Castor Oil: Contraindications, Properties And Benefits

If you did not know, castor oil is extracted from a plant with multiple benefits and medicinal properties for our body. Known widely under the name of castor oil, it became quite popular in ancient times, thanks to its use to treat various conditions. Although at present it is not used so frequently for the treatment of diseases, it still retains its properties.

Castor or castor oil is used in soaps and natural cosmetic products. Similarly, we can highlight that castor oil helps to improve constipation because it is an excellent natural laxative. The best thing is that this oil can become your perfect support to reduce those other unpleasant measures. In this case, it is necessary that castor oil be ingested orally or applied topically.

Although this oil does not have a pleasant taste and aroma, you can add it to other products to drink or ingest. But yes, it is important that you consult your trusted doctor, since each person has a different physique and depending on this, the dose to consume of castor oil will be greater or less. Keep reading because we have gladly selected for you all the information related to this oil so beneficial for our body. Learn about its properties, characteristics, scientific name, origin, history, benefits for your hair, skin and face, among others.

What is castor oil?

Castor oil is obtained from a seed belonging to a plant of the same name. This oil is excellent for skin care, thanks to the fact that it acts as a protective barrier. It has a high content of “Ricinoleic” a fatty acid that helps to moisturize the skin . It is a perfect ally for the hair and in soaps it is of great help to condition and moisturize the skin.

Also called castor oil, it is quite beneficial also for the eyelashes, the stomach and is used effectively to treat the joints.

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Origin of castor oil

Castor oil is extracted from a plant belonging to the Euphorbiaceae group, being the only member of the Ricinnae subtribe and the Ricinus genus. The castor bean is its seed (due to a mistranslation of the term, it is called castor oil), but it is not really a grain, although that is the name.

The source of this oil is the castor bean and it is widely used in different medicinal and cosmetic areas . The seeds of this plant have between 40 and 60% oil high in triglycerides . In addition to containing a poison called ricin, which is present in minimal concentrations within the plant.

Although the toxicity of this plant is well known, there are few reports related to poisoning. If a child consumes only three seeds, he can die, the fatal dose in adults is between 8 and 10 grains.

We can highlight that the seeds of this plant have been found in ancient tombs in Egypt. These grains are used worldwide for body ointments and for illumination. Around the world, up to 1 million tons of castor beans have been produced per year. China, India and Brazil are the main producers in the world; There are even different programs for the production of this oil.

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Castor oil history

Used as a laxative since ancient times, the effect is mainly based on irritation of the mucus that activates the elimination of fluids in the intestinal system and the accumulation of fluids. More or less 4 hours after consuming castor oil, its laxative effect occurs and high doses can cause vomiting, diarrhea, colic and nausea.

Castor or castor oil has become very popular since the 1930s and 1940s for its traditional use as a tool of political repression and punishment, rather than for its positive effects on health.

The main reference to the corrective use of this oil that we have found dates back to the second decade of the last century in Italy. Purges were used by the Fasci di Comattimento with castor oil as a method of intimidation to the socials , before the March on Rome took place.

In 1931 this practice was imported to Spain, due to the effort of the State Conquest to copy the fascism of Italy in its methods, aesthetics and slogans. Not only in this group but also in the JONS born later, the use of castor oil as disciplinary punishment began in the headquarters located in Madrid, applying it to those who contravened the command, compromised the group or did not comply with their obligations and for any imprudence .

The punishment was applied by the spoonful and depended on the failure of the entity. Quickly, this unpleasant method was exported to the conflicts with political enemies, especially in the area of ​​the University, being cornered the members of the FUE (University School Federation) by the members of the State Conquest under the command of Ramiro, those who forced them to consume castor oil.

It is in the founding of the Falange that the fame of the so-called ricinamiento rises. The invention would be contributed by the Jonsists, which spread rapidly in Spain, especially in the points where there were Falangist outbreaks. During this time, oil became the undisputed protagonist of the attacks by communist, anarchist and socialist groups against the youth of the Falange , mainly in the streets of Madrid.

The use of ricinamiento was a solemn and violent act. Castor oil was transferred into a huge glass bottle and glasses, trinkets and spoons were not used. When catching the communist on duty, he was offered a drink of castor oil, but as the person withdrew his head or resisted, he was immobilized until he covered his nose so that he opened his mouth and took two sips by both parents.

He would frequently hit himself with the bottleneck on his closed mouth, until he decided to spend a few hours in the bathroom or lose his incisors. Depending on the leftist sins the dosage varied, but the amount was seldom abused as the use of castor or castor oil was simply as a method of humiliation or warning.

In exceptional cases they were forced to ingest the entire bottle with castor oil, during the Civil War or a pre-war environment. During the dispute, oil became the constant tool to repress in the rear, but practically it was destined to be used on women; techniques in men were less subtle.

Initially, castor oil recipes wee a custom in Spain practically for the Flags of the Falange, such use spread as the war progressed to other military units and other militias; It was usually a sign of victory in the towns that Franco occupied, where there were only children and women.

The purgative in the initial postwar years continued to be used, but in a more residual way , as a corrective for the guerrillas and disguised maquis in the mountains.

The total disappearance of castor oil as a corrective was mainly due to advances in the pharmaceutical area, the change in the way of understanding the political struggle and the arrival of democracy; at this time castor oil was relegated at best to herbalists.

The laxative could not be found by the Patriots of the Transition in store, that is why the progress since then has remained restricted. Despite the undeniable impact of castor oil in people’s memory, there is little that can be found of reference in the cinema or in literature.

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Castor oil characteristics

Castor oil is extracted through the seeds of the plant with cold pressing, which releases all the toxic particles found in the plant through steam treatment. This oil has a yellowish color, its consistency is viscous and thick .

It has different unsaturated oleic acids and fatty acids: linoleic, ricinoleic, dihydroxystearic and stearic. The fatty acid that stands out is ricinoleic, because it is the most abundant, in addition to having fungicidal, emollient, cytolytic and analgesic properties. The properties of the oil can be isolated by fractional distillation or saponification. It is also regularly used as a fundamental element in the cosmetic area for its many benefits.

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Castor oil scientific name

The scientific name for castor oil or castor oil is Ricinus communis L.

Castor oil chemical composition

Castor oil is mainly composed of fatty acid triglycerides: 87% Ricinoleic, 7% Oleic, 2% Palmitic, 1% Stearic and 3% Linoleic. In addition to Dihydroxystearic in traces.

Regarding the physical and chemical data of castor oil: the refractive index between 1.477 and 1.481, density of 0.956 and 0.964 g / ml, the solubility: soluble chloroform, soluble absolute ethanol, acetic acid, soluble ether, glacial acetic acid soluble, saponification number from 176 to 187 and an iodine number between 82 and 90.

How is castor oil extracted?

The castor oil extraction process is carried out from the seeds, similar to the large number of oilseed type seeds. When the seeds are ripe, they are allowed to dry to loosen the seeds before they open. The seeds are thoroughly cleaned, placed on the fire and dried before extraction. The cooking process is carried out to be able to coagulate the protein, which is essential for efficient extraction and for obtaining castor oil through efficient pressing.

The first step to process castor oil is pre-pressing, where an oil expeller (screw press) is used at high perpetual pressure. After the oil is filtered, then the material obtained is placed back in the screw press, adding fresh material. The discharged material is then extracted from the press, which is called cake and has at least 10% castor oil.

The cake is crushed to extract a coarse sieve, then it is subjected to the extraction process with heptane or hexane (solvents). After extracting the oil from the seed, all the remains must be removed. Castor oil contains at least 90% glyceryl tricinoleate and is basically pure triglyceride . Ricinoleic triglyceride is necessary to produce excellent quality castor oil.

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Recommended dosage of castor oil

Before taking castor oil, you must be very careful. You must make sure you consume the appropriate amount, because an overdose of this oil can cause poisoning, causing damage to your health. The recommended dose will depend mainly on your physical condition, the type of treatment sought, age and body weight . It is best to consult the product manufacturer’s instructions.

If castor oil is required as a laxative, it should generally be ingested twice a day orally, unless otherwise directed by the treating physician. If you want to take one dose a day, the ideal is to do it at bedtime. As a laxative, you should use it for a short time, which should not exceed 7 days so as not to modify the correct functioning of the digestive system.

The amount of castor oil recommended for induction of labor is just one tablespoon. Although we must warn you that this amount will depend on what is suggested by the midwife or the doctor. The dose will depend on how fast or slow the labor causes.

Before taking castor oil, you should seek the guidance of a specialist doctor, so that he can recommend the appropriate dose, for greater safety and well-being in the event of a possible overdose. If you have any of these effects when ingesting castor oil, you should immediately consult your health professional: skin rashes, chest pain or breathing problems.

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Active ingredients of castor oil

This oil is mainly composed of a combination of fatty acid triglycerides, primarily ricinoleic acid, which is present in 87% of it.

Castor oil benefits and uses

The first thing you should know about castor or castor oil is that it has a toxin called ricin, which when ingested can cause death. Hence the reason for prohibiting the consumption of the seed. Despite this, the oil is still safe to use, as the extraction process is painstaking and the harmful substance is in the seed alone .

Not only can constipation be treated with castor oil, it is also used effectively to relieve skin irritations, relieve pain from conditions such as arthritis, eczema, stings, and attack infections through its antifungal and bactericidal action. Castor oil in practice is used in different ways such as: varnishes, lubricant, aromas and additives.

What are the benefits for the skin and face?

  • One of the benefits of castor oil for the skin is its emollient action, which helps to soften the calluses in the skin. That is why castor oil is used in moisturizing and lip creams.
  • Castor oil has a fungicidal and antimicrobial action, hence its use in the treatment of conditions related to the epidermis, such as itching, dermatitis, eczema and even fungus on the feet or hands.
  • It is recommended for the feet and elbows for its moisturizing action.
  • This oil is used in purifying formulas of all kinds, but especially to treat acne ; castor oil is used in acne lotions and soaps.
  • Castor or castor oil has an anti-inflammatory effect, even specialists recommend using this oil at night in small portions, especially in the area around the eyes to reduce unpleasant dark circles.

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Castor oil is good for losing weight

Believe it or not, castor oil can help you lose weight, improve bowel movements, digestion and certain stomach disorders; that is why it serves as a support to reduce measures through gastric relief. Castor oil helps retain body fluids.

You can ingest it orally, we only warn you that its taste is not pleasant. Although to disguise the flavor you can mix castor oil with another element.

You need to eat two to three tablespoons before breakfast. Mix with orange juice to disguise the flavor of castor oil a bit , remember that orange is excellent on an empty stomach and together with the oil it will help you regulate the intestinal tract and remove fluids.

After having breakfast, you will be able to notice the action of castor oil, facilitating intestinal bowel movements. To lose weight you must follow this process for a week and the results will be remarkable. You just have to remember that castor oil cannot be used continuously to lose weight, as it could affect your health by weakening the colon. Chronic constipation is likely to occur when evacuating bowel movements, because the colon becomes lazy, the little stimulation of this organ causes the paralysis of its normal function.

Castor oil hair uses

If you have sensitive, very fine or very dry hair; it surely falls off very easily . With the use of castor oil you can stimulate the growth and regeneration of your hair . Castor or castor oil can be used in combination with coconut or in its pure state, if you prefer. Here are other benefits of castor oil:

  • It is an excellent moisturizer through basic fatty acids.
  • Prevents hair loss.
  • Castor oil is an excellent support to fight dandruff effectively.
  • It is a wonderful conditioner that will give your hair a nice look.
  • Castor oil has nourishing and moisturizing characteristics for the hair.
  • Brings shine and strength to your scalp.

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 Is castor oil used as a laxative? Why?

Castor oil is generally used as a laxative, because it stimulates bowel movements, so waste from the intestine and stomach is eliminated. This is one of the reasons that weight loss is achieved.

In any case , when using castor oil, caution should be exercised, since too many defecations can cause damage to the body . The oil stimulates the activity of the intestine, accelerating the process and the food does not stay in the body for too long.

Castor oil and pregnant women

Some doctors, when a woman is in week 41 and her baby is not yet born, they even choose to perform labor induction to prevent possible complications in both the mother and the baby. There is a method that has generated controversy today, we refer to castor oil. Here we explain why castor oil induces labor.

Why does it induce labor?

Ingesting castor oil helps to stimulate the intestine. This in turn induces contractions by irritating the uterus, which in theory means that labor is accelerated. To consume the castor oil, mix a little game or soda; in this way the laxative effect decreases giving it a less unpleasant taste, if you prefer you can add a little ice to better disguise the taste.

In the same way, you should know that the contractions are most likely more painful and drinking it can cause severe dehydration and diarrhea, risking the lives of both. The effect produced by castor oil depends on each mother, in some the results can be immediate and in others it can cause vomiting, nausea and discomfort without inducing labor.

It is essential that you consult your doctor before starting treatment with this oil, any doubt should be clarified by the medical professional and you should only ingest it under their strict supervision and recommendation. In addition, you should consider that castor oil should not be ingested before the 40th week of pregnancy, because before this week the uterus may not be ready for childbirth and severe damage can be caused.

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Can it be used while breastfeeding? Why?

The use of castor oil is totally contraindicated in breastfeeding, since there is a risk of being transferred to the baby through the mother’s milk, remember that the baby has a very weak digestive system and may suffer from Colic.

How to make homemade castor oil?

Although the processing of castor oil may seem a bit complicated, if you have enough castor seeds on hand, you can obtain the oil at home for your cosmetic preparations or soaps. Follow the instructions below and enjoy all the wonders of castor oil.

  • The best time to store castor beans is at the end of August and the beginning of the following month, this is where the fruits have completely dried.
  • You should first do a preliminary cleaning, removing as much of the husks and stems as possible.
  • Wear gloves to speed up the cleaning process, use your hands to remove the stems .
  • Rub the seeds to open many of them, the externally located tips will break (do not worry if they prick you because they are not very painful).
  • There may still be some unopened capsules left in this process, then you can open them using your strength.
  • You will be able to notice that the seeds have a mottled gray hue, each capsule is weak in the area of ​​the tips, apply force in this area and you will see that the shell breaks.
  • Now the seed comes out without complication, it has a striking but very toxic appearance. On the inside is the widely distinguished potent ricin.
  • The fatal dose is between two and twenty seeds, the amount depends on the kind of person who ingests it.
  • Now use a hammer so that you can easily open the capsules, it is necessary that you give some blows applying some force. Separate the husks and seeds (you can use them for burning or composting).
  • Grind the seeds with a coffee grinder. Don’t be afraid at this point, because the risk rises when ingesting the seed.
  • Now it is necessary that you place the previously crushed seeds in a container with boiling water. The function of boiled water is to eliminate or destroy the poisonous substance of the seed, in addition to helping to expel the castor oil that is inside.
  • You will notice that the inside of the seed changes from white to brown. The smell of the mixture is similar to roasted corn.
  • Next, you must strain all the mixture.
  • A significant amount of oil is found in water that has been filtered.
  • The oil remains floating on the surface of the water and is yellowish in color.
  • Locate a glass jar and place the mixture, now you can see that the fatty part is floating in the upper area of ​​the container.
  • Then you must overflow the jar by adding a little water, on the walls of the jar a little of the oil will remain. You just have to wait a little until the fat part comes off on its own, floating again on the surface .
  • You can use a spoon to scoop out the fatty part (it can be a slower and less clean way of extracting the castor oil, in my opinion).
  • Put it back on the fire, you will notice drops of oil forming on the surface, reaching the point of frying. The remains are those that are fried, these have come to pass through the strainer. In this way, the oil will be more purified.
  • In this step you must strain the mixture again.
  • You can see that there are organic remains on the strainer, these remains are quite oily.
  • By applying more heat, you can also extract the oil from these remains.
  • You will have an oil with some dirt, therefore it is necessary that you put water to sanitize. Add the water and then close the glass jar and shake the mixture.
  • The dirt remains in the water and the oil separates.
  • Now you must overflow with water so that the oil and water are separated.
  • This time there will be no residue on the walls of the container.
  • We put it back in the kitchen to remove the remaining water.
  • Next you will have to filter the oil, placing a paper ball in a funnel, a little activated carbon for possible odors and another paper ball on the charcoal.
  • Finally, you should filter the oil if it is hot better due to its high viscosity, which is considerably reduced with heat .
  • Enjoy a clean and beneficial castor oil.

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Castor oil is abortifacient? Why?

We already know that castor oil is used to induce labor, since it works by provoking your intestines, it is also an excellent laxative product. Through the relaxation and stimulation of the intestines, castus oil works, simulates the movement or natural peristalsis of the small and large intestine.

This action can spread to the organs that are nearby, between which is the uterus. The natural onset of labor is caused by contractions produced in the uterus as a provocation of oxytocin, a hormone that tricks the baby. This natural action is mimicked by castor oil, so it can cause premature labor .

In addition, it can cause side effects that threaten the life of the baby, these risks can be: abortion, meconium stains, dehydration and fetal pain. Dehydration is likely to occur due to diarrhea, causing the pregnant woman to lose necessary fluids.

Because castor oil also causes bowel movement, which can manifest itself in the baby, causing an accelerated release of meconium. By defecating inside the mother’s womb, it can be dangerous and toxic for the baby and the pregnant woman.

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Castor oil and castor oil are they the same?

Currently, most people around the world believe that castor oil is of animal origin, because it is commonly called castor oil; which is a mistranslation of the English term where it is called “Castor Oil”. Actually, the word beaver does not refer to the animal but to the castor plant, the animal in English is called Beaver and not beaver .

Cosmetic properties of castor oil

We can highlight the use of castor or castor oil in cosmetics to reduce wrinkles, helping to rejuvenate the skin. Promotes elastin and collagen production, curbing worrying fine lines. You can apply castor oil creams daily after cleansing your face.

Cleanses, hydrates, reconstitutes, nourishes, softens, heals infections and detoxifies the skin. Cosmetic specialists recommend the use of castor oil to be applied directly to the face. In general, it is cold pressed and in excellent quality, ensuring its vitamins, properties and oils.

To make your eyebrows and eyelashes strong and looking healthy, castor oil is a good support. Castor oil is generally applied to the mascara several times a day and to the brush. The area around the eyes will appear more consistent and wrinkles will be reduced with the use of castor oil. A few drops of this oil and massaging the bags under the eyes and dark circles will give your face a better appearance.

Thanks to the vitamins in castor oil, it helps strengthen your nails to prevent them from breaking and weakening. You can massage your nails using a little castor oil, ensure that the oil is fully absorbed.

Your lips will be highly benefited, castor oil protects them and keeps them hydrated. In the long run they will look smoother and softer.

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What is hydrogenated castor oil?

Also known as castor wax, castor or castor oil is widely used today. It is called wax because the oil is transformed into a brittle, insoluble and brittle material with multiple advantages for the production of different products.

The oil is first extracted from the castor seeds. After obtaining pure castor oil, hydrogen is added against a nickel catalyst. When castor oil is exposed to hydrogen, it becomes highly viscous, giving it a wax-like consistency. The castor oil hydrogenation process is done by bubbling hydrogen gas through the oil . This process is also used in oils and fats in processing and cooking products. Hydrogenated castor oil, unlike pure castor oil, has no odor and hydrogenation serves to increase the shelf life of the oil.

Is castor oil used for massages? How?

Castor oil is used effectively to massage the body. The skin is quite soft and silky, it is also used when doing anti-inflammatory and decontracting massages, achieving relief in the ailments of the body.

It helps to stimulate lymphatic circulation, you only need to place a little amount of oil in the area to be massaged and you will achieve an improvement in the lymph, remember that the lymph is essential for the immune system.

Apply a little castor oil to your eyebrows daily to make them look thicker and fuller.

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Culinary uses of castor oil

Today, castus oil is used in the food industry as a preservative, mostly to flavor caramel or chocolate. It is also used in the pharmaceutical area and is an excellent emetic, in addition to relieving constipation.

Contraindications and risks of castor oil

We already know that castor oil has multiple beneficial properties for our body. But, we must also know that it can cause intestinal disorders and skin reactions in sensitive people. If you suffer from ulcers, colic, colitis, hemorrhoids, prolapses, irritable bowel or have recently undergone a surgical operation; castor oil is contraindicated.

  • You should discontinue the use of castor or castor oil, if you notice any strange symptoms and consult your doctor immediately.
  • Castor oil is contraindicated in women during lactation or pregnant women.
  • If you have any eye problems, you should avoid using castor oil.
  • Its consumption is not recommended during menstruation .
  • If you are a patient with appendicitis, ulcers, hemorrhoids or colitis, avoid this oil.

Regarding the risks of castor oil, we can highlight:

  • Castor oil can cause a cardiovascular problem, you can be affected with irregular heartbeat symptoms or arrhythmia.
  • Unfavorable skin reactions.
  • Muscle cramps.
  • Stomach problems such as bowel irritation and diarrhea.

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 Castor oil datasheet

  • Castor Oil Synonyms: Castor Oil; Palm Oil Christi; Castor oil.
  • Description of castor oil: It is a transparent, viscous, pale yellow or colorless liquid, with a mild particular odor.
  • How to obtain this oil: it is obtained from seeds of Ricinus communis L. by cold pressing.
  • Castor oil composition: it is mainly composed of triglycerides of fatty acids such as oleic (7%), ricinoleic (87%), palmitic (2%), linoleic (3%), stearic (1%), dihydroxystearic-traces.
  • Chemical and Physical Data : refractive index (1.477-1.481), density (0.956-0.964 g / ml).
  • Castor oil solubility: soluble absolute ethanol, soluble ether, soluble chloroform, soluble glacial acetic acid, saponification number (176-187), iodine number (82-90).

Almost all essential oils

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Kathie Sand always saw the world of beauty as the terrain on which to build her professional career, a goal that was clear to her when she was only 15 years old. Her great concern to expand knowledge led her to settle in Paris where she studied hand in hand with the best beauty professionals and with the most advanced techniques for skin care.

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