The caster bean or caster plant (Ricinus communis) is native to the Ethiopian region of tropical east Africa. The beans have been found in Egyptian tombs dating back to 4000 B.C. Many of you reading this will remember the stories of our ancestors giving castor oil to “get things moving” or for anything that ailed you. The seeds or beans have been used for nefarious reasons because they are poisonous, but the source of numerous economically important and earliest commercial products. The plant is considered a weed in the United States, yet it produces one of the finest oils.
The castor plant grows in many parts of the world where there’s full sun, adequate heat, and moisture. As an annual, it’ll easily reach 6 – 15 feet. It may live for several years and become woodier and tree-like in areas with mild winters. For you horticulture enthusiasts, the plant is a member of the Euphorbia Family. Swedish naturalist Carolus Linnaeus named the plant Ricinus (Latin for tick) because he thought the seeds resembled a tick.
I could write an entire post about caster oil uses, but here’s a quick list:
Paints and varnishes
Health and Beauty Industry
Health and beauty are where I want to focus. Castor oil makes a wonderful natural moisturizer. Because it’s so thick and may be irritating in its pure form, many blend it with skin-friendly oils.
I go to the dermatologist every year for a mole check because I’ve got a lot of them. I had a few seborrheic Keratosis spots that I was concerned about, she’d smile and say, “They’re fine, they’re part of aging.” I have terrible insurance, it would’ve cost me a fortune to remove them. A few years ago I read about food-grade hydrogen peroxide to remove warts and skin tags. For those that don’t know, it’s what your dermatologist uses to remove them from you in their office, but they use a high strength. Anyway, I went online and purchased 12% food grade and used it on several spots with incredible results. You have to be super careful and use a Q-tip or dropper; I successfully removed several skin growths using this method. I will also add that it STINGS when applied. I still had two spots on my face and two rough patches that wouldn’t go away. I read about castor oil and decided to give it a try. The rough patch on my forehead is gone. Two spots on my face where I used H2O2 started to regrow. After a month, one is gone, and the other is shrinking. I was so amazed by the results that I started using it all over my body. My skin is so smooth now any lumpy bumpiness is gone. You have to be consistent, especially when using it on moles or skin tags, but it does work. I also noticed that it would sting for a few seconds in certain spots when I applied it all over; I figured it found something and was killing it.
Some people say it grows hair and eyelashes, but I haven’t seen any difference. You also have to be very careful putting anything near your eyes. I’ve also read about people using it as a hair conditioner, but I wouldn’t. Castor oil is so thick that I’d be afraid I’d never get it out unless I used scissors, so hard pass from me. I’ve also read that castor oil is great for acne, I’m as old as dirt and no longer have that problem.
I’m not giving any form of medical advice. I always experiment on myself and am passing along what worked for me.