How To Use Castor Oil To Treat Arthritis

Manage symptoms like pain and inflammation of joints by using this beneficial oil.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Zeel Gandhi, BAMS Dr. Zeel Gandhi Dr. Zeel GandhiBAMS
Written by , MSc Shaheen Naser MSc linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
Edited by , BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Arshiya Syeda BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma linkedin_icon Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , MSc (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach Payal Karnik MSc (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 2.5 years
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Castor oil has been used to treat several health issues since time immemorial. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties(1), c castor oil can be used as an ayurvedic medicine for joint pain relief. This pale yellow oil extracted from castor seed is nothing but a wonderful natural remedy for several health ailments. For example, the use of castor oil for liver detoxification is quite prevalent. Its anti-inflammatory properties may help relieve discomfort associated with arthritis.

But how does castor oil reduce joint pain? How is it useful for your joint health? If you are wondering the same, we can help you. This article discusses the therapeutic properties of castor oil to help provide relief from arthritis-related discomfort, and reduce inflammation, as well as the different ways to use it based on your needs. Keep reading.

How Does Castor Oil Help With Arthritis?

Let’s quickly look at what it is, its potential benefits, and how the properties of castor oil help with arthritis. Arthritis, in layman’s terms, is a condition that affects your joints and the connective tissues around them. The most common kind is called osteoarthritis which is caused by the wear and tear of the tissue or cartilage around the arthritic joints and muscle degeneration that usually happens with age.

In a study, it was found that more than one-third of Americans have arthritis when their joints are looked at using medical imaging. Most of these cases are osteoarthritis, which affects between 19% and 30% of adults over 45 in their knees, 27% in their hands, and 27% in their hips. It was also found that 40% of men and 47% of women will experience it during their lifetime. Also, if the body mass index is greater than 30, the risk of this medical condition increases to 60%.

The other ones are rheumatoid arthritisi  A chronic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and pain in the joints, often in smaller joints like the wrist or feet. and psoriatic arthritis, which are autoimmune medical conditions that can affect anyone. Scientists are yet to put the finger on what might be causing this. Medical conditions such as skin problems, stress, lifestyle issues, etc. could be some probable causes. But the affected parts are usually the knees, arms, ankles, feet, spine, hips, etc.

protip_icon Did You Know?
Castor oil is produced from the Ricinus communis plant’s seeds, which are indigenous to tropical regions of Africa and Asia.

How To Use Castor Oil For Arthritis?

While allopathy or any alternative medicine might be responsible for a big part of your healing, simple natural remedies free of any chemical composition can cool off your joints and reduce acute inflammation and arthritis pain, giving you comfort which is a blessing in itself when you are in pain. Here are different ways in which you could use castor oil.

Castor Oil Rub For Arthritis Pain Relief

Castor oil for arthritis
Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • Castor oil
  • Cotton Pads

Prep Time
5 minutes

Process
Warm-up castor oil, not too hot but just a little warm and soak cotton pads in castor oil. Take a little at a time and thoroughly massage the oil all over the skin on the arthritis affected area and place a hot water pack or hot water bottle there. This castor oil massage therapy is good for conditions like general joint stiffness, and reducing severe pain and inflammation.

How Often?
Use this as often as you can or at least once a week for regular spine, neck, or knee inflammation and pain. But, use it at least twice a week for arthritis, and you will start to feel much better.

Why This Works
The oil has properties that help stimulate the production of antibodies that may help prevent acute inflammation or reduce it. When you rub castor oil over the affected joint, it absorbs into the skin and starts to reduce the swelling. his fast absorption property of the oil makes it a better choice for getting faster relief during intense pain and discomfort.

Castor Oil Pack For Arthritis

Castor oil pack for arthritis
Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • Castor Oil
  • Hot water pack (bag or pads).
  • Cotton pads

Prep Time
8 Hours

Processing Time
1 hour

Process
For chronic arthritis pain and joint pain, you can soak a cotton pad or two in castor oil overnight, squeeze off the excess, and massage with a hot water pack or hot water bottle over the affected area.

How Often?
Continue applying this organic remedy every week or once in two weeks at least, depending on the intensity of arthritis pain and inflammation.

Why This Works
Arthritis invariably comes with swelling, and on days you exert more pressure on the arthritis-affected area, the pain shoots up. This can affect your overall health condition, and you need something that cools off the inflammation faster. Like we all know, hot water packs take off the arthritis pain while castor oil has therapeutic benefits and anti-inflammatory properties that help with swelling and acute inflammation. That’s why it helps you a great deal.

Dionetta Hudzinski, RN, MN, recalls being initially skeptical of using castor oil for easing pain. But she decided to use the castor oil packs she had prepared for a homework assignment when her hands started aching and her wrists got sore. She notes, “20 minutes after applying the castor oil wrap I realized that my arms were not throbbing and the pain had receded to almost zero (i).”


protip_icon Quick Tip
Do not apply castor oil to open wounds, cuts, bruises, or broken skin. Castor oil may irritate and cause skin issues or skin rashes, so always do a patch test before using it.

Castor oil And Orange Juice For Arthritis

Castor oil and orange juice for arthritis
Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

Prep Time
5 mins

Process

  • Take about one to two teaspoons of castor oil and boil it.
  • Once it is warm enough, turn the stove off.
  • Add this lukewarm castor oil to a glass of orange juice, preferably fresh.

How Often?

Take this before breakfast for about 3 to 5 weeks for maximum effect, and depending on your progress. Give this a break for another 3 weeks at least, before you repeat this cycle.

P.S: This remedy works effectively on people on an alkaline diet. Also, make sure you consult your doctor about any dietary supplements or restrictions for maximum benefits.

Why This Works

Citrus fruits are loaded with Vitamin C and have antioxidant properties (2), which may help reduce the free radicalsi  Unstable molecules created by the body’s normal metabolism that can cause cell damage and premature aging. that cause inflammation. That’s why arthritic patients are advised to follow this remedy to add orange juice or any other juices that have antioxidant properties or Vitamin C to their diet. And, adding this with castor oil to your diet further aids in reducing inflammation, arthritic pain and maximizes its effect.

Castor Oil In Ginger Tea For Arthritis

Castor oil and ginger for arthritis
Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • Ginger
  • Tea powder
  • Castor oil
  • Water

Prep Time
5 minutes

Process

  • Pour tea into water as you normally would.
  • Grate the ginger into boiling water and let it simmer over medium heat for 5-10 minutes.
  • Turn off the stove after the water simmers and filter the pulp.
  • If you are making it for more than a cup, add 1-2 teaspoons of castor oil for each extra serving.
  • This is an excellent remedy to relieve arthritic pain and inflammation. It also helps you sleep better.

P.S: Castor oil has laxative properties (3), so people with sensitive bowel syndrome, diarrhea, and other digestive health issues might want to avoid this remedy.

How Often?

  • Depending on the intensity of your joint pain, take this remedy at least two or three times a week for maximum benefits.

Why This Works

If you are a fan of tea, and it’s already part of your diet, you already know it has natural properties that not only provide relief from arthritic pain, which can severely affect your overall physical health and movement, but also from health conditions like abdominal cramps, stomach-related issues, and inflammation and swelling. Adding castor oil to your ginger tea maximizes its effect, giving you comfort and helping you sleep.

Castor Oil And Flannel Pack

Castor oil with fennel oil for arthritis
Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • Cotton flannel cloth
  • Castor oil (for topical use)
  • Plastic/cling wrap
  • Towel
  • Hot water bottle or hot water pack

Prep Time
5 minutes

Processing Time
45 minutes

Process

  • Take about 20 ml of castor oil and warm it over the stove or just microwave it.
  • Fold the flannel and soak it in castor oil. Leave it on for about 20 minutes till the flannel completely absorbs the oil.
  • Place a piece of cloth or towel over the affected painful joint to keep it elevated and protect the skin from excess heat.
  • Wrap the arthritis-affected area with the flannel cloth soaked in castor oil.
  • Now, wrap the cotton flannel cloth with plastic or cling wrap for binding it all intact.
  • Leave this castor oil pack for at least 30-45 minutes.
  • It could be a little messy, so ensure there’s no oil spillage around the house, or it’s best you sit outdoors or on the balcony while you use this castor oil wrap.

How Often?

  • Apply this natural remedy at least 2-3 days consecutively, and you will find great relief at the end of three days.
  • Give it a break and continue after a week or so.
  • You could bring it down to 15-20 minutes, as you start feeling relieved from stiffness and inflammation.

Why This Works

Topical applications like this castor oil pack remedy have always proved to help you with joint pain and inflammation. Castor oil seeps into your skin, and tying a flannel cloth soaked in castor oil can help reduce the soreness effectively. The hot water pack acts as a catalyst in reducing the swelling and thereby providing arthritis pain relief.

Castor oil offers several benefits that may be attributed to its beneficial constituents. Learn more about them below.

Nutrition Facts Of Castor Oil

Castor oil is renowned for its diverse range of applications. However, the oil is not typically consumed for its nutritional content. In fact, it serves primarily as a natural laxative due to ricinoleic acid, its main active component.

When ingested, castor oil is broken down in the intestine into ricinoleic acid (3). While castor oil contains oleic and linoleic acids that may benefit skin and overall health, avoid consuming it in significant quantities (4), (5), (6).

Thus, castor oil’s nutritional value is limited when taken internally. It is more commonly recognized for its medicinal properties and extensively used in cosmetics and skin care.

Infographic: 4 Ways To Use Castor Oil To Reduce Arthritis Pain

Castor oil is a widely used natural remedy to ease joint pain and relax the body. It has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce muscle discomfort and inflammation, lower swelling by helping drain blocked fluids, and help reduce joint pain to a great extent. To find out how to effectively manage arthritis pain using castor oil, check out the infographic below.

4 ways to use castor oil to reduce arthritis pain (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Castor oil is one of the most widely used cooking oils. The topical application of castor oil is one of the various popular natural remedies used for a variety of health conditions. Castor oil’s health advantages are derived from its high nutritional profile of essential fatty acids, especially omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. In addition, the analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of castor oil can alleviate inflammatory conditions and arthritic joint pain. It can also improve joint mobility upon topical application. However, further research is needed to support these claims about using castor oil for arthritis. Furthermore, when used extensively, it might lead to adverse health concerns. If you encounter any negative side effects, discontinue the castor oil usage and seek immediate medical attention.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I mix castor oil with my body lotion?

Yes. You can add a few drops of castor oil to creams, moisturizers, and body lotions as its moisturizing properties help nourish irritated skin. It is packed with many beneficial compounds that are needed to take care of dry skin. However, remember that research is limited regarding the dermatological benefits of castor oil. Therefore, always consult a doctor before applying castor oil.

Does castor oil expire?

Yes. Castor oil has a shelf life of about 1-5 years and is recommended to be used within a year. Check the label instructions for expiration dates and storage requirements.

Can castor oil be used as a sole treatment for arthritis?

While studies suggest that castor oil has therapeutic properties that could help reduce arthritis pain, there is not enough scientific evidence to support its use as a primary treatment. Consult a doctor for a proper treatment plan for arthritis. Using castor oil treatment in conjunction with conventional treatments may help manage the common symptoms of pain and inflammation better.

Are there any long-term side effects of using castor oil for arthritis treatment?

Castor oil is generally considered safe for use. However, some people may be allergic to castor oil and experience skin irritation (7). Consult a doctor before using any topical castor oil treatment.

Are there any interactions between castor oil and medications that I should be aware of?

Yes, studies suggest that castor oil may interact with laxatives and reduce their effectiveness (3). Make sure to consult your doctor before you use castor oil supplements for arthritis treatment especially if you have constipation.

Key Takeaways

  • Castor oil acts as a natural organic remedy that contains various essential nutrients to which it owes its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory therapeutic properties.
  • Applying castor oil to arthritis-affected areas helps relieve joint pain and swelling.
  • You can either go for topical application or add a few drops of castor oil to your tea or juice for pain relief.
Castor Oil for Arthritis

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team


Discover the power of castor oil for treating arthritis and inflammation. Watch the video below and learn how this natural remedy can help reduce pain and swelling and improve joint mobility.

Personal Experience: Source

References

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Therapeutic potential of castor oil in managing blepharitis meibomian gland dysfunction and dry eye
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33037703/
  2. Citrus fruits as a treasure trove of active natural metabolites that potentially provide benefits for human health
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC4690266/#:~:text=Citrus%20fruits%20are%20good%20sourcesand%20pantothenic%20acid%20%5B4%5D.
  3. Castor Oil
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK551626/
  4. Castor Oil
    https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Castor-Oil
  5. An Overview of the Modulatory Effects of Oleic Acid in Health and Disease
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/234029752_An_Overview_of_the_Modulatory_Effects_of_Oleic_Acid_in_Health_and_Disease
  6.  Comparison of linoleic acid-containing water-in-oil emulsion with urea-containing water-in-oil emulsion in the treatment of atopic dermatitis: a randomized clinical trial
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5759849/
  7.  Contact Allergy to Castor Oil, but Not to Castor Wax https://www.mdpi.com/2079-9284/4/1/5
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Dr. Zeel Gandhi is an Ayurvedic doctor with 7 years of experience and an expert at providing holistic solutions for health problems encompassing Internal medicine, Panchakarma, Yoga, Ayurvedic Nutrition, and formulations. She graduated as a top ranker from Dr. D.Y.Patil College of Ayurveda and Research Centre , Navi Mumbai, and is a specialist in Panchakarma therapies. She believes that Ayurveda...read full bio

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