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Health Benefits Of Castor Oil

Rajan is a botany and chemistry major. He has worked as a poultry breeder for 23 years, breeding layer and broiler parents.

About Castor Oil

Castor oil is obtained from the seeds of the plant Ricinus communis which is native to India. The colour of the viscous oil varies from being colourless to pale yellow with hardly any odour.

Castor oil plant was also called "Palma Christe" in olden times as the leaves supposedly resemble the hand of Jesus Christ.

Castor oil mainly contains ricinoleic acid, about 90% and oleic and linoleic acids are the other fatty acids in good concentrations. Ricinoleic acid gives castor oil its very many healing properties.

The seeds contain 'Ricin' - a toxic factor but it does not get into the oil if the oil is cold-pressed or cold processed.

Castor oil has been used since centuries in Ayurveda. According to Ayurveda, all diseases have their origin in an unhealthy digestive system or due to incorrect digestion. When the digestive system or digestion is strong, the tissues and the body is healthy. Castor was thus used primarily to correct constipation issues which are related to the digestive system. It works not only as a laxative or a digestive cleanse but also eliminates intestinal parasites.

Medicinal castor oil is obtained by using the cold press method followed by filtering. This leaves the toxic factor Ricin in the seed.
Castor oil used for industrial use is obtained by the extraction method and hence is toxic.

Some Side Effects of Castor Oil

  • Though castor oil is generally safe, it may irritate the intestines in some people and lead to cramps, diarrhoea and other digestive discomforts.
  • It should not be consumed by pregnant women as it induces abortion.

Uses of Castor Oil

  • In traditional medicine, it is used to treat cuts, burns, sunburns, skin disorders, abdominal disease, inflammations, pains, etc.
  • Other uses of castor oil are in the production of cosmetics, medicinal products, soaps, textiles, adhesives, brake fluids, plastics, dyes, lacquer, leather, grease oil paints, rubber, waxes etc.

Average Composition of Castor Seed Oil

Acid name.................................................Average Percentage Range

Ricinoleic acid.....................................................95 to 85%

Oleic acid............................................................. .6 to 2%

Linoleic acid .........................................................5 to 1%

Linolenic acid........................................................1 to 0.5%

Stearic acid...........................................................1 to 0.5%

Palmitic acid..........................................................1 to 0.5%

Dihydroxystearic acid.............................................0.5 to 0.3%

Others...................................................................0.5 to 0.2%

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Source :

Castor Oil Packs and How to Use Them

Castor oil packs can be used for external application in the abdominal area.

  • Soak 3 - 4 linen pieces large enough to cover the abdomen in warm castor oil.
  • Place these on the abdomen to cover the affected organs.
  • Cover them with a plastic sheet to maintain the warmth.
  • Keep a warm hot water bottle on top of the plastic to maintain heat.
  • Cover this with a towel for insulation.
  • Keep for 45 to 60 minutes.

You can wash off the oil with a solution made by mixing 1 tablespoon baking powder in 1 pint of water or with soap and water.

This pack can be reused; if needed soak it in oil as needed. Use this pack daily or at least 4 days a week for 1 month.

Castor Oil Remedies


Take 2 tsp castor oil at bedtime for relief from constipation. One can also mix it in warm milk or warm water if desired.


Mix alum in castor oil and massage the gums gently with this mixture for some minutes, once in the morning and once at night.


Add castor oil to gram flour and use as a facial scrub to increase facial beauty.


Apply castor oil on the stretch marks and place a towel over the area. On this place a hot water bottle and foment it for 20 minutes. Do this daily for 20 minutes every day for 1 week. Then 1 week off. Repeat on alternate weeks for 4 to 5 weeks and see the difference.


Warm some castor oil and dip nails in it daily for a few minutes and then massage for a few minutes as well with the same oil. If dipping the nails is not possible, put cotton balls that have been soaked in warm castor oil on the nails and then massage as above.
This is good for growing nails.


Wash face with warm water and soap. Splash cold water and dry face well. apply castor oil all over face Repeat every night for a week to 2 weeks.


Apply castor oil on the injury and bandage it up.


Massage castor oil twice a day for 1-2 months. It provides relief by softening the corns/warts and then eliminating them.


Apply castor oil on scars at night and leave it on. Wash in the morning.


Wash feet with warm water and apply castor oil daily.

Take 1 tsp castor oil at bedtime.


Apply castor oil on the nails, foot or between toes as the case may be every day.


Massage warm castor oil on the legs or the soles of the feet for relief.


Apply castor oil on the navel and lower abdomen for relief.


Soak some cotton in castor oil and apply on the affected area. Keep it there for some time.

Massage castor oil on feet daily. It improves vision and may also reduce the number.

Health Benefits Of Castor Oil

Castor oil is anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal in action. It also has an antioxidant action.

  • Due to its anti-inflammatory action it is wonderful as a massage oil for arthritis, inflammation of the nerves and muscle spasms. Castor oil pack, as explained above, can be used in such conditions. Leave for about 45 minutes to an hour.
  • For constipation, castor oil can be consumed. Orange juice, grape juice or any other juice can be mixed to improve the taste.
  • Castor oil can be used to treat fungal infections and other skin infections.
  • Castor oil boosts the immune system. The castor oil packs when applied lead to absorption of castor oil through the skin leading to the improvement in the function of the thymus and other glands. This increases lymphocyte production and count. More lymphocytes mean more and faster removal of toxic waste from tissues and consequent improvement in health.
    Castor oil need not be consumed to avail the benefits of increased immunity. It can be applied to the skin for it to be absorbed and benefit the immune system.
  • Some of the diseases which are thought to be benefited by castor oil include Parkinson's, Scleroderma, Cancer, Epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, Migraine/headaches, Appendicitis, Liver problems, female problems, etc.
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Please Rate This Hub. Thank you.


The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies, supplements or starting a new health regime.

Some Other Hubs On Castor Oil

How To Make A Castor Oil Pack

Castor Oil For Skin

Castor Oil Demo

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2012 Rajan Singh Jolly


Danae on December 09, 2014:

Thank you for this castor oil insight... finally one review I feel I can relate to. I trust India and its ancient Ayurvedic knowledge as it is time tested and meant to restore the inherent spiritual connection and balance. A view so sublime. I am in awe of the old wisdom and every time I get caught in the Western mindset a view towards India's wisdom and Christ sets all back into center. The answers are there... at some point younger nations like the West will learn again... may it be in medicine or life. Thank you for this compendium of knowledge, teaching and wisdom. Blessings.

Vaibhav on August 10, 2014:

Rajan, which brand or buying place will you receive mmend to buy castor oil for ingestion purpose? Any place online or in Pune/Mumbai? Thanks

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on June 21, 2014:

Ssurendra you can use the castor oil pack as explained here in the videos along with diet modifications to reduce your blood sugar levels. on June 13, 2014:

how can I use it in diabetes?

mroberts30 on April 23, 2013:

Wow I never knew that castor oil helped skin problems because my grandmother used to make us eat it. I learn something new everyday. i also have a website of my own that could be helpful. Feel free to visit at MROBERTS1.FINDNOWBUYNOW.INFO

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 22, 2013:

Thanks Indian Chef.

Indian Chef from New Delhi India on February 21, 2013:

Definitely very good hub. Voting it up.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on January 26, 2013:

hi moonlake,

Castor oil has deep acting health benefits even when applied as a pack. Glad you found the info useful. Thanks.

moonlake from America on January 21, 2013:

I didn't know castor oil could be used for so much. I could sure use some for wrinkles.

My grandma had a castor bean tree growing outside her kitchen door and she always told us when we were kids not eat the castor bean seeds.

Interesting hub. Voted Up.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on December 27, 2012:

Hi Janis, glad you find this hub motivational. I appreciate your visit and cooments. Thanks.

Janis Leslie Evans from Washington, DC on December 26, 2012:

Hi rajan, I just love your hubs. They are always interesting examples of exemplary hubs. This one makes me want to start using castor oil. My parents used to give us a big spoon fool when we were very young. We hated it. Thanks for this hub, voted up and useful.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on December 16, 2012:

Hi Marlene, this is the first time I'm learning about castor oil being used as a punishment. Can I term it as a healthy punishment? Lol! I guess you could try it taking it in juice to sober down the taste. Thanks for coming by.

Marlene Bertrand from USA on December 15, 2012:

I see castor oil has a lot of benefits. The one thing I remember about castor oil is that my parents used it as punishment for us kids. Whenever we used foul language, my mom or dad would make us take a spoonful of castor oil. Yuk! Great hub, rajan jolly. I saw a lot things I could use castor oil for in my life today. I like your idea of taking it with juice. I can see how that would make it go down easier.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on December 06, 2012:

Hi Peggy, it is difficult to like the taste of castor oil no doubt, but considering that one can even use it externally in many cases it should be worth a try. Thanks for reading and tweeting.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on December 06, 2012:

This hub about castor oil was informative as all of your health related hubs are. I remember as a child being given some caster oil by my mother. Hated the taste! I had no idea that it could be used externally as an oil type of pack to treat certain things. Up, interesting and will tweet.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on December 01, 2012:

Hi Joyette,

Glad you have the theory to go with the practice. Appreciate your comments and visit. Thanks.

Joyette Helen Fabien from Dominica on November 30, 2012:

A most interesting hub, rajan jolly. In my society castor oil has always been something of a cure all, however, I never really took the time to read up on it before. Thanks for sharing.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on November 26, 2012:

Thanks vespawoolf. I'm glad the video helped in understanding of the castor oil packs better.

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on November 26, 2012:

The video is very informative. Thank you. I really think the castor oil packs should be a regular practice in our household since they eliminate toxins and stimulate the immune system. It's interesting that we shouldn't share packs and each have our own for personal use. I really appreciate your help! I will ask in the pharmacy about the castor oil, but I think you're right about it being cold pressed since it's sold for internal use.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on November 26, 2012:

vespawoolf, actually that video is the first video in the hub. Sorry about this.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on November 26, 2012:

vespawoolf - I just uploaded a new video that shows it better how to apply the castor oil pack. Here, if the castor oil is for medicinal use it is marked so and can thus be consumed safely. I presume the castor oil sold at pharmacies is cold pressed and thus safe.

Thanks for stopping by.

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on November 25, 2012:

I believe in the benefits of natural oils, especially for beauty. Here in Peru castor oil is available at the pharmacy, where medicines are sold, and it is sold to be consumed internally. I just wonder if it's cold pressed? If it's for internal use, then it shouldn't be from the extraction method or that would make it toxic. I need to investigate this further, as it would definitely be beneficial to use for oil packs and the like. Thank you for another useful hub.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on November 22, 2012:

bodylevive, most of us dislike the taste of castor oil but it is so healthy. Interesting to have your input. Thanks for coming by.

BODYLEVIVE from Alabama, USA on November 21, 2012:

Castor oil has many benefits as you have stated here. I hate that stuff. When I was a kid, my mother would give it to me and I would throw it up and she'd give me more. I'd hold it in my mouth like I'd taken it and when I thought she wasn't looking, I'd spit it out. Some of my worst spanking came from not taking that awful stuff. There wasn't different flavors then like it is now. Great hub, just don't like castor oil.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on November 13, 2012:

Hi TT,

Thanks for sparing time to read and comment. It's a pleasure seeing you visit.

Terrye Toombs from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map. on November 11, 2012:

I remember my mom trying to give me castor oil once....once. :) Great information, Rajan! :)

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on November 06, 2012:

Hi Vespawoolf,

Using castor oil to replace soap as a face cleanser is something new to me. Thanks for your input. glad for your visit and thanks for the read and comment.

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on November 05, 2012:

I've never seen the cold press castor oil here in Peru, but they do sell it for commercial use in pharmacies. Some women use castor oil to cleanse the face instead of soap, and I've heard of using the abdominal pack for stress and emotional pain. It's a very useful oil. Thank you for an interesting hub!

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on November 05, 2012:

Rasma, nice to know the hub provided you with some extra info. Thanks for all the comments and appreciation. Thanks for visiting.

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on November 05, 2012:

Another great and informative hub. Knew some benefits of castor oil but not all of them. Great hub, pics and videos. Passing this on.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on November 04, 2012:

Thanks Mycee. Glad you liked the info.

DragonBallSuper on November 04, 2012:

i only use castor oil for my hair. they're great. never knew there are still a lot of great benefits on this oil.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on November 02, 2012:

@ Michelle - Glad you find this useful and informative. Thanks for coming by and for sharing it.

@ Your Cousins - I agree about the taste but its so healthy even when used externally. The castor oil pack is very useful. Thanks for stopping by.

@ nina - Yes, it is a great remedy for external use as well. The incident you relate shows its efficacy. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Nina L James from chicago, Illinois on November 02, 2012:

My mother used to give us castor oil as a cold remedy; two big tablespoons followed by fruit juice or candy to mask the aftertaste. To this day, I will not use castor oil internally. I'm pretty sure it works great as an external treatment. I used castor oil on my son when he was a couple of months old to help alleviate his cold symptoms. I rubbed some of it on his soft spot on his head as well as the bottom of his tiny feet. Then I rubbed his entire body with the castor oil and I made sure that he was completely covered in his pajamas and covers. The next morning, all that cold came out in his bowel movement and he was ok. Great hub. Voted up.

Your Cousins from Atlanta, GA on November 01, 2012:

My mom used to give me castor oil when I was a child, yuk! But I do respect its healing power. I had never heard of a castor oil pack before. Thanks for the info.

Michelle Liew from Singapore on November 01, 2012:

Rajan, yes, very informative, and I like your suggested remedies. I know what to do when I encounter certain problems that can be cured with castor oil. Thanks so much, and I share too!

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on November 01, 2012:

Thanks for your input Richard and I do hope you never need to! Many thanks for reading and it's a pleasure to see you here.

Rich from Kentucky on November 01, 2012:

Rajan - Very informative. Years ago, castor oil was prescribed to "clear the system" prior to stomach x-rays. 1/2 cup was the dosage, and it had an almost immediate affect. We weren't allowed to mix it, or have anything afterwards to clear the taste from the mouth. Needless to say, I've left it in my past, and don't wish to "enjoy" it's benefits in the future. Sorry about this one. Just a bad history. Great Hub!

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on November 01, 2012:

@, Eddy & Chitrangada - thanks for reading. It feels nice to be appreciated.

@ Deborah - I'm glad you like these health hubs. Thanks for commenting.

@ teaches - I'm glad you found something in this hub that can be used to benefit. Many thanks for coming by.

@ Denise - thanks very much for your input. A pleasure to have your comments.

@ Kelly - I can relate to the insipid taste. However, I don't worry much about such things if they are healthy.

@ Aurelio - Well, good luck to you. Thanks for the votes.

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on October 31, 2012:

I appreciate the health benefits of this liquid, but just can't stomach the taste. So I'll be relying on more flavorful treatments. Voting this Up and Useful.

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on October 31, 2012:

Ahhh Rajan - this brings back so many memories:) I lived with my grandfather when I was a little girl. He used to make me eat a teaspoon of this each day! I hated it! Ewwwwww I know, I know, it's good for ya:) lol

Denise Handlon from North Carolina on October 30, 2012:

Wow, your hubs are always so filled with information! This one is no exception. The videos are very helpful as well. I was listening to a public radio discussion of the benefits of various oils, such as fish, cod liver and castor oil. Thanks for sharing. UP/U/I

Dianna Mendez on October 30, 2012:

This is valued information. The fact that it can be used for arthritis is something I can pass on to family members. Thank you.

Deborah from Las Vegas on October 30, 2012:

Rajan, your research is impeccable. Great hub and I learn so much from you. I didn't know that castor oil may provoke an abortion or induce labor. Seems like somewhere in my career I would've learned that! Thank you so much for your amazing hubs and information.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on October 30, 2012:

All useful information about castor oil at one place. Very informative hub indeed. Thanks for sharing.

Eiddwen from Wales on October 30, 2012:

So very well informed and useful rajan.

Thank you for sharing,


Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on October 30, 2012:

My pleasure, Linda.

Linda Crist from Central Virginia on October 30, 2012:

Thanks Rajan. I understand now.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on October 30, 2012:

You are absolutely right Harsha. Thanks for reading.

Harsha Vardhana R from Bangalore on October 30, 2012:

I had read about castor oil packs in Edgar Cayce's recommendations! He recommends these for many nervous system issues like epilepsy. Thank you for the videos! They help one to start!


Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on October 30, 2012:

@ lrc - Linda, the one about eye problems relates to improvement in vision by massaging castor oil on the feet and soles. The vision test numbers will decrease with improvement in vision. This is what I meant.

Hope it is clear now.

Thanks for reading.

@ Vellur - Thanks Nithya for reading and sharing the hub.

@ Bill - yes, I remember too. We never had so many alternatives to it back then. You are right about the taste though. Thanks for coming by.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on October 30, 2012:

This is one of those things we took as children, or at least I did....hated the taste. :) Again you have done a wonderful job of research on this subject. Excellent hub and very useful!

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on October 30, 2012:

Great hub, informative and useful. Never knew that castor oil is good for the immune system. Voted up and shared.

Linda Crist from Central Virginia on October 30, 2012:

Rajan, I enjoyed this hub and found and will be using some of your tips. Can you explain more about the last entry for "eye problems". I'm not sure I understand and have a particular interest in this topic. Thanks so much.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on October 30, 2012:

@ Mike - Ayurveda has used castor oil since ages for its health restoring properties. It was adapted to very late by modern day medicine but even now they are not fully convinced of its many benefits. Thanks for reading and commenting.

@ Carol - Glad you know about castor oil's benefits now. Thanks for the appreciative votes and sharing of the hub.

carol stanley from Arizona on October 30, 2012:

You always present your healthy benefits material with such an easy to read format. I have never researched castor oil with all my health seeking information. You got me on the wrinkles...There seems to be so many benefits with this product. So good to know. Thank you so much and of course a huge vote up+++ and sharing on facebook.

Mike Robbers from London on October 30, 2012:

Hi, that's really helpful research about Castor oil. I would never have believed that it had such restorative properties for the skin, for example. Will have to find some and try it

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