What are the benefits of castor oil?

This content is part of the Alternative Medicine category and may contain information that lacks scientific studies and/or medical consensus.

The castor oil is famous in various regions of the world, but you know the benefits of this natural product? Here you will discover everything about castor oil and how to make it a great ally of your health and beauty. Check out the benefits proven by science!

Castor oil is the oil extracted from the seeds of the castor bean Ricinus communis ), a very common plant in Brazil. That way, it’s not a hard product to find, different from what many people think.

Castor bean seeds contain between 40 and 50% oil, rich in ricinoleic acid and, unlike them, it is not toxic, since ricin is not soluble in oil. Currently, the oil has gained new status as an important product for the economy and for environmental preservation, as it can be used as biodiesel.

In the field of science, this natural oil has shown itself to be a protagonist when it comes to combating constipation and other ailments. Some discoveries are recent, but castor oil is a very old medical alternative. Despite the questionable taste for many, what cannot be questioned are its therapeutic and medicinal properties .

Discover all the benefits of using castor oil for health and well-being! Including this food/product in your daily life can be the secret to a healthier life.

What is castor oil for

Castor bean has been used medicinally since ancient Egypt for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant powers. Therefore, castor oil (extracted from the castor bean) was already used for curative and aesthetic purposes even before it was considered a real medicine. See the benefits of castor oil:

  • It’s a natural laxative
  • Stimulates menstruation
  • It’s good for the hair
  • induces labor
  • Eliminates germs, bacteria and fungi
  • protect the liver

In this article you will see that all these benefits are proven by science. Many people doubt the natural ability of plants and products derived from nature. In the case of castor oil, medical science itself shows surprising results.

See more about each benefit

This natural oil is rich in medicinal and aesthetic properties that aid in health, beauty and well-being. Among its main positive effects are laxative action, hair supplement and others. Check out:

It’s a natural laxative

First, it is necessary to talk about the main action of the consumption of castor oil: laxative . This product is rich in ricinoleic acid, a fatty acid capable of stimulating enzymatic activity. In turn, it is responsible for increasing bowel movements ( 1 , 2 ).

It is very suitable for adults who suffer from constipation . As it is a natural product, it has no side effects like some medications used for the same purpose.

Its effect is so proven that castor oil is often used as a medicine before tests such as colonoscopy , where it is necessary to present an empty bowel, free of excrement.

So, if your problem is constipation, try consuming 1 scoop of castor oil a day for a short period and see your bowels get better from this problem. It is also indicated for cases of constipation caused by stress and anxiety .

Stimulates menstruation

A study proved that ricinoleic acid present in the composition of castor oil is capable of stimulating uterine contractions 1 ). In addition to making menstruation go down, the oil can be used to regulate the menstrual cycle, giving a woman more control over her body.

It is a natural product widely used for this purpose in periods of hormonal changes, where the female cycle can become unregulated. For example, after you stop using birth control pills.

So if your cycle is out of control, ask your specialist doctor about using castor oil to benefit your menstrual health.

induces labor

This benefit is super beneficial for pregnant women. Studies show that the consumption of a little castor oil during labor helps the entire process to be faster and smoother ( 1 ).

That’s right, castor oil stimulates the uterus, resulting in increased contractions and opening the channel for the baby to pass through.

But it’s worth mentioning that it’s just a little castor oil, about ½ tablespoon. Ingesting more than this can cause an intestinal reaction in the pregnant woman, which can make delivery more difficult instead of helping.

Eliminates germs, bacteria and fungi

A study showed that castor oil has antibacterial and antifungal action 3 , 4 , 5 ), inhibiting the development of these small pathogens and improving the body’s immunity.

Getting rid of bacteria is an important factor in good health. When we call bacteria, viruses and fungi “pathogenic agents”, we mean that they cause pathologies, that is, diseases.

Thus, castor oil can be the key to sanitize the body of these bacteria and have a stronger and more defensive immune system. After all, prevention is the best medicine.

Fights candidiasis

Castor bean leaves have been used for hundreds of years in Ghana, Africa, for the medicinal purpose of treating thrush . Therefore, scientists carried out analyzes to verify if the plant (as well as its castor oil) really has this benefit. The result was positive ( 5 ).

According to the study, castor oil substances (and consequently castor oil) provoke an inhibitory reaction in Candida albicans, the agent that causes the disease.

Thus, castor oil is a potential natural remedy to help treat thrush. Furthermore, this discovery stimulated researchers around the world about the potential of this plant in the treatment of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).

protect the liver

Another medicinal discovery proven by science is the hepatoprotective capacity of castor oil ( 6 ). After all, substances were discovered that benefit the liver, improving its functioning and decreasing the incidence of diseases.

Among the main benefits for the liver is the prevention of hepatitis . However, don’t think that castor oil is the miracle secret to keeping your liver healthy. Therefore, consume healthy foods and avoid exaggerating alcoholic beverages and sugars.

Other Uses for Castor Oil

In addition to the benefits of consuming castor oil, this natural product can also be used externally by applying it to the skin or hair, for example. See below how to use this oil for these purposes and what the benefits are.

It’s good for the hair

Castor oil is also a very famous hair product . Its use is so common and beneficial that it has ended up making this oil a staple ingredient in many high quality hair care products.

The use of castor oil in the highlights helps to strengthen the strands, fight hair loss , nourish, sanitize, moisturize and control oiliness . In addition, reports indicate that castor oil is able to help treat dandruff, flaking and itchy scalp .

On the skin, castor oil is used to control the level of oil in the skin. If your face is oily, it is recommended to apply the oil to your clean face and let it act for 10 minutes twice a week. Then rinse with running water.

Castor oil will nourish and hydrate the skin, making the body realize that it is unnecessary to produce the skin’s natural oil. Some reports also point to castor oil as a potential pain reliever when applied to painful muscles and joints.

Precautions, contraindications and side effects

First, the use of oil is not recommended for pregnant women, as it can lead to childbirth or even abortion . But calm down! Castor oil is not actually considered an abortive food. But as it stimulates the uterus, it can cause miscarriage depending on the pregnant woman’s body.

It is also not recommended for women who are breastfeeding, as the laxative properties can pass into breast milk and cause diarrhea in babies.

It is a natural food that should be extremely avoided by people who have intestinal illnesses, except when recommended by a doctor. Consumption of castor oil can cause negative side effects and aggravate illness in this case.

As for the dosage, care must also be taken, since, taken in excess, it can cause nausea, vomiting, cramps and diarrhea. The recommended daily dose is between half and a teaspoon .

Ellie Lauderdale

My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .

I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.

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