Castor oil for internal use has both strong advocates and equally strong opponents. That is likely because the castor bean contains both healing properties and properties that are strong to the point of being destructive. The benefits of castor oil can almost always be achieved by topical application and, in my opinion, it is much safer to use castor oil that way.
LATIN NAME: Richinus Communis
EXTRACTION METHOD: Expeller Pressed
PART UTILIZED: Seed
SOME INTERESTING STUDIES
- An Indian study in 2011 found that castor leaf extract showed better antibacterial activity against both ~Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria that Gentamycin (their standard of comparison).
- A 2010 study found that castor oil packs were an effective means of decreasing constipation in the elderly.
- A 2009 study found that castor oil effectively relieves arthritis symptoms.
- A 1999 study found an increase in T cells over a seven hour period after the application of castor oil.
- Interestingly, according to the American Cancer society, “Oncologists now use castor oil as a vehicle for delivering some chemotherapy drugs to . . . metastatic breast cancer and other tumors. Unfortunately, the vehicle sometimes causes problems of its own, including allergic reactions. This has prompted a search for substitute carriers.”