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Castor Oil: Home Remedies for Beauty and Health Purposes

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I have a firm belief in natural remedies, and I often resort to natural medicine to address health issues.

Health and Beauty Uses of Castor Oil. courtesy of

Health and Beauty Uses of Castor Oil. courtesy of

You will find bottles of castor oil in health stores and maybe in your grandmother’s medicine cabinet. However, it behooves us well to own a bottle as well. Why? Castor oil, a very pale yellow liquid extracted from the castor seeds of Ricinus Communis, is one of the most useful plant oils. Castor oil comes in different grades and is used as food additives, in cosmetics, in flavorings, as a mold inhibitor and in pharmaceuticals. Castor oil has a long history of medicinal uses both internally and externally, treating conditions ranging from arthritis to genital warts. But it is not all old wives’ tales and grandma’s “cure-all.”  The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has categorized castor oil as “generally recognized as safe and effective” for over-the-counter use as a laxative and undecylenic acid, a castor oil derivative is also FDA-approved for over-the-counter use on skin disorders or problems.

Just what make castor oil such a health heavyweight? Castor oil is rich in Ricinoleic acid which exerts anti-inflammatory effects and is antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal as well. In addition, its high levels of unsaturated fatty acids have antioxidant properties.  Like magic potion, you just need one bottle of castor oil-- it yields many health and beauty purposes as listed below:

  • Beautiful skin

Is your skin dragging your appearance down with wrinkles and age spots? Age can get the better of you but you can get the better of the situation with this easy ritual: apply a thin layer of castor oil to face before going to sleep. Castor oil is a natural rich emollient and its molecular weight makes it easier to penetrate into the stratum corneum (a fancy word for the outermost layer of the epiderm). Dermatologists will tell you that a healthy stratum corneum makes healthy youthful looking skin. Do this religiously and earn top marks for beautiful skin. This ritual will also reduce appearance of age spots (brought about by sun damage and the aging process) and produce suppler skin.

Beautiful skin secrets?'s the castor oil.

Beautiful skin secrets?'s the castor oil.

  • Skin Infections

Castor oil’s antimicrobial properties are put to good use when you need to fight skin infections. Do you have abrasion, acne, dry skin, boils, warts, chronic itching, inflamed skin, sunburned skin or even stretch marks? Don’t despair—soak a cotton ball with castor oil and apply to skin in the morning and at night. If the area is small (for example a wart), soak a band-aid in castor oil before applying. Just that easy!

  • Beautiful Full Hair

How’s your crown of glory? Is it a source of pride or do you wish bald is the perennial fashion statement? If thinning hair is your problem, here’s help. Castor oil has the uncanny ability to encourage hair growth. Some even claim it can grow longer eye-lashes! While these claims are not based on solid scientific evidence, users of castor oil to promote hair growth have reported favorable returns for their hair diligence. If you’re thinking of using castor oil to bring back the glory, here’s how:

Since castor oil can be thick, dilute it with lighter oil like sweet almond oil or avocado oil. Apply to scalp, rub it in gently and wrap your hair with a plastic cap or towel. Leave it on for half an hour or longer. Shampoo off, making sure the scalp is clean. Repeat it once a week.

Another bonus to this castor oil routine--castor oil’s rich omega-3 fatty acids is a rich moisturizer and your hair will also look nourished and silky. Now, your hair can rival those shampoo girls you see (and may be envious before) in commercials. Move over!

Love Taylor Swift's hair? Let castor oil do the work.

Love Taylor Swift's hair? Let castor oil do the work.

  • Arthritis

Arthritis can get you down—sore joints, aching muscles and inflamed nerves can make you life miserable. Rub the misery away with some castor oil help. Because castor oil is anti-inflammatory, consider massaging sore areas with castor oil. Alternatively, use a castor oil pack. You can easy make this yourself or purchase a kit. To begin, make a castor oil pad—fold a flannel cloth 3 or 4 times over. Soak folded cloth with castor oil and placed it on affected joint or area. Cover the cloth with a plastic wrap and place a hot water bottle or heating pad over it. Leave it on for 45 minutes to an hour, once a day. To reuse castor oil pad, put it in a Ziploc bad and refrigerate.

Castor oil pack is also good for treating colds, cysts, flu and ulcers. Reputedly, it can also simulate liver, relieve pain, reduce inflammation and stimulate the lymphatic system. Yes, the wonders never cease....

How to Make Your Own Castor Oil Pack

  • Constipation

Not a pretty C word—in fact, if you ever had it—it’s convolution of your insides—got to go but can’t. FDA agrees that castor oil is a laxative and so, herein lies the cure—simply take a teaspoon of castor oil in the morning. Doesn’t sound too appetizing? Mix it with some orange juice, cranberry, prune juice to take away the bitter taste without compromising the laxative effects. Do not take it consecutively for 3 days—if it doesn’t help, it’s time to see your physician. Immediately!

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Ringworm rash--red and itchy!

Ringworm rash--red and itchy!

  • Ringworm Treatment

Ringworm is characteristically marked with itchy ,red circular rash (hence the name) and it develops on the top layer of the skin. According to Mayo clinic, ringworm is a fungal infection (despite the name) and can be a stubborn condition to treat. Ringworm can also infect scalp and nails. Castor’s oil’s undecylenic acid is antifungal, which makes it an ideal treatment for ringworm. Rub castor oil on affected area and leave it overnight.

Stymied eye stye with castor oil.

Stymied eye stye with castor oil.

  • Eye Styes

When an eyelash follicle or an eyelid oil gland becomes blocked with excess oil, debris or bacteria, eye styes can formed. Eye styes can cause watery eyes, pain, tenderness, itching, redness, and sensitivity to light. It often appears as a reddish bump—not a pretty sight. To get rid of eye styes, apply a tiny drop of castor oil directly on stye 2 or 3 times a day.

This list is by no means complete but suffice to say, wow—castor oil can do all that? Yes, and more—castor oil not only promotes beauty but is a mighty force against certain medical ailments. However, always consult a doctor before self-medicating.

The copyright to this article is owned by Angeline Oppenheimer. No part or parts of the article may be republished without the permission of the author.

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anglnwu (author) on January 01, 2014:

poetryman, haha, actually some people consume it for medicinal purposes but I wouldn't suggest that, unless under medical supervision. Thanks.

poetryman6969 on December 26, 2013:

As long as I don't have to put it in my mouth...

anglnwu (author) on February 01, 2013:

Hi Sammiepants, I think that it's best to contact the company directly if you're thinking of ingesting it. Personally, I've tried it on my skin, hair and even eyebrows and I've to say it's very nourishing and nurturing. Thanks for reading and commenting.

anglnwu (author) on February 01, 2013:

Thanks, Audrey, glad you found it useful.

Sammiepants on January 31, 2013:

I have a question; I bought Home HeAlth cold pressed and cold processed castor oil originally to do the topical pack for colon cleansing, but then I read on all the forums that people are ingesting it. I was about to try it but this brand says " for external use only, do not ingest" is this a different kind of castor oil that you cant ingest, or is that warning there because of the nausea and extreme bowel movements that may occur.? Has anyone actually tried this brand of castor oil? I wanted to message the company directly, but their website ( is down.

I feel brave enough to try it anyway, but it would help if anyone already had, and can say its ok)

Audrey Howitt from California on January 30, 2013:

Such greaat information in this hub! passing it on!

anglnwu (author) on January 14, 2013:

Express10, thanks for reading and commenting. I use it on my hair too.

H C Palting from East Coast on January 09, 2013:

I will definitely try this on my long thick hair! Thanks for sharing, these tips are very useful and I've not come across them anywhere else.

anglnwu (author) on October 25, 2012:

frogyfish, good to see you here. I love castor oil and has one on hand. I know for a fact that it makes my eyebrow darker (I've sparse eyebrows) and I use it on my hair. Great natural health aid. Thanks for dropping by to comment.

frogyfish from Central United States of America on October 23, 2012:

Very informative hub. I have used castor oil drops mixed with my hand lotion, but was not aware of all your tips given about using it. I had heard it was good for skin lesions, but you gave many suggestions. The castor oil pack instructions in your video made it look easy enough to make one in the jar. Maybe I need to try that on a knee. Thank you!

anglnwu (author) on October 13, 2012:

Rajan, nice to see you here. Castor oil is pretty impressive. I use it regularly on my hair and it really helps to promote hair growth. Thanks for voting it up and sharing it.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on October 13, 2012:

Really impressive list of health benefits. I just knew a few like being good for hair, constipation and skin. Thanks.

voted up, useful and shared.

anglnwu (author) on June 22, 2012:

I agree, Vespawoolf, it's good to have a bottle at hand. I've use it on my skin and hair as well. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on June 22, 2012:

Castor oil's an all-around great oil. I've used it before for cleansing my skin. I just massage it into my face and steam it off with hot water. It cleans deep down in the pores. I've always wanted to try the castor oil pack. Maybe now I'll do it! Thanks!

anglnwu (author) on June 17, 2012:

Nellieanna, thanks for checking back. Haha, let me know if it works for you. It works for me.

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on June 17, 2012:

Oh - that does it. My eyebrows are sparse too! Castor oil, here I come!

anglnwu (author) on June 17, 2012:

Nellieanna, hehee, you love it? That's funny--how you enjoyed drinking it. Yes, I've heard it can be used as a laxative as well. I use grapeseed oil, avocado oil on my face on a regular basis and I use castor oil on my eyebrows to encourge growth since I've very sparse eyebrows. The things we'll do in the name of beauty. Thanks for your lovely comments.

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on June 17, 2012:

Fantastic advice, anginwu! You know that castor oil was used as a laxative when I was young and most kids hated its taste. But when I as very young, I (oddball, even then)! loved it. This sometimes caused a problem if I happened to get into the medicine cabinet and find a bottle of the stuff - and drank it! I remember finding a bottle of castor oil in someone else's trash can and got & drank it! My system must have needed some of its benefits to have created such a craving! I'm going to keep this hub of yours for reference

I like jojoba oil and avocado oil for my face, as well as pure lanolin and shea butter. But I will definitely try castor oil (and try to not drink it!)

anglnwu (author) on April 19, 2012:

Thanks, joyfulmommy, glad you find it useful.

joyfulmommy on April 19, 2012:

Interesting hub, very informative! I will try this out especially on my face. Voted up!

anglnwu (author) on January 31, 2012:

Karrie, I must thank you for sharing your personal success with castor oil. This is so encouraging. For one, I know it works for growing more hair and keeping it luscious. As I have said in the earlier responses, I personally know of a lady in her 70s who still have an enviable head of hair from constantly using castor oil. Castor oil is relatively inexpensive and such a great beauty aid--thanks for seconding that.

Karrie on January 31, 2012:

I have used castor oil for many things with success. I recently had kidney infection and I can not take antibiotics or penicillin so I always have to turn to natural treatments castor oil is a healing miracle. I went from not being able to walk because I was in so much pain to 100% pain free in less than an hour with castor oil pack and heating pad. It's amazing. Also use it on tired feet and bunions pain just wrap your foot in gauze soaked with castor oil and put a 2 wool socks over. This will create enough heat for the oils to be absorbed and the pain will disappear. I have used it to eliminate rosacea, acne, enlarged pores, wrinkles and acne scarring. I no longer use any other face cleanser or creams. I rub the oil over my face for a few minute and wash with a lukewarm washcloth. Rinse the washcloth and wipe you face this way 3-4 times. No need for soap your skin will be amazingly clean. My skin looks 5 years younger within a few months of this. My pores and acne scars have dissappeared. A girl recently told me that she always notices how beautiful my skin is and that she's envious of my skin.and she is 5 years younger than me! This is a miracle to hear this since a few months ago I would look in the mirror and cry over the scarring and redness and large pores. I smear it on my eye lids and eye lashes and eye brows before bed and it has made fine lines around crows feet area and saggy crepey looking skin on my upper eyelids dissapear and has made a huge improvement in my eyebrows which I had over plucked in my teens and you couldn't even tell they were there if I didn't pencil them in. Now a few months later I don't have to pencil them in at all! I massage it into my hair and scalp and Put a shower cap and wool hat for an hour before I shampoo once a week. My hair has grown from chin to shoulder length in 3 months and it is so healthy and shiny. No need for a trim all this time it is in such good condition. Also I use it on exzema that I had for over a year and with in 2 days it cleared completely. I put it on cold sores and put a bandaid soaked with it over night on the cold sore it will be gone the next morning.

anglnwu (author) on December 28, 2011:

Ruchira, thanks for dropping by. Glad you find it helpful.

Ruchira from United States on December 26, 2011:

Very helpful hub. Thanks for the info :)

anglnwu (author) on November 23, 2011:

Thanks, luis!

luis on November 23, 2011:

Is Castro oil good for psoriasis arthritis.

anglnwu (author) on November 09, 2011:

happypuppy, thanks for commenting. Good luck on growing eyelashes. They say flaxseed oil does that too.

happypuppy on November 09, 2011:

I've never heard of castor oil. Thank you for writing this wonderful hub. I am going to try it....hopefully, I will grow longer eyelashes :)

anglnwu (author) on September 17, 2011:

walt, wow, didn't know that--even jet engines have use for castor oil. Thanks for sharing your insight--it definitely adds to this hub.

Walt on September 14, 2011:

Just anothet interesting use for castor oil. When I was a jet mechanic in the Navy, we used castor oil as a lubricant on some parts of our jet engines during assembly.

anglnwu (author) on August 31, 2011:

Yes, the many uses of castor oil, treating ringworm being one of them Thanks, Katrina.

katrinasui on August 30, 2011:

Wow, I didn't know that castor oil is helpful in ringworm treatment.

anglnwu (author) on June 11, 2011:

Thanks, stye treatment. Yay for tea bags.

stye treatment on June 10, 2011:

for styes i found using herbal tea bags worked really well, over 2-3 days the swelling went down.

anglnwu (author) on April 01, 2011:

dadhwalz, thanks for adding to the hub with your comments.

dadhwalz on March 31, 2011:

home remedies are really rocking for many health problems. This article really helps those who are very conscious about their face.thanks for giving time.

anglnwu (author) on March 17, 2011:

gownkhi, checked out your website--love it but it won't allow me to leave a comment. Love the presentation of your website.

anglnwu (author) on March 17, 2011:

gowmkhi, thanks for your comments. I've used it on my face and have not noticed any hair growth. The wonders of nature--it just knows what to do. Regarding the smell, this is what I suggest--I usually use castor oil before I go to bed--that way it moisturizes your skin while u sleep and you don't have to worry about the smell. If you prefer, you can also use rose hip seed oil--i've a hub on that or avocado or sweet almond oil on face. They don't smell and they make good moisturizers. I hope that helps and thanks again for dropping by.

gowmukhi on March 17, 2011:


I have used castor oil to thicken eyelashes and eyebrows and also to clean my stomach. And for hair massage.

But for skin never. So my question is, if castor oil thicken hair, will it not thicken hair on hands and face if I use it as a moisturiser? And what about the bad smell ?

Will appreciate your advice on this. Thanks

anglnwu (author) on February 04, 2011:

Thanks, dingdong (cool name by the way) for dropping by with your comments.

dingdondingdon on February 03, 2011:

I've heard great things about castor oil! I think I have some at the back of a cupboard - I'll have to dig it out. Thanks for writing this hub, it was very informative.

anglnwu (author) on January 17, 2011:

Yse,the wonder of nature and it doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. Thanks, Ingenira, for reading.

Ingenira on January 16, 2011:

Wow, castor oil can do so much miracles ! I am bookmarking this.

anglnwu (author) on November 30, 2010:

Fracniaonline, thanks for visiting my hub. Thanks for adding to the hub with your own example. I've heard you can take castor oil orally, though, it must be done with care. Thanks again.

franciaonline from Philippines on November 29, 2010:

Great hub! Thanks anginwu.

I also learned from a friend that castor oil is a cleansing oil. When I feel my stomach is full of toxins, I take 2 table spoons of castor oil on a Friday night. In the morning all stomach dirt gets flushed out. I was told though that I should only do this once in three months.

anglnwu (author) on October 08, 2010:

lindaadam, thanks for dropping by. I agree with you--nothing beats natural treatment.

lindaadams37 on October 07, 2010:

That's pretty interesting to see that oil can be used in so many ways and apart from saying that home remedies are perhaps the best solution sometimes, I would also like to add that nothing beats natural treatment.

homehealth on July 02, 2010:

Find Home health remedies. Health home remedies cure various health related ailments. These natural homes remedies are very useful and don’t have any side effects.

anglnwu (author) on July 01, 2010:

thanks, dak!

dak on July 01, 2010:

Nice article friend.

anglnwu (author) on June 19, 2010:

Thanks, svetits, for your comments.

Bilen, thank you too. I would ask a certified holistic practitioner before taking any castor oil orally.

Bilen on June 19, 2010:

Hi! Thanks for this info! Can HomeHealth Castor Oil be ingested?

svetits from United Kingdom on June 19, 2010:

lovely and informative hub. Thanks alot for publishing.

anglnwu (author) on June 16, 2010:

Thanks, Valery elias!

valery elias on June 15, 2010:

Great information on Castor oil.

anglnwu (author) on May 17, 2010:

doreen, yes, try it. A trick i use is to mix a drop of castor oil (or sweet almond oil, or avocado oil) with your moisturizer and apply to face. That way, it is not as greasy and it will nourish the skin at the same time. I use BURT's bees moisturizers as they are almost 99% natural. Good luck and please come back and let me know how it works out.Thanks for dropping by.

doreen on May 17, 2010:

i been buying faces cream.they dont work, im going to buy the castor oil and try that, i will let u know in amonth time thank u

anglnwu (author) on May 05, 2010:

Thanks, Nikki!

nikki1 on May 05, 2010:

Thanx for sharing. Loved it.

anglnwu (author) on March 23, 2010:

Sunshyne, you're right on--cold pressed is best. Thanks for dropping by.

SUNSHYNE from California, US on March 22, 2010:

I have heard cold pressed castor oil is the best. I am going to buy some tomorrow. Thanks!

skye2day from Rocky Mountains on March 06, 2010:

Amen Sister. Thank You. (-:

anglnwu (author) on March 06, 2010:

skye2day, thanks for your wonderful support. You can be sure I'll be happy to read yours. For your husband's eye stye--here's another treatment. My husband is an eye doctor and he suggests using hot compress--clean cloth soaked in hot water and wringed out (make sure it's not scalding hot) on the eye with the stye--each time about 3 minutes, 3 times a day. This is followed by cold compress (wrap ice-cube in clean cloth)from day 4th to 6th (next 3 days). Hot compress opens up clogged pore to expel bacteria. Cold compress closes it up.

Once again, I greatly appreciate your comments and have a great day.

skye2day from Rocky Mountains on March 06, 2010:

Hi anginwu, I am grateful I bookmarked your hub. My husband has a sty in the eye for a couple of weeks now. He is excited for the 'hope'. My pregnant daughter is going to use to help prevent stretch marks. As for me I will use on all of the above. I hope you win the contest. I vote big thumbs up. Thank You again for sharing the 'good' news. Come and visit for a read when you have a minute. With Love. In Joy. + + +

anglnwu (author) on March 04, 2010:

skye2day, you're right--God is so good--we can find remedies in nature, like castor oil for instance. A simple oil, yet it possesses so many healing qualities. You're right on castor oil and labor too--it's been used for that.

Many blessings to you too.

anglnwu (author) on March 04, 2010:

coffeesnob--every time, I type your name, I smile, what a name and the subtle implication. Silly aside, thanks for dropping by. Many people swear by it, regarding arthritis. This is also in line with Chinese medication--we rub oitment on painful joints. Take care.

skye2day from Rocky Mountains on March 04, 2010:

anginwum Fantastic Hub. God is so good. Something so simple, reasonable price and all these beauty uses. I am so grateful for coming across your hub. Castor Oil helps promote labor. ( wives tale, it did not work to start my labors)

I will keep you posted on my new beautiful skin. This hub is getting bookmarked. I am thankful.Please do visit my hubs. I would be honored. You have a new fan. I will return soon. Many Blessings sister.

I hope you win on this health contest. You Rock.

coffeesnob on March 04, 2010:

My brother in law swears by it. He has consumed it for years -in his early 70's now, and he claims it has been an essential part of his good health. He also mentioned its effectiveness in treating arthritis

anglnwu (author) on March 04, 2010:

Maita, thanks for your vote of confidence. I need all the good wishes, seeing I'm up against great hubbers--such as you--the superstar, while I'm the tiny star way out on the peripheral, hoping to catch a wink of the action (haha--this is getting silly). Well, I'm betting on you to win and when you do, don't forget to buy me a cuppa of tea (well, actually high tea at Four Seasons would be better but beggars can't be choosers). Good to hear from you and truly enjoy our little tetet-a-tete.

prettydarkhorse from US on March 03, 2010:

hi beautiful girl, I am still writing my hub, I came back here to look at this hub again, this time I boomarked it, I am not popular I just read lots of hub and one way or another they also read mine, I want you or either Bk to win as you have lots of hubs written and both of you ROCK when it comes to natural medicine, the best, Night, Thanks angel, I will call you that...Maita

anglnwu (author) on March 03, 2010:

BKCreative, I'm with you regarding the use of natural products. Natural is the way to go if we want healthy bodies. Thanks for dropping by and I greatly appreciate your comments.

anglnwu (author) on March 03, 2010:

Dohn, leave it to Mrs. Cleaver to know a thing or two about home remedies--she's was cool even back then (or more so). I love all things natural and castor oil is one of those natural oil that can do wonders. Definitely wouldn't hurt to stash one away somewhere.

Totally appreciate your comments and I feel truly honored to have you drop in again. Have a great day!

BkCreative from Brooklyn, New York City on March 02, 2010:

Growing up, my mother knew the benefits of castor oil. I am so glad to see us returning to all these natural products - that did not destroy our health or the environment - and actually worked.

Now that we are coming to our senses and what is old is new again - we need all this information - all over again.

Thanks for this hub. I'll bookmark it for reference!

anglnwu (author) on March 02, 2010:

Ghost, I'm looking forward to that check--cos I can tell you that castor oil is a very good moisturizer. If you find it's too thick, dilute it with a less dense oil like sweet almond oil. I use sweet almond oil (less thick). Don't forget your before and after picture--i'm going to post it right here. Your face alone will lend it all the credibility it needs. Thanks for dropping by and God bless your sweet heart.

anglnwu (author) on March 02, 2010:

drpastorcarlotta, thanks for dropping by. Glad you like it.

dohn121 from Hudson Valley, New York on March 02, 2010:

Where did you learn all of this? I had no idea of the benefits of castor oil. I remember as a kid while growing up, I watched a lot of classic TV shows like Leave it to Beaver and I remember Mrs. Cleaver giving the Beaver castor oil as medicine when he was sick! The face he had in reaction to such was classic in itself. What great hub showcasing this miracle oil/cure-all! Thank you for writing this one. I'm definitely bookmarking this!

JG the IGNITER from The U.S. Government protects Nazi War Criminals on March 02, 2010:

Thank you for this hub!! I had no idea that you could use this on your face-castor oil--I am seriously going to buy some and try this--this is perfect for me, I don't use skin cream on my face!! Okay, I will let you know how it works in a month!! If I look younger--I will send you a check!!;)

Pastor Dr Carlotta Boles from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC on March 02, 2010:

Very informational HUB!!! Thank you!

anglnwu (author) on March 02, 2010:

Maita, i personally know of a lady--she's in her late 60's and she still has hair that looks like she's in her 20's--she uses castor oil faithfully. How's about eyelashes?--I think I'm going to try that one. Thanks for dropping by and I think I'm in the contest--I hope. I know you're--you're so popular, you will definitely do very well.

Have a good night too.

prettydarkhorse from US on March 02, 2010:

castor oil, well if it will make me beautiful with flawless skin, why not isn't it anglnwu, you rock, are you joining the contest? Thanks and good night, Maita

anglnwu (author) on March 02, 2010:

Thanks, Pamela. I'm off to visit yours.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on March 02, 2010:

Great hub on Castor oil.

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