11 Uses of Castor Oil You’ll Wish Someone Told You Sooner
Castor oil is a non-volatile fatty oil that is derived from the seeds of the castor bean (Ricinus communis) plant, aka castor seeds. The castor oil plant belongs to the flowering spurge family called Euphorbiaceae and is mainly cultivated in Africa, South America and India (India accounts for over 90% of castor oil exports globally).Castor is one of the oldest cultivated crops, but interestingly it contributes to only 0.15 percent of the vegetable oil produced in the world each year. This oil is also sometimes called ricinus oil.
Research studies have found that castor oil contains therapeutic components including fatty acids, flavonoids, phenolic compounds, amino acids, terpenoids and phytosterols. These various compounds give the oil the following properties and potential health benefits:
- Hepatoprotective (ability to prevent damage to the liver)
- Free radical scavenging
Compounds found in castor can help stabilize the texture and consistency of products, which is why castor oil is used in so many cosmetics, hair and skincare treatments.
Reports show that this oil can be safely taken internally. When swallowed, it’s hydrolyzed in the small intestine by pancreatic enzymes, leading to the release of glycerol and ricinoleic acid, along with other beneficial metabolites.
Castor Oil Benefits for Skin, Hair, Constipation and More