Castor oil is 100% natural, obtained by crushing the seeds of the Ricinus Communis plant. Its also has a high fatty acid content, giving it many beneficial properties - it's anti-inflammatory, antifungal and also anti-bacterial.
Castor oil certainly isn't a new product. In fact, its first use is thought to have been during the time of the ancient Egyptians, and since then, it's been used for a variety of things across the world.
If you don't use it already, now's the time to start. Here are 33 fantastic ways you can put it to work today.
Beauty uses for castor oil
1. Soften lips
Chapped lips? There are so many lip balms on the market and some of them cost a fortune. A much cheaper and often more effective treatment is castor oil.
A few drops massaged onto your lips morning and night will soften, smoothen and plumpen lips. Do this regularly, and you'll look more kissable than ever!
2. Reduce the appearance of stretch marks
Most of us have gained a stretch mark or two over the years. They're certainly nothing to be ashamed of, but neither is wanting to reduce their appearance.
Castor oil should be used in its purest form to make an improvement. Massage into skin in circular motions, then wrap the area with a cotton cloth for 15-20 minutes to help the oil penetrate the skin.
Repeat this process every day to see results after just 2-3 weeks.
3. Clear up acne
No one likes experiencing a breakout. When acne does strike, however, there are lots of ways you can treat it.
Perhaps you've not had much luck with store bought options and would like to try something natural? Castor oil could be the acne treatment for you.
It's extremely gentle and nourishing and its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties make it an ideal treatment for skin problems.
To reap the benefits of castor oil, it's recommended to steam your face prior to application. Style Craze has a great tutorial to guide you through the process.
4. Get longer eyelashes
Fluttery, long, luscious lashes - what dreams are made of, right?
There's no need to faff around with falsies and glue. Get yours the natural way with the help of castor oil. Its nourishing properties encourage hair growth, including eyelashes. They'll also give them a lovely sheen, similar to that of clear mascara.
For accurate application, an eyeliner brush is advised. Apply the castor oil to the roots of eyelashes, then along the lengths, being careful not to get any in your eyes.
5. Encourage hair growth
Trying to grow yourself some long, luscious locks for Summer?
People claim to have experienced an increase in the rate of hair growth by three or four times when using castor oil. While there is no clinical evidence to support this, such claims certainly warrant testing.
If you want to see if there's any proof in the pudding, why not try a DIY hair treatment at home?
Pop on an old towel, section off your hair, and apply castor oil to the roots. Massage into your scalp, then comb along the lengths of hair. Pop on a shower cap, leave for two hours, then wash off as usual.
6. Treat dandruff
Itchy and flaky - dandruff not only looks unpleasant but can feel it too.
Castor oil's properties are wonderful for tackling common scalp infections, dandruff included. For a quick fix, mix 1 tbsp castor oil with 1 tbsp olive oil and the juice of half a lemon. Apply to hair, ensuring you massage it effectively into your scalp and leave to soak. Wash off after half an hour.
You may have to wash your hair twice to remove all oiliness, but the results will definitely be worth it!
6. Nourish split ends
Some people are more prone to split ends than others. When they do occur, it's best to treat them immediately to avoid your hair breaking off.
As castor oil can be quite thick, it's advised to mix with some olive oil until a manageable consistency is achieved. Apply to the lengths of your hair and leave for half an hour, then wash thoroughly.
7. Banish wrinkles & dark circles
Have you tried every anti-ageing product on the market? If nothing seems to be working for you, perhaps it's time to go natural.
Castor oil is intensely moisturising. When applied, it works to 'plump' up your skin and banish wrinkles. It also helps increase the blood flow which will help to tighten and brighten your skin, reducing the appearance of dark circles.
Apply once a day, and wash off with warm water to reveal glowing, younger-looking skin.
8. Treat calluses & corns
Corns and calluses are hard lumps of skin on the feet which form as a result of friction. They can be rather uncomfortable, so it's best to deal with them fast.
There are lots of treatments available to buy on the market, but an effective, natural home remedy is castor oil.
Natural Oils for Hair has two methods of using the oil to tackle corns. Check them out and see which works best for you.
9. Moisturise cuticles & nails
There's nothing nicer than a set of natural, strong nails. They're the perfect canvas for painting and even look pretty when left bare.
Castor oil can help repair brittle nails that break often. Although the nails aren't part of our 'skin', it's important to moisturise them nonetheless. Castor oil is one of the richest oils on the market, and is perfect for this purpose. As it's also anti-fungal, it will fight off any bacteria lurking in the nail bed too.
10. Smoothen cracked heels
Summer is coming - time to get those feet ready for sandals.
Castor oil is intensely moisturising - ideal for tackling extremely dry areas of skin, such as cracked heels. If you want to wake up with feet as soft as silk, apply a thick layer of the oil to feet, pull on a pair of socks and leave overnight.
Who needs pedicures?
11. Thicken eyebrows
Long gone is the desire for thin, perfectly-plucked eyebrows. Nowadays, it's the bushier the better as far as eyebrows are concerned.
If you're struggling to get yours to grow back out to their former glory, castor oil could help. Before you go to sleep, rub a small amount into eyebrows, massaging right down to the pores.
After just a few weeks, you should notice your eyebrows looking thicker.
12. Get rid of moles
Do you have a mole or skin tag that you just can't stand? Castor oil is supposedly an effective DIY treatment for removing them.
Mix 2-3 drops castor oil with 1/2 tsp baking soda and apply to the mole. Cover with a bandage overnight and wash off the next morning. Repeat every other day until the skin tag/mole disappears.
13. Treat cold sores
Castor oil can also be used to treat cold sores as it has amazing anti-viral and antibacterial properties.
Apply a small drop of castor oil to your cold sore twice a day using a cotton swab. If you can, also cover the cold sore to prevent bacteria from getting in.
14. Moisturise dry skin
Our skin is not only exposed to the cold but also pollution and dry air from air conditioning and heating.
Nourish it with castor oil - it has amazing moisturising properties which can penetrate the skin deeply to restore hydration.
Add a few drops to your moisturiser, or apply directly before moisturising and wake up glowing.
15. Reduce the appearance of cellulite
Believe it or not, we still have more beauty uses for castor oil to come.
With regards to improving the appearance of cellulite, castor oil improves the performance of the lymphatic system which is responsible for removing excess fluid and waste from the body, factors which can cause cellulite.
Apply warm castor oil directly onto affected areas twice weekly.
16. Encourage beard growth
Similarly to encouraging hair on our heads to grow, castor oil can also be an effective beard-growth treatment.
Add some tea tree and rosemary essential oils to the mix for extra potency before rubbing through your beard.
For more tips on how to make facial hair grow faster, check out our other article.
Health benefits of castor oil
For those of you who suffer from digestive problems including constipation, castor oil could be extremely useful.
As it's 100% natural, it's viewed as a safer alternative to most shop-bought medications. The effects, however, can be quite instant and dramatic, so it's not recommended as a regular treatment!
If you do find yourself blocked up, the recommended dosage is 1 tbsp for adults, and 1 tsp for children.
18. Better sleep
Ahhh, there's nothing like waking up after a lovely, long sleep.
If you're struggling to sleep through the night, sweeping a tiny drop of castor oil over your eyelids before bed could help. The oil is said to send you into a very deep sleep, so you should wake up feeling better than ever!
19. Soothe colicky infants
Colic can be extremely uncomfortable for your baby. A natural remedy can be found in castor oil.
Warm castor oil, rubbed in a clockwise motion onto the baby's stomach should help soothe them.
To heat your castor oil, boil a pot of water, allow it to cool slightly, then place your bottle of oil inside. Test the temperature by dropping a small amount on the underside of your wrist (a sensitive area).
We advise calling your doctor immediately if conditions are serious
20. Provide joint pain relief
Those with joint pain or even arthritis can also benefit from using castor oil.
Its anti-inflammatory properties are wonderful for soothing swelling around joints and making you more comfortable.
Want quick relief? Apply warm castor oil to the area, massaging it in thoroughly before applying a hot pack and leave for 5-10 minutes.
21. Cure asthma
We've already mentioned using castor oil hot packs, and we'd recommend you get the hang of making them because they have so many uses!
Another thing they're great at is lung cleansing which can really improve asthma symptoms.
Head over to Global Healing Center to discover how to make your hot pack.
22. Prevent breast cancer
Breast cancer can happen to any of us, but there are some measures we can take to help prevent it.
Turmeric paired with castor oil is a super powerful natural substance. It can boost lymph circulation to remove toxins from the body and also improve circulation.
Mix castor oil with a little turmeric, massage into breasts and let sit, before washing off with warm water.
23. Treat ringworm
Ringworm is a painful fungal infection that causes itching to the scalp, skin and even hair loss in certain cases.
Whilst your doctor will be able to provide you with medication on prescription to treat it, it's worth giving natural castor oil a go first.
Apply castor oil along with a few drops of lavender oil to the affected area two to three times a day to attack the fungus.
24. Treat toenail fungus
Another fungal infection castor oil can effectively treat is toenail fungus.
Apply directly to the nail bed and cuticles. Its antibacterial, antiviral and antiseptic properties, it'll have your nasty nails looking great in no time at all.
To treat your nails, mix 3 parts warm water, 1 part Epsom salt, 1 part castor oil and a couple drops of tea tree oil in a basin and soak your feet for around half an hour.
25. Cure a cold
When we get a cold, 'lymph nodes' in our head become full of lymphatic fluid and swell. Applying castor oil directly to your neck can help encourage them to drain, relieving some of your cold symptoms.
26. Treat a yeast infection
When it comes to soothing a yeast infection, there aren't many things more-effective than all-natural castor oil.
It can either be taken orally (1 tsp daily) or applied topically to the fungal infection.
27. Induce labour
Many of the best home remedies come from Egyptian times, and inducing labour using castor oil is one of the most renowned.
It's thought to act as a powerful laxative that not only stimulates your digestive system, but your womb too.
Castor oil could even help you to get pregnant too. Castor oil packs have been used for centuries to detoxify the reproductive organs and increase fertility.
Place your castor oil pack over your lower abdomen and relax for half an hour.
29. Relieve muscle soreness
Just as an ice pack helps to soothe bumps, a castor oil 'pack' will soothe muscles. The fatty acid (ricinoleic acid) in the oil has anti-inflammatory properties - it's this which works its magic on muscles.
Castor oil packs are very useful treatments for several body parts, including the legs, arms, neck and back. Requiring just a few simple materials, they're an easy home remedy for muscle soreness.
To make your own pack, follow the instructions on Wellness Mama which will guide you through the process.
30. Soothe sunburn
Sun can feel like such a rarity in the UK that it's very easy to get carried away.
If you do find yourself getting a little sunburnt, try treating the affected areas with castor oil. It has a similar, soothing effect as aloe vera when rubbed directly onto the burn.
Household uses for castor oil
31. Repel garden moles
Castor oil has gained a reputation for having a nasty taste over the years. Garden moles have obviously heard about this too, as they don't like to be near it. This makes castor oil a great, natural and harmless mole repellent to use in your garden.
To use, mix 2 parts castor oil to 1 part dish soap in a spray bottle. Shake until foamy, then dilute to a ratio of 2 tablespoons per gallon of water.
Spritz over affected areas, and the bitter smell and taste will keep garden pests at bay.
32. Heal pet injuries
If your horse, dog or cat manages to get themselves an injury whilst playing, you may be at a loss for what to do.
Sadly, pet plasters haven't been invented yet, so we must turn to other solutions. One of these is castor oil - a great treatment for many reasons:
- Its thick formula creates a barrier to germs
- It's anti-bacterial and soothes injuries
- It's edible but has a nasty taste
Castor oil is great for treating small, surface wounds. Best of all, once your pet's had a taste, they certainly won't want to go back for more! This will leave the wound to heal in peace.
33. Universal lubricant
As castor oil is edible, it is extremely useful for loosening up cooking scissors.
When scissors get stiff, their efficiency is affected and food can become more difficult to cut.
A few drops of castor oil rubbed into the joints and along the blades will help lubricate them, making them much easier to use.
We can't believe how many uses for castor oil we found. Which is your favourite? Let us know in the comments below.