The first recorded use of castor oil was found in an Egyptian medical papyrus in 1550 BCE, but scholars believe that it has been used many years before that, specifically for constipation. Castor oil has been used in many other products, including hair and skin products, soap manufacturing, and for making polyurethane. A lot of people also use castor oil to grow hair and it’s also popular for its anti-inflammatory properties. There’s research concluding that it can be used to heal wounds faster and as for bedsore treatment.
In the book “Take Charge of Your Body” by Carolyn DeMarco, the author recommends castor oil packs for arthritis, sciatica, constipation, kidney troubles, gallbladder, liver, and varicose veins. Castor oil packs can also be used for detox and by cancer patients.
Another book titled “Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom” by best-selling author Dr. Christiane Northrup recommends castor oil packs for many medical issues, including ovarian cysts, urinary tract infections, menstrual cramps, PMS, and endometriosis, a condition affecting the uterine tissue that causes pain. Dr. Northrup advises using castor oil packs thrice a weak to improve the immune system.
Essential Facts About Castor Oil: Castor Oil Benefits
One of the first known castor oil benefits is its use as a natural laxative. However, it should only be used short-term since long-term use may lead to diarrhea and cramps. Other known castor oil benefits include castor oil for pain relief brought by acne and inflammation. It’s been documented that castor oil has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Castor oil is also used to get rid of E. faecalis and C. albicans in human tooth roots. These are yeast fungi that cause oral infections and plaque, which lead to tooth canals. Another castor oil for pain relief fact is found on joints, wherein applying castor oil will trigger its natural ricinoleic acid content to work as decongestant on congested lump nodes, thus encourage lymphatic and blood circulation.
How to Use Castor Oil Packs
These packs are an efficient and economical way of infusing the ricinoleic acid and other healing properties of castor oil to your tissues. It is advised to perform a patch test first before directly applying castor oil to determine whether you are allergic or not.
There are several methods of using castor oil topically. One is by direct application or rubbing the oil directly onto the affected area. You can also use a Band-Aide soaked in castor oil if the affected area is small. For systematic or larger applications, castor oil can be massaged into the body. This is an effective method of using castor oil for joint pain and for the relief of the spinal column.
A castor oil pack is very simple to make. Simply use an organic, unbleached, and clean cotton flannel or wool. Take two to four layers of the flannel and soak it in cold pressed castor oil. Make sure that the cloth you use is enough to cover the size of the affected area. If you’re using a flannel, you can wring out the excess liquid to avoid leaks or mess.
Wrap the cloth around the area of concern and cover it with a towel or plastic. Then take a heating pad or a hot water bottle to apply heat. If the affected area is on a limb, you can wrap the pack with an ace bandage. If you have to lie down, make sure to place an old towel or bedding to prevent stains. Allow the pack to warm a little bit and let it stay on for 45 minutes up to an hour.
Take off the pack after an hour and clean the skin by using warm water with baking soda in it. You can store the soaked cloth in a jar or any glass container, store it in the fridge, and use it again. Replace it if you notice a smell or if there are any color changes. Or you can throw the cloth away or wash it thoroughly.
The fact that you have to use an organic cloth means that it castor oil packs are really an affordable solution. Knowing how to use castor oil packs is important in order to ensure that it’s effective.
How to Use Castor Oil Packs: Does Castor Oil Have Side Effects?
The most common concerns of people who use castor oil for pain relief and castor oil for joint pain is allergic reactions on the skin and gastrointestinal disturbance. These are natural side effects given castor oil works on the walls of the intestine.
Ricinoleic acid, the compound that castor oil becomes in your small intestine, can irritate the intestinal lining. This is also the reason why castor oil acts as a laxative, which can lead to diarrhea, digestive discomfort, and other side effects suffered in the gastrointestinal area.
If you suddenly experience hemorrhoids, diverticulitis, ulcers, irritable bowel, cramps, prolapses, or you have just been on a medical operation, it is best to avoid using castor oil. It’s quite hard to see the castor oil benefits when these happen.
Another known side effect of castor oil for those asking how to use castor oil packs is nausea, which normally occurs in women. It should be noted that castor oil can also help stimulate labor in pregnant women.
Castor Oil for Pain Relief and Castor Oil for Joint Pain: An Effective Home Remedy
Despite the adverse effects, Indians are known to use castor oil for joint pain, sciatica, and lower back pain. They would boil hulls or seed kernels in water and milk and consume the brew to relieve pain. To this day, castor seed plants are still used in India for the treatment of many known medical problems including asthma, vagina and bladder infections, inflammatory bowel disease, dysentery, and constipation.
In the Canary Islands, the leaves of the castor plant are made into poultices to treat various gynecological problems. Lactating women would apply the poultice to their breasts in order to increase the production of milk and also to relieve inflamed mammary glands. Packs were also used to relieve cramps that come with monthly periods.
Uses of Castor Oil in Modern Medicine
Today, the use of castor oil falls into five major categories:
1. Lymphatic and immune system stimulant
Castor oil benefits can be experienced by way of topical application. It’s been known to impact positively against various skin conditions including itching, sebaceous cysts, warts, ringworm, acne, wounds, dermatosis, keratosis, as well as hair loss. It is also believed that castor oil allows for the quick absorption of other skin-enhancing ingredients.
There are many known industrial uses of castor oil, but a fact is that there’s very little research to prove its medicinal benefits. However, many have experienced the healing properties of castor oil despite the lack of studies. In fact, history is enough to prove that castor oil is nothing but beneficial.
Buying Castor Oil
Like most products, it’s important that you know for sure where your castor oil is sourced. Most castor oil products in the market today are derived from the seeds of castor, and unfortunately had been exposed to pesticides and other chemicals. Such chemicals can diminish the phytonutrients that contribute to its efficacy.
That being said, see to it that you only purchase organic castor oil. The benefits of castor oil are more anecdotal than scientific, so be wary of the side effects that come along with it. Always do a patch test before anything else in order to prevent unwanted reactions.