Health benefits of castor oil

All Woman

DEAR DONOVAN,

Could you tell me the health benefits of castor oil? Do people still take it as a wash-out?

Castor oil is a multipurpose vegetable oil which is pressed from the seeds of the Ricinus Communis plant. This oil has a colourless to a very pale yellow colour with a distinct taste and odour. Castor oil has been used for thousands of years and it is a popular herbal treatment for various conditions. It is used extensively as well in the natural beauty industry.

One of the best-known medical uses for castor oil is as a natural laxative. Castor oil is able to increase the movement of the muscles that push stool through the intestines. It is therefore referred to as a stimulant laxative and it is able to act rapidly to relieve temporary constipation. For this purpose castor oil is usually taken by mouth and is considered safe in small doses. However, taking castor oil in large doses can cause cramping, nausea and diarrhoea

Castor oil is also helpful in reducing acne. Acne is a skin condition usually associated with blackheads, pimples, and painful bumps on the face or other parts of the body. Inflammation is thought to be a major factor in the development of acne. Applying castor oil to the skin will help to reduce inflammation.

Acne is also associated with certain bacteria growing on the skin. Castor oil has antibacterial properties which, when applied to the skin, may help to fight these bacteria. Also, castor oil is a natural moisturiser which may help to soothe the inflamed skin often associated with acne.

It should be noted that castor oil is rich in ricinoleic acid, a monosaturated fatty acid which acts like a humectant (a substance used to reduce the loss of moisture), which prevents water loss through the outer layer of the skin. Castor oil is used to promote hydration, and is often used in products such as lotions, make-up and cleansers.

Castor oil can also help with wound healing. Applying castor oil to a wound creates the right conditions for healing and prevents sores from drying out. In addition, it also stimulates tissue growth, prevents the build-up of dead cells, promotes scabbing, and reduces the risk of infection.

Castor oil can also be used as a natural hair conditioner. Applying castor oil to the hair on a regular basis will help to lubricate the hair shaft, increase flexibility, and decrease the chance of breakage. In addition, the Omega 3 fatty acids present in castor oil will increase blood circulation to the hair shaft and scalp thus promoting hair growth. Castor oil can also be used on the eyebrows and lashes in order to make them grow. Putting castor oil on the scalp will also help to moisturise the scalp and prevent flaking.

I must say that castor oil is an excellent health and beauty product when the cost and benefits are considered, and it should be one of those oils that you keep in your bathroom cabinet.

Have you managed to transform your body through weight gain or weight loss? Want to share your story with us? E-mail clarkep@ jamaicaobserver.com

We will answer your weight-related questions

Are you struggling to lose weight or just need some advice on living a healthier life? Tell us about your health issues and we'll have nutritionist and wellness coach Donovan Grant answer them for you. Grant has over 12 years' experience in the fitness industry and is the owner of DG's Nutrition and Wellness Centre, 39 Lady Musgrave Road. Call him at 876-286-1363. E-mail questions to clarkep@jamaicaobserver.com.

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