(ricinus communis)


Article by Kaniz F. Shah


Botanical Name: ricinus communis
English Name:  castor oil
Hindi Name:  castor oil
Popular Name(s): castor oil
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: malpighiales
Family: euphorbiaceae (spurge)
Genus: ricinus
Species: r. communis
Parts Used: seed
Habitat: Mediterranean, East Africa, India
Height: 3-4 ft.
Taste:  pungent
Odor: sweet, nutty
Effect / Energy:   
Extraction method: steam distilled from peel & nut
Oil blends with:  


Triglycerides, vitamin E, essential fatty acids, proteins


  • Antibacterial
  • antifungal
  • antimicrobial
  • anti-itch
  • pain relieving

Plant Description:

Castor oil is a vegetable oil obtained by pressing the seeds of the Castor plant (Ricinus communis). 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 ricinoleate. Oleate and linoleates are the other significant components.
Castor oil is commonly used in soaps, lubricants, hydraulic and brake fluids, paints, dyes, coatings, inks, cold resistant plastics, waxes and polishes, nylon, pharmaceuticals and perfumes.

Health Benefits of Castor Oil:


Massage Benefits of Castor Oil:

Castor Oil for Hair & Scalp:

Castor oil is filled with some excellent vital nutrients such as vitamin E minerals and proteins, which are required for healthy hair. It also has antibacterial and antifungal properties.

  • Helps Prevent Hair Loss:

    Hair loss has become a very common problem concerning us today. Ricin oleic acid that is present in castor oil helps to protect your hair and stimulates circulation of nutrient rich blood to your scalp.
  • Helps the hair grow healthy:

    It boosts blood circulation and supplies omega-6 essential fatty acids to the follicles, leading to healthier hair growth. Apply the oil to the hair and scalp. Cover with plastic (for deeper penetration) and leave on overnight. Wash thoroughly the next day.
  • Brittle hair and split ends:

    Castor oil is filled with prevent and reduce split ends and breakage. The oil penetrates deep into your scalp and smoothens rough hair cuticles. Since, castor oil is thick and sticky, it can be diluted into a lighter oil like olive oil or jojoba for easier application.
  • Dry Scalp Treatment:

    The omega-9 fatty acids that are present in castor oil nourish your hair and prevent dry scalp and flakes. Before washing, apply the oil on the affected area and let it stand for few minutes. You will see the difference after a few washes.
  • Rejuvenates the Hair:

    Due to many reasons such as weather, pollution in the environment, chemical treatments, etc. the hair can become dull and lifeless. Castor oil helps regain life into your hair and increase the shine. It coats the hair shaft, and seal moisture in, leaving your hair with shinier, hydrated and healthy.
  • Thick Hair:

    Hair thinning can lead to hair loss. Regular use of castor oil is known to prevent hair damage and helps the hair look thick and beautiful. The essential nutrients and omega 6 and 9 acids enhance the quality of your hair.

Castor Oil for the Skin:

Castor oil is very beneficial when it comes to skin concerns like sunburn, acne, dry skin and stretch marks. It also helps evade infections like warts, boils, athlete’s foot and chronic itching.


Castor oil, when applied to the skin, penetrates deep and stimulates the production of collagen and elastin. This softens and hydrates the skin and make it smoother, thus minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.


Castor oil is rich in Ricin oleic acid, which fights acne-causing bacteria. It effectively penetrates the skin layers, making it an excellent remedy for acne.


The high concentrated fatty acids in castor oil penetrate the skin to reduce dryness and provide ample hydration to the skin. A little goes a long way so use sparingly.

Fade Scars and Stretch Marks:

With regular use, castor oil can help fade scars and stretch marks by penetrating deep within the scar tissue. It also encourages the growth of healthy tissues around the scarred areas.


Castor oil is antimicrobial and works as an excellent disinfectant for cuts, scrapes, minor skin infections and other wounds. Because of its anti-itch and pain-relieving properties, it makes a great first aid treatment. The active compound called undecylenic acid, found in castor oil, helps treat ringworms.


This article is for informational purpose only. Almond or almond oil is not a treatment for any disease or condition. It is generally safe when used on the skin or hair, but to ensure safety, it is best to do an allergy test. Consult your doctor before using for medical purposes.


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