Castor oil has been used for generations to help heal both internal and external health issues. The main ingredients in castor oil contain rich sources of a component called ricinoleic acid, an unsaturated fatty acid that offers healing properties and abilities, according to Digital Naturopath. Castor oil can be purchased from most drug stores as well as from natural or health food stores. Learn how to use castor oil to treat a number of external and topical medical issues as well as benefit from its internal healing properties.
Castor oil applied directly to the skin via a saturated cotton ball or cloth is used to treat topical skin infections like ringworm, keratosis and warts, according to Digital Naturopath.
The oil may be used on age spots, and to treat and relieve boils and acne. Some women use castor oil on stretch marks before or following pregnancy instead of cocoa butter, while others use castor oil to help relieve itching caused by dry skin or contact with toxic plants such as poison oak or ivy.
A few drops of castor oil placed directly on the affected area or rubbed in with a cotton ball may provide effective relief and healing.
Castor oil gently rubbed or massaged into the skin or over a painful joint may help reduce inflammation and swelling, according to Skinverse.com. The oil has been used for centuries to help relieve the pain of arthritis, bursitis and rheumatism. Such massage may also help restore and aid circulation to damaged tissues and cells, as well as benefit the flow of lymph and blood circulation.
Castor oil has long been used as a digestive aid, acting as a mild laxative for constipation relief, according to Skinverse. The oil may be used to get rid of tapeworms or other intestinal worm infestations. A natural remedy for worms is to place a tablespoon of castor oil into an 8 oz. glass of warm milk in the morning and evening.
Warmed castor oil massaged into tired and aching feet tissues provides immediate relief to those who are on their feet all day. The massaging action also helps restore circulation. Massage the feet with liberal amounts of castor oil and then wrap the feet with cling wrap and cover with socks while you're watching television or sleeping, suggests Skinverse, to help relieve foot pain.
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Denise Stern is an experienced freelance writer and editor. She has written professionally for more than seven years. Stern regularly provides content for health-related and elder-care websites and has an associate and specialized business degree in health information management and technology.