Is Castor Oil a carrier oil?

castor oil in a bottle and dish

Pressed from the seeds of the Ricinus Communis (castor) plant, Castor Oil is a heavy, viscous, pale yellow oil known to have numerous benefits for the body, hair and skin. It is a triglyceride rich in Vitamin E with 90% fatty acid chains such as ricinoleate, oleate and linolenate.

Before we discuss whether Castor Oil is a carrier oil or not, it is essential to know what a carrier oil is. A vegetable oil that has been derived from the fatty portion of a plant such as the seeds, kernels or the nuts is known as a carrier oil. It is so called because its purpose is to carry essential oils to the skin. Essential oils are generally distilled from the more aromatic sections of a plant such as the bark and leaves. They are too potent to be directly applied onto the skin and need to be diluted with a carrier oil.

From the above, it can be deduced that Castor oil is indeed a carrier oil; however, owing to its consistency it is rarely used as one. It leaves a very sticky residue and can stain clothes. When used in concoctions it generally constitutes about 10% of the recipe.

#1 Castor oil benefits for the body
Alternative medicine suggests castor oil packs for multiple complicates issues such as Psoriasis, Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus and Fibroid Cysts. Furthermore, it is a powerful tool for detoxification and stimulation of the lymphatic system. It also finds use as a laxative and a cleansing agent for the intestines owing to its antibacterial and antifungal properties.

#2 Castor oil benefits for the skin
This oil is immensely moisturizing and highly emollient making it ideal for dry and sensitive skin as well as those suffering from eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis. It is also useful for detoxification and dissolving clogged pores and glands. It is for this reason that it is one of the primary constituents in the Oil Cleansing Method and a suggested cure for acne. Interestingly, although it is highly moisturizing, its strong cleansing action makes it quite drying as well; always mix castor oil with another purely moisturizing carrier oil in a roughly 30-70 ratio. You can adjust this depending on your skin type.

#3 Castor oil benefits for the hair
Castor oil is amazing for the hair. It is known to increase thickness, growth, hydration, vitality, shine and even help with dandruff. Its molecules are small enough to penetrate into the hair shaft and deeply moisturize from within. There are few oils which are as miraculous for the hair as castor oil.

There you have it; a short briefing on the myriad benefits of castor oil. Always buy cold pressed carrier oils. This indicates that the oil has been pressed from the botanical without any added heat, thus, preserving its fragile nutrients. With Castor oil, keep this one thing in mind and the sky’s the limit.

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