Castor oil has been used for constipation for 4,000 years. Castor oil has also been used for hundreds of years for different types of skin tumors.
There is a type of protein found in the oil from castor seeds. This protein is called ricin, and it is highly toxic. If you ingest as little as two or three grams of ricin, it can kill you very quickly. Needless to say, you don’t want to chew on castor oil seeds.
The castor oil that is used for constipation has been extracted from the seeds and then heated. The heat destroys the toxic protein, allowing castor oil to be used internally.
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If you’re using castor oil to manage constipation, you only need a very small amount in the range of 20 milliliters. Even if you try a quarter of a teaspoon, that could be enough for some people to produce a nice bowel motion. Castor oil is best taken before bed. Unlike mineral oil, which is a by-product of crude oil refining, castor oil is a natural product.
The castor oil plant has other uses as well. In certain parts of Africa, they still use the leaves of the castor oil plant to induce lactation. In Victoria times, castor oil was used as a purgative and a cleansing ritual for women before giving birth. It was given to women who were overdue as castor oil causes the uterus to contract.
Some people find castor oil packs quite effective when they have a problem with their digestive system. If you’ve got any kind of pain in the tummy or liver region, get a piece of cheesecloth. Take about 200 milliliters (10 ounces) of castor oil and warm it up in a pan. Put the cheesecloth in the warm oil and wring it out. Now, apply the cheesecloth to the liver or the bowel. Leave the pack on for at least an hour. Castor oil stains bedding and clothing, so you might want to put some saran wrap or an old towel around the pack. That castor oil works wonders on those kinds of problems. Don’t ask me what it does, but the feedback I get from many people who apply castor oil packs is that it’s fantastic.