The many benefits of castor oil

Castor oil or castor oil: a pure vegetable oil!

Castor oil – or castor oil – comes from the seeds of the tropical shrub of the same name, which grows mainly in India and Africa. “People often confuse it with beaver musk – castoreum – emitted by specific glands of the animal and widely used in perfumery,” laughs the naturopath. But let all vegans be reassured, castor oil is 100% vegetable and is beaver in name only. But by the way, where does this name come from? “The English translation of castor oil is castor oil, so it’s an Anglicism. Moreover, in English it is said that Castor is beaver,” says Jeanne Camus.
With a very thick and viscous texture, castor oil has been used since ancient times, especially in Egypt and India. She would even have been one of them beauty secrets of Cleopatra

Jeanne Camus: Castor oil has 3 main uses: cosmetic use, natural “therapeutic” use and internal laxative use.

She is very bad valued in medicine ayurvedicwho considers castor one of the most effective plants for? cure arthritic diseases

Is castor oil edible?

As natural and plant-based as it is, castor oil is a oil-inedible† “The pie [NDLR : enveloppe] castor beans contain a highly toxic component called ricin† Although the oil has been filtered and freed from cake, ricin residues are left behind and make it unfit for consumption, “emphasizes the naturopath. No castor oil vinaigrette to flavor a salad then!

Nevertheless, it is sometimes used internally and in small doses for its powerful laxative properties.

Composition and properties of castor oil

Like all fats, castor oil consists solely of lipids in the form of fatty acids. “The vast majority of the fatty acids in castor oil are monounsaturated fatty acids from the family of omega-9called ricinoleic acidexplains the naturopath. Castor oil also contains omega-6 and is very well supplied with vitamin E, known for its antioxidant properties.

Jeanne Camus: The properties of castor oil are many: nourishing, moisturizing and strengthening in cosmetics, it is also anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and immunostimulating in herbal medicine.

The toxicity in its natural state also makes castor oil an oil with a laxative effect, even a powerful purgative, to be used with great care.

What are the benefits for cosmetic use?

Hair, eyelashes, beard, bristles

also nickname “hair oil”, Castor oil is best known and recommended for its beneficial effects on hair, beard, eyebrows and even eyelashes. “This oil, both fortifying and nourishing, helps to make the hair particularly shiny and strong with regular use,” confirms the naturopath. It can be applied liberally, like a mask, and left on for an hour to overnight, before rinsing generously with hot water.
Thick and viscous, it is particularly recommended for: dry, damaged, brittle and devitalized hair, and it requires thorough rinsing. “In the case of oily hair with damaged ends, a few drops of oil are applied only on the ends,” recommends Jeanne Camus. It can be used foron the hair once or twice a month and once or twice a week on the beardfor optimal and fast results.

Does it really grow hair?

Castor oil is known for its ability to stimulate hair growth, by acting on the microcirculation in the scalp. “The omega 6 and 9 it contains make the cells of the hair fiber more flexible and more permeable, so that they can absorb minerals and vitamins better and are therefore healthier,” sums up the naturopath.

It is also recommended in post-chemotherapyto facilitate the regrowth of hair and body hair, after this aggressive treatment.

Skin: how to use castor oil on the face or on the body?

Extremely moisturizing and rich in antioxidant vitamin E, castor oil is a precious ally for prevent the appearance of wrinkles† In particular, it is said to plump up the skin by stimulating the production of collagen and elastin, responsible for its suppleness and firmness. “It can be applied directly to the skin, neat or diluted with another neutral oil, and left on for an hour or overnight,” says Jeanne Camus, who recommends avoiding the sensitive skin around the eyes.

And may oily and combination skin prone to imperfections be reassured: as rich as it is, castor oil is non comedogenicand therefore suitable for all skin types.

Nails and hands

  • Particularly exposed to external aggressions – cold, friction, hydroalcoholic gel, perspiration – hands are also one of the first parts of the body to suffer from dehydration and skin aging. Castor oil can be applied to hands in the evening and left all night. It is therefore wise to put on cotton gloves to prevent stains on the sheets.
  • This castor oil mask is also effective for: treat the nailsmake them stronger and less brittle.

In video: Strengthen your nails with castor oil

What are the medicinal properties?


“At the same time anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and non-comedogenic, castor oil is a very good remedy for acne,” indicates the naturopath. It can be applied evenly all over the face or topically with a cotton swab on the areas to be treated.

The face may have been previously washed with hot water topore opening skin and promotes product penetration.

Eczema and Atopic Dermatitis

Restorative, soothing and anti-inflammatory, castor oil is an excellent natural remedy for eczema patches. It can be applied directly to the plates every day and does not require rinsing.

stretch marks

Extremely rich and moisturizing, castor oil is a great preventative treatment for stretch marks. “We recommend applying it on the stomach from the beginning of pregnancy” insists Jeanne Camus, indicating that, on the other hand, it will not be effective once the stretch marks are installed.


It is the antiviral and mildly corrosive properties of castor oil that give it its action on warts. Indeed, these skin lesions are linked to:virus infection of the skin called “human papillomavirus” or HPV. The oil can be judiciously coupled with a preliminary cleansing of the skin with baking soda. Castor oil can be lightly heated for an hour and applied to the wart with a compress, specifies the naturopath.


With sunburns or minor superficial burns, the first step is always to cool the skin by rinsing it with plenty of cold water. “Second, castor oil can be applied directly to the burn to soothe and repair the skin,” emphasizes the naturopath.

Digestive Disorders, Pelvic Pain, Endometriosis: The Benefits of Compresses

Thanks to its antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties, castor oil has traditionally been used in porridges to illuminate the digestive disordersthe menstrual pain or those related to endometriosis.
Castor oil compress instructions: Soak a large piece of cotton wool in castor oil and directly contact it with the painful area of ​​the abdomen, cover with a piece of clean cotton cloth, put a hot water bottle on it and leave for an hour to an hour and a half.

Jeanne Camus: As a poultice on dirty soil, the properties of castor oil are activated by the heat source and therefore more effective in removing waste and toxins and returning them to the circulation via the blood and lymph

Warning: Once put back into circulation, the waste must be disposed of, either through sweat, urine or feces, so that it does not end up elsewhere. “You should therefore make sure that you urinate, have a bowel movement, exercise and/or take a warm bath to remove toxins,” emphasizes Jeanne Camus.

As for the proliferation of endometriosis, studies show that castor oil can reduce the size of cysts by slowing down cell mitosis: we’re talking aboutantimitotic effect.

Inflammatory Arthritis

Likewise, castor oil compresses placed on the joints can be used to relieve stress arthrosis, arthritisand the joint painthanks to its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.

What about the castor oil cleanse?

Very much in vogue for a few years, castor oil would have no equal to rid our gut of all the toxins that build up and get stuck in its walls. However, this particularly powerful purge is: contraindicated in many cases† Pregnant women, the elderly, sick or immunocompromised, or just anyone with low vitality, are not good castor oil clearing clients. “It really is a very aggressive cleanse, and the majority of people are not ready to go through it,” assures the naturopath.

This purge takes place over a major week, with 6 days of preparation: “The idea is to gradually reduce the richest foods in our diet, eat only cooked vegetables two days before the purge, and dry a young one the day before.” Jeanne Camus. D-day: The patient takes orally the equivalent of one tablespoon of castor oil per 10 kg of body weight, mixed in a glass of grapefruit juice.
“The digestive tract is then emptied for several hours and the patient has to fast for 24 hours. He can only drink a glass of water or fruit juice the day after the purification”, the naturopath indicates. A light diet can be resumed the next day.

This purge is as effective as it is aggressive.

Jeanne Camus: I tend to advise against this cleansing, even for people for whom it is not contraindicated, because there are many other gentler ways to wash the bowel

Whatever happens, it is strongly not recommended to practice this cure alone, without the advice of a naturopathic practitioner, an Ayurveda practitioner or a doctor.

What are the dangers of rinsing with castor oil?

A poorly dosed purification or not fitting the profile of the person, can be the basis of a certain numberunwanted side effects : abdominal cramps, diarrhoea, vomiting, general weakness, fast heartbeat…
In addition, a poor quality and poorly purified oil is likely to contain ricin residues that may be the cause of a poisoning. In case of bloody diarrhea and uncontrollable vomiting, it is therefore imperative to go to the emergency room immediately.

To be sure of the quality of castor oil and to take advantage of all its health benefits, it is recommended to buy it from herbalists, organic stores or drug stores. We will also make sure it is chosen from agriculture biologicalvirgin and first cold pressing† “The castor oil sold in France generally comes from India,” specifies the naturopath.

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