Castor Oil: Use, Benefits & Side effects

Castor Oil: Use, Benefits & Side effects

All About the Goodness of Castor Oil

Castor oil is the oil to swear by for skin infections, hair growth — and even treating constipation. It is rich in antiviral and antimicrobial properties, which makes it a popular treatment for acne-related problems.

Did you know the use of castor oil dates back to ancient India, where it was applied as a laxative and for other medicinal purposes? In Egypt, it was initially used as a fuel for lighting lamps, and later, for beauty treatments. In fact, Cleopatra was believed to use castor oil to brighten the whites of her eyes!

Castor oil has many benefits to give. Researchers continue to study this magical oil — and, day by day, new secret benefits of this oil are being discovered. Now, it has even been proven that castor oil can induce labor.

You can apply castor oil directly on your skin, or consume little quantities of it orally. 

In this blog, we will cover the pros, side effects and uses of castor oil.


  • What is castor oil all about
  • Benefits of using castor oil
  • How to use castor oil
  • Side effects of castor oil

First, let us take a look at castor oil and what it means.

All About Castor Oil

Castor oil is a thick, odorless oil made from the seeds of a castor plant. It can be found as an important ingredient in many skincare and haircare products. This is because it is packed with anti-inflammatory properties, which fight against the external elements and protect the skin.

It is a multipurpose vegetable oil that has been used for thousands of years. It is also used in industries, beauty and medicinal fields. Castor oil is commonly found as additives in food, medicines — and even cosmetics. In the industrial sector, it is used as a lubricant and biodiesel fuel component. 

The castor beans, from where it gets extracted, has a toxic enzyme called ricin. However, during the heating process of creating castor oil, the enzyme gets deactivated, allowing the oil to be used safely.

Now, let us move on to the benefits of adding castor oil to our daily regimen.

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Why Castor Oil: Top 7 Benefits

Excellent laxative

Castor oil is popularly known for curing constipation. It is classified as a stimulative laxative, which increases the movement of muscles that push materials out of the intestine, eventually clearing the bowels. 

To curb constipation, consume a few drops of castor oil orally. This is broken down by the small intestine and releases a fatty acid called ricinoleic acid that acts as a laxative.

Heals wounds

It is a lesser known fact that castor oil treats and heals wounds. Applying it creates a moist environment that promotes faster healing and prevents sores from drying out.

It is used as an ingredient in many ointments such as Venelex. It is used for dressing wounds, including:

  • pressure ulcers
  • diabetic ulcers
  • burns
  • surgical wounds


Castor oil is rich in ricinoleic acid, (a monounsaturated fatty acid),  which can be used to moisturize the skin. It acts as an occlusive moisturizer, which means it locks the moisture content and prevents water loss from the skin.

Thus, it is present in cosmetic and skincare products such as lotions, creams, and cleansers to promote hydration.

Anti-inflammatory effects

Ricinoleic acid, which is the magic ingredient in castor oil, has anti-inflammatory properties that have been proven to reduce swelling and pain caused by inflammation. Studies suggest that castor oil can reduce symptoms of arthritis when applied on the skin. 

Fights acne

Due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties, castor oil can even be used to treat acne and acne scars. Its moisturizing effects soothe the skin and keep it hydrated. Further, it forms a protective layer on the skin to prevent sun damage and environmental pollution.

Thicker eyebrows and eyelashes

Have you ever heard of oil that thickens your eyebrows and eyelashes and induces their natural growth? Castor oil does the job for you. Ditch the fake lashes and eyebrow pencil. All you need is castor oil — and see the magic unfold!

The vitamin E, proteins, minerals, and antibacterial properties of castor oil can strengthen and lengthen your eyelashes, and thicken eyebrows when applied on a regular basis. It also fights against bacteria, which hinder their growth.

Promotes hair growth

Applying castor oil to the roots of the hair and leaving it on at night, stimulates hair growth from the dormant follicles. . Castor oil for hair is proven to fight dandruff and increase hair growth. It also reduces hair fall.

How To Use Castor Oil?

Castor oil can be applied topically or can be consumed orally. Apply castor oil on your forehead, eyelashes and eyebrows and around your stomach to reduce the overall heat released by your body. 

For acne too, you can apply a few drops of oil along with turmeric paste to reduce inflammation. To increase hair growth, massage your scalp and leave it on for half an hour before washing with a mild shampoo. Because of its potency, castor oil is not used in cooking or added to food.

You can get rid of stretch marks by massaging with castor oil. For added moisture, use coconut oil or almond oil. Avoid applying on broken skin. For this, use a thin cotton cloth to cover the applied area. Make sure it stays on for at least 10-15 minutes, for the oil to seep into the skin. Repeat this process on a regular basis.

To use castor oil as a deep face cleanser, take a few drops in your hands and rub them to warm the oil. Using slow, firm motions, massage your face with the oil, paying attention to the problematic areas. 

While using castor oil, one must know the side effects it can cause when used excessively.

Down Side Of Castor Oil

Allergies - some people may be allergic to castor oil. The common symptoms include itching, swelling or rashes when they come in contact with the oil.

Labour - since castor oil is being used for inducing labor, pregnant ladies at all stages of pregnancy must avoid it. It is recommended to be used on the recommendation of medical professionals only.

Digestive system damage - long term laxative use can damage your digestive system and result in dehydration and electrolyte abnormalities.

Overdose - excess consumption of castor oil can be poisonous for the body. Symptoms of overdose include chest pain, cramps, shortness of breath.

However, these occur only when one consumes castor oil in excess. To reap the full benefits of castor oil, apply and leave it on at night, and do not consume the oil more than thrice a week.

If you are interested in using castor oil for treating constipation, consult a medical professional first.

Along with castor oil, you can use organic skincare products to elevate your skin regimen. A trusted brand which is 100% safe to use is Tuco Intelligent

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