Castor Oil: Uses and Benefits
Castor Oil is one of the oldest oils extracted from a plant, Ricinus communis, which is put to multiple uses. As seen today, it is used for skin and hair but its historical use has nothing to do with these applications. It was more of a medicinal oil which was used for therapeutic purposes rather than for cosmetic use.
Moving further, we will see how castor use is useful and what are the possible side-effects of this multi-purpose oil.
Where is it Extracted From?
Castor oil, also known as Ricinus Oil is a non-volatile, thick, gloopy, and fatty oil with a yellow tint which is obtained from the seeds of the castor bean (Ricinus communis). The oil has a very rare and distinct flavour and smell.
It is extracted either by pressing or through the process of solvent extraction. India and Brazil are the major producers of the oil and seed and are primarily consumed in the United States for industrial purposes.
Benefits of Castor Oil
Castor Oil has many benefits and wide-ranging uses. In this section, we will see what are the various benefits of this oil.
- Due to its nourishing properties, it can nurture your eyebrows and eyelashes. It can help in conditioning the hair and increase the volume too.
- Applying the oil to the hair can prevent breakage if used for 2-3 days, a week.
- The oil is packed with omega-6 fatty acids, amino acids, and vitamin E, which help to keep hair strong, and healthy.
- It boosts your hair growth and regular application can give you strong and long hair.
- Using the oil along your hairline will help in controlling the frizz, and smoothen your hair.
For Face & Skin
- It acts as a natural moisturizer and smoothens your skin.
- Rubbing a little castor oil on to the knees, elbows, and other dry areas of your body seal in the moisture if used once or twice a day.
- Its healing properties make it a well-known product for curing skin conditions like eczema, dermatitis, rosacea, psoriasis, and other skin problems.
- The anti-inflammatory properties help in reducing puffiness and swelling.
- Castor oil contains antibacterial properties that help in opening pores and hence preventing acne.
- Castor oil is helpful in cleansing the skin as the triglycerides found in the oil removes dirt from the skin.
Uses of Castor Oil for Industrial Purposes
As stated above, Castor oil is useful for skin, hair, and face due to its anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, and healing properties. Apart from these, the oil has a great commercial value and is treated as a highly renewable resource for the chemical industry. It is used for several industrial purposes listed below:-
- Manufacturing soaps, waxes, and lubricants.
- Studies conducted for castor oil show that castor oil contains methyl esters which can be used as alternative biodiesel, blended with diesel.
- Castor oil and its derivatives can also be used in the synthesis of renewable polymers and monomers.
- In the process of production, castor oil gives two bioproducts i.e., husks and meal, which when combined together, acts as a potential fertilizer that promotes plant growth.
- Castor oil is also used in the production of coating oil for furniture and paints.
Side-effects of Castor Oil
- There are often complaints of allergic reactions such as skin rashes, swelling, and itching.
- The laxative properties of castor oil can cause diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, and vomiting.
- It is always advised to slightly dilute the oil with any other oil such as coconut oil as applying pure castor oil may cause skin irritation and dryness.
- Pregnant women should never consume castor oil as it can induce premature labor-pain.
- The stimulant laxative starts works quickly so never take it before going to bed.