Castor Bean
Latin Name: ricinus communis L
Forms Available: oil, vegetable oil

Castor Bean - ricinus communis L - This oil, derived from the castor bean and obtained by cold pressure, is rich in fatty acids and very moisturizing and lubricating to the skin in general. It acts as a humectant, attracting moisture to the skin. Castor oil packs applied with warm flannel are believed effective for pain relief and to “draw out” cysts, boils and warts. Ayurvedic medicine has long used castor oil for lumbago, sciatica and rheumatism. In the Canary Islands the oil is used to prevent sore nipples in nursing mothers and is also rubbed onto their scalps to prevent post natal hair loss. In soapmaking, although castor oil would appear to require less sodium hydroxide, it sometimes requires more due to its high ricinoleic acid content. It’s also a well-known superfatting agent and well suited for shampoo bars and skin-care products. Without other oils, it produces a transparent soft soap. In combination with over vegetable oils, however, it makes a wonderfully emollient, hard bar of soap. From folk medicine: Castor oil fomentations are recommended for ridding the body of hardened mucus in the form of cysts, tumors and polyps. The castor oil is applied by soaking a flannel cloth in the oil and applying it over the liver. A hot water bottle or electric heating pad is applied on top of the pack and left on the area for 30 to 60 minutes. This is repeated daily for three days followed by olive oil massages over the same area for three days. On the seventh day, it is recommended by some that the patient should rest by fasting on nothing but distilled water. Depending on the particular case, this procedure should be repeated for between six weeks to six months to properly cleanse the system.


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