutrients that help to protect the skin cells from harmful UV light and restore skin health, preventing signs of aging.
In terms of hair health, and skin health, castor oils incredible ability to break up congestion is one of its main benefits. Driving deep beneath the skin’s surface, castor oil’s ricinoleic acid improves the flow of lymphatic fluid and the removal of waste metabolites below the skin, assisting the delivery of fresh blood supply and nutrients to the hair follicles, nourishing them to make them healthier, stronger and more abundant in growth.]
We recommend combining castor oil with black seed oil, and chamomile or a few drops of lavender oil, to further enhance its protective properties and reduce the signs of redness and inflammation that can occur throughout our lifetime, most especially as we are exposed to the drying effects of air conditioning, the stripping effects of cold winter air, and the excess heat and humidity of the sun during summer.
Castor Oil for Eyelashes
Castor oil is a really interesting oil in its ability to stimulate hair growth. Using a cotton bud to apply castor oil to the eyelid not only helps to remove congestion and support eye health, but the ricinoleic acid along with the fat soluble nutrients and antioxidants found in castor oil also give both the eyelashes and eyebrows the nourishment they need for growth. Like Miracle-Gro for your eyelashes, castor oil is a fabulous fertiliser for hair growth.
Castor Oil and Constipation
The most traditional use of castor oil is as a laxative. But we don’t believe it’s smart to use it orally for this reason. All you need to do is to soak a flannel in warm castor oil and apply it to your belly. Then we recommend you wrap your abdomen in cling film, and lay a hot water bottle and a towel over your belly, relaxing on your back while the castor oil goes to work. All this needs is usually about 15 minutes before you’ll need to get up and use the bathroom.
This laxative effect is POWERFUL, and based upon the capacity of castor oil to break up blockages and relieve congested areas. This process is also great for stimulating lymphatic flow as much of our lymphoid tissue surrounds our GI tract. We do not recommend regular use of castor oil in this manner or to become reliant on it for keeping your bowel regular. Instead we encourage you to embrace the regular use of slippery elm, soaked linseed, marshmallow, liquorice and all the other mucilagenous herbs and foods to encourage regular motions, alongside the nervous system management that often is the root of all good bowel health programs.
Castor Oil and Period Cramps
Castor oil has a great ability to reduce inflammation and pain internally, this is possibly due to its renowned affinity for targeting congested areas. Using a castor oil pack (as described above) is a great way to reduce the discomfort of swollen, tender breasts or lower back or abdominal pain at the start of menstruation. Use castor oil packs nightly in the week coming up to your period to help transition gracefully through your period and assist your body in its ritual shedding.
Castor Oil and Gout
Gout is a painful condition that leads to stiff swollen joints in the feet and hands, with stabbing pains due to the accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joint spaces. Making a magnesium/epsom salt hand or foot bath followed by massaged application of castor oil can help to improve mobility and reduce the pain and swelling.
Castor Oil and Arthritis
No matter what form of arthritis you suffer from, osteoarthritic, rheumatoid, psoriatic or seborrheic, warming and applying castor oil to the affected area can be a great tool to help support your relief from the pain and inflammation caused by the underlying condition.
Castor Oil and Scars
Castor oil has a unique ability to soften scars and encourage them to heal. Firstly ensuring that the wound has closed up, then applying castor oil in a circular motion in all the tissue on and surrounding the scar before applying combination serums like Viridian’s Repair 5 serum or Trilogy’s Rosehip Antioxidant Oil will give your body the chance to break down the scar tissue, and delivering all the healing nourishing benefits of these combined sources will help your body to repair the damaged tissue and reduce the incidence of blemishes and long-term scarring.
Where to Buy Castor Oil in Dublin
We recommend only using organic castor oil from a source you can trust. The Hopsack is committed to sourcing high quality castor oils from the finest growers and processors around the globe. Using our high quality castor oil along with our guidance above and more information we can provide in store will help you to get all the benefits from the amazing castor oil!!!