Last updated: September 1, 2021

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Obtained from a plant originating in India called castor bean, this vegetable oil is one of the most versatile natural products. Its properties can treat medical conditions and help hydrate the skin and hair, among various benefits. Castor oil has carved a respected position in the field of alternative medicine.

With countless advantages and some essential precautions to take, this product can help you improve various physical ailments. Join us on this exciting journey, during which we will answer the most frequently asked questions regarding this product so you can find out why castor oil is right for you.


  • This vegetable oil can be taken for constipation, although some doctors believe that it too strong a purge.
  • Castor oil has an almost endless list of benefits, from its anti-inflammatory properties to its capacity to fight the appearance of wrinkles.
  • This product has general and more specific uses that you should be aware of before making your purchase. That way, you know you are getting the most out of castor oil.

The Best Castor Oil: Our Picks

We want to help you as much as possible in your search for the best castor oil, so we have selected some of the best-selling products currently available on the market. In spite of the many benefits it offers, you should take precautions when consuming it. This is why we strongly advise that you read the description fully and consult your doctor if you have any doubts.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Castor Oil

Castor oil can be a fairly controversial product if you are not familiar with its usefulness. Since it is considered to be an alternative drug, many people tend to be suspicious of its effectiveness. In order to help you understand just how helpful it can be, we have answered the most common questions regarding this product in the section below.

You can use castor oil as a hair mask by mixing it with methi seed powder and steam.
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What is castor oil exactly?

People have used this multi-purpose vegetable oil for thousands of years. Native to India, this plant is now cultivated in Mediterranean countries such as Greece, Algeria, and Egypt. In addition, the castor oil plant is grown as an ornamental plant in France because of its large and elegant foliage.

In Medieval Europe, the plant gained great popularity for the treatment of skin diseases. The Greek physician Dioscorides explained how to extract the oil from the plant but warned that the seeds should only be used externally because they were "extremely purgative" - and he wasn't wrong.

Castor oil is made by pressing and extracting oil from the seeds of the plant, whose scientific name is Ricinus communis. These seeds contain a toxic enzyme (ricin) that the heating process undergone by the oil deactivates, allowing humans to consume it safely.

Castor oil has a number of medicinal, industrial, and pharmaceutical uses.
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Why should I use castor oil?

This vegetable oil has many medicinal, industrial, and pharmaceutical uses. Commonly found as an additive in food, medicine, and skincare products, it is also a component of industrial lubricants and biodiesel fuel. In ancient Egypt, it was burned as a fuel for lamps and used as a natural remedy.

Industrial products Uses in food Uses in cosmetics Medicinal conditions
Plastics Medications Oils Constipation
Synthetic resins Additives Soaps Arthritis
Industrial paints Digestive Lotions Dark circles
Synthetic lubricants Aromatics Cologne Dandruff

What are the main benefits of castor oil?

Pay close attention to the following paragraphs. We have detailed some of the many advantages that castor oil has to offer, so you know precisely why you should invest in it:

  • Powerful laxative: Classified as a stimulant laxative, it increases the movement of the muscles that push the matter through the intestines and helps to clean them. According to scientific research, this type of laxative acts quickly and is efficient in relieving temporary constipation. One study has shown that the elderly had less tension during defecation and a decreased sensation of incomplete bowel movements.
  • Natural moisturizer: It is rich in ricinoleic acid (a monounsaturated fatty acid). This type of fat acts as a moisturizer, and you can use it to hydrate your skin. Castor oil is found in cosmetics to promote hydration in products such as lotions, makeups, and cleansers. You can also apply this oil on its own as a natural alternative to moisturizers and lotions, which may contain harmful additives.
  • Wound healing: Applying castor oil to lesions creates a moist environment that promotes healing. This product stimulates tissue growth to create a barrier between the wound and the environment, decreasing the risk of infection. It also reduces dryness and the accumulation of dead skin cells that can delay wound healing.
  • Inflammatory properties: Ricinoleic acid – the primary fatty acid in this vegetable oil – has anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown that the topical application of oil can reduce inflammation and soothe the pain. In addition, it may help relieve dry, irritated skin in individuals who have psoriasis.

You can use castor oil on its own as a natural alternative to moisturizers and lotions.
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  • Acne reduction: This skin condition can cause blackheads, pus-filled pimples, and large, painful lumps on the face and body. Inflammation is believed to be a factor in the development and severity of acne, which is why applying castor oil to the skin may help reduce inflammation-related symptoms. Acne is also associated with an imbalance of certain types of bacteria normally found on the skin, such as Staphylococcus aureus.
  • Fungus prevention: Candida albicans is a type of fungus that commonly causes dental problems such as excessive plaque growth, gum, and root canal infections. Castor oil has antifungal properties and can help fight candida to keep your mouth healthy. Also, it can treat prosthesis-related stomatitis – a painful condition believed to be caused by the overgrowth of this fungus.
  • Healthy hair and scalp: Many people use castor oil as a natural hair conditioner. Dry or damaged hair will particularly benefit from such a powerful moisturizer, as it helps lubricate the hair shaft, increasing flexibility and reducing breakage. Castor oil will also help people with dandruff.
  • Reduction of hair loss: Once a week, you can use castor oil as a hair mask by mixing it with methi seed powder and steam. This prevents hair loss while strengthening your roots.
  • Cure for styes: Again, the anti-inflammatory properties of castor oil will help. Simply apply a drop to the stye twice to three times a day for effective results.

Before taking castor oil, let your doctor or pharmacist know about all the products you use.
(Source: Parilovv: 115614704/
  • Effective wrinkle treatment: Castor oil can be an excellent natural remedy against wrinkles. It penetrates the skin and increases the production of collagen, softening and moisturizing the epidermis to make it smoother. Apply a small amount to the wrinkled area and leave overnight.
  • Improvement of colic in infants: Colic may occur during the first months of life and can cause prolonged periods of excessive crying. While the exact cause is still unknown, experts believe that gas is responsible for this. In that case, simply rub the oil gently on your baby's abdomen.
  • Integral lubricant: You can use it to lubricate household items, such as hinges, scissors, or meat grinders. The constant viscosity of the oil prevents it from freezing, making it ideal for high or low temperatures.
  • Reduction of menstrual cramps: By promoting better menstrual flow, castor oil may alleviate inflammation and pain associated with menstruation. This is due to the high levels of ricinoleic acid that increase blood flow. You can also use this product to decrease fibroids and cysts.

Castor oil can be a fairly controversial product if you are not familiar with its usefulness.
(Source: Progressman: 40578804/

Can I consume castor oil orally?

If you take edible castor oil for constipation, never exceed the recommended dosage (around 15 ml for adults). This product has an unpleasant taste, so you may want to mix it with orange juice. Because the oil acts fast, take it when you are awake and can go to the bathroom quickly.

Dry skin Normal skin Oily skin
Mix it with  Sesame or coconut oil Grape or olive oil Jojoba oil

Are there contraindications to using castor oil?

While it is useful in relieving occasional constipation, castor oil is not recommended as a treatment for long-term problems or chronic conditions. Also, topical application is considered safe for most people but may cause an allergic reaction in some individuals.

It is essential that you do not take castor oil or any other stimulant laxative for more than a week unless specified by your doctor. Again, avoid taking more than the recommended dose as this will expose you to severe side effects. Last but not least, do not give castor oil to children under the age of 10 without a doctor's approval.

Castor oil contains vitamin E, proteins, and omega 6 and 9.
(Source: Hean Prinsloo: RCXkMy0kd5o/

Pregnant women should avoid castor oil as it can induce premature labor. However, it may be used during breastfeeding. Other cases in which its use is not recommended include hypersensitivity, GI obstruction or perforation, severe impact, symptoms of appendicitis, ulcerative colitis, and rectal fissures.

What are the side effects of castor oil?

Castor oil is useful for many conditions but can cause side effects such as diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, and urine discoloration – in particular if you exceed the recommended dose. These are usually mild side effects, but you should consult a doctor immediately if they worsen.

Can I take other drugs with castor oil?

Before you start using castor oil, let your doctor or pharmacist know about all the products you use. Have a list of all your medications with you and try to resolve any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor first.

For your information, know that there are various cases in which you should avoid castor oil. This is often true when taking diuretics (which can reduce the amount of potassium in your body), antibiotics (including tetracycline), bone medications, anticoagulants, or heart medicines.

Himanshu ChadhaDirector of APS Cosmetofood
"Castor oil has been an age-old remedy for hair and skin related issues. It is an elixir for beautiful hair and supple skin. Castor oil contains vitamin E, proteins and Omega 6 & 9 that are the key components responsible for good hair and skin."

Buyer's Guide

Before you purchase your very own castor oil, you should consider a series of key purchasing criteria. Try and compare various products from different manufacturers to decide which is the right option for you. In the following section, we will look at the most important factors to keep in mind when choosing castor oil.


Make sure to check the process carried out by the manufacturer to obtain castor oil – from the sowing method to the packaging of the product. Here are some tips: find out if the brand uses pesticides, if the oil is cold-pressed, and if it is certified. These aspects will help you know whether the oil has kept its original biological characteristics or not.

Carolyn J. WilliamsAuthor of Heal the Body Holistically
"It is believed that most of castor oil’s benefits are derived from its high concentration of unsaturated fatty acids."


The various applications of castor oil require the product to be extremely pure. For this reason, you should check the packaging to confirm that the product does not contain any coloring agents, preservatives, or artificial flavoring. Any of these chemical elements can have severe consequences on the health of those who take them.


We encourage you to evaluate the type and quantity of the product's packaging. It should differ, for instance, if you are purchasing castor oil for oral consumption or as a massage oil for your body. In the case of the latter, you should opt for a large-capacity container that will last a long time.

Also, the storage type is extremely important for healthcare products. In that regard, castor oil placed in a purple glass will ensure greater durability of its properties, vitamins, and nutrients. This container offers better light protection, allowing the oil to be stored longer.

You can apply castor oil on your hair once a week.
(Source: Puhhha: 70675762/


While scientific research is still rare, testimonies about the effectiveness of castor oil for various purposes are plentiful. Why don't you give this natural product a go to see if it can help you?

Your doctor can guide you and give you advice regarding this vegetable oil. If you have any doubt, don't hesitate to consult a health professional before purchasing castor oil for yourself. And don't forget to let us know what you think once you start using it!

You can leave us a comment in the section below and share this article on your social media if you found it useful.

(Source of featured image: Alexander Ruiz: 110274920/