Saturday, March 3, 2012

Captivating Castor Oil

Castor oil is a thick, golden liquid obtained from the seeds of the castor plant (also called castor beans) that has no scent or odor. The intensity of the color of the castor oil depends on its level of refinement, with the colorless version of the oil being the most refined and vice versa. The castor beans are made up of about 50% in oil and are mostly harvested in China and India. Although they are reasonably priced, castor oil is difficult and dangerous to harvest because of certain toxic compounds that are present on all castor bean surfaces.

Castor oil contains an extremely high amount of a rare and unusual fatty acid called ricinoleic acid; which is an unsaturated fatty acid that is only found in castor oil and in a group of fungi called ergot. This fatty acid is highly beneficial to health and one of the reasons why castor oil benefits have made it one of the most popular oils in the market, next to the olive oil and coconut oil.

Medicinal Uses and Properties  

Castor oil and its derivatives are mostly involved in the pharmaceutical industry today; they are added into many contemporary drugs including antifungal agents and are even used in cancer treatments. It is also added into many over-the-counter creams to treat various skin conditions such as acne and eczema. Only a small molecular size of castor oil allows it to penetrate deeply into the skin very quickly, making it suitable as an active ingredient in creams.  It is also effective in relieving constipation but its role as a laxative has been discontinued because of undesirable and sometimes painful side effects.

Castor oil exhibits strong pain-killing, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties due to its high ricinoleic acid content. It is normally applied on infected or open wounds to help ease pain and discomfort while killing off any bacteria. Castor oil is extremely effective in treating swollen or painful joints, a condition otherwise known as arthritis. A simple topical application to the affected area can instantly relieve pain and soothe painful joints. It can also be massaged into sore or strained muscles to reduce discomfort and encourage faster healing.

Other common uses for castor oil are to fight off yeast infections such as athlete’s foot, ringworm, relieve abdominal pain, and to soothe inflamed skin.  An effective way to use castor oil for these purposes would be to soak castor oil in a piece of handkerchief or small cloth and place it on the affected area. The cloth is then slowly heated with a small heat source such as a candle, a hot container or a heating pad.

Castor Oil for Hair   
Castor oil has been proven to be extremely effective for treating dry, brittle or damaged hair; most hair damage is caused by excessive use of hair products such as unnatural waxes and hairsprays. These hair products corrode and eat away at your hair while stripping away the moisture from them when they dry. Using castor oil can help repair your hair, eliminate frizz, and keep it healthy by a number of different ways.

First, it provides an intense moisturizing effect to the hair and scalp; this moisture can easily penetrate deep down into the pores, all the way down to the roots of the hair guaranteeing a long-lasting, thorough hydration of the hair and scalp.  Castor oil then aids the repairing process by supplying it with proper minerals and nutrients needed by the scalp. Finally, it dissolves any accumulated build-up from hair products or from other sources in the pores of the scalp, by instantly unclogs blocked pores by removing blockages such as dirt, sebum, bacteria and chemicals.

This is my personal staple oil to use on my hair it’s very thick and only takes a little…………………

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