Recently, after we ran out of castor oil once again, Dr’s Clare and Sarah had an enthusiastic chat about their favorite uses of castor oil. Both agree that it is one of their favorite products for its flexibility, its ease of use and its cost. It’s a staple in both their home medicine cabinets and is almost always on the shelf at the clinic.
What exactly is castor oil?
A vegetable oil obtained from the castor bean (or seed) grown predominantly in Brazil, India and East Africa. Documentation of its use dates to ancient Egypt but has been used throughout the ages in both the health and beauty industries. Although very safe for use from head to toe, both doctors caution to not use it internally due to its strong laxative effect. One last caution for female patients is to avoid use over the abdomen during menstruation as it can increase flow (same caution in pregnancy).
So, what can you use it for?
Here is a summary of their favorite uses of Castor Oil:
1- Traditional Castor Oil Pack over the liver – Particularly helpful for patients dealing with environmental toxin overload – chemical sensitivity and seasonal allergies, hormonal imbalances – PMS, fibroids, ovarian cysts, and heavy menstruation or decreased immunity. Castor Oil over the whole abdomen or belly rub – Particularly helpful for aid with sluggish digestion, constipation, gas, bloating or to decrease general inflammation. Here is a link to learn more about how to do a Traditional Castor Oil Pack.
2- Joint health – Promotes joint healing be decreasing inflammation after sprains, strains, or for more chronic pain such as arthritis.
3- Supports immune health – By increasing circulation of blood, promoting lymphatic drainage and increasing white blood cells, which are important in fighting infection.
4- Skin health – Used topically to decrease inflammation, promote healing, decrease scar formation and as a deep moisturizer. It also has antibacterial and antifungal properties which can be beneficial in treating skin infections (read all about the skin’s microbiome on Dr. Sullivan’s website here).
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