Benefits and Uses of Castor Oil


Although many people initially considered the Castor plant to be an overrun and unwanted weed, the fine oil produced from its seeds contained benefits that would soon become known all around the world. The advantages of Castor Oil were made popular by Edgar Casey, a man who was considered to be “the Father of Holistic Medicine.” He taught the public about its healing properties for a vast range of health issues and the potent Castor Oil remedy became known as “Palma Christi,” or “Hand of Christ.”

Ricinus communis, better known as the Castor plant, is native to the Mediterranean region as well as the tropical regions of Africa and India, but it also grows in other tropical regions. Oil-rich Castor seeds, or the “beans,” were traditionally used without their hulls as a method of controlling not only pregnancy but also leprosy and syphilis. In medicinal applications, Castor beans were made into a paste and applied as a poultice to treat skin inflammation and to ease headaches.


These versatile beans were used to produce paints, industrial lubricating oils, varnishes, as well as the popular cosmetic oil. Historically, Castor Oil was reputed to be a laxative for those suffering from constipation, and it was used by pregnant women to induce labor as well as to prompt the flow of breast milk. Some used it to dissolve cysts, warts, and other growths. Some used Castor Oil in the eyes to soothe irritation caused by dust or other particles; however, it is not advisable to use Castor Carrier Oil for any of these purposes. In Ancient Egypt, Castor Oil was used in wicks to light lamps, and the beans were discovered in tombs that date back to 4000 B.C.

Around the world, Castor Oil continues to be used both cosmetically and medicinally to repair and darken hair while promoting its growth. It is used to soften and soothe irritated or infected skin and to ease muscle aches and joint pains. Castor Carrier Oil and its derivatives are also used in the production of soaps, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, perfumes. It is ideal for use in or as a massage oil for its moisturizing properties.


The main chemical constituents of Castor Carrier Oil are Ricinoleic Acid, Oleic Acid, Linoleic Acid (Omega-6 Fatty Acid), α-Linolenic Acid (Alpha-Linolenic Acid – Omega-3 Fatty Acid), Stearic Acid, and Palmitic Acid.

RICINOLEIC ACID is known to:

  • Relieve pain caused by muscle aches and joint pain
  • Soothe itching, swelling, inflammation, cuts, and fungal infections
  • Fight acne-causing bacteria and relieve acne-prone skin
  • Exhibit antimicrobial activity
  • Clear congestion
  • Boost circulation
  • Boost hair growth
  • Soften and hydrate both hair and skin with deep moisture while repairing breakage
  • Balance hormones
  • Eliminate bodily toxins by supporting the lymphatic system
  • Makes up almost 90% of Castor Oil

OLEIC ACID is known to:

  • Maintain the softness, suppleness, and radiance of skin and hair
  • Stimulate the growth of thicker, longer and stronger hair
  • Reduce the appearance of aging, such as premature wrinkles and fine lines
  • Eliminate dandruff and thereby support hair growth
  • Boost immunity
  • Exhibit antioxidant properties
  • Prevent joint inflammation, stiffness, and pain

LINOLEIC ACID is known to:

  • Moisturize hair and promote its growth
  • Facilitate wound healing
  • Be effective emulsifiers in the formulation of soaps and quick-drying oils
  • Exhibit anti-inflammatory properties
  • Soothe acne and reduce chances of future outbreaks
  • Promote moisture retention in skin and hair
  • Make oils feel thinner in consistency, thus being beneficial for use on acne-prone skin

α-LINOLENIC ACID is believed to:

  • Lessen inflammation
  • Control blood clotting
  • Soothe joint pain and ease stiffness to improve flexibility
  • Be an essential Omega-3 Fatty Acid

STEARIC ACID is believed to:

  • Have cleansing properties that purge dirt, sweat and excess sebum from hair and skin
  • Be an ideal emulsifying agent that binds water and oil
  • Help products remain potent when stored for long periods of time
  • Condition and protect hair from damage without diminishing luster or making it feel heavy
  • Have exceptional cleansing properties
  • Soften skin

PALMITIC ACID is known for:

  • Having emollient properties
  • Softening hair without leaving a greasy or sticky residue
  • Being the most common saturated fatty acid

Castor Oil can positively impact hair by stimulating circulation to boost its growth and by locking in moisture with its humectant properties. With its anti-fungal properties, Castor Oil can treat scalp infections by eliminating the bacteria and microorganisms that can cause hair loss, dandruff, and infection. To slow the appearance of graying hairs, Castor Oil can be applied to the scalp to prevent hair from the further loss of pigment. With humectant properties that lock in moisture, Castor Oil can treat dry and damaged hair, making it thicker, shinier, softer, and smoother.

When applied topically, the high fatty acid content in Castor Oil delays signs of aging by deeply moisturizing, softening and soothing the skin, boosting elasticity, and stimulating collagen production. By exhibiting these activities and slowing the look of wrinkles, it promotes the appearance of skin that is more supple and youthful. Its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties make Castor Oil beneficial for reducing acne, as it penetrates the skin easily without clogging pores or aggravating the skin condition. As Castor Oil’s fatty acids restore skin’s hydration and eliminate the effects of dryness, they also help reduce the appearance of unwanted blemishes and scars when applied regularly. They achieve this by deeply penetrating scar tissue to fill it out and make it plump while stimulating the growth of healthier surrounding tissue. This facilitates the fading of blemishes such as stretch marks, dark spots, uneven skin tone, and marks. Its emulsifying properties allow it to be a protective agent that remains as a barrier on the skin and protects it against harsh environmental conditions.

Used medicinally, Castor Carrier Oil soothes skin inflammation caused by dry skin, acne, sunburns. It relieves the discomfort of sore muscles and joint pain, especially for those who suffer from arthritis and those who experience aches caused by forceful exercise. Its antimicrobial properties make it work effectively as a disinfectant for wounds, minor cuts, and scrapes. Due to its warming abilities, Castor Oil boosts circulation, making it an ideal choice for use in massages. Castor Oil strengthens immunity by relieving congestion that leads to the accumulation of bodily toxins and that can cause arthritis. Its excretory properties make Castor Oil effective in reducing the appearance of cellulite by boosting circulation, increasing the production of collagen to firm skin, and by balancing hormones, the imbalance of which is known to lead to the development of dimpled skin. It has also been used to treat warts, skin tags, moles, ringworm, eczema, psoriasis, and Athlete’s Foot.

Castor Carrier Oil is reputed to have many therapeutic properties. The following highlights its many benefits and the kinds of activity it is believed to show:

    • COSMETIC: Antioxidant, Moisturizing, Softening, Soothing, Strengthening, Stimulating, Anti-Inflammatory, Antibacterial
  • MEDICINAL: Soothing, Strengthening, Stimulating, Anti-Inflammatory, Analgesic, Carminative, Decongestant, Detoxicant, Laxative, Regulating, Sedative, Tonic



The Castor plant can grow on a vast range of soil types, as long as they are deep and have adequate water drainage. The ideal soil is a well-drained, deep, loamy sand with a pH of approximately 6 that is moderately fertile, free of weeds and has somewhat acidic conditions.

In India, the beans are sown either at the beginning of the rainy season between late May and early June or they are planted at the end of the rainy season between late September and early October. Planting the beans at one of these two times helps ensure that the second half of the crop’s life can avoid wet weather. In tropical regions, the harvest begins before the rainy season (November in India), while in dry regions, the beans are harvested when they have all reached maturity. Harvesting is done largely by hand in tropical areas.

During the harvesting process, the spikes of the pods are first broken off, then the capsules are stripped off into a wagon, sled, or into containers worn by the harvesters. If the capsules are not already dry when they are picked, they must be spread out and dried. In India, they are spread out to dry under the sun until they become black. The beans are removed from the capsules – usually being beaten out with sticks in India – then they are winnowed and screened to remove the beans’ outer coverings or “hulls” along with any unwanted particles. A regular thresher, which is a machine that separates the outer coating of the bean from the plants by beating, is not usually a suitable tool for de-hulling the seed, as the soft seeds would be broken by the thresher’s beater bar or peg drums. Instead, the seeds may be decorticated by being rubbed against a rubbing board.


Castor Oil is derived from the ripe beans of the Castor plant by either the cold or expeller pressing method or through solvent extraction; neither grinding nor tempering can be applied to Castor seeds the way it is applied to Flax Seeds or Soy Beans.

In the industrial process of extraction, the cleaned beans are first passed through machines that remove their outer coats. The more thorough this part of the process, the lighter the resulting oil. The Castor beans are then placed in a cage press through which the crude oil is obtained. This oil is refined and bleached. The final Castor Oil is colorless or pale-yellow in color. The final oil can be stored for up to 4 years.

A press-cake develops throughout the pressing process, and any remaining oil in the cake is extracted through the use of solvent extraction. This oil is called “Number III Oil.” It is not pure, and it cannot be successfully refined.


The uses of Castor Carrier Oil are abundant, ranging from medicinal to cosmetic. Its many forms include oils, gels, lotions, soaps, shampoos, conditioners, and candle making.

Used cosmetically, Castor Oil can make an excellent ingredient in a moisturizer, as it reduces the appearance of the signs of aging such as wrinkles and fine lines. It can be simply applied directly to the skin to relieve dryness, to stimulate the production of collagen, and to boost elasticity. For an economical bedtime serum, Castor Oil can be massaged into the face and left on overnight, then washed off in the morning. The appearance of blemishes will gradually diminish over time, as Castor Oil will promote the growth of more radiant skin over time. This simple, direct application to the skin works effectively for reducing the appearance of stretch marks as well.

Used in hair, Castor Oil acts as a conditioning agent that leaves hair hydrated, shiny, and free from the itchiness and bald patches associated with scalp infections and dryness. It can be applied either before or after shampooing to moisturize the hair and scalp or it can be used as an overnight hair treatment mask that can be washed off in the morning. Castor Oil strengthens hair to reduce the amount of breakage that occurs and repairs split ends while promoting and maintaining the growth of hair that appears to be healthier and smoother. It leaves hair looking thicker and richer in color by locking moisture in the hair strands.

Used medicinally, Castor Oil promotes faster healing by penetrating deeply into skin tissue to boost circulation and eliminate bodily toxins. It can function as a first aid for the treatment of sunburns, minor cuts, and scratches by simply dipping a cotton ball into the oil and applying it directly to the affected area. For smaller affected areas, a bandage can also be soaked in Castor Oil and applied to the affected spot for treatment.



Castor Organic Carrier Oil

Ricinus communis

Found in:

  • India
Known for:

  • being slightly viscous
  • being clear and colorless
  • being odorless/having a light oily scent
  • smoothing calluses
  • adding volume to hair while treating breakage
  • increasing lather in cold-processed soap
Castor USP Carrier Oil

Ricinus communis

Found in:

  • India
Known for:

  • being an ideal emulsifying agent
  • remaining on the skin’s surface as a protective barrier on the skin and guarding against harsh environmental conditions
  • being pale yellow to golden yellow in color
  • being almost odorless
  • conditioning hair and skin
PEG 40 (Hydrogenated Castor Oil) Raw Material

PEG 40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil

Known for:

  • being either a semi-solid or a liquid raw material
  • being a surfactant and cleanser in natural cosmetics
  • being an excellent emulsifier in formulations with large water phases
  • being yellow in color
  • having a mild odor
  • having strong solubilizing qualities
  • being recommended for use as the main, if not the only, emulsifier in cosmetics such as lotions, serums, sprays, and oil-free creams
Hydrogenated Castor Oil

Castor Wax Flakes

Known for:

  • being solid white flakes with little to no odor
  • being heavily used in the cosmetic industry when a waxy component is needed in a formulation
  • acting as a thickening and moisturizing agent (eyeliner pencils, anti-antiperspirant sticks, body washes, creams, lotions, and lipsticks)
  • being used to make liquid soaps

The beans/seeds of the Castor plant contain a toxic byproduct called Ricin. Although the heat of the oil extraction process deactivates it and deprives it of its natural properties, this inactive ingredient can still cause an allergic reaction. Attempts are being made to discover alternative hydroxy fatty acid sources and to modify the Castor plant in order to prevent Ricin from synthesizing with the oil.

Potential allergic reactions that could be caused by the topical application of Castor Oil include itching, rashes, redness, and a stinging sensation. More severe side effects can include difficulty breathing, dizziness, and swelling of the face and throat. It is highly advised that a small skin patch test is conducted 24 hours before Castor Oil is applied topically in larger amounts. Slight itching or redness on any user will indicate that Castor Oil is not suitable for use on that individual, as there is a risk of experiencing an allergic reaction.

Carrier oils are for external use only. 


    • The potency of Castor Oil as a remedy earned it the moniker “Palma Christi” or “Hand of Christ.”
    • Historically, the oil-rich Castor seeds, or the “beans,” were traditionally used without their hulls as a method of birth control as well as a treatment for leprosy and syphilis.
    • Around the world, Castor Oil continues to be used both cosmetically and medicinally to repair hair, to soften and soothe skin, and to ease aches and pains.
  • Castor Carrier Oil and its derivatives are used not only in pharmaceuticals and perfumes but also in the production of soaps, cosmetics, and massage oils due to its moisturizing properties.

‘The Elixir of Youth’ Marula Oil


Marula Oil is derived from the nuts of the Sclerocarya birrea botanical – better known as the Marula Tree – which is a member of the same botanical family as Cashew, Mango, and Pistachio trees. Found growing naturally in the woodland areas of the southern parts of Africa, the useful and versatile Marula Tree is highly respected and carefully safeguarded, as each part of this tree yields benefits, including its nut kernels, roots, leaves, bark, wood, flowers, and fruits.

Over the centuries, the Marula Tree has also earned several nicknames, including Morula, Dania, Cat Thorn, Jelly Plum, Canhoeiro, Mushomo, Mutsomo, Umganu, The Cider Tree, and The Elephant Tree. It was believed that the Marula Tree was bestowed upon the people of Africa by a significant spiritual power or entity, thus it was perceived to be consecrated. The sanctity of the tree was evident in its nicknames, such as The Marriage Tree, and in its symbolism, which was believed to represent fertility and purity, hence the reason behind its use in purifying rituals before marriages took place.

According to historical sources of evidence, the entire Marula Tree has had a vital role in African civilization for nearly 10,000 years, its various parts having been used to create insecticides, dyes, medicine, food, fodder for livestock, materials for construction, treatments for leather, protective agents for skin and hair to shield them against the effects of harsh weather, and for various other applications.

Many African communities applied this softening, revitalizing, and wholesome oil to the skin in diverse cosmetic applications such as body lotions and cleansers while other communities made it a staple food in their daily diets. In traditional culinary applications, Marula Oil was used to preserve meat for up to one year.

The Marula nut was fondly referred to as “The Food of Kings,” and it is from this nut that the revered “Miracle Oil” continues to be cold pressed. With potent and protective properties as well as an aroma that is both floral and pleasantly nutty, Marula Carrier Oil is characterized as a tonic with healthful effects that have earned it nicknames like “The Elixir of Youth” and “The African Beauty Secret.”

Marula Carrier Oil abounds in antioxidants and vitamins C and E, and it is considered to be the richest plant source of Omega-9 fatty acids. This article highlights the properties, therapeutic benefits, and safe uses of Marula Oil, a gentle yet effective and fast-absorbing oil that contributes long-lasting moisture, among several other advantages.


The main chemical constituents of Marula Carrier Oil are Oleic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Linoleic Acid, and Arachidonic Acid.

Used cosmetically or topically in general, Marula Oil is known for its antioxidant activity, which supports skin health, repairs damage caused by pollutants, and delays the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration. Being a light and non-comedogenic oil that exhibits anti-microbial properties, Marula Oil is reputed to calm acne-prone skin and to reduce other blemishes as well as scarring. Its deeply hydrating qualities are known to prevent skin from losing moisture, thereby softening, nourishing, and protecting the skin, which ultimately revitalizes and rejuvenates the complexion. Marula Carrier Oil is reputed to enhance elasticity and firmness by boosting collagen production, and it is also reputed to facilitate the healing of irritation, inflammation, redness, and chapping, especially in association with sunburned skin and conditions such as dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis.


Used in hair, Marula Oil exhibits the same protective qualities as it does on the skin. It balances the scalp’s natural oils, thus reducing and preventing dandruff.

By sealing the strands with its smooth but thin gloss, it prevents hair from experiencing frizz. It strengthens the strands against damage caused by environmental stressors, such as harsh weather, UV radiation, as well as heat and residue from hair styling products, thus leaving it lustrous and resilient.

Used medicinally, Marula Oil works to diminish the appearance of scars, stretch marks, dryness, and cracking. The consistency of Marula Oil resembles that of the natural oil found in human skin, and its fast-absorbing action moisturizes without leaving an oily residue, making it suitable for all skin types. By effortlessly penetrating the skin’s surface, it nourishes to help address dryness and flaking and, by shielding the skin with fortifying vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, and essential amino acids, Marula Carrier Oil promotes healthy cell renewal for the regeneration of skin.

Marula Carrier Oil is reputed to have many therapeutic properties. The following highlights its many benefits and the kinds of activity it is believed to show:

  • COSMETIC: Antioxidant, Anti-Inflammatory, Tonic, Collagen-Enhancing, Protective, Conditioning, Revitalizing, Moisturizing, Strengthening.
  • MEDICINAL: Antioxidant, Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-microbial, Tonic, Collagen-Enhancing, Protective, Skin, and Hair-Enhancing, Strengthening.


Used in cosmetic and topical applications, Marula Oil can soothe redness and inflammation while hydrating the skin to smooth the appearance of wrinkles. To apply it directly, simply massage 3-4 drops of Marula Carrier Oil twice daily into the preferred area of skin. Regular application of this oil is reputed to protect skin against environmental toxins and pollutants. If applied before bed, this oil is known to strengthen and condition the skin overnight with enriching and reparative nutrients that facilitate the growth of newer, healthier skin. Alternatively, 1-2 drops of Marula Carrier Oil can be added to a regular cleanser to enhance its potency and increase the skin’s absorption of moisture.

Marula Carrier Oil can be applied to the face, neck, and décolletage as a makeup primer 10-15 minutes before makeup application. This regimen will boost skin’s collagen production to replenish suppleness and promote the appearance of smooth, firm, soft, blemish-free skin. Marula Oil promotes a silkier, radiant, and more evenly toned complexion with improved clarity and brightness without causing the skin to look greasy or the pores to become congested.

For an oil cleanser that is ideal for acne-prone skin, combine ½ Tsp. Jojoba Carrier Oil into a small mixing bowl or into the palm of the hand, then add in 6 drops of Marula Carrier Oil. This blend of two lightweight oils can be massaged into the face and neck for several minutes to allow it to disintegrate any congestion-causing oils that may be trapped inside the pores. The massaging motion will also enhance circulation. Next, soak a small, clean towel in warm water, wring it out, and lay it flat on the face for a few minutes. When the towel has cooled, use it to gently wipe the oil off. The rest can be washed off with lukewarm water or it can be left on the skin to absorb over time.

For a body oil that is known to firm skin and reduce the appearance of stretch marks as well as cellulite, apply 3-4 drops two to three times per day to areas of skin affected by stretch marks, bumpiness, and discoloration. This is known to contribute moisture that improves skin elasticity, especially for users that are pregnant. It is also believed to help reduce the chances of tearing and scarring.

Used in hair, Marula Carrier Oil conditions, shields against sun damage, and prevents frizz by sealing the cuticles. To easily and naturally smooth down hair, apply 2-6 drops of Marula Oil to the ends of the hair and slowly move upward to work the oil into the rest of the hair and scalp.

A deep-conditioning Marula Oil hair mask can be made by mixing 10 Tbsp. Marula Carrier Oil with 5 Tbsp. Argan Carrier Oil. In a separate small bowl, thoroughly whisk a small amount of a preferred hair conditioner. Next, gently heat the oil blend in the microwave at 30-second intervals until it is warm to the touch, ensuring that it is not so hot as could potentially cause the skin to burn. Combine all the ingredients from the separate bowls and whip them together. After shampooing the hair, apply the blend to the hair, paying special attention to the tips. Cover the hair with a shower cap and let the conditioner soak in for 45-60 minutes, then rinse it out in the shower or the sink. After this, hair can be styled as usual.

Used in medicinal applications, Marula Oil is known to facilitate the healing process with its anti-bacterial properties that prevent infections and promote tissue regeneration. For faster healing, Marula Oil can be applied as a spot treatment to areas of skin affected by scratches, scrapes, cuts, and wounds. It is known to soothe inflammation and to reestablish tissue strength and to restore their ability to function. Used in a massage, Marula Carrier Oil not only relaxes and rejuvenates the body but it also works to enhance the beauty of the skin. It facilitates the expulsion of bodily toxins while soothing aching muscles and regenerating healthier skin in the area of application.



Botanical Name: Sclerocarya birrea

Method of Extraction and Plant Part: Cold pressed from seeds

Country of Origin: South Africa

Believed to:

  • Range in color from Pale Yellow to Golden Yellow
  • Contain stratified semi-solids
  • Exude a slightly oily aroma, depending on the growing season and time of year during which the fruit was harvested (Spring vs. Fall)
  • Be rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids, which greatly enhance skin suppleness, smoothness, and softness
  • Penetrate into the skin rapidly and thoroughly, leaving it feeling velvety and looking polished
  • Be an ideal massage oil, both on its own and in an oil blend
  • Have exceptional oxidative stability, making it an ideal ingredient for use in cosmetic formulas, such as formulas for lotions, body butters, scalp conditioners, hair lotions, leave-in hair treatments, lip treatments, and even eyeshadows.


Marula Carrier Oil is for external use only. It is imperative to consult a medical practitioner before using this oil for therapeutic purposes. Pregnant and nursing women are especially advised not to use Marula Carrier Oil without the medical advice of a physician, as it may have an effect on certain hormone secretions and it is unclear whether these effects are transferable to babies at these stages of development. The oil should always be stored in an area that is inaccessible to children, especially those under the age of 7.

Those with the following health conditions are recommended to be advised by a physician: cancer, heart-related ailments, skin disorders, or hormone-related ailments. Individuals that are taking prescription drugs, undergoing major surgery, or who are at a greater risk of experiencing strokes, heart attacks, or atherosclerosis are also advised to seek medical consultation prior to use.

Prior to using Marula Oil, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by applying a dime-size amount of this oil to a small area of skin that is not sensitive. Marula Carrier Oil must never be used near the eyes, inner nose, and ears, or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin. Potential side effects of Marula Oil include hypotension, irritation of the skin, inflammation, and gastrointestinal problems such as upset stomach, nausea, indigestion, and vomiting.

Those seeking medical care to manage moods, behaviors, or disorders should treat this Carrier Oil as a complementary remedy rather than a replacement for any medicinal treatments or prescriptions. In the event of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the product and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use.


    • Marula Oil is derived from the Sclerocarya birrea botanical, better known as the Marula Tree.
    • The Marula nut was fondly referred to as “The Food of Kings,” and it is from this nut that the revered “Miracle Oil” Marula Carrier Oil continues to be cold pressed.
    • Used cosmetically or topically in general, Marula Oil is known to support skin health, repair damage caused by pollutants, reduce the appearance of maturing skin, calm acne-prone skin, reduce the chances of further blemishes, and prevent skin from losing moisture. It is reputed to enhance elasticity and firmness, facilitate the healing of irritation, inflammation, redness, and chapping, and ultimately revitalize and rejuvenate the complexion.
    • Used in hair, Marula Oil works to protect the scalp against harmful bacteria and inflammation, to balance the scalp’s natural oils, to clean and freshen without leaving it feeling dry or irritated, and to strengthen the strands against damage caused by environmental stressors. Marula Oil is also known to prevent hair from experiencing frizz.
  • Used medicinally, Marula Oil works to diminish the appearance of scars, stretch marks, dryness, and cracking. It helps to eliminate harmful bacteria, prevent the onset of acne breakouts, address flaking, facilitate wound healing, and promote skin regeneration.