Your grandmother was right: castor oil is the cure-all that it's been hyped up to be. And no, this is not just another old-wives’ tale, although let’s be honest—old wives’ tales are truly the cat’s meow when it comes to homespun health.
Here are 5 reasons why castor oil should be a staple in your natural health arsenal.
1. It's great for inflammation and pain.
Castor oil contains a very unique compound known as ricinoleic acid which gives it its anti-inflammatory abilities. I love to rub this around sore joints or a sore lower back and it works wonders for those with arthritis pain or sports injuries.
It helps to bring down inflammation and even mediate pain, so reach for that castor oil the next time your joints start to predict that rainy weather!
2. It's great for detoxification.
One of my favorite, simple ways to help get your detox on is castor oil packs.
- Soak a flannel cloth in cold-pressed organic castor oil
- Ring it out so that it’s not so gloopy and messy
- Place it on your abdomen.
- Place a hot water bottle over top and just chill out with your favorite book or television series for 30 to 45 minutes.
Castor Oil packs have been shown to increase lymphatic fluid drainage through the body, which essentially cleans out your blood, tissues, immune and digestive organs. This is a great way to keep your blood clean, bowels regular, and immunity up and active!
3. Castor oil masks for your hair can leave your locks luxurious, moisturized and thick.
Castor Oil has anti-microbial action which can help with dandruff or any scalp conditions that may be compromising the quality of the hair, while the vitamin E content in the Castor Oil helps to moisturize the hair shaft, leaving you with shiny lustrous1 locks. Mix castor oil with olive or coconut oil, as the castor oil can be rather thick. Leave in for three hours with a shower cap on (or overnight) and then wash out with a mild shampoo
4. It's great for elbows, knees, and those darn cracked heels.
Ah yes, those dry and hard-to-truly-get baby-bum soft areas of your body. Rub some castor oil into your elbows, knees, and heels after a shower, while you’re still a bit damp, and watch as those dry scales start to fade, fade, fade away into shiny, soft skin. You can thank me later.
5. Castor oil is a wonder for period cramps.
Remember those castor oil packs that I outlined above for detoxification and lymphatic drainage? Did you know that you can keep those packs in a plastic re-sealable sandwich baggie in the fridge for up to 30 uses? Just re-apply oil as needed with each subsequent use. Which brings me to how amazing these packs are for those horrible monthly period cramps. Take that castor oil flannel pack, place it on your lower abdomen above your uterus (which is just at your pubic bone, beneath your navel) add a hot water bottle and relax. Those cramps will lessen. (Please note that if your cramps are unbearable or are accompanied with clots and heavy periods, you need to speak to your Naturopath or GP as you probably need to examine other factors that are causing your painful periods.)
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Hannah Yang is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor and a graduate of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. Prior to her Naturopathic education, she attended McMaster University where she obtained an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. Hannah is a caring and compassionate primary health care provider and strives to provide top-quality individualized treatment for every patient.
Hannah is trained in Acupuncture, Homeopathy, Clinical Nutrition, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Botanical Medicine, Lifestyle Counseling and Reiki Energy Healing.