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12+1 Properties of castor oil

Everyone has heard of the properties of castor oil. An extract that is used for many options, encompassing the improvement of human health as an industrial use to protect plastics and even as a combustion medium for engines.

Castor is considered a multipurpose plant with a large list of medicinal remedies when we use castor oil.

We are going to get to know little by little the plant and the great properties of castor oil, which are not few.

What is castor oil for?

Surely many do not know how the morphology of the castor plant is. It is considered as a shrub for the development it has, with thick stems and woody appearance.

His scientific name is Ricinus communis, and belongs to the family Euophorbiaceae.

Its origin is Indian, although there are also attributions from areas of the Horn of Africa and Asian countries such as Vietnam.

However, today it is widespread in almost all areas of the world with a warm climate and no frost.

It is a medicinal plant quite recognized for the properties of castor oil.

properties of castor oil and its seeds
Appearance of castor seeds, potentially toxic due to the ricin content.

The properties of castor oil are based on transforming ricin, potentially toxic, into fatty oils with great moisturizing, firming, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory potential.

What do we know about the properties of castor oil?

The first thing we should know is that castor oil is extracted from the pressing of its seeds.

Toxicity of castor seeds

The high content of ricin, a protein of plant origin, is toxic to humans and animals, causing severe gastroenteritis, and liver and kidney damage. Several deaths from high consumption of this compound have been documented.

When preparing the castor oil, during the manufacturing process the extract is heated to reduce and eliminate the ricin content, so that it loses its toxicity.

Due to its high content of ricinoleic acid, typical of the plant ricinus communis, it is a very effective purgative that they also have analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects.

In fact, castor extract, high in this fatty acid, is used in modern medicine to impregnate band-aids and surgical adhesives for its bactericidal effect and control of cytolysis (cell rupture).

Castor oil, in many parts of the world is also known as castor oil (beaver oil). This oil practically contains between 45-50% of the pressed castor seeds, with a ricinoleic acid potential of more than 70% concentration.

Ricinoleic acid

Molecular structure of ricinoleic acid

An interesting fatty acid found naturally in the castor bean (Ricinus communis), is ricinoleic acid.

Due to its purgative potential, many drugs with laxative effects and other drugs with antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and analgesic potential, are based on this unsaturated fatty acid.

In short! At indicated doses and with specific treatments, castor can be a good help for certain problems. When buying castor oil, make sure of the origin and the chemical methods to which it has been subjected.

The total composition that characterizes the properties of castor oil are as follows:

Ricinoleic acid 85 until 95%
Oleic acid 1 until 6%
Linoleic acid 1 until 5%
Linolenic acid 0,5 until 2%
Stearic acid 0,5 until 1%
Palmitic acid 0,5 until 1
Dihydroxystearic acid 0,3 until 0,5%
Other 0,2 until 0,5%

10 properties of castor oil

1. Laxative effect

Ricin and ricinoleic acid have a potential effect on the digestive tract, favoring the rapid evacuation of their contents.

One of the main properties of castor oil it is the laxative effect, derived from the seeds, certainly toxic (but not the oil once heated), that cause this effect.

A common dose used to obtain a purgative effect is to take 10 to 30 ml of castor oil. The laxative effect starts from 2 hours after consumption.

2. Increase capillary density

Essential oils, whose list we have mentioned above, increase the capillary density in the areas where we apply it. Whether on the beard, head, eyelashes or eyebrows, it increases the sensation of volume by the hydration it produces.

3. Relief from arthritis and muscle aches

The application in massage of this oil reduces the inflammation of the affected parts and has an analgesic effect. In addition, it also produces a relaxing effect, added to the massage that is given for the complete absorption of its principles.

4. Dark circles reducer and firming

The fatty acids in castor oil have firming properties. They soften the skin and moisturize it energetically, thanks to oleic, linoleic and linolenic acid.

To act as a skin tightener and eliminate annoying dark circles, we will apply a drop for each eye and massage the skin until it is completely absorbed.

5. Reduce dandruff

In many cases it is said that castor oil manages to moisturize the scalp and with it, reduces hair loss.

What is known is that applied in the form of massage, it reduces dandruff remarkably by acting as hair conditioner and have a moisturizing effect.

6. Firming for stretch marks

Just as the properties of castor are highly recommended to firm the skin, it can also be applied in case of the appearance of stretch marks, such as in pregnancy or when losing a large amount of weight (because it is noticed much more).

We will apply directly on the skin a few drops of castor oil that we will distribute through a massage until its complete absorption.

All vegetable fatty acids are rich in omega 3, which applied to the skin has a firming effect and improves blood circulation.

what castor oil is for?

7. Antimicrobial

As we have mentioned before, there are several scientific studies that, at the time, endorsed the potential of castor, thanks to ricinoleic acid, such as antimicrobial potential and cytolysis control.

That is why it is applied impregnated in surgical material intended to cover wounds (gauze, adhesives, bandages, etc.).

Applied to wounds in the process of healing, they reduce pain and promote healing, by limiting the development of potentially dangerous bacteria or that can cause infections.

8. Anti-inflammatory and analgesic

This same compound also has proven properties as an effect. reducer of skin inflammations for joint damage, wounds and sunburn. In turn, it also reduces pain due to the slight analgesic effect it produces.

To do this, a simple massage on the affected area with a few drops of castor oil will be enough to feel a quick relief.

9. Muscle relaxant

After making a great muscular effort, a massage after the shower with castor oil stimulates blood circulation and promotes the hydration of the skin. This “analgesic” effect also helps to reduce the muscle pressure to which we have subjected you.

10. Soften hardness

The sum of the essential acids oleic, linoleic and linolenic have a great penetration capacity, helping to reduce skin dryness and to soften hardness.

In the event that we eliminate part of the hard skin with a pumice stone, it is highly recommended to moisturize the skin worked with castor oil, noticing a surprising improvement for its high firming power.

11. Relieve insect bites

Before a bite of insects (mosquitoes, wasps, beesas, etc.) we need a lotion that hydrates, has analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effect, to reduce possible infections.

Thanks to the properties of castor oil we have this complete kit at our fingertips. Place 1 or 2 drops on the bite and massage until all the liquid is absorbed. We will notice improvement in less than 5 minutes from its application.

12. Skin relief from sunburn

There are many advantages of castor oil for the skin. By subjecting it to an intensive session of Sun, we will have inflamed, reddened and dry skin. This, together with the possible generation of free radicals (which can cause skin cancer) makes it very dangerous not to put on sunscreen before sunbathing.

If we are already late and you do not have any after sun on hand, castor oil helps to soothe the skin, improving its hydration and relieving redness.

Bathe with cold water and when leaving the shower lightly massage the sunburned area with castor oil appropriate for the skin. You will notice an improvement after 10 minutes.

Buy Castor Oil

Sky Organics Organic Castor Oil (16 oz) USDA Certified Organic, 100% Pure, Cold Pressed, Hexane Free, Boost Hair Growth, Use with Castor Oil Pack
  • NOURISHING OIL: Loaded with multiple Omega fatty acids, including ricinoleic acid, this 100% pure, hexane-free and cold-pressed organic Castor Oil naturally nourishes and conditions skin, scalp, roots and strands to support full, thick, strong, healthy-looking hair and skin. Makes an excellent carrier oil when mixed with other functional oils.
  • Rich, Nourishing Oil for Dry Scalp, Dry, Weak or Brittle Hair, Dry Skin and Castor Packs: Apply by warming up a small amount of oil in hands and massage into dry scalp & strands. Leave in for 1 hour or overnight. Rinse with shampoo. Use on lashes & brows for a nourishing boost. Apply to fabric compress for a soothing castor pack or massage a few drops into belly button. Use as a carrier oil when creating multi-oil blends.
  • INGREDIENTS WITH PURPOSE: Made with just one pure & potent ingredient. To help retain its natural vitamins and antioxidants, this organic oil is unrefined and cold-pressed rather than chemically extracted. Due to its natural content, product color, texture and fragrance may vary

Applications on the skin

However, applied topically, it achieves other effects than those mentioned above. Some studies have been done where they give cleansing and exfoliating properties to castor oil, especially when applied to oily skin.

If we add this castor to the cleansers commonly used to exfoliate our skin, it stimulates and improves the elimination of the fat accumulated in our pores.

In addition, castor oil has antimicrobial properties, so it is well received applied on wounds, Scars or the scalp, when you want to reduce or eliminate dandruff.

As does the lavender oil or rosemary, massaging the joints and muscles with a few drops of this castor extract, it is possible to relieve the symptoms of fatigue, stiffness and muscle lightheadedness.

We can use such castor extract to solve the following inconveniences:

  • Hydration of dry skin.
  • Wound healing.
  • Treatment of eczema and herpes.
  • Healing of burns of a mild nature.
  • Treatment of styes.

Cash title

The castor oil it has great potential when it comes to nourishing dry and atopic skin. Applying a few drops on the fingertips and applying a circular massage on the dark circles, manages to reduce them significantly. With wrinkles it happens the same, since its moisturizing power allows to visibly reduce some small wrinkles.

The moisturizing capacity of castor oil can be combined with that of coconut oil, improving skin nutrition and the effect of infections due to its concentration in lauric acid


Castor oil contains a high percentage of ricinoleic acid. Some people with skin sensitivity may experience allergic skin reactions.

In any case, castor oil is not recommended for people suffering from irritable bowel, diarrhea, hemorrhoids and intestinal ulcers, as it could aggravate the problem by the laxative effect of castor.

In general, it is not recommended to use during pregnancy or during the lactation period.

It is always important to consult with the family doctor the application of any medicinal plant rich in oils and active ingredients, as they can interact with the medicines that are being applied at that time.

It is not advisable to prepare castor oil through seeds directly if we do not have a specialized team or minimal knowledge.

If the procedure is done wrong, we can leave ricin that is potentially toxic to humans and animals, causing damage to the digestive and urinary tract, with a great laxative effect.


About Lela M Altman

Lela M. Altman is a distinguished biochemist dedicated to unraveling the intricacies of life at the molecular level. With a robust background in molecular biology and genetics, she has contributed significantly to our understanding of key cellular processes. Her groundbreaking research spans diverse areas, from DNA replication mechanisms to protein folding dynamics. Dr. Altman's work has led to innovative treatments for various diseases and shed light on the origins of life itself. Her unwavering commitment to scientific exploration has earned her accolades and respect in the scientific community, solidifying her status as a trailblazing figure in the field of biochemistry.

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