Cold pressed castor oil is an oil extracted from castor bean seeds. Castor beans contain nutrient-rich oil, which makes up 50%-60% of their weight. When pressure is applied to the beans, they release this oil and all of the nutrients, minerals and essential fatty acids which it contains. No heat is required to extract the oil. Simply pressing the beans provides a wonderfully luxurious oil, packed full of nutrients.
Some manufacturers use chemicals and solvents to extract the oil, which can introduce impurities to the finished product. This method of extraction is quicker and cheaper, but produces an inferior product. The purity of the oil is far lower, and many beneficial compounds are lost in the manufacturing process.
If you want to use castor oil as a dietary supplement, cold pressed castor oil is the number one choice. This type of castor oil is considered to be of ‘food grade’ quality, and you will be assured of a 100% pure product. If the packaging does not state that the product is cold pressed castor oil, we recommend looking for another product.
What is Virgin Castor Oil?
Virgin castor oil is the oil produced from the first cold pressing of the castor beans. Virgin castor oil, as with virgin olive oil, is considered to be the highest quality oil. This is because the first pressing releases most of the minerals, nutrients and essential fatty acids. The cold pressed castor oil produced from this first press offers the maximum health and wellness benefits.
Some manufacturers perform subsequent pressings or use heat to extract the remaining castor oil. Heat can destroy many nutrients, and subsequent pressing produces oil of a vastly inferior quality. This is fine if you want to lubricate your car engine, but you would not want to put this low grade oil on your skin, or take it as a dietary supplement.