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The Benefits of Castor Oil



Growing up, all I knew about castor oil was that it was given to the Little Rascals as they pinched their noses and winced in disgust. Like many other natural remedies, once used widely, it was forgotten. 


That is until recently.  Its popularity has rebounded as people are turning away from pharmaceuticals in favor of traditional treatments. Our Dande Natural deodorant contains castor oil that assists the slide and contributes to the smooth application. However, there are many more uses and benefits of castor oil.


The use of Castor oil dates back to ancient Egypt. It comes from the bean of the beautiful Castor plant (Ricinus communis) and is thick and odorless. As every rose has its thorn, these beans contain ricin, a deadly toxin, that is removed during processing.


Although a comedic tool for the Little Rascals, children of that era were frequently given castor oil for regularity rather than what I perceived as punishment. It contains ricinoleic acid that causes intestinal muscles to contract helping to move waste along.


If taken orally, too much can result in dizziness, bloating, abdominal cramping, nausea, and vomiting. It shouldn’t be used for long-term constipation and it should not be taken during pregnancy as it may induce labor.


It is said there are benefits to putting castor oil in your belly button before going to bed at night to aid sleep and elimination. This is because some believe that our navels harbor an absorptive Pechtoi gland. No scientific evidence supports that this gland exists, but it makes sense. This is where we receive life-sustaining nutrients while in the womb, why wouldn’t it continue to serve as a portal throughout life?


The ricinoleic acid in castor oil is also an analgesic that helps soothe joint pain and various skin conditions such as sunburn, insect bites, and allergic rashes. It is anti-inflammatory helping to reduce itching, skin redness, and puffiness.


If all that is not impressive enough, castor oil is not pore-clogging and is an excellent moisturizer reducing fine lines and wrinkles and heals dry and chapped lips and skin.


Perhaps one of the best ways to use castor oil is with a castor oil pack. This is done by soaking an absorptive material and applying it to the affected area. Reusable wool flannel packs for the torso and neck can be purchased on Amazon or at your local health food store.


These packs can be used to relieve constipation/ digestive problems and joint pain. Some natural practitioners believe castor oil’s ricinoleic acid is a fatty acid that increases blood flow helping to reduce blockage as well as soften and even dissolve cysts and masses. It is also believed by some natural practitioners that these packs applied over the liver can aid elimination of toxins.


To learn more about castor oil packs visit: https://www.healthline.com/health/castor-oil-pack.

I have only scratched the surface of the benefits of castor oil, and I am thankful for its resurgence. 


Sources

Contributor, WebMD Editorial. “Castor Oil: Uses and Benefits.” WebMD, WebMD, 19 Sept. 2023, www.webmd.com/diet/castor-oil-health-benefits

Kubala, Jillian. “Castor Oil: 4 Benefits and Uses.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 1 Apr. 2024, www.healthline.com/nutrition/castor-oil#benefits

Osborn, Corinne. “How to Make and Use Castor Oil Packs.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 14 Nov. 2018, www.healthline.com/health/castor-oil-pack#how-to-use



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