As a child, I remember my granny recommending castor oil for almost any problem. For her, it was the best home remedy for a host of ailments. Even today, the very mention of castor oil summons the numerous natural health benefits it provides. But before we delve into details, here is a quick brief about its origin.
Castor oil is extracted by pressing the seeds of castor plant, also known as Ricinus communis (1). It is a vegetable oil and the plant is largely native to Africa and India. The oil has been famous in the world over for centuries for its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. The medicinal and therapeutic benefits of the oil make it a favourite across various industries. The uses of castor oil are many for skin, hair and health. It also happens to be one of the most widely-used ingredients in various cosmetics, soaps, textiles, massage oils and even medicines.
Benefits of Castor Oil in Our Daily Life:
Castor oil is one of the few natural products that fight several ailments. Here are the 18 amazing uses and benefits of castor oil in our daily lives.
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Castor Oil Benefits for Skin:
1. Skin Problems:
Castor oil is a boon when it comes to skin problems like sunburn, acne, dry skin and stretch marks. It also helps evade infections like warts, boils, athlete’s foot (2) and chronic itching. To treat problems like sun burn, warts (3), yeast infections, fungal infections or acne, follow these simple steps:
- Take a cotton wool ball
- Dip it in castor oil
- Apply directly to the affected skin area.
- Leave it on for an hour
- Wash off clearly after an hour.
- Repeat this in the morning and night for faster results.
- If the affected area is small – soak a band-aid in castor oil and apply it on the affected area. Finally cover it with a clean one.
If the affected area is large – soak a cloth in castor oil and place on the affected area for an hour before washing off.
Castor oil effectively treats ringworm (4), a common and stubborn skin problem across all age groups. The active compound called undecylenic acid, found in castor oil, helps treat ringworm successfully. Here is a step-by-step guide to its use.
- Dilute 2 teaspoons of castor oil in 4 teaspoons of coconut oil.
- Alternatively, you can wash castor leaves in water and soak them in coconut oil for few hours, and then heat gently.
- Apply over the affected area and cover with a cotton cloth.
- Keep it overnight for best results.
Repeat this procedure until cured completely.
3. Wrinkles and Fine Lines:
Castor oil, when applied to the skin, penetrates deep and stimulates the production of collagen and elastin. This in turn helps soften and hydrate our skin. It delays the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, making the skin smoother, softer and younger. The fine lines around the eye area can be treated with its application. For best results, apply it everyday, after washing your face, over wrinkles and fine lines (5). You may also apply castor oil for skin before bed daily.
Castor oil is rich in Ricinoleic acid (6), which fights off the acne-causing bacteria. It effectively penetrates the skin layers, making it an excellent remedy for acne. To use castor oil for skin:
- Wash your face with warm water, as this will help open your pores.
- Simply massage your face in a circular motion with the oil.
- Keep it overnight.
- Wash off your face the next morning with cold water.
Castor oil is a wonderful moisturiser (7). The high concentrated fatty acids penetrate the skin easily. This helps remove dry patches and restores hydration of the skin. Only a little amount of castor oil is required for this purpose. The fatty acids in castor oil make it stand out amongst other vegetable oils. Castor oil finds uses in various industries but it is prized in skincare segment for its ability to quickly moisturise. So if you are looking for an inexpensive and natural skin moisturiser, you know what to reach out for! Here’s a quick tip:
- Apply a few drops on face.
- Massage it well on your skin every night.
Just follow the above steps to wake up to smooth, supple and revitalized skin every morning.
6. Fade Scars:
Castor oil is often used for fading scars. Though it works slowly in this regard (needs to be used regularly to see prominent results), it can produce permanent solution naturally. Once again, the fatty acids come to rescue. They penetrate deep within the scar tissue and plump it out while encouraging the growth of healthy tissues around it. It helps the scar diminish slowly (8).