castor oil

Castor oil is a type of oil that is extracted from castor seeds by cold pressing. The consistency of the oil is very thick and sticky. The plant which produces the castor seeds is botanically called Ricinus communis. This plant is found in plenty in India and Africa, however this plant and its oil is being used all around the world now a days.

Using castor oil to beautify skin and hair, is an age old remedy and it still exists. I myself use castor oil on the scalp and eye lashes for healthy and lustrous hair. Castor oil is used is many cosmetics like soaps, hair oil, skin care lotions/creams and in some medicines.

Nutrition facts

Castor oil is also considered as one of the vegetable oils, which contains 120 calories per tablespoon. When consumed internally there is no nutrition derived from this oil apart from being a good laxative. This oil is usually not used for cooking or as a salad dressing. It contains only fat and no protein or fiber in it.

Castor oil is a rich source of ricinoleic acid which is one of the important components that beautifies skin and hair. It also contains Vitamin E, minerals, Omega 6 and 9 fatty acids.

Benefits of castor oil for hair

Prevents dandruff

The anti-fungal and anti-bacterial property of castor oil prevents dandruff on the scalp. It also prevents scalp infections and folliculitis. The greasy nature of the oil helps to maintain moisture on the scalp and roots of the hair follicles. The ricinoleic acid present in this oil helps to regulate the pH balance on the scalp and roots of the hair.

Improves texture

Powerful anti-oxidants present in castor oil protects and supports the keratin content in hair, which give a smooth and frizz-free hair. It also makes the roots strong and add shine to the flowing hair. When massaged regularly with castor oil on the scalp, it can give a smooth texture to the damaged hair. It also helps to reduce the alkaline levels.

Hair growth and regrowth

When castor is regularly applied and massaged in to the scalp, it provides enormous strength to the roots and boosts hair growth. New hair grows on your scalp and the difference can be visibly seen in 2 months when used regularly. The essential acids present in this oil helps to improve circulation on the scalp, which facilitates growth of new hair. It also reduces thinning of hair.

Castor oil can be applied on the hair on eye lashes for long and thick eye lashes.

Reduces hair fall and split ends

When applied regularly, it strengthens the roots and prevents hair fall. The humectant property in it, i.e., attracts moisture and locks it in the follicles and flowing hair, helps to prevent dryness and split ends.

Conditions and boosts shine

When applied and left on the hair for longer time, it conditions the hair naturally. It retains natural moisture and essential oils in the scalp and hair. It also rejuvenates the follicle and makes your hair very shiny.

How to use:

  • Castor oil can be mixed with other oils like coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil or gingely oil to reduce its viscosity.
  • Apply the oil from roots to tip.
  • Let it stay on the scalp for a minimum or 20 minutes. If possible, you can leave it overnight. If you have sinusitis or cold problem, leaving the oil overnight is not a good idea. If you decide to leave it overnight, make sure to use a shower cap or a towel, as the stickiness will spoil your furniture and pillows!
  • Use a mild herbal shampoo to remove the excess oil from your scalp and flowing hair
  • Once rinsed, towel dry your hair instead of using a hair dryer

castor seeds

Benefits of Castor oil for skin

Now we have seen the benefits of castor oil for hair, now let’s see the benefits of castor oil for skin.

Delays aging

Castor contains essential fatty acids that penetrate layers of skin and hydrates the skin. It also triggers the production of collagen and elastin that are very for youthful and glowing skin. It also attracts moisture and retains moisture in the skin, which prevents dryness of skin.

Natural Moisturizer

When applied every day before bed on the facial skin, it helps to retain natural moisture on the skin and prevents dryness. It also give a supple and glowing skin.

Soft hand and feet

When applied regularly on the hands and feet (cracks) before bed, it can give a supple and soft skin on the hands and feet. Oil can be warmed a little before application.

Treats acne and pimples

Massage few drops of the oil on the facial skin to treat acne and pimples. Let the oil stay on the skin overnight. Rinse it off with mild soap or face wash to remove excess oil.

Reduces spots, blemishes and scars

The viscosity and the essential fatty acids in castor oil helps to fade scars and reduce spots on the facial skin. Regular use of this oil will also protect the skin from pollution and free radicals.

Reduces stretch marks

Use this oil to massage the affected area to reduce stretch marks in belly, arms, thighs and hips.

As a word of advice, use sun block or UV protective creams/lotions every day for better results on the skin.

Kripa Sivasubramanian, MBA, earned her Master’s degree in Business. After a long stint in the Technology sector, she took up courses in natural medicine and yoga. Ms. Kripa is certified in Ayurvedic yoga for Dosha. She is also certified by Stanford University School of Medicine in Introduction to Food and Health.