Castor oil is a multi-purpose vegetable oil that people have used for thousands of years.
It’s made by extracting oil from the seeds of the Ricinus communis plant.
These seeds, which are known as castor beans, contain a toxic enzyme called ricin. However, the heating process that castor oil undergoes deactivates it, allowing the oil to be used safely.
Castor oil has a number of medicinal, industrial and pharmaceutical uses.
I thought I'd summarise some key nuggets of info about Castor Oil for you here;
1. It's a natural moisturiser
Castor oil is rich in ricinoleic acid (say that 3x fast!) which is a monounsaturated fatty acid. It acts as a humectant* and is often used to moisturise the skin. It's great for hydrating the skin, with none of the preservatives, dyes or nasties that can be found in shop bought products!
2. It can promote wound healing
Castor oil stimulates tissue growth so that a barrier can be formed between the wound and the environment, decreasing the risk of infection.
It also reduces dryness and cornification, the buildup of dead skin cells that can delay wound healing.
3. Another natural anti-inflammatory
Ricinoleic acid, the main fatty acid found in castor oil, has impressive anti-inflammatory properties.
Studies have shown that when castor oil is applied topically, it reduces inflammation and relieves pain.
The pain-reducing and anti-inflammatory qualities of castor oil may be particularly helpful to those with an inflammatory disease such as rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis.
4. It can reduce acne
You team point 2 & 3 together, throw in some antibacterial properties, and BOOM - castor oil has been known to reduce acne symptoms.
5. It keeps your skin & hair healthy
Did you know you can use castor oil on it's own as a natural hair conditioner?
It's moisturising properties can also help out those with dandruff, just leave it on as a mask for 15 mins and rinse out (I like to use the Suds Lure soap bar after as I have thin hair) - but some just rinse and rock it!
We're having a lot of fun working with castor oil at the moment. It's only a matter of time until a product pops up on our site containing it....
As always if you'd like to read more (we always recommend you do your own research on products too!) health line have done a good article which you can access here.