A highly versatile vegetable oil, castor oil is obtained by cold pressing the seeds of the castor bean plant (ricinus communis), a native to Africa and India. Castor oil has been used for centuries and is an age-old remedy for medical and beauty maladies. Modern practitioners continue to use castor oil for its therapeutic benefits and as a laxative. It’s one of the first vegetable oils used in industrial applications because of its viscosity and lubricating ability, and is commonly used as a preservative on dry grains to help repel bugs.
Castor oil is extremely diverse and unique in its composition; it is able to withstand high temperatures without breaking down and maintains fluidity at both extremely high and low temperatures. Comprised of 90% ricinoleic acid plus oleic and linoleic fatty acids castor oil provides a myriad of topical benefits and is most known for:
- Penetrating deep into skin, providing instant hydration and softening
- Slowing the signs of aging by helping to stimulate collagen and elastin production
- Fighting free radical damage
- Acting as a carrier to transport other ingredients to the inner layers of the skin
Castor oil has long been used topically for anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal purposes. Although there are very few studies done in this area, antidotal evidence suggestions castor oil could help slow microbial growth and is often used in wound treatment.
The thick consistency and silky feel of castor oil makes it one of the top natural alternatives to petroleum jelly, making it an excellent option for lip products. Try the Organic Crème Lipstick, Organic Lip Gloss or handcrafted Lip Balm to protect and moisturize delicate skin. Castor oil is commonly used in the manufacturing of soaps because helps create a rich lather; try it in the new Detoxifying Charcoal Facial Soap. Believed to promote healthy circulation, castor oil can be found in products that can help relieve stress and tension such as the Cucumber Foot Soak.