Castor Oil – A Medicine in Disguise
Skin issues, constipation, hair fall, pain, and swelling, the answer to all was Castor Oil in ancient times. Why? Because more than oil, castor is the world’s oldest herbal medicine. Surprised? Wait till you know more about it.
Castor – The Allrounder
Generally, any oil has limited usage – either cooking or tropical application but the castor was different. Castor has been used as a medicine more than just an oil because of the numerous medicinal properties it carries within it.
Several pieces of evidence have been unearthed by historians that prove castor oil was an important product in ancient civilization. Castor is one such multipurpose vegetable oil whose usage can be dated back to ancient Egypt where people first used it as a lamp fuel, and when they realized the medicinal benefits of castor, they began using it for health and beauty treatments, for example, Cleopatra who was reportedly believed to be using the castor oil to brighten the whites of her eyes. Whereas, according to Ebers Papyrus, an Egyptian medical text from 1500 BC, the Egyptians used castor oil to protect the eyes from irritation. In fact, traces of castor seeds have also been discovered in ancient tombs dating back to 4000 BC.
Where the Greeks & Romans used castor oil as an ointment and health elixir, later in Ayurveda, the oil came to be known as ‘the secret of beauty’ and its popularity spread such that even practitioners started using castor oil to treat almost all kinds of skin and hair-related issues and other health ailments, making castor oil the one-stop solution for all problems during that period.
Even though time passed and people started forgetting about the value of castor oil and are now pushing it away complaining of its odd smell and thick texture, the goodness of castor oil is still the same and hence it is and will always be the all-rounder.
Unlocking the Goodness of Castor Oil
The thick, golden oil is prized for its healing properties and it is 100% true because castor is no ordinary oil, it is anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-allergic, anti-aging, anti-infectious, anti-viral, immune-boosting, and analgesic properties and anti-pruritic; meaning it can reduce swelling, pain, and itchiness.
It is a powerhouse of nutrients because even one-tablespoon serving of castor oil contains:
It is also a good and rich source of:
- Vitamin E
- Omega-9 fatty acids
- Omega-6 fatty acids
Among these, omega-9 has pain relief and anti-inflammatory effects such that when applied to the skin, may help relieve issues like joint pain and menstrual cramps. And guess what? 90% of castor oil’s fatty acid content is ricinoleic acid, a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties, which is an unsaturated omega-9 fatty acid and a hydroxy acid, also a major component derived from the castor seeds.
Other mixes of beneficial components in it include omega-3 fatty acids, flavonoids, phenolic acids, amino acids, terpenoids, and phytosterols which can undergo a wide range of reactions enabling the formation of several castor oil derivatives.
The Medicinal Effect of Castor Oil
Due to its specific molecular makeup, it would be right to describe castor oil as a medicinal ointment more than just an oil because of its intrinsic properties and the load of nutrition it carries within it. Castor oil is believed to have a positive impact on the body tissues, such as plasma, blood, bones, and reproductive fluids thereby making it the most-sought ingredient in the pharmaceutical industry.
When applied topically, castor oil was found to improve blood circulation and oxygenation within the skin (and tissues below) which thus improves the cellular regeneration process and promotes faster healing. Thanks to the presence of vitamin E and omega-6 & 9 content in high amounts in castor oil, the function of the cells in the body speeds up which reduces the inflammation, swelling, and pain in the affected area. Evidence also suggests that Castor Oil has detoxifying properties and is capable of stimulating the lymphatic systems to enhance immune function.
Castor Oil as a Medicine
Due to its healing properties, castor oil is popular as a herbal medicine since ancient times and it can be said that it is the right title for it because of the following medicinal uses of castor oil.
1. A Natural Moisturizer
Just like any other oil, castor too is a natural moisturizer. Applying it on the skin regularly prevents or reduces water loss through the outer layer of the skin and acts as an effective humectant, creating a seal on the skin to keep moisture in.
Unlike many popular moisturizing products found in stores which are nothing but loaded with potentially harmful ingredients like preservatives, perfumes, and dyes, which can irritate and even damage the skin and overall health, castor oil is the safest, best, and most inexpensive alternative that you can use it on both your face and body.
Due to its thick nature and strange smell, castor is generally not considered to be a skin-friendly oil but, you can make a mix of pleasant and aromatic oils like — almond, olive, and coconut oil and turn the smelly and viscous castor oil into an ultra-hydrating moisturizer. Thus, alongside providing a hydrating and soothing effect when applied to the skin, castor oil also protects the skin00 from free radical damage, and premature aging by avoiding collagen damage that can lead to wrinkles.
2. A Wound Healer
Castor oil is known as a herbal medicine for various reasons because the combination of ingredients that castor contains proves effective in healing any type of wound such as surgical, minor cuts, burns, ulcers, etc.
As soon as castor oil is applied to a wound, a moist environment forms that acts as a protective barrier, promoting faster healing, preventing water loss, restoring good skin health, reducing dryness to the skin, and relieving skin irritation. The triglyceride in castor oil having antibacterial and antimicrobial properties also prevents the development of infection.
3. A Natural Laxative
Whenever castor oil is mentioned, the first thing that comes to our mind is constipation. The reason is castor oil is the traditional remedy for constipation and is still the first solution that comes to our mind to cure it. The laxative properties of castor oil stimulate the movement of muscles which allows the passing of stool smoothly via the intestine without causing any pressure or struggle to other organs.
4. Skin and Hair Caretaker
Our skin and hair are not just for our appearance but their health plays an important factor in our overall health and to maintain that regular use of castor oil is recommended and is practiced for ages.
Castor oil possesses the ability to enhance the health and appearance of both our skin and hair as well as heal them if any kind of issues arises such as acne, fungal infection, dandruff, hair fall, ringworm, melasma, and others.
5. Natural Immunity Booster
Castor oil has a special place in Ayurveda due to its commendable healing properties. It is believed to be an effective and 100% natural immunity booster because castor oil when consumed in very moderate amounts can increase the count of T-11 cells (a type of white blood cell) that pushes the body’s limit to produce more antibodies such that it can battle viruses, fungi, bacteria, and even cancer cells.
6. Pain and Inflammation Reliever
Due to the analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties present in castor oil, application of it on painful and swollen areas has been proven to bring great relief from pain, inflammation, and discomfort. In fact, castor oil is believed to reduce arthritis symptoms greatly and effectively without any side effects.
In a Nutshell
There’s no doubt why castor oil is considered to be the world’s oldest herbal medicine because there’s nothing this simple-looking pale yellow thick oil cannot do. We have only pointed out a few of its medicinal benefits while its list is quite long which you can only use and realize.
But, remember to buy 100% natural and organic castor oil from a trusted source like us, Ambuja Solvex if you want to realize and utilize its full potential.
Visit us to know more.