As a child, I remember my granny recommending castor oil for just about any ailment. For her, it was the go-to home remedy for a host of problems. Known as ‘Arandi Kaa Tel’ in Hindi, ‘Aamudamu’ in Telugu, ‘Erandela Tela‘ in Marathi, ‘Amanakku Enney‘ in Tamil, ‘Avanakkenna‘ in Malayalam, and ‘Rerira Tela’ in Bengali, it happens to be one of the most widely used ingredients.  Castor oil is extracted by pressing the seeds of the castor plant, also known as Ricinus communis (1). It is a vegetable oil, and the plant is largely native to Africa and India. But the oil has been made famous all over the world for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It is used in various cosmetics, soaps, textiles, massage oils, and even medicines, owing to the fact that it has plenty of benefits for your skin, hair, and health.

Why You Should Use Castor Oil

Skin Benefits

1. Heals Inflamed Skin
2. Fights Signs Of Aging
3. Reduces Acne
4. Moisturizes Skin
5. Fades Blemishes
6. Prevents Stretch Marks
7. Reduces Pigmentation

Hair Benefits

8. Promotes Hair Growth
9. Treats Scalp Infections
10. Prevents Premature Graying
11. Conditions Hair

Health Benefits

12. Treats Ringworms
13. Disinfects Wounds
14. Acts As A Laxative
15. Reduces Joint Pain/Arthritis
16. Boosts Immunity

Skin Benefits

1. Heals Inflamed Skin

Castor oil is a boon when it comes to healing skin inflammation that can be caused by sunburns, acne, and dry skin.

What You Need

  • Castor oil
  • Cotton ball

What You Have To Do

  1. Take a cotton ball and dip it in castor oil.
  2. Apply directly to the affected skin area.
  3. Leave it on for an hour. Then, wash it off.

Why Does It Work

Castor oil has healing properties that help with skin inflammations of all sorts (2).

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2. Fights Signs Of Aging

One of the amazing benefits of castor oil is that when it is used topically, it can slow down aging.

Why Does It Work

Castor oil, when applied to the skin, penetrates deeply and stimulates the production of collagen and elastin (3). This, in turn, helps soften and hydrate the skin. It delays the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines and makes the skin smoother, softer, and younger. The fine lines around the eye area can also be treated with its application.

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3. Reduces Acne

Those who have acne-prone skin tend to shy away from most oils as they tend to clog pores and aggravate their problem. Using castor oil can prove to be beneficial in reducing acne.

What You Need

Few drops of castor oil

What You Have To Do

  1. Wash your face with warm water. This will help open your pores.
  2. Simply massage your face in a circular motion with the oil.
  3. Keep it on overnight and wash your face the next morning with cold water.

Why Does It Work

Castor oil is rich in ricinoleic acid that fights off the acne-causing bacteria (4). It effectively penetrates the skin layers, making it an excellent remedy for acne (5).

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4. Moisturizes Skin

Castor oil leaves you with smooth, supple, and revitalized skin. So if you are looking for an inexpensive and natural skin moisturizer, you know what to reach out for!

What You Need

A few drops of castor oil

What You Have To Do

  1. After thoroughly cleaning your face, massage with castor oil using gentle, circular motions.

Why Does It Work

Castor oil is a wonderful moisturizer(6). The highly concentrated fatty acids penetrate the skin easily. This helps remove dry patches and restores hydration of the skin. Castor oil finds uses in various industries, but it is prized in the skin care segment for its ability to moisturize effectively.

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5. Fades Blemishes

Castor oil is often used for fading blemishes and scars. The results won’t be visible overnight. It works slowly in this regard, and needs to be used regularly to see prominent results.

Why Does It Work

Once again, the fatty acids present in castor oil come to the rescue. They penetrate deep within the scar tissue and plump it out while encouraging the growth of healthy tissues around it. This helps the blemishes fade away(7).

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6. Prevents Stretch Marks

Stretch marks are usually the result of pregnancy when the skin on the abdomen experiences drastic stretching over a short period of time. More elastic skin means lesser stretch marks, and this is where castor oil comes into play.

Why Does It Work

Castor oil is rich in fatty acids. So when it is used topically during the final two months of pregnancy, it can prevent stretch marks (8).

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7. Reduces Pigmentation

Castor oil is extremely good in clearing your skin of spots and marks. It is so effective that dermatologists recommend castor oil to treat uneven skin tone, spots, and marks because of its ability to reduce pigmentation.

Why Does It Work

Castor oil is crammed with fatty acids, specifically omega-3 fatty acids. These omega-3s hydrate the skin, while stimulating the growth of healthy tissue, thus giving you a blemish-free and supple skin (9).

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Hair Benefits

8. Promotes Hair Growth

Castor oil is an excellent remedy for promoting hair growth. Massaging your scalp with it can give you thicker and longer hair.

Why Does It Work

The oil boosts blood circulation to the follicles, leading to faster hair growth. The oil also has omega-9 essential fatty acids that are responsible for healthy hair (10). It also helps reduce split ends, controls hair breakage, and conditions and moisturizes your hair.

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9. Treats Scalp Infections

Scalp infection can cause major hair problems like bald patches, dandruff, and an itchy scalp. Using castor oil can help get rid of these issues.

Why Does It Work

Castor oil is antifungal and antibacterial. It can fight pathogens and microorganisms causing the infection (11).

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10. Prevents Premature Graying

If your hair has started showing the first signs of graying, applying castor oil can prevent your hair from losing more pigment.

Why Does It Work

The application of castor oil is a popular method to prevent premature graying (12). It helps your hair retain its pigment, and delays your hair turning gray or white

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11. Conditions Hair

An answer to all hair woes, castor oil can be extremely helpful in treating dry and damaged hair

What You Need

1 teaspoon castor oil

What You Have To Do

  1. Add a teaspoon of castor oil to your leave-in conditioner and shake well.
  2. Use after you shampoo your hair.

Why Does It Work

The humectant properties of the oil help lock in the moisture in the hair (13). This prevents your hair from turning dry and makes it smoother and softer.

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Health Benefits

12. Treats Ringworms

Castor oil effectively treats ringworm, a common and stubborn problem across all age groups.

What You Need

  • 2 teaspoons castor oil
  • 4 teaspoons coconut oil

What You Have To Do

  1. Dilute the castor oil in the coconut oil.
  2. Apply it on the affected area and cover with a cotton cloth. Keep it on overnight for best results.

Why Does It Work

The active compound called undecylenic acid that is found in castor oil helps treat ringworms (14).

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13. Disinfects Wounds

Castor oil works as an excellent disinfectant on cuts and scrapes.

Why Does It Work

The antimicrobial properties make it effective for treating minor cuts and scratches (15). And because it has anti-inflammatory properties, it also helps relieve the pain.

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14. Acts As A Laxative

One of the primary uses of castor oil is as a laxative. It is still used widely as a part of conventional and folk medicine.

Why Does It Work

The ricinoleic acid present in castor oil is what induces laxation (1 ). Hence, consuming castor oil can help if you are suffering from constipation.

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15. Reduces Joint Pain/Arthritis

Castor oil is a great remedy for treating the pain caused by arthritis. A castor oil pack can provide relief from the joint and tissue pain.

What You Need

  • Castor oil
  • A piece of soft cotton fabric

What You Have To Do

  1. Take the piece of fabric and fold it into squares. Soak it in castor oil.
  2. Squeeze out excess oil and place the cloth on the affected joint. Take care to cover it with a plastic wrap.
  3. Place a hot water bottle or heating pad on this. The plastic will save the bottle from getting oily. Leave it on for an hour.

Why Does It Work

The anti-inflammatory properties of castor oil make it ideal for relieving joint pain, nerve inflammation, and sore muscles (17).

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16. Boosts Immunity

Naturopathy practitioners and followers observe that castor oil helps boost immunity. Even when it is used topically, it increases the defense mechanisms of your body.

Why Does It Work

Castor oil, when used topically, increases the number of T-11 cells, which signals a boost in the defense mechanisms in the body (18 ). The T-11 cells form antibodies against pathogens and toxins, which promotes better health.

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Nutritional Value Of Castor Oil

A Word of Caution

FDA has classified castor oil as “generally recognized as safe and effective” (19). But it does have its list of side effects and should be used with caution.

Conduct a basic allergy test before you jump on the remedy wagon of castor oil. Dab a few drops of castor oil on your arm and leave it on overnight. If you experience itching or rashes or redness, you might be allergic.

Ingesting castor oil can cause nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and weakness (20). If you are experiencing these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.

Castor oil has been known to induce early labor, so it is not advisable for pregnant women to consume it. It may interact with other medications, so you need to consult you doctor before using castor oil.

Do you know of any more uses of castor oil? Share them with us in the comments section.

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  • http://www.stylecraze.com/members/jayshreebhagat/ Jayshree Bhagat

    amazing uses!

    • http://www.stylecraze.com/members/Ankita_Biswas/ Ankita Biswas

      Thank you jayshree!!!!! :) :)

  • Atul

    Awesome Product; thanks for such valuable information!!

  • Rashmi

    Very informative and well-researched article. Thanks for sharing such an in-depth and detailed information about castor oil. Never knew there are so many benefits of castor oil. I would definitely use castor oil for thickening my eyebrows and resolving my skin issues. Good job, Ankita :) Keep sharing more interesting write-ups!!!

  • Tanya

    Never knew castor oil is this useful! Thank you for sharing informative article. Would love to try it for acne and hair growth. Thanks a ton!

  • sabz

    how can i thinner my fat lower lip …help plz

    • Zimile

      you can’t.

    • cwrenn

      A facial plastic surgeon can do a procedure called lip reduction,find a good surgeon in your area there is a website for researching qualified and board certified surgeons then you can look at their photo gallery. you will love it,do it for your self esteem.I know my Dr does many African people.

  • Anne Williams

    Wow didn’t know all this about castor oil! Really good info. I’ll start using it for my scars :) For my hair I think I’ll stick to the argan oil I bought from pro naturals, I really recommend that stuff for frizzy, dry or damaged hair!

  • Hughes

    If castor oil really promotes hair growt, is really a good idea to put it on your face?

  • Madeline

    to treat menstrual disorder, should I apply castor oil during or after the menstrual cycle? thanks.

  • Frank Araullo

    Castor oil is very thick which is bit difficult to massage on hair. Is there any way or to mix on it so that it will be easily rub into hair please?

    • Wendy

      You can mix it with olive oil to thin it or mix it with hair conditioner.

  • Fred

    Claims that castor oil cures MS or Parkinson’s is ludicrous.

  • Anonymous

    Yes mix it with coconut oil or almond oil. :)

  • donna

    Thankyou for the article very interesting and informative

  • http://gravatar.com/muskanrajoria muskanrajoria

    Hey where to buy good quality non adulterated castor oil in India. Can you please suggest a reliable brand ?

  • dueepjs

    Alice,
    Look at my snap. How old do you think I am? That is because I have never used chemicals on my face. L’Oreal is one of them. I wrote about Amla to help in antiaging by darkening hair in the message to Mr. Araullo above.
    In India we get rid of wrinkles by NEVER EVER subjecting our skin to chemical based cosmetics. Here is my antiaging regime for you. Take 3 parts of carrot juice, I part of Beetroot juice and 2 parts of tomato Juice. Mix them all together. Drink every day In the afternoon, about 1 hour after your lunchtime.Do not eat or drink anything for about one hour afterwards so that the juice can do its own magic work.
    This is going to have a rejuvenating effect on your skin within 15 to 20 days. Even though we naturopaths recommend it for 40 days. This brings back a healthy growth of fresh cells.
    Stop using antiaging creams– instead use This natural lotion, every day. 10 g lemon juice – filter it twice, first, 10 g of Glycerin, 10 g of Almond/ wheat germ oil, 10 g of honey. Mix them all together and apply it on your face at night, after you have washed it and removed all the makeup. It may feel sticky initially, but you will soon find the honey and the oil getting absorbed in your skin.
    This not only prevents wrinkles, but clears your skin and gives it a glow. Also, honey is going to keep your skin looking youthful for a long long time.
    Long exposure to the sun can also cause wrinkles. That means your skin is dehydrated. So remember to drink a glass full of Fresh juice/Lemon juice before you go outside. This is going to keep you well hydrated.
    God bless.

  • dueepjs

    Are you sure you are using Castor oil and not that greasy car fuel Castrol? BION I found some people on the internet doing exactly that. I am not joking. Seriously, castor oil should be oily, not thick. It has a strong smell. That is why it is applied at night. It is extracted from castor seeds.
    Stop using this oil immediately, if it isn’t castor OIL.Ankita Needed to add that this real oil is called Erand ka tel or arandi ka tel in the local vernacular. [BTW, amazing job, Ankita. Superb information!]
    So if you are not using the real thing,instead here is a natural healthy hair blackener called Emblica officianalis. It is also called Amla in Hindi. Eat a tablespoon full of this powdered Gooseberry with a glass of milk instead of applying oil on your head. Stops the greying process immediately and the roots turn black. Don’t do this if you are auburn or blond, haha.
    Stop using chemical shampoos. Use amla powder 20 gms soaked overnight in 1/2 a liter of water and then used as a shampoo after filtering the next day for two months or so. This is the traditional shampoo for both men and women in India for milleniums.
    Report back for more help, whenever needed.
    God Bless.

  • http://www.stylecraze.com/ StyleCraze

    Hi Ashwini, crown baldness usually follows a pattern of receding hairline and hair thinning on the crown, and is caused by hormones and genetic predisposition. Each strand of hair you have sits in a tiny hole (cavity) in the skin called a follicle. Baldness in general occurs when the hair follicle shrinks over time, resulting in shorter and finer hair. Eventually, the follicle does not grow new hair. The follicles remain alive, which suggests that it is still possible to grow new hair. It is advisable to consult a dermatologist to understand the cause of hair loss. Procedures like skin biopsy and hair analysis might give you a clear picture for your treatment.

  • http://ohkeaishop.com/ OhKeai

    Just started using castor oil on my eyelashes. Haven’t seen any effects yet. Never thought it has other beneficial uses. Thank you for this article.

    • http://www.stylecraze.com/ StyleCraze

      Glad to know that you liked our article :-) Do share the benefits of Castor oil with your family and friends !

      • http://ohkeaishop.com/ OhKeai

        yes, thank you. very informative article :)

  • http://www.stylecraze.com/ StyleCraze

    Hi Ridhi, you can use castor oil alone or in combination with olive oil. You can combine these oils in the ratio of 1:1. One of the most common and simple way to use these oils for skin is, first of all, 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 and wash off your face the next morning with cold water.

  • http://www.stylecraze.com/ StyleCraze

    Hi Ridhi, yes, oil cleaning method helps to rejuvenate the skin and brightens the skin.

  • http://www.stylecraze.com/ StyleCraze

    Hi Ridhi, castor oil when combined with olive oil does not darken the skin. It is advisable to not to overdo with the steaming. It should be done for at most once or twice a month that too for seven to ten minutes. Excessive steaming may dry the skin and make it wrinkly.

  • http://www.stylecraze.com/ StyleCraze

    Hi Ridhi, during the day time or before you step out in the sun, apply sunscreen cream. And when you are staying at your home then just keep your skin clean and may be a light moisturizer if you like.

  • http://www.stylecraze.com/ StyleCraze

    Hi Vedant, some of the ways to get rid of oily scalp are:
    1. If you have oily hair, it is best to shampoo everyday to keep your hair clean and grease free. Ideally, choose a shampoo meant for oily hair.
    2. When shampooing, ensure that you rinse your hair thoroughly. Any residue will only attract more oil and dirt. Never leave any soap or shampoo residue on hair.
    3. One of the best home remedies to treat oily hair is the use of aloe vera gel. You can mix the aloe vera gel with any shampoo to get rid of oily hair.
    4. Apple cidar vinegar – Add two to three tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar in a mug of water and mix it well. Rinse your oily hair with this mixture and wash it off after a few minutes. Repeat this process at least three times a week to get rid of oily hair problems.
    Lastly, apply a face pack of multani mitti and rose water to control oiliness of the face.

  • http://www.stylecraze.com/ StyleCraze

    Hi Rajpal, to increase growth of your beard, some of the remedies are
    1. Coconut oil – Combine coconut oil with rosemary oil in a proportion of 10:1 (10 parts coconut oil with 1 part rosemary oil); this is important to prevent the essential oil from causing irritation of the face. Take a little of this oil mix onto a cotton ball and apply to the face; rinse with cool water after about 15 minutes.
    2. Cinnamon and Lemon – Powder a little cinnamon bark and mix one teaspoon of this with two teaspoons of lemon juice. Apply this paste as a thin layer over the face the then rinse with cold water after 20 minutes.
    If your bald patch increases to grow even after the application of these remedies for long then it would be advisable to consult dermatologist.

  • http://www.stylecraze.com/ StyleCraze

    Hi bhbjh, if the castor oil is specifically made for the hair then do not apply it on the skin, for that information check the product label and instructions to use. If it is pure castor oil then it can be used both for hair and skin.

  • http://www.stylecraze.com/ StyleCraze

    Hi Neha, castor oil is an old, traditional way of taking care of the scalp and hair. It contains vitamin E, omega-6 fatty acids, minerals, and proteins, which are all important for the health of hair and scalp. It’s best to use castor oil as a hair mask, which is helpful if you’re trying to regrow hair or give it more moist and shine. You can also mix it with coconut oil, olive oil or jojoba oil . If your aim is to treat hair loss, you will need to do it at least twice weekly, but even better if you can do it three or four times per week for several weeks.

  • http://www.stylecraze.com/ StyleCraze

    Yes Shaan, castor oil helps to control acne. Castor oil is rich in Ricinoleic acid, which fights off the acne-causing bacteria. It effectively penetrates the skin layers, making it a good remedy for acne. To get rid of blackheads, you can use cinnamon. mix one teaspoon of cinnamon powder and honey to form a thick paste. Apply it on the affected area before bed and leave it on overnight. In the morning, wash your face well with normal water. For best results, follow this remedy daily for about 10 days.

  • Terry

    Hi everyone, I have a sore like a corn between my toes, after 2 hours I have to limp to enable me to walk as I’m in so much pain, will caster oil help? please help. I’ve tried corn pads but no affect.

    • http://www.stylecraze.com/ StyleCraze

      Hi Terry, the most common cause of corns on the feet is walking or running in ill-fitting shoes. Even standing for very long periods of time wearing tight shoes or high heels can cause corns. Also, people with diabetes or other conditions that cause poor blood flow to the feet have a higher risk of complications from corns. In such cases, getting your corn treated by a foot doctor is highly recommended. Some of the simple natural home remedies to get rid of corns are:
      1. Baking Soda – Add two to three tablespoons of baking soda to a basin of warm water. Soak your feet in this solution for 10 to 15 minutes. Rub the affected area with a pumice stone to remove the dead skin. You can use this remedy once daily until the corn dries and flakes off.
      2. Lemon – Apply fresh lemon juice on the corn and allow it to air dry. Do this at least three times daily. Another option is to mix one teaspoon of Brewer’s yeast with a little lemon juice to make a thick paste. Slather the paste onto the corn, cover with a bandage, and leave it on overnight. You can use any of these three remedies daily until you are satisfied with the result. You can use any of these two remedies daily until you are satisfied with the result.

  • http://www.stylecraze.com/ StyleCraze

    Happy to be of your help Terry… try these remedies and do share your experience with.

  • http://www.stylecraze.com/ StyleCraze

    Hi Nessy, yes the application of castor oil is one of the good remedy for promoting hair growth. You can also mix it with coconut or almond oil. For best results, apply the oil and leave it overnight after covering it with a cap for deep penetration. Wash it off thoroughly the next day.

  • http://www.stylecraze.com/ StyleCraze

    You are welcome Nessy :-) we will look forward for your feedback !

  • http://www.stylecraze.com/ StyleCraze

    Yes, castor oil promotes the growth of new hair and massing this oil regularly helps to thicken the hair. For best results, apply the oil and leave it overnight after covering it with a cap for deep penetration. Wash it off thoroughly the next day. It also helps reduce split ends and controls hair breakage while conditioning and moisturizing your hair.

  • http://www.stylecraze.com/ StyleCraze

    Hi Sankalp, castor oil has the FDA approval for use on skin disorders as to its main component of Ricinoleic acid for skin inflammation and anti-bacterial effects. Apply Castor Oil in plenty on the affected area 3 – 4 times a day. Leave that part uncovered and continue the treatment until all the bumps are removed. It is a very safe method and ensures complete cure.

  • http://www.stylecraze.com/ StyleCraze

    Dear Komal, hair loss in teens can be frustrating.Hair loss during adolescence can mean a person may be sick or just not eating right. Some medicines or medical treatments also cause hair loss. People can even lose their hair if they wear a hairstyle (like braids) that pulls on the hair for a long time. Most of the time, hair loss during the teen years is temporary. With temporary hair loss, the hair usually grows back after the problem that causes it is corrected. Right diet and care will help you to overcome this problem. If your hair fall persists for longer time, then consult a doctor who can help you to diagnose the cause. For more info on the remedies, check the article given below:
    http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/home-remedies-to-control-hair-fall/

  • http://www.stylecraze.com/ StyleCraze

    Hi Saurabh, there are no serious side effects of using castor oil. However if you find any of the symptoms like allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing, then contact your doctor or pharmacist.

  • http://www.stylecraze.com/ StyleCraze

    Hi Rohit, castor oil is beneficial for hair growth. Every night massage your beard with castor oil or coconut oil. This will strengthen and moisturize your hair follicles and help in the growth of hair. Another remedy is the use of eucalyptus. Eucalyptus helps promote facial hair growth, so use a moisturizer with eucalyptus as the main ingredient and massage it on your face to grow your beard faster.

  • http://www.stylecraze.com/ StyleCraze

    Hi Reginald, Tinea versicolor is a fungal skin infection, also known as pityriasis versicolor. Tinea versicolor is normally treated at home by applying an antifungal to the affected areas. You can apply castor oil to cure it. Or else, apple cider vinegar and aloe vera are also effective natural cure for many ailments, including tinea. Essential oils with anti-fungal properties are effective home treatments.

  • http://www.stylecraze.com/ StyleCraze

    Dear Adnan, some of the ways to grow thick hair naturally are:
    1. Olive oil – Massaging your scalp regularly with warm olive oil will strengthen the scalp and promote hair growth. Olive oil helps to add volume to the hair.
    2. Fenugreek seeds (methi) – Soak two to three tablespoons of fenugreek seeds in water for eight to 10 hours. Grind the soaked seeds to make a fine paste. You can also mix two teaspoons of coconut milk in it. Apply the paste on your hair and scalp and allow it to sit for about 30 minutes before washing your hair with lukewarm water. When done weekly on a regular basis, this remedy will prevent dry scalp and help you enjoy thicker hair.
    Try these remedies regularly and share your experience with us.