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How to Take Castor Oil

by Sylvia Cochran

Castor oil is derived from the castor bean and has been used for everything from lubricants to dyes to laxatives. Alternative uses have involved the use of castor oil to help pregnant women induce labor, although physicians warn against this practice because it may lead to undue fetal distress. These days, castor oil is most often recommended as a quick-acting laxative prior to surgery. castor oil itself is tasteless and carries no pungent scent, the human gag reflex appears to keep people from swallowing it easily; it sometimes can take several attempts to swallow castor oil and not regurgitate it. However, there are some simple steps to taking castor oil so you can derive all of its benefits—without gagging.

How to Take Castor Oil

Place the castor oil in the refrigerator overnight. The objective is for the oil to be well chilled.

After letting the castor oil sit overnight, pour a glass of lukewarm water and add a bit of salt to it. This will act as a mouthwash you can use after you have downed the dose of castor oil.

Stand next to the bathroom or kitchen sink. Remember that you want to be prepared to wash out your mouth with the glass of saltwater and then spit it out.

Pour the dose of castor oil you are going to take into a shot glass or other small drinking receptacle. You can also drink it straight from the measuring cup.

Close your nostrils by gently pinching your nose shut with your fingers.

Drink the castor oil dose in one swig. Do not savor it; do not swish it around your mouth; and do not take a lot of time letting it run down your throat.

Pick up the glass with your lukewarm water and salt solution and take some into your mouth. Let go of your nostrils. Swish the saltwater around in your mouth. Gargle with it and then spit it out into the sink.

Repeat the saltwater swishing and gargling if you still have a bit of an unpleasant oily aftertaste in your mouth. Chances are, though, one time will be enough.

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