Castor beans are the seeds of the castor oil plant Ricinus communis. The plant is native to East Africa, although it can be found all around the Mediterranean region and Indian subcontinent. Many people in America even grow a castor bean plant in their garden to help keep pests away.
The castor oil plant is a member of the spurge family. The seeds from the castor oil plant are rich in oil, which comprises between 40% and 60% of the weight of the seeds. The oil, which is usually obtained by cold pressing the seeds, has many medicinal and industrial uses.
Many people associate castor beans with the poison ricin. While it is true that the seed case from the castor bean plant contains a small quantity of ricin, this toxin is not soluble in oil. When the seeds are pressed, the oil is free from any toxins and is therefore perfectly safe for medicinal use and beauty treatments.
Medicinal Uses of Castor Beans
Castor beans have many highly beneficial properties and have long been used in medicine. The oil produced from castor beans contains omega 6 essential fatty acids. These need to be consumed, as the body is unable to produce them itself. They play an important role in the function of many bodily systems. These essential fatty acids – which can be obtained from the oil of the castor bean plant – are traditional treatments for the following medical conditions:
- Diabetic neuropathy
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- High blood pressure
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Breast cancer
- Menopause symptoms
Castor beans also contain vitamin E, which is needed to maintain healthy skin and hair. This vitamin is often used in skin creams and anti-aging beauty products, as it is excellent for keeping the skin supple and countering the effect of aging.
Bring the Body Back into Balance with Castor Bean Oil
Because the oil from the castor bean plant contains omega 6 fatty acids, vitamin E and many other beneficial minerals and nutrients, it is an excellent choice as a dietary supplement. When castor oil is taken regularly, it can improve general health and well-being and can help to bring the body back into balance. The oil from the castor bean plant has been shown to have a positive effect on a number bodily systems, and it is highly beneficial for the following in particular:
- Gall bladder
- Lymphatic system
- Reproductive system
- Gastrointestinal system
- Immune system
The oil from castor beans does not need to be taken orally in order to experience the health benefits from the nutrients it contains. The oil is easily absorbed by the skin, and applying castor oil directly to the body is another great way of getting the health benefits of castor beans.
Castor Beans and Hair and Skin Care
The castor oil plant has long been known to offer a myriad of health benefits for internal health; however, castor oil is also an excellent skin tonic and a wonderful treatment for dry, damaged and brittle hair. The oil from castor beans is rich and soothing on the skin, and has natural anti-inflammatory properties.
If you have abrasions or sore skin, gently rubbing castor oil onto the affected area will ease any pain and help speed up the healing process. The natural oils and fatty acids in castor oil have anti-fungal, antibacterial and anti-viral properties. Oil from castor beans can therefore be used to treat and prevent many skin conditions.
The oil also locks in moisture to keep the skin and hair soft and supple. The oil from castor beans can even thicken hair, and stimulate hair growth.
There are Many Castor Oil Products to Choose
You do not need to orally take a daily spoonful of castor oil to experience the medicinal and therapeutic benefits of castor beans. In fact, castor oil is used in an extensive range of health and beauty products. Castor oil is often combined with other beneficial natural ingredients in skin creams and hair products.
If you have a favorite skin cream, moisturizer or hair treatment, you can add a few tablespoons of castor oil before application to reap the benefits of castor oil without having to change from a product you already regularly use. Added to a hair-smoothing product, the castor oil will improve its ability to keep your hair tangle-free, while it can help moisturizers make your skin wonderfully soft, smooth and supple.