Brazilian Natural Medicine

Castor oil: what is it for and how to use it (on skin and hair)

Castor oil is extracted from a medicinal plant known as Mamona, Carrapateiro or Bafureira and is popularly used to treat various health problems such as arthritis, dandruff, constipation and to promote skin and hair hydration.

Its scientific name is Ricinus communis and can be found in some natural products stores, some supermarkets, online stores and compounding pharmacies, and one of its most popular names in the market is Laxol, which costs on average R$25.00. Learn more about Castor Oil (Laxol).

What is it for and benefits

Castor oil has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial and laxative properties. In addition, this oil is rich in linoleic acid, vitamin E, fatty acids and mineral salts, having great power of cleaning and moisturizing the skin and scalp, for example.

Thus, the main benefits of using castor oil are:

  1. skin hydrationensuring a smoother appearance, due to the elimination of free radicals and stimulation of the production of elastin and collagen, delaying the appearance of expression lines;
  2. Scalp hydration and combating hair fall and breakage;
  3. bowel regulationdue to its laxative property, it can be used to treat digestive problems, such as constipation, for example;
  4. Preventing and fighting infections by bacteria or fungi, due to its antimicrobial capacity;
  5. Fight dandruff and lice;
  6. Decreased pain and discomfort caused by arthritis, arthrosis and gout, for example, as it is analgesic and anti-inflammatory;

In addition, castor oil can even be used to relieve itching and rashes on the skin.

Currently, castor oil is mainly used to improve hair health, promote hair growth and keep it hydrated. Although results related to its growth are described, there are no scientific studies that prove this effect. However, improving scalp hydration can contribute to this effect.

Here’s how to use castor oil for skin and hair.

How to use

Castor oil is extracted from the leaves and seeds of the castor bean and is used according to its purpose:

  • To moisturize hair: can be applied directly to the scalp or placed in a mask for hydration;
  • To moisturize the skin: can be applied directly to the skin, gently massaging it;
  • To treat constipation: take 1 tablespoon of castor oil daily.

The oil can still be used to combat gallstones, but it is recommended to consult a gastroenterologist or herbalist for guidance on its use. See other home remedy options for gallstones.

Possible side effects

The indiscriminate use of castor oil can cause intense cramping, nausea, vomiting and dehydration. In addition, if applied in large amounts on the skin or scalp, it can cause irritation or lead to the appearance of spots if the region is exposed to the sun for a long time.

Castor bean leaves and seeds are toxic and should only be used under medical supervision.


The use of castor oil is contraindicated for young children, people with irritable bowel and intestinal obstruction, lactating women and pregnant women, as this oil can induce labor.

Always consult a doctor.

Verified by RJ985 – Brazilian natural medicine

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