Ricinus communis, the castorbeanor castor-oil-plant, is a species of perennial flowering plant in the spurge family, Euphorbiaceae. It is the sole species in the monotypic genus, Ricinus, and subtribe, Ricininae. The evolution of castor and its relation to other species are currently being studied using modern genetic tools. It reproduces with a mixed pollination system which favors selfing by geitonogamy but at the same time can be an out-crosser by anemophily (wind pollination) or entomophily (insect pollination).
Its seed is the castor bean, which, despite its name, is not a true bean. Castor is indigenous to the southeastern Mediterranean Basin, Eastern Africa, and India, but is widespread throughout tropical regions (and widely grown elsewhere as an ornamental plant).
Castor seed is the source of castor oil, which has a wide variety of uses. The seeds contain between 40% and 60% oil that is rich in triglycerides, mainly ricinolein. The seed also contains ricin, a water-soluble toxin, which is also present in lower concentrations throughout the plant.
Castor oil is a vegetable oil obtained by pressing the seeds of the castor oil plant (Ricinus communis). The common name “castor oil”, from which the plant gets its name, probably comes from its use as a replacement for castoreum, a perfume base made from the dried perineal glands of the beaver (castor in Latin).
Castor oil is a colorless to very pale yellow liquid with a distinct taste and odor once first ingested. Its boiling point is 313 °C (595 °F) and its density is 961 kg/m3. It is a triglyceride in which approximately 90 percent of fatty acid chains are ricinoleates. Oleate and linoleates are the other significant components.
Castor oil and its derivatives are used in the manufacturing of soaps, lubricants, hydraulic and brake fluids, paints, dyes, coatings, inks, cold resistant plastics, waxes and polishes, nylon, pharmaceuticals and perfumes.
Castor Oil Extraction
- Castor oil is a vegetable oil obtained by pressing the seeds of the castor oil plant.
- Castor oil can be extracted from castor beans.
- Solvent extraction, or a combination of pressing and extraction.
Controls Hair Fall
The ricinoleic acid present in castor oil improves blood circulation to your scalp. This, in turn, improves follicle and scalp health and reduces hair fall. It strengthens the roots of your hair by nourishing your scalp and providing protection against microbes.
- 1-2 tablespoons castor oil
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 5-6 hibiscus petals
- Mix equal proportions of the two oils in a small cup.
- Add hibiscus petals.
- Heat the oil on a medium flame for 10 seconds and apply it to your hair.
- Massage your scalp gently for 10-15 minutes.
- Wrap your head with a steamed towel to lock in the moisture.
- Leave it on for an hour, and then wash it off with lukewarm water and shampoo.
- Repeat this process weekly for best results.
- Note: You can also use a blend of castor, olive, and lavender oil.
Encourages Hair Regrowth
90% of castor oil’s nutritional content is made up of ricinoleic acid .This, combined with the omega-6 and 9 fatty acids, penetrates the hair shafts and roots and nourishes it, restoring its optimum health and boosting hair growth
Castor oil penetrates the outer layer of the hair shaft. The added regrowth and reduced hair fall make your hair thicker and stronger
- 2 tablespoons castor oil
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (liquid)
- Mix castor oil and coconut oil in a bowl and apply the mix gently to your dry hair.
- Massage your scalp well for at least five minutes.
- Spread the oil mix thoroughly into your hair and put on a shower cap.
- Keep the hair mask on for at least two hours before washing it off by using the aforementioned technique. Leaving it on overnight is also a good option.
- Follow this treatment twice a week for two to three months to regain hair at a faster pace.
Protects Hair from Damage
The fatty acids present in castor oil form a protective layer on your hair and protect it from sun damage and loss of color. It replenishes the natural oils and protects your scalp from the damage caused by harsh chemicals present in dyes and hair products.
- 100 ml castor oil
- 2-3 drops peppermint oil
- Add two to three drops of peppermint oil to castor oil and shake well.
- Center part your hair and apply the mix directly onto your scalp.
- Repeat this process till your whole head is covered.
- Let the mask stay on for at least two hours before washing it off.
- You can use this blend twice a week for a couple of months to witness faster results.
Treatment for Hair Regrowth
Castor oil is an amazing ingredient to treat hair loss and to boost hair growth. But, its dense structure and distinctive smell might not appeal to some. In this case, you can combine castor oil with other beneficial oils to create a hair oil solution that is more to your liking.
The following potion is a combination of four oils – coconut, sweet almond, sesame, and castor. While you can add or remove oils depending on availability and preference, there is nothing like using all four of these together.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons sweet almond oil
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon castor oil
- Mix the four oils and massage the mixture into your scalp and from the roots to the tips of your hair. You could warm the oil a little for quicker penetration.
- Keep it on for a minimum of 60 minutes. Optionally, you could leave it in overnight for better results.
- Shampoo your hair to wash it off.
- This oil is perfect to induce hair growth. You can make it in large quantities and store it by adding a capsule of vitamin E oil to it to increase its shelf life.
A Natural Conditioner
The oil penetrates the outer layer of the hair and fills in any damaged spots of keratin. This process, by itself, smoothies the hair by restoring the hair cuticles. It also makes the shafts less prone to loss of moisture.
Castor oil can help you achieve richer and darker hair naturally. The humectant effect of castor oil enables your hair to retain the required moisture, increasing its dark shade
Prevents Premature Graying
If your hair has started showing the first signs of graying, applying castor oil can prevent your hair from losing more pigment.
Dandruff is usually caused by an underlying issue such as an oily scalp or itchiness. The antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties of castor oil make it an effective treatment for battling dandruff. Ricinoleic acid is also known to balance the pH of the scalp, making it healthier and an unfavorable environment for dandruff.
Reduces Split Ends
Castor oil fills in the damaged gaps of keratin in the hair shaft. It increases the tensile strength of the hair, making it less prone to splitting and breakage.
Provides Shiny Hair
As explained earlier, castor oil provides your hair with a protective coat along the shaft. This, in turn, reflects more light and makes your hair smoother and shinier.
For All Hair Problems
- 1/2 cup castor oil.
- Take some oil in your palm and work it through your hair from the roots to the tips (the same way you apply your regular oil), and massage well. Castor oil has a thicker density, which makes it difficult to wash it out. Hence, make sure that you do not use too much oil.
- Leave the oil in for a minimum of 15-20 minutes. You could also leave it in overnight.
- Owing to its dense consistency, it can be quite a task to wash off castor oil. You will need to shampoo multiple times to get rid of the oil. But this method works for some – condition your hair with a commercial conditioner 30 minutes before you take a shower. The oil should come off easily.
- Once you wash your hair, towel dry it and avoid using any heat styling tools immediately.
- While your hair might feel moisturized, it will take a while before you see any results.
Note: This treatment works best on slightly damp hair.
When it comes to beauty and skin care, castor oil has many amazing benefits you would never have known of. Check out here the best benefits of castor oil for skin.
- Fades Blemishes
- Prevents Stretch Marks
- Reduces Pigmentation
- Reduces Acne
- Fights Signs of Aging
- Heals Inflamed Skin
- Longer eyelashes
- Thickens eyebrows
- Dry skin remedy
- Sunburn remedy
- Healthy cuticles
- Treats ringworm
- Removes corns
- For dry skin mix 1/4 of castor oil and 3/4 sesame oil.
- For normal skin mix 1/4 of castor oil and 3/4 grape seed oil (or olive oil).
- For oily skin mix 1/4 of castor oil and 3/4 jojoba oil.
- Gently massage your face in the evening with the oil mix, then put slightly warm damp washcloth on your face for about a minute and take away the excess oil with a cotton pad. Your skin will be soft, nourished and hydrated.
- Castor oil also can be used to moisturize the gentle under eye area. Mix castor oil with sweet almond oil in proportion 1:1 and use it as you’re under eye cream.
- Test the oil on your wrist before using it, to make sure that you are not allergic.
- Although castor oil is highly effective, it’s not recommended to use it too often on your face, as it can clog pores and lead to breakouts.
- Pregnant women should avoid using castor oil orally.
- If you want to try and use castor oil.