In recent years, there have been rumors as to its ability to prevent greying hair, reduce arthritis symptoms and boost immunity – so it seems there is no ailment this natural ingredient can not cure.
It is stable oil, making it great for use in cosmetics as it last for years without turning rancid. It has excellent moisturizing properties due to its high fat content, which is absorbed into the skin very slowly, creating long-lasting shine and moisture.
For reasons broadly unknown, the substance has been used for many centuries to induce labor in pregnant mothers. These days, however, it is not recommended that the substance be ingested due to its unpleasant side effects such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. For this reason, it is often used in folk medicine as a natural laxative to treat chronic constipation.
In some cases, it has actually been known to cause foetal complications in pregnant women, so it's best avoided as an induction technique. If you're not pregnant, however, the ingredient can be used as an effective stomach cleanser when mixed with milk. Rumour has it than when combined with orange juice, castor oil can also be a great hangover cure.
However, it does have a variety of other uses, all of which are incredibly beneficial to the body, skin and hair. It is regularly used in massage blends to treat the whole body due to its slow absorption. It also draws in dirt, so it is ideal for cleaning or cleaning products.
Its sticky consistency means that it provides hair, nails and skin with a beautiful shine. It is ideal when combined with sweet almond extract, apricot kernels or jojoba. These combinations can help revive tired skin or hair and even reduce eye bags. It can also be used in rejuvenating face masks with ingredients such as camelina, avocado or moringa.
It can also dramatically reduce pigmentation marks or spots on the skin's surface and improve the overall quality of the skin. You'll need to mix 90ml of it with 8g melted beeswax, 1ml Vitamin E and 25 drops of lemon essence. These ingredients can be found in most health food stores or through an online specialist in natural cosmetic ingredients.
To create your own Castor Cleanser for use at the end of a long day, you'll need to combine 60ml of organic castor oil with 29ml of apricot kernel, 10ml of jojiba, 1ml of Vitamin E and a small amount (0.5ml) or any other essence of your choosing. This last step is optional, but can provide the cream with a nice scent – for example, lavender or chamomile.
Alternately, if you intend to use your product for massage purposes, you can create a moisturizing Swedish Massage Blend by combining 30ml of castor oil with 29ml of jojoba; 20ml of olive oil; 10g of coconut butter; 0.5ml vitamin E and 10ml of thistle.
Castor oil is incredibly thick, sticky and resistant, so it should only be used in very small quantities. If in doubt, find a natural ingredient supplier online and ask them which concentration you should use it for your chosen homemade product.
If you're keen to reap the benefits of this natural ingredient, there are plenty of online recipes that will also offer instruction and guidance.