Castor Oil + why you should use it
Some refer to castor oil as "the oil that heals", touted for its positive effect on constipation and reducing arthritis, among others. The castor oil seed is found throughout India and has been used for millenia in awe of its natural healing abilities. Its leaves were said to resemble the hands of christ as it has been historically referred to as "Palma Christe". Castor oil comes from the castor seed and is a triglyceride (three fatty acid molecules joined to a glycerol molecule). Nowadays, castor oil is used for medicinal and non-medicinal uses throughout the world including: flavoring, beauty products, mold inhibitor, manufacturing of rubbers, plastics, and other synthetic products.
Although consuming the castor oil seeds, in excessive quantities, can be deadly, the oil is nothing but beneficial and hosts a number of amazing health benefits including help boost the immune system, regulate bowel movements, acne, migraines and headaches, cancerous tumors, cerebral palsy, AIDS, overall detoxification, and deliver beauty-boosting nutrients to the skin, nails, and hair.
The effect that castor oil has on the immune system is actually quite astounding and can be obtained by just applying the oil topically. Lymphocytes are disease fighting cells found throughout your immune system and are responsible for drawing out impurities from your body and into your blood stream for elimination. Basically, without proper lymphatic drainage, we would be walking toxic messes! Unfortunately, lymphatic congestion is critically linked to inflammation and disease and can occur when the body is overloaded with too many toxins at once (unprepared juice cleanses, drinking alcohol, pharmaceutical drugs, processed foods, overcooked foods, etc.) When castor oil is applied topically, your overall lymphocyte cell count increases, thus generating more efficient detoxification and overall wellness.
Clearly castor oil hosts a myriad of potential healing properties awaiting more consistent research and has survived years of scrutiny leaving me only more convinced of its important use in my all natural medicine cabinet. I first read about castor oil a few years ago when I was beginning to dabble into Ayurvedic medicine as a means to help reset my menstrual cycle. I began a somewhat regular Abhyanga (self-massage) practice, enjoying the intimate, circulation stimulating entirety of the experience.
What did I notice? My digestion improved, I felt less bloated the morning after, my solar plexus area felt toned and strong, the skin-to-skin personal time served as a meditation with myself, my relationship with myself grew stronger even for 10 minutes, my belly was super silky and moisturized, I experienced an overall balanced feeling, and i even want to say I developed a natural glow from it all! My menstrual cycle indeed returned, who's to say it was entirely due to Abhyanga, but every bit of effort through natural healing helped.
After studying with an Ayurvedic doctor in Nicaragua last year, the importance of self-massage (Abhyanga) has ingrained in my mind even more and I make a point to take Abhyanga at-least twice a week to continue the overall detoxification process and help stimulate cleansing of my digestive tract where most of the not-so-friendly toxins get clogged up! Full body massage is better but just focusing on your lower abdomen is a good place to start until you get comfortable with a lil' self rub down session! Its best to massage at night, once the day is coming to an end.
Any time you spend with yourself is so sacred and oils is a great way to up the sensual scale. Don't forget about yourself, we all need some self-love! Self-care is paramount.
Try it for yourself:
- Mix 1:3 ratio of castor oil to coconut oil
- Drop a couple drops of your favorite essential oil into the mix (I love lavender + patchouli)
- Laying down flat on your bed, begin massaging in clockwise circles from the top of your chest, working your way down your arms all the way to your hands, then to your core, taking TIME on your solar plexus + abdomen area, all the way down to the bottoms of your feet.
- You should take about 10 minutes Abhyanga, laying flat the entire time.
- Once youre finished with your whole body, I like to lay there for a few minutes after, letting all the healing oils soak into my skin.
- Wash off with a damp washcloth or let it soak in overnight, just keep your hair up so it doesn't get all oily come the morning!