Castor seed oil is a vegetable oil which is extracted from castor seeds that are obtained from castor plant, Ricinus Communis. Castor seed contains triglycerides, a very valuable element that makes it very essential when it comes to its use but it also has small traces of ricin, a very toxic and lethal substance. The ricin is what makes it very dangerous in large quantities.
Moreover, it was used as herbal medicine in early times to cure all forms of digestive problems as it was believed that any kind of body ailment often had its roots in the stomach.
It could be applied in case of fever, cold and coughs, constipation, indigestion, skin ailments as well as for the cure of worms like round worms and tape worms. It was also used in a number of skin ailments from burns to wounds and other dermal issues. In low doses, it can induce sickness, loose bowels, vomiting as well as nausea.
Basically, it is not that healthy and is mostly used in industries and not as an edible substance. But it can be used in medicine due to its disinfecting, toxic and germicidal properties. Besides, it is very tasteless and neutral.
The Health Benefits of Castor Seed Oil to the Body
Castor seed oil has some benefits to the body as long as it is not ingested in large quantities, as it can be toxic to the body. But you can always apply it topically to be safe as it protects the body and immune system from various infections, internal and external.
Here are few health benefits that castor seed oil has on the human body.
1. Castor Seed Oil Promotes Skin Care
Castor seed oil also has undecylenic acid which is very effective in treating different forms of skin diseases from acne, inflammation as well as wounds and eczema. This is due to its germicidal and disinfectant properties that often take care of skin ulcers and diseases caused by fungi and bacteria.
You can always apply it topically on your skin for safety purposes and effectiveness.
Besides, it can speed the healing process of any skin wound and prevent its infections.
2. Castor Seed Oil Promotes Hair Care
Castor seed oil is great for hair care as it has fatty acids that often nourish the hair and retain moisture so as to prevent the scalp from drying.
Besides, it has ricin and ricinoleic acid that have insecticidal, germicidal and fungicidal properties that often protect the scalp and hair from any microbial and fungi infections so as to reduce hair loss.
You can apply it topically to disinfect your hair as well as give it some luster.
3. Castor Seed Oil Relieves Constipation
Castor seed oil can also be used as a laxative in small quantities but only in extreme cases of constipation where bulk laxatives have proven to be ineffective.
It can also be used as a stomach coat in the case of vomiting and nausea and helps pregnant women with constipation issues.
4. Castor Seed Oil Treats Rheumatism
Castor seed oil contains some of the most effective elements that help in treating rheumatism as well as gout and arthritis. Some of them are ricinoleic acid, oleic acid as well as linoleic acid and other fatty acids.
It can also be mixed with other drugs for rheumatism so as to speed its penetration and effectiveness.
5. Castor Seed Oil Helps With Birth Control
Castor seed oil also contains a toxic substance known as ricin that often gives it germicidal qualities if applied in low doses. But if applied in large quantities to expectant women, it can cause abortion. However, as a birth control aid, it can also be fatal in large doses and work only in small quantities. But it is not advisable to always use it.
It can also be used as a spermicide in spermicidal lotions and gels.
6. Castor Seed Oil Helps With Menstrual Problems
Castor seed oil can also induces menstruation in case it delays, becomes painful or obstructed. This is due to the presence of ricinoleic acid. Besides, this property makes it a perfect agent in pain relief during menstruation.
7. Castor Seed Oil Helps with Lactation
Castor seed oil is naturally a galactagogue substance that can be used to stimulate the exudation of milk in breastfeeding mothers. It can ease, enhance, and also increase milk quantity as it contains loads of fatty acids.
However, you should always avoid its cold-compressed form or take it in low dosages so as to prevent it from causing certain adverse effects to the infant.
Caution with Regard to Overuse of Castor Seed Oil
Castor seed oil is very safe for labor induction but a pregnant woman who consumes too much castor seed oil can induce early labor or cause abortion. So it is not recommended for pregnant women unless prescribed by a doctor.
As much as it is great for skin care, too much overuse can at times make the skin break out as well as cause some allergic reactions with symptoms of hives and itching.
Moreover, too much of it can also lead to nauseating feelings that often cause dehydration and disturbances in the rhythm of the heart. Besides, the nauseating feeling can also lead to vomiting as well as diarrhea.
Additionally, it can cause some gastrointestinal irritations as well as abdominal cramps that are often due to ricin ingestion found in it. This can happen between 6-12 hours after ingestion. Besides, ricin can also be fatal as it is toxic and has no antidote.
It can also lead to muscle cramps and weakness when taken in large quantities, especially when taken as a laxative. If these aches persist, it would be advisable to see a doctor.
An overdose of castor seed oil can also cause some shortness of breath, dizziness, and fainting. Moreover, it is not recommended for kids, even as a laxative as it can be too harsh for them.
So, it is advisable to always ingest it in low quantities as prescribed or avoid it altogether as it is not very nutritious to the body.
Conclusively castor oil as a medicine works very well as long as it is administered in the right dosage but when it comes to culinary purposes, it is not recommended and not highly valuable. But in case you are worried about its dosage, you can always consult a doctor on its use.
Likewise, you should let your doctor know of any known allergies that you have as well as medical history, especially if you want to use castor seed oil in the long run.
Besides, always buy it from reputable stores and never attempt to make it on your own as handling it can also be detrimental to your health.