Castor Oil | Everything You Need to Know

Organic Castor Oil


Good, old fashioned castor oil, used for generations to relieve swelling and to treat ailments such as constipation has taken on a revived role as hair growth aid for many determined naturals who have committed themselves to the task of cultivating strong, healthy hair.

But, what is it and where does it come from?

Glad you asked.

Castor oil is derived from the bean of the castor plant which is indigenous to India, the Mediterranean and Eastern Africa . The robust plant can grow up to ten feet high resembling a small tree upon reaching maturity.


Castor Plant
Oddly enough, if you ate five or more of the beans directly from the castor plant you would likely die a horrible death. Castor beans are among the most poisonous beans in the world.

 They contain ricin, a toxin so potent that simply inhaling a tiny amount would end a person’s life almost immediately. The lethal ricin found in castor beans has been used for everything from chemical warfare to murder and is especially troublesome because it has no known antidote.

According to the natural health website Mercola.com, castor oil isn’t considered hazardous to your health despite the fact that it is derived from a lethal source. It cites the findings of the International Journal of Toxicology's Final Report on Castor Oil which states that the poisonous ricin contained within the castor bean does not “partition” into the castor oil [during the extraction process] and is therefore safe for human consumption. Castor oil is also approved by the U.S. FDA for use as a stimulant laxative.

While the whole castor bean can be fatal, the non toxic natural oil derived from it has been providing relief from acne, dermatitis, arthritis and other ailments, when topically applied, for centuries, yet no one knows exactly why. Most evidence regarding the effectiveness of castor oil is anecdotal and not yet proven by modern science. It is believe that the healing properties of castor oil reside in its unusually high fat or triglyceride and ricinoleic acid content.

Castor Beans
Use of castor oil as a hair growth aid is not new. According to a New York Times article about the castor plant, the seeds of castor plants have been found in Egyptian tombs that date back to as early as 4000 B.C.

Ancient Egyptians used the oil of castor beans as a laxative, skin ointment and to make their hair grow in addition to many other uses and eventually gained popularity among the ancient Greeks and Romans.

Like the women of antiquity, today’s 21st century woman has turned to castor oil to achieve her hair growth goals. Today’s natural’s stand by the hair growing and rejuvenating power of castor oil. Many claim that they see renewed hair growth in a matter of weeks of frequent use.

These days, organic castor oil can be found in coconut and lavender scented varieties sold across the world by companies like Jamaican Mango and Lime and Taha Natural.

Author:
Chanel Polk

Has castor oil helped your hair grow? Share your experiences with castor oil with Forever Natural Hair.com. Email your comments to forevernaturalhair@gmail.com so we can share them with our natural hair community.

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