Black Castor Oil: Benefits, Uses, and What You Should Know

There's no shortage of black castor oil benefits
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / JoaoBOliver

There are plenty of black castor oil benefits that may relieve a broad variety of problems. We’ll discuss how this natural cure may be utilized in a number of ways, plus we’ll find out how environmentally friendly it is.

What Exactly Is Black Castor Oil?

Castor oil is a lubricant extracted from the seeds of the castor bean (Ricinus communis). The numerous black castor oil benefits have seen it being used in both cosmetics and cuisine. There are some medicinal uses for it as well, and it has even been utilized as a stimulant laxative that aids digestion.  

According to previous research, castor oil has antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory qualities due to its high concentration of ricinoleic acid, which is a type of Omega-9 fatty acid.  

Omega-9 fatty acids can speed up the recovery of inflamed skin and aid the body’s metabolism, which in turn speeds up healing processes. Typically speaking, there are two types of castor oil that are commonly found: 

  • Yellow Castor Oil 
  • Black Castor Oil 

In contrast to ordinary castor oil, which is colorless or light yellow, black castor oil has a rich amber or deep brown hue. 

How Black Castor Oil is Made

The extraction procedure for black castor oil differs slightly from regular castor oil.
The extraction procedure for black castor oil differs slightly from regular castor oil.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / nir_design)

Regular castor oil is cold-pressed. However, the extraction procedure for black castor oil differs, resulting in a completely distinct material with wholly different purposes. 

With black castor oil, the seeds – also referred to as beans – are first roasted and then crushed. After that, the mashed beans are combined with water and cooked over a low flame until tender.  

This process results in black castor oil’s typical strong smell and dark brown color. Black castor oil is sometimes named after the region where it was first cultivated: Jamaican black castor oil. 

Health Benefits of Black Castor Oil: Uses and Effects

This oil has several reported health benefits for your skin, hair, and general health. Here are just a handful of the documented black castor oil benefits that may occur once you use it in your daily life. 

  • The oil may enhance the health and growth of your hair – although a lot of evidence for this is largely anecdotal but worth mentioning. It has been suggested that as a hydrating and anti-inflammatory agent, black castor oil may benefit consumers by reducing the symptoms of dandruff while also keeping hair smooth and supple. Plus it may strengthen hair, making breakage less probable. 
  • It may act as a moisturizer. Black castor oil is sometimes being used to help moisturize and hydrate the skin, although there is very little real evidence to prove these benefits.
  • May help with scars and healing. By promoting new tissue development, reducing dryness, and preventing the formation of dead skin cells, black castor oil can benefit the skin whilst helping wounds heal. 
  • Anti-fungal properties – Black castor oil may help prevent oral fungal infections such as tartar accumulation, gum disease, and root canal difficulties, according to research
  • Digestive aid – Black castor oil can benefit digestion, as it stimulates intestinal muscle activity, which alleviates constipation problems for certain people. It’s therefore used for its laxative properties

Side Effects of Black Castor Oil  

As we said, there are a plethora of black castor oil benefits which typically deem it safe to use. Nevertheless, there are two sides to every coin and some individuals may have negative responses or unpleasant side effects from using it. They are as follows: 

  • Black castor oil can cause minor irritation and discomfort for some skin types.
  • If it gets close to the eyes, discomfort and irritation may follow.
  • Can induce labor in pregnant women, so pregnant women should avoid it. 
  • Can cause diarrhea if consumed in larger amounts. 
  • Can cause allergic reactions, or stomach aches, vomiting, and nausea. 

Tip: Test a small quantity of black castor oil on your inner arm before using it as you would any new topical treatment. Wait 24 hours after application before you check for signs of discomfort. If you are considering using it in your hair but are unsure, always ask your local doctor before applying it. 

Sustainability: Where Does Black Castor Oil Come From?

Buying Fairtrade and organic black castor oil helps rural farmers and their families.
Buying Fairtrade and organic black castor oil helps rural farmers and their families.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / edinaldo_maciel)

In the course of the slave trade, the castor plant, originally from Africa, was transported to the Caribbean. Since then, it’s been produced and harvested by Jamaican farmers using conventional methods. As such, the balance between sustainability and black castor oil is a tricky one. 

Local farmers in rural Jamaica harvest the seeds and extract the oil in order to produce Jamaican black castor oil, therefore buying it helps those farmers and their communities. The environment and natural ecosystems of the land may be conserved if black castor oil is produced using traditional techniques that do not entail intensive farming. 

Look for brands that employ only local farmers and focus on sustainable farming methods. 

Final Thoughts on Black Castor Oil

Be mindful that the long-haul shipping of black castor oil causes harmful carbon emissions.
Be mindful that the long-haul shipping of black castor oil causes harmful carbon emissions.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Sonel)

Another reason why you should be careful about where your black castor oil is coming from is because of the ingredients within each bottle. Certified organic black castor oil is created without harmful chemicals that pollute the environment or your skin and hair.  

On top of that, you’re more likely to experience the many black castor oil benefits as there are no corners cut to save on profits.   

However, as it’s not manufactured in the US, you should be mindful that environmental damage is also caused by the long-haul shipping of black castor oil. Therefore, use this oil mindfully and if you must use it, we recommend that you always buy organic black castor oil that’s created from all-natural ingredients wherever feasible. 

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