Castor Oil – How to Get Maximum Benefits
Castor oil was first popularly used as a lubricant for automotive vehicles and machines. In fact, the lubricant Castrol has derived its name from castor oil. Castor oil was also employed for various industrial purposes like in the manufacturing of plastics, rubbers, and synthetic products like varnishes, dyes, and leather treating solutions. It was only later on that the medicinal properties of castor oil were identified.
The seeds of the plant, Ricinus communis or castor plant are cold pressed to squeeze out the oil contents from within, resulting in castor oil, which is considered to be a type of a vegetable oil. Castor oil has a pale yellow tint to it with minimal or no odor or taste. This has been in use by the food industry to prevent grains from rotting by coating them with a layer of castor oil.
The main compounds of castor oil are ricinoleic, oleic, linoleic, linolenic, stearic, and palmitic acids of which ricin is determined to be most toxic in nature. But it is this ricinoleic acid that comprises 80%-90% of the total fatty acid glyceride content that castor oil contains and which yields powerful therapeutic effects.
Disease Castor Oil Cures –
The health benefits of castor oil are listed below.
Increased Permeability – Castor oil is absorbed well by the skin and hair because of its low molecular weight and helps in keeping them well nourished and moisturized for it is high in vitamin E as well. Also, it not only penetrates through skin easily, it also has the ability to reach deep into the body system and heat up the body, decreasing the occurrence of body fluid accumulation, water retention and weight gain.
Muscle Relaxant and Anti-inflammatory – Soaking a thick cloth in warm castor oil and wrapping it around painful joints will help in relieving joint pain and relaxing stiff muscles. This is because castor oil has natural compounds that have the ability to counteract inflammation, which is the body’s response to cellular injury.
Anti-bacterial/Antifungal/Antiviral – The ricinoleic acid found in abundance in castor oil prevents microorganisms like fungus, bacteria, virus and yeast from flourishing. Thus, topical application of castor oil is helpful in treating several skin inflammatory and infectious conditions, skin growths, and skin abrasions effectively.
When used to massage the scalp regularly, it treats dandruff issues effectively, as well as controls hair loss, split ends, and stimulates hair growth.
Laxative – Castor oil has been in use popularly to treat constipation. The oil works by increasing movement of the intestinal muscles, enabling stools to be expelled out more easily. But care should be taken to use it in small doses and for a limited time period only to prevent any bleeding from happening, which is a possibility with castor oil overdosing.
Castor oil when used for maintaining healthy skin conditions, should be blended along with other essential oils like extra virgin olive oil, sunflower seed oil or pure coconut oil because of its high viscosity.
Caution – In case castor oil dosage increases when used to treat constipation, it can in fact increase abdominal discomfort, nausea, and cramping. Castor oil along with diuretic use can result in low potassium blood levels.
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