The most essential oil of all?
While you may be familiar with the amazing properties of various on-trend oils such as coconut and hemp seed oil, did you know that castor oil is just as — if not more — multi-faceted and useful?
If you want to grow your hair super-long, try using castor oil. (Ditto for achieving longer, fuller lashes.) Don’t know what to do about unpleasant vaginal symptoms (really, are there any pleasant vaginal symptoms?) Castor oil may do the trick.
My lovely friend Onawa, so knowledgable about wellness (and so generous about sharing the 411!) recently discovered the many wonders of castor oil, which up until now has had a somewhat negative connotation to me and perhaps you, too. I mean, is it just me, or is castor oil usually associated strictly with illness?
As in “Take a spoonful of castor oil and go to bed!” It turns out that this vegetable oil, made from castor beans, is indeed good for boosting immunity and aiding with digestive issues… but it does so much more than that. It’s great for your hair and skin (add some castor oil when you’re whipping up an at-home, all-natural face mask). It’s also great for lubricating auto parts… but perhaps that’s another article. Here are nine uses for castor oil that will surprise you!
1. Muscle Aches
“I’ve used it after I pulled a muscle in my side from working out,” says Onawa after trying stretching, warms baths, etc. “Finally, I poured castor oil onto a washcloth (at least ¼ cup) placed it on my side under my night shirt” — not a good shirt, Onawa points out — “[and] went to sleep. In the morning the pain was 95% gone.”
If you look hard at the ingredient list of some of your favorite cosmetics, you’ll see castor oil listed; it works as an effective moisturizer and can be used on its own to hydrate thirsty skin.
3. Makeup Remover
… but in addition to being a component in makeup, you can also use it to take makeup off. Just soak it up with a cotton ball and wipe your face clean of cosmetics.
Onawa also used castor oil when she developed a fungus issue under her fingernail. An OTC remedy she bought at the pharmacy had not only been ineffective, but her nail subsequently cracked. “I stopped that and stuck my finger into the bottle of castor oil a few times a day,” she says, and within three days the fungus was gone. Not surprisingly, castor oil is also touted for its effectiveness against yeast infections!
5. Cold Sore Cure
“In the shower, I started to feel a tingling on my lip and I knew a cold sore was about to rear it ugly head,” Onawa told me. She didn’t have any of her other remedies on hand, “So I reached for my castor oil… and put some on my lip. Within 10 minutes the tingling stopped and the little cold sore never developed!”
6. Hair Growth Booster
Castor oil devotees swear up and down that castor oil helps grow your hair — which makes sense when you consider the nutrients it contains. Use alone or add some other hair-boosting or scent-riffic components like aloe vera or coconut oil.
7. Lash Plumper
“It also is supposed to make your eyelashes grow,” says Onawa. Yes! Castor oil is good for growing your hair, and your eyelashes are hair, right? (Right!) You can apply it (sparingly and carefully) to your eyelashes to help them grow thicker, longer, and faster.
If you are using the recommended dose of castor oil and taking it by mouth, and not taking too much, and not doing it regularly… then castor oil can be useful in easing constipation!
9. Ouchie Care
Castor oil’s moisturizing, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal properties, coupled with its ability to boost circulation and the fact that it’s also an antibacterial, makes it ideal for helping minor cuts and scrapes heal faster.
Images via pexels.com.
Comment: What’s your favorite use for castor oil?
Luisa is SHESAID's beauty writer and a New Yorker who has been writing and editing professionally since 1997, when she started working at New York magazine. Since then, her work has appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times, New York, USA Today, Family Circle, Glamour, and many more. Follow Luisa on Twitter.