Castor oil is a vegetable oil popular for its multiple medicinal uses.
The oil is obtained from the castor bean, which is technically a seed and not a member of the bean family. Castor oil is generally a very pale yellow liquid with mild odor or taste.
People have been using castor oil as a laxative for many years. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has categorized castor oil as “generally recognized as safe and effective” also known by GRASE.
However, most people know castor oil as a skin product as it penetrates deep into the skin thanks to its low molecular weight.
Castor oil products can significantly improve skin conditions such as burns, sunburns, skin disorders, skin cuts, and abrasions. It also improves acne-healing abilities.
Castor oil is a natural emollient that penetrates the surface layers of the skin making it softer and more beautiful. The effects of externally applied Castor Oil can be enhanced through the use of a piece of wool flannel saturated with the oil and applied to the body, allowing better penetration in a specific area. Dry heat may be applied to enhance results. The application of heat further increases this penetration, allowing the oil to better impart its qualities to the body. Castor oil is also used in some personal care products such as shampoos, lipstick and lip balm.
Castor oil has been part of history too. It was the preferred lubricant for early aviation and was used by engines in the World War 1 aircraft. Castor oil was also used as one of the tools of intimidation by paramilitary groups in the Fascist Italy under the regime of Benito Mussolini.
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