Use Castor Oil for Skin, Hair & (PMS) to Relieve Menstrual Cramps
Growing up, one of my biggest insecurities was my thin eyebrows. Even now, when I show my friends old pictures, I always jokingly point out how it looked like I barely had any eyebrows at all. As I got older – I tried everything from tinting/dying my eyebrows to filling them in. Some people even recommended that I try microblading. While all of these solutions are GREAT, I was really looking for a way to stimulate my hair growth naturally. That’s when castor oil came into my life.
I heard a lot of skin-thusiasts online mention how much they loved to use castor oil, and I decided to try it out for myself after seeing their incredible results. In only a few weeks, my friends, and even their family, were shocked by the major change they saw and got hooked on using castor oil themselves. If you’re eager to find out all the ways you can benefit from castor oil too, we’ll break down all the important facts you need to know.
What is Castor Oil?
Before you put castor oil on your face, we should probably talk about what exactly castor oil is. To put it basically – castor oil is a multi-purpose vegetable oil that people have used for thousands of years (1). It’s made by extracting oil from seeds known as castor beans. Once the castor beans are heated, the toxic enzyme known as ricin is deactivated, allowing us to use castor oil safely. In comparison to most plant-derived oils, castor oil is far richer in vitamin E and fatty acids, which is why it’s been regarded as a top immunity-boosting ingredient over time. In fact, it’s still a major staple in Ayurvedic medicine.
How Can We Use Castor Oil?
Castor oil isn’t just any regular shmegular oil. It has a number of medicinal, industrial, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical uses. Besides being commonly used as an additive in foods, medication, and skincare – castor oil can also be used as an industrial lubricant and a component in biodiesel fuel (1). If you look back in history, castor oil was also used as fuel for lamps, as a natural ready to treat medical issues like eye irritation, and was even given to pregnant women in order to induce labor.
Today, castor oil is still an incredibly popular natural treatment for common conditions like constipation, skin ailments, and so much more. Here’s a list of some of the most common ways you can use it...
1. Natural Laxative
One of the best-known medicinal uses for castor oil is as a natural laxative for people to relieve constipation. It increases the movement of the muscles that work with our intestines and works best for people who only experience occasional, not chronic, constipation.
2. Hair and Scalp Health
Many people also use castor oil as a natural hair conditioner to treat dry or damaged hair that needs more moisture. Using castor oil on your hair on a regular basis will end up also increasing the flexibility of the hair shaft and decreasing the chance of breakage (1). It can also act as a natural lubricant, coating, and conditioning our hair strands to improve smoothness and shine (2). Plus, castor oil can come in handy for those who experience dandruff or dry, flaky skin on their scalp.
3. Hair Growth
Due to castor oil’s moisturizing and conditioning benefits, the oil can help thicken our hair over time by enhancing the health of our hair follicles. You can put castor oil on your hair, your lashes, and even your brows like I did to promote growth. Since castor oil is packed with replenishing omega-6 fatty acids, repairing amino acids, and vitamin E, it can also ward off split ends (3). If you’re interested in using it, try rubbing a few drops of castor oil into your scalp and onto your ends.
4. Nail Health
Need to condition your cuticles? Castor oil can help!
Castor Oil Benefits
You thought we were done? Not quite! There are even more castor oil benefits that we need to discuss – especially when it comes to our skin.
- Natural Moisturizer: Castor oil is rich in fatty acids that can act as humectants and can moisturize our skin. Humectants keep in moisture by preventing water loss through the outer layer of our skin (1). People often use castor oil in their products, such as lotions, makeup, and cleansers, to promote hydration and soft skin.
- Speeds Up Healing Process: Did you know you can place castor oil on your wounds to promote healing? As we mentioned before, castor oil can create moisture, which helps prevent wounds and sores from drying out. Castor oil is commonly used in ointments to treat wounds as it’s known to stimulate tissue growth so that a protective barrier can be formed on the wound to decrease the risk of any infection. As a bonus, castor oil can also reduce the buildup of dead skin cells that can slow wound healing.
- Anti-Inflammatory Benefits: Ricinoleic acid, the main fatty acid found in castor oil, has amazing inflammatory properties that can relieve pain (1). For this reason, those with rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis often use castor oil as it can reduce pain and swelling.
- Reduces Acne: Since castor oil is great for reducing inflammation, we can also use it to help reduce acne. Other than reducing inflammation, castor oil (when applied to the skin) has antimicrobial properties that can fight bacteria as well. Ricinoleic acid, found in castor oil, is also known to be a powerful antioxidant that protects our skin from free radical damage that can cause collagen damage and premature aging.
- Liver Detoxification, Reducing PMS, and Relieving Menstrual Cramps: Castor oil is an impressive detoxifying ingredient, and many fans of natural healing remedies commonly make castor oil packs to relieve PMS symptoms and alleviate period cramps. If you’re not sure what a castor oil pack is, it’s basically a makeshift castor oil heating pad. To make one, you’ll need your favorite castor oil brand, a wool flannel, and a non-electric heating pad. They’re extremely beneficial as most people don’t realize that PMS occurs when the liver is not detoxifying hormones efficiently.
Written by Selena Ponton