Old-Time Healers Recommend 18 Practical Ways For Using Castor Oil

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Many of you are probably familiar with castor oil as the go-to concoction that old-time healers recommend for a wide range of ailments—from constipation to colds and fever, and even as treatment against parasitical worms.1 Castor oil is claimed to be one of the best remedies there is.

I have previously written about the mysteries—and potential health uses—of castor oil, and despite having minimal research backing up its potential medicinal effects, I do believe that there are notable benefits from using this versatile oil.

It’s one of the most well-known natural remedies with a long enough history to at least warrant greater scientific exploration—nevertheless, a little careful at-home experimentation before using it wouldn’t hurt.

uses for castor oil

18 Practical Uses For Castor Oil At Home

If you have a bottle of castor oil ready at home, then good for you; if not, then you should consider buying a high-quality brand right away. You will surely be impressed by this versatile oil’s many uses.


1. Removes Blemishes

Castor oil is rich in fatty acids and stimulates the growth of healthy skin tissue. It is perfect for fading out blemishes, pigmentation, stretch marks and scars. It works slowly but it works. Apply the oil on blemishes every night until you achieve the desired results.

2. Banishes Warts And Skin Tags

Say goodbye to unsightly and embarrassing skin growths with the help of castor oil.

Because of its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, it may have some beneficial effects on warts and skin tags. Apply the oil on the growth every day for a few weeks until you gradually see them disappear. This doesn’t work on moles so be sure you know what you are applying them on!

One study published in the Journal of International Toxicology also found that castor oil may have positive effects against occupational dermatitis.11

3. Promotes Healthy Scalp And Hair Growth

Scalp infection can cause hair problems such as thinning, bald patches, dandruff and itchiness.

Massaging warm castor oil on your scalp (and even your eyebrows) can rid the scalp of micro-organisms that are causing scalmp problem, stimulate the follicles and result in healthy hair growth. Do this every night, and you might see improvement in as little as two weeks. Castor oil may work on areas that have been affected by alopecia as well.

4. Gives Your Hair A Richer Color

If your hair is starting to show first signs of graying, apply castor oil to prevent your hair from losing more pigment.

Castor oil locks in the moisture in your hair, giving it a richer and young appearance. To get this effect, warm a tablespoon of the oil and use your fingertips to coat each strand, running your fingers through your locks to get it on as much hair as possible.

5. Natural Mascara

Melt a tablespoon of beeswax in a double boiler, then add 2 tablespoons of charcoal or cocoa powder (depending on your hair color) and castor oil and mix until you get the desired consistency.

This homemade mascara contains no toxic chemical ingredients, unlike other conventional beauty products out there. Alternately, you can apply castor oil on your lid to have your eyelashes grow fuller and thicker.


6. Removes Cataract

Use castor oil as an eyedrop. Put a drop in each eye to help dissolve cataracts. It may be sticky and makes the eyes blurry so use it only at night before going to sleep. During the day, add a drop of acv in 2-3 drops of distilled water and put into eyes like eyedrops. You will soon see an improvement with your sight!

7. Treats Inflamed Skin

Castor oil is excellent for treating skin inflammation that is caused by sunburns, bites, dry cracked skin or acne. Dip a cotton ball in castor oil, apply directly to the affected skin area and leave it on for an hour. Then wash it off. Repeat two or three times a day till skin is healed.

8. Moisturizes Skin And Relieves Itchiness

The fatty acids in castor oil can nourish and moisturize dry skin and skin itchiness. Due to its viscous nature, it stays put and easily penetrates into your skin tissue.

Remember that a little goes a long way—simply rub a teaspoonful between your palms and apply all over your skin.

9. Healthy Lips

Castor oil does wonders for dry and cracked lips. It is added to lip balm that you buy over the counter. Simply rub a little of this oil on your lips to heal cracks and prevent further chapping.

10. Relieves Muscle and Joint Pain

Rub it on your muscles after an intense workout to promote blood circulation and relieve soreness. Mix it with peppermint oil or chamomile oil for extra healing and soothing effect.

The ricinoleic acid in castor oil has a decongestant effect on the lymphatic system, which is responsible for collecting wastes from your tissues and carrying it to your bloodstream to be eliminated.

If the lymphatic system is not working properly, such as in people with arthritis, then joint pain occurs. Massaging castor oil on the joints can help ease the congestion and jumpstart your lymphatic system.

A 2009 study published in Phytotherapy Research supports this, and reveals that castor oil helps relieve pain among patients with knee osteoarthritis.10

11. Treats Back Pain

Castor oil is one of the best natural remedies for treating back pains. You can have someone massage castor oil on your pain area to get rid of any pain and stiffness.

Another way is by applying castor oil on the pain area and cover the area with a clean, soft cloth. Then place a hot water pack on top to help the oil permeating through the skin into the inflamed tissues. Leave till hot water pack turns cold. Repeat the process daily till pain goes away.


12. Helps Treat Fungal Diseases

Castor oil is as effective as anti-fungal drugs in treating common infections like ringworm, jock itch (tinea cruris) and athlete’s foot.

Simply warm the oil, apply onto the affected area before bedtime and leave it on overnight. Repeat daily for a week or until the infection has disappeared completely.

13. Treats Your Pets’ Wounds

If you see minor cuts or wounds on your dog’s or cat’s skin, dab a bit of castor oil to help facilitate healing, due to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects. If your pet licks the wound (as most pets do), the oil is not harmful but could lead to loose stools.

14. Safe And Natural Laxative

A 2010 study highlighted how castor oil packs helped to effectively reduce constipation among the elderly.8 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) actually deems this oil “generally regarded as safe and effective” for use as a stimulant laxative.9

Oral ingestion of castor oil can “purge” the digestive tract within two to five hours. However, remember to take it in the appropriate dose. Adults can take 1 to 2 tablespoons, while children 2 to 12 years old should be given only 1 to 2 teaspoons.

Infants below 2 years old are not advised to take more than a teaspoon at a time. When giving it to children, mix it in freshly squeezed juice so it becomes more palatable.

15. Treats Hemorrhoids

Castor oil is great for shrinking hemorrhoids that are outside the body. Soak a cotton ball in castor oil and apply it on the hemorrhoids. Leave the cotton ball on for about 15 mintures. Wear a pad if you need to move around. Apply multiple times a day if needed.

16. Assisting A Good Night’s Sleep

Dabbing a small amount of castor oil on your eyelids can help you fall asleep much easier. Castor oil may promote a deeper and longer sleep. You will wake up refreshed in the morning.

17. Stops Colic In Infants

Colic sometimes occurs during the first few months of a baby’s life and can lead to long periods of excessive crying. Its exact cause is still unknown, although gas is believed to be a major culprit. To use castor oil for colic, rub some of the oil between your two palms to warm it up, then gently place your warmed palm on your child’s abdomen.


18All-Around Lubricant

If you have items around the home that need lubrication, such as squeaky hinges, scissors or meat grinders, castor oil works just great. Due to its consistent viscosity, castor oil does not freeze, so it can be ideal for either hot or very cold temperatures.

How To Use Castor Oil

When used topically, it’s not necessary to blend castor oil with a carrier oil; just make sure to test the oil on a small part of your skin to check for any allergy or skin reaction.

Aside from rubbing or massaging it directly on your skin, you can make a castor oil pack, which I believe is the coup de grace of this holistic therapy. The late psychic healer Edgar Cayce was the first to promote the use of castor oil packs for healing. It was then later researched by Dr. William McGarey of Phoenix, Arizona.

McGarey, a primary care physician and follower of Cayce’s teachings, said that if used properly, castor oil packs can greatly benefit your immune system. He shares his findings in his book, “The Oil That Heals: A Physician’s Successes With Castor Oil Treatments.”

Caution! Castor Oil Can Stimulate Labor

Another popular traditional use for castor oil is as a labor stimulant. Researchers found in mice studies that ricinoleic acid causes the intestines and uterus to contract, which can then stimulate labor.

A study found that among 100 pregnant women tested, more than half of the group who were given castor oil went into labor in a period of 24 hours.12 However, I don’t advise using it in this way due to its potentially harmful side effects.

One 2001 study reported that all pregnant women who took castor oil experienced nausea afterwards.13 Another study also warned that the castor oil-induced contractions may lead to the passage of meconium (a baby’s first stool) while still inside the womb — putting him at risk of meconium aspiration that may result in neonatal respiratory distress. According to the study authors:14

“Most side effects caused by taking castor oil are fatigue, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Also, castor oil affected newborn’s APGOR score at the first minute … It is very important that women get the appropriate dosage from midwife or obstetrician before trying any castor oil induction.”

Castor Seeds Contain A Deadly Ingredient

Despite its potentially healing properties, you should know that the castor plant also contains a potent poison called ricin. Found in raw castor beans and the “mash” that’s left behind after castor oil has been processed, ricin, through oral, nasal or intravenous transfusion, prevents protein synthesis and kills your cells.

Ricin is so potent that ingesting or inhaling just 1 milligram may be fatal,15 just as eating four to eight castor seeds can lead to death.16

However, you don’t need to worry about ricin poisoning from castor oil, as it is extracted from the beans during the manufacturing process. The International Journal of Toxicology’s Final Report on Castor Oil18 confirms this, saying that ricin does not “partition” into the castor oil, which is why castor oil has been safely added to cosmetic products without any effects.

Keep An Eye Out For Potential Side Effects

As with any herbal oil, I recommend that you use castor oil with care, as it can have potentially negative side effects with inappropriate use. Those with sensitive skin may experience allergic reactions19 if they use this oil topically, which is why I advise doing a skin patch test prior to applying it copiously on large skin areas.

If taken internally, the ricinoleic acid in it works as an irritant to the intestinal lining, which is responsible for alleviating constipation. Nevertheless, it may also lead to gastrointestinal upset and discomfort, as well as dizziness and nausea.

If you suffer from any digestive problems like irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers, cramps, diverticulitis, colitis or hemorrhoids, I advise you to avoid using this oil internally. Those who have recently undergone surgery should also refrain from using castor oil internally.

Lastly, make sure that you purchase organic castor oil only from a reputable source. Much of commercial castor oil sold in stores today comes from castor seeds that were likely heavily sprayed with pesticides or processed with solvents and other chemical pollutants, which damage its beneficial components and may even contaminate the oil.



Some of the links I post on this site are affiliate links. If you go through them to make a purchase, I will earn a small commission (at no additional cost to you). However, note that I’m recommending these products because of their quality and that I have good experience using them, not because of the commission to be made.

About Sara Ding

Sara Ding is the founder of Juicing-for-Health.com. She is a certified Wellness Health Coach, Nutritional Consultant and a Detox Specialist. She helps busy men and women identify their health issues at the root cause, in order to eliminate the problems for optimum physical/mental health and wellbeing.

Show comments (4)


  1. Explain your contradiction. In one area in your recos you advise to use it for hemorrhoids and then later on in the article you write not to use it for the aforesaid.

    1. Hi Lois, thank you for pointing that out. My apologies for not being clear. The latter part of advice was that you should not use castor oil INTERNALLY, if you have those digestive and hemorrhoids issues. Hope it clears the misunderstanding.

  2. Hi Sara. I was reading about the benefits of castor oil for eye care. I suffer from dry eyes, early stage of cataract and glaucoma. Is it still advisable to use castor oil drops in my eyes as I have my glaucoma drops to use as well in the night before bedtime. I will truly appreciate your answer.

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