The more we learn about Nature, the more astonishing we find it. Ages-old remedies still work and can be applied for modern ills if we only extend our imaginations and leave societal mores in the ditch. Castor oil is made from the seeds of the castor plant.
It is thick and has a slight pungent smell—you don’t want to use it on your skin when getting ready for a first date. Rich in antioxidants, castor oil is antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal. Applying it before bedtime is optimal, which gives it ample time to work on whatever ails you. Below are beneficial topical uses of castor oil you might not have tried.
- Soothes minor skin abrasions and burns
- Aids healing of injured or sore joints
- Removes warts and moles (1)
- Reduces fever (2)
- Reduces and prevents the appearance of stretch marks
- Mixed with a little baking soda, can eliminate dark spots on the face
- Soothes chronic hoarseness and vocal chord strain
- Promotes lymph flow
- Soothes dry eyes (one drop of USP [United States Pharmacopoeia] castor oil in each eye before sleep; the USP grade is important to ensure no impurities) (3) There is anecdotal evidence that castor oil eliminates and prevents eye cataracts. (4)
- Back and arthritis pain relief
- Stimulates lactation
- Stimulates hair growth by massaging a few drops into the scalp (also works on eyebrows and lashes)
- Soothes insect bites, reducing inflammation and itch
- Kills foot fungus infection (athlete’s foot)
- Removes calcium deposits and tough skin on soles of the feet
- Improves hearing with a few drops in the ear
- Treats hepatitis when used as a compress over the liver (5)
If you’re brave enough to drink castor oil (it is decidedly not delicious), you may mix with water, juice, or cool tea; taken internally, you can reap these benefits:
- Reduce nicotine and alcohol addiction with 2 drops a day
- Reduce tinnitus with 6-8 drops a day
- Reduce hyperactivity with 2 drops a day
- Eliminate snoring
- Treat seasonal and food allergies – 5 drops will do (2, 3)
- Relieve constipation with 2 drops a day
When used as a compress, castor oil combined with baking soda improves blood circulation—especially important for diabetics.
Better circulation also affects the appearance of spider and varicose veins. A recipe follows.
Castor Oil Compress
- Clean cotton gauze or all-cotton towel (castor oil stains so don’t use a fancy guest towel)
- Plastic wrap
- Hot water bottle
- Dry towel
- Baking soda
- Castor oil, organic and cold-pressed
- Fill the hot water bottle with hot (not boiling) water.
- Wash the affected area with baking soda and a little water.
- Soak gauze or towel in castor oil and place on the clean area.
- Wrap the gauze with plastic wrap and cover with hot water bottle. Keep the hot water bottle in place with a larger towel.
- Allow to penetrate for at least an hour.
- When finished, carefully remove the plastic for re-use and wash the area with baking soda and water (if desired) or gently rub the castor oil in to the surrounding skin.
- Use a new castor oil compress daily for 40 days to see results.