Photo by Pro-Zak.
Castor Oil (Ricinus communis), also known as Palma Christi or the palm of Christ, is derived from the seeds of the Castor plant.
It penetrates deeply into the skin and is able to reach the Stratum Corneum layer of the epidermis making it excellent for all skin disorders and complaints. It is an anti-inflammatory due to its main constituent Ricinoleic acid (89.5%).
Castor oil derivatives are often added to modern pharmaceutical drugs to enhance it or as a carrier for the active ingredients.
The properties of castor oil include laxative (when taken orally), anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, digestive, hepatic, analgesic, antimicrobial, cleansing, stimulates the lymph system, strengthens the immune system, and it balances the autonomic nervous system.
It can be used for constipation, endometriosis, menstrual cramps, acne, burns, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, crohn’s disease, cuts/abrasions, fibroids, breast lumps, bunions, sprains/strains, sciatica, gallbladder and liver problems, ovarian cysts, back pain, sunburn, headaches, muscular and joint aches and pains, inflammation, psoriasis, eczema, rheumatism, warts, ring worm, athlete’s foot, moles and liver spots, arthritis, skin disorders and infections, pain. The list is endless – it probably could be used for any common ailment going – try it out and see what results you get.
Castor Oil can either be massaged directly on the area you wish to treat or using it in a heated compress. Edgar Cayce advocated the use of Castor Oil in a compress to help with various ailments although they were used centuries before this in Eastern European countries. Castor Oil can also be taken internally for constipation as it is a very effective laxative but I do not recommend this method of administration and its use should be discussed with your GP if you wish to use it in this way.
To make a castor oil compress, you will need castor oil, a hot water bottle, a small hand towel, a sealable container, a piece of plastic, water, and baking soda. Although traditionally only castor oil was used in these compresses, essential oils can be added to help with a specific ailment. Fold the towel into three and place in the container and pour the castor oil over it. The container will collect any leftover oil which can be poured back in to the bottle. Ensure that the towel is saturated in oil but it should not be dripping. Place directly on the skin on the area in which it is needed. Cover the towel with the piece of plastic, and then place the hot water bottle on top. Leave the compress in place for about an hour. Remove the compress, and wipe the area with the water and baking soda solution to remove any residue. Once you have finished using the compress, store in the sealable container and keep in the fridge for your next treatment. The compress can be used many times – approximately 30 applications. It is recommended that you use the compress three days in a row and then four days without to help with any of the above. If it is an acute problem, you may only need to apply once leaving the compress in place until the symptoms/pain subsides.