Castor oil is a key component in Ayurveda medicine and is derived from the crushed seeds, or “beans,” of the Ricinus communis plant, which is indigenous to the Mediterranean region, East Africa, and India. The castor oil plant is now found all over the world and is valued for its numerous decorative, practical, and therapeutic benefits.
The plant is planted in gardens as an ornamental because of its unusual and lovely tropical-looking foliage and its magnificent, vivid red flower spikes. In the industrial sector, castor oil is utilised as a natural food preservative, an industrial lubricant, and a superior biodiesel source. Castor oil has been used in natural or herbal medicine for thousands of years, particularly in regions where it is native, such as India and Egypt. Ancient Egyptian medicinal manuscripts from the Ebers Papyrus, which dates back more than 3500 years, reference castor oil. Let us look at the Ayurvedic properties of castor oil.
Herbal properties of Castor oil
Castor oil or eranda as it is known in Sanskrit is regarded in Ayurveda medicine as being balanced to the vata and kapha doshas. It is regarded as having a hot and piercing potency (usna & tiksna). It also belongs to the Rasayana class of revitalising, anti-ageing herbs.
Ricinoleic acid, which makes up around 90% of castor oil chemically, has inherent pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory qualities. Castor oil is extremely hydrating, nourishing, and protective of the skin and hair since it is high in Omega fatty acids and Vitamin E. Castor oil has potent antibacterial characteristics, which is why it is frequently used to stop food from spoiling. When used internally, castor oil is also a very potent and natural purgative.
Internal uses of Castor oil
Castor oil is the major component of Ayurvedic purgative therapy (Virechana), one of the five detoxifying therapies included in the Ayurvedic restorative technique known as panchakarma. Castor oil is a natural purgative and is particularly effective in relieving constipation.
Due to the similar characteristic, it is frequently prescribed and used to start or induce childbirth in full-term expecting women. Castor oil has been used for hundreds of years for this purpose!
Castor oil should only be consumed internally under the guidance of your Ayurvedic or medical health professional because it is a potent and powerful medicine.
External uses of Castor oil
Due to its intense moisturising properties, castor oil is frequently used in skin and hair care products (both contemporary and historical! ), including Ayurveda soaps, lotions, and hair oils. Moreover, it is a crucial moisturising element in many contemporary cosmetics.
Castor oil is frequently traditionally prescribed in Ayurveda for problem skin and hair conditions like acne, dandruff & psoriasis, as well as for the healing of external wounds because it also has strong anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. Castor oil is also frequently found in contemporary medical ointments for wounds and sores.
In addition, castor oil is frequently used in the formulation of therapeutic liniments or massage oils to assist treat illnesses like tendinitis and rheumatoid arthritis that cause joint discomfort and inflammation. This is partially attributable to its hot and penetrating characteristics, which aid in boosting circulation and eliminating stagnation.