The Uses and Benefits of Castor Oil

Introduction

Castor oil is derived by pressing the seeds of the castor oil plant. It is usually found in the vast wastelands of tropical areas. However, nowadays it’s also grown as a garden plant in milder climates. Castor oil has a pale yellow color and a distinct odor. This oil has been in use for a very long time especially among native Africans and Asian populations. It’s one of the few oils that have several benefits. For example, you can use it as a laxative, a lubricant, or for glowing skin and healthy hair. Nowadays castor oil is also being used as automobile oil due to its excellent lubricant properties. It’s perhaps, one of the few oils that can be used both for industrial and domestic purposes.

Initially, castor oil was used to treat constipation but nowadays, it’s widely used for health and beauty purposes. In fact, you will be amazed to know the various ways in which you can use castor oil to improve your skin and hair. Castor oil also finds its usage in food preservation as it is largely used in Asian countries for preserving rice, wheat, and other grains from rotting. Also, it’s used in some other food for lending a distinct taste to them.

If you have been wondering how you can use castor oil, here are some easy and homemade recipes that will help you use the oil for a variety of purposes. You can even modify the recipes or mix and match them a bit to get varying results.

 

Use as a laxative

 

Many people think that consuming castor oil can be harmful. It’s true that if the oil is not processed it can be harmful for your health, hence the castor oil that you get in the market is typically processed and is completely safe for consumption. All you have to do is buy a bottle and use it as and when necessary.

Castor oil has great laxative properties, which means you can take 1 or 2 tbsp whenever you are suffering from constipation. You can even give it to children but it might be safer to consult a doctor first in their case. Mix 1 or 2 tbsp of castor oil with orange juice so that it’s easy to swallow. You can also take it directly but this may give you a parched throat. Consume it with a little warm water or any beverage and you’ll have a clear stomach within 3 to 4 hours of taking castor oil.

 

Make your hair grow longer

 

Castor oil can do wonders to your hair as it’s loaded with omega-6 fatty acids. It’s been known that castor oil nourishes your hair from within and promotes hair growth. When applied on the scalp, it can improve blood circulation and make you feel relaxed. In order to make your hair grow faster, you can leave castor oil in your hair overnight. Take castor oil in a bowl and warm it slightly using your fingers. Then, slowly massage the oil into your hair and scalp. Move your fingers in a circular motion so that the oil is spread evenly and your scalp is also getting massaged. Once all the oil has seeped in, comb your hair well and tie a tight bun. Now, take a satin or silk piece of cloth and cover your hair in it. You can also use a shower cap if you don’t have anything else. This will prevent the oil from getting onto your pillow. Sleep with your hair tied like that so the castor oil is absorbed by your scalp.

When you get up in the morning, wash your hair thoroughly with a shampoo and then use a conditioner. Remember that you might have to rinse your hair a couple of times because the castor oil can make your hair quite greasy. However, don’t use too much shampoo as it might strip your hair of essential nutrients and proteins that were restored by the castor oil. Next, condition your hair and give it a final rinse.

You can repeat this process once or twice a week and you will see hair growth in no time at all.

 

Mix with other oils for better hair growth

 

If you have taken hair massages at salons, you might have noticed that they will seldom use only one kind of oil to massage your scalp. This is because, when two or three oils are used to massage your scalp, it will help your hair grow faster and will also improve its quality. Castor oil is one kind of oil that works great with almond and olive oil. Each of these oils are rich in essential fatty acids that are absolutely essential for your hair.

Take equal proportions of almond, olive, and castor oil and mix them all together. Next, you can heat them a bit because hot oil helps calm your scalp, improves blood circulation and strengthens your hair from the roots. Take some oil in your palms and rub it into your hair. Use your fingers to gently massage the oil into your scalp. If you are making someone else do it, ask them to slowly massage your head so that the hair follicles open up and the blood circulation improves. Once done, keep the oil in your hair for a couple of hours before washing it off. This is an important step because when you leave the oil for some time, you allow your scalp to truly soak it in. And, if you can leave it overnight, there’s nothing like it. However, when you are washing your hair, it’s better to use a mild shampoo for the first couple of days so that the goodness of the oils is locked in your hair. This doesn’t mean that you need to have greasy hair and an oily scalp, but just that a mild shampoo will not strip the essential oils that have been restored to your hair by these oils.

 

Say goodbye to dandruff

 

How often have you shied away from wearing a black dress just because you didn’t want dandruff to show up on your dress? Dandruff can be one of the most annoying hair problems as it’s not just embarrassing but it can also lead to hair fall. Usually, when people have a dry and flaky scalp, it gives way to dandruff. And no matter how many shampoos or conditioners you use, there’s very little you can do about changing the way your scalp behaves. However, castor oil is said to be loaded with antibacterial and antifungal properties, which makes it one of the best elements for fighting dandruff.

You can make a simple homemade hair mask that will help you get rid of dandruff on regular usage. Take 1 tbsp of castor oil, 1 tbsp of olive oil, and the juice of half a lemon. Mix all these three ingredients together and slowly massage it into your hair. Use can use a soft cotton ball for slowly applying the mask on to the roots of your hair. You don’t have to use the mask on the entire length of your hair because it’s for dandruff. Leave the mask on for around 30 minutes and then wash it normally with an anti-dandruff shampoo and use a conditioner. When you are using an anti-dandruff shampoo, you need to be careful because these kinds of shampoos are usually harsh and can strip essential oils from your hair. It’s a good idea to use herbal or mild anti-dandruff shampoos. This recipe is, however, suitable for dry hair only.

If you have an oily scalp and hair, take castor oil, honey, and aloe vera gel and mix them together. Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon and mix the ingredients together. Now, using the tips of your fingers, slowly massage this hair mask onto your scalp. You can also use the mix to massage your hair. Once your scalp is coated with this hair mask, leave it on for around 30 minutes before washing your hair.

You can use these hair masks whenever you want and as frequently as you can. On regular usage, you will notice that the quality of your hair has improved and dandruff has disappeared.

 

Improve the overall quality of your hair

 

If you are tired of hair fall and lack luster manes, all you need is good old castor oil to restore health to your hair. You can prepare a quick mask with a cup of kefir and a few drops of castor oil. Take this mixture and use your fingertips to apply the mask at the roots of your hair. Slowly massage the mixture on to your hair and make sure you cover the entire scalp and length of your hair. Comb your hair and put on a shower cap. Then wrap a towel around your head and sleep on it overnight. When you wake up in the morning, you can wash off with a shampoo and condition your hair.

Repeat this routine a couple of times per month and you will notice that the quality of your hair has improved drastically. However, when you are using this mixture, make sure that you mix the kefir well in water before using it. Also, if you are in a hurry, you can use this mask for 30 minutes and then wash it off. On regular usage, you will notice an amazing shine in your hair. Also, it will make your hair stronger from the roots.

 

Natural conditioner

 

One thing that haunts people when they are looking for hair care products is the perfect conditioner. Everyone wants a conditioner that will leave their hair smooth and fluffy. While most companies are successful in manufacturing conditions that make you glossier and heavy, but how long does the effect last - one or two days at most? Also, it doesn’t make your hair healthier from the roots. So, what can you do to improve the quality of your conditioner?

Take a few drops of castor oil and put it in the bottle of your conditioner. Give it a gentle shake and that’s it. All you have to do is keep using this product after washing your hair. You will have glossy and shiny hair without using any effort.

 

Moisturize your skin

 

When it comes to finding the right product for your skin, it’s worse than looking for a hair care product. In the case of your hair, you know that it will either be dry or oily, but in the case of your skin, you could have both or a combination skin.

Also, most women find it difficult to find that perfect moisturizer that hydrates their skin without the greasy feeling. Here too, castor oil will come to your aid as it will not only improve the quality of your skin, but it will also make you feel beautiful from within.

If you have dry skin, you can take 1/4th of castor oil and mix it with 1/4th of sesame oil. For those who have normal skin, you can replace the sesame oil with 3/4th grape seed or olive oil. And lastly, for those with oily skin, use a combination of 1/4th castor oil and 3/4th jojoba oil.

Before you set about using these mixtures, you must ensure that your face is thoroughly cleaned. Use a face wash to clean your face and pat it dry. Using your fingers, slowly massage the oil mixtures on your face. Use upwards strokes to massage the oil and to lift your skin. Next, use a cotton pad and lightly dab away any excess oil. Leave on the remaining and let your skin seep in the goodness of this oil.

Castor oil has many benefits when it comes to your hair and skin. Use it with a variety of oils and other ingredients to improve its effect. You can also consume it whenever you have difficulty clearing your bowels.