Castor oil : benefits and uses in natural cosmetics and health

Of tropical origin, the castor oil is a shrub with imposing leaves and whose seeds offer by cold pressure an excellent vegetable oil to nourish and reinforce the hair, the lashes and the eyebrows. This forgotten vegetable oil also has many interesting cosmetic and therapeutic properties. It is also used in synergy with essential oils for its very good tissue penetration despite its viscosity. Latin name: Ricinus communis L. Part used: seeds

Main properties

  • nourishing, strengthening : this vegetable oil excels at strengthening eyelashes, eyebrows and growing hair that becomes stronger, thicker and shinier. It also strengthens and hardens the nails.
  • anti-inflammatory, analgesic : this vegetable oil calms skin inflammation and soothes pain. It thus relieves many skin conditions.
  • antiviral, antibacterial : this vegetable oil helps fight against the flu, warts, gastroenteritis. It is also active against fungal infections.
  • immunostimulant : this vegetable oil increases the body's defenses against pathogenic germs.
  • digestive, laxative : the vegetable oil of Ricin promotes digestion and intestinal transit and will be useful in cases of constipation, food poisoning. It is also used to purge the body of its toxins.

Characteristics and composition

Cosmetic characteristics
  • Skin type: dry, damaged, mature.
  • Type of hair: hair loss, dull, dry, frizzy, flat, fine.

Organoleptic characteristics
  • Appearance: viscous liquid
  • Color: colorless to light yellow
  • Odor: characteristic.
  • Touch : sticky.

Characteristics for the formulation
  • Comedogenicity index : 1 (=low comedogenicity)
  • Average saponification value: 180
  • Oxidation stability: excellent
  • High temperature stability: excellent
  • INCI name: Ricinus Communis Seed Oil

Fatty acid composition
  • ricinoleic acid : 80 à 92 %
  • arachidic acid (SFA): ≥ 2 %
  • eicosenoic acid (omega 9 MUFA): ≤ 1 %
  • linoleic acid (omega 6 PUFA): 3 à 8 %
  • linolenic acid (omega 3 PUFA) : 0.5 à 2 %
  • oleic acid (omega 9 MUFA) : 2 à 8 %
  • palmitic acid (SFA): 1 à 4 %
  • stearic acid (SFA): 1 à 5 %
  • unsaponifiables : 0.1 à 0.8 %

Physical characteristics
  • Density at 20°C: 0.945 à 0.970
  • Flash point : 230
  • Peroxide index : 10
  • Acid number : 2.000

Botanical characteristics
  • Botanical family: Euphorbiaceae
  • Country of origin: India.
  • Distilled part: seeds
  • Production process : first cold pressing
  • Latin name : Ricinus Communis L.

Precautions for use

Authorized use of the product

Dermal route

Authorized users

Adults and Teens Children under 6 years old Pregnant and nursing women Babies under 3 years old


Preferably stored in a cool place, away from light and heat.

Against brittle nails

Efficiency : ++++

Ricin oil, among its first uses in India, would have been used to take care of the nails, and it is not a coincidence! Its ricinoleic acid and its omegas 6 and 9, allow to nourish the nails in depth: they are thicker and shiny, less brittle and soft, and the cuticles are more flexible and easy to grow back. Even if the Ricin leaves a slightly greasy effect, it will completely strengthen the nails.

  • Application advice: apply 1 to 2 drops of castor oil on each nail, then massage until penetration. Repeat 2 to 3 times a week for best effectiveness.
  • Other suitable plant oils: Cassis, Camellia or Brocoli oils are also known to strengthen nails.

For Lashes (strengthen)

Efficiency : ++++

The action of Ricin on eyelashes and eyebrows results from the same phenomenon as on hair! This oil will strengthen the hair and stimulate growth by providing nutrients and stimulating the bulbs. Thus, it allows to strengthen the lashes and eyebrows, to densify them, and to stimulate the growth to fill the holes.

  • Application advice: in the evening before bedtime, apply castor oil to the eyebrows and lashes with a cotton swab or a clean, dry lash brush. Be careful, do not put it in the eyes.
  • Complementary essential oil(s): it is possible to make a two-phase makeup remover by adding Cornflower, Damask Rose, Green Tea or even Cistus hydrosol to the Ricin.
  • Other suitable vegetable oils: As Ricin is a very viscous oil, to facilitate makeup removal it is recommended to dilute it in a more fluid vegetable oil such as Apricot Kernel, Avocado or Coconut for example (lightly warmed between the fingers).

For the Beard (growth)

Efficiency : ++++

As on the hair, the Ricin will act on two levels on the beard. It will nourish the skin under the beard, too often forgotten and therefore too often neglected, and soften and strengthen the hair by its action on keratin. Castor oil can be used to strengthen and shine beard hair, to stimulate hair growth and fill in uneven beards, or simply to make them denser.

  • Application advice : apply a few drops of oil on the beard by massaging the skin for better penetration, in the evening at bedtime so that the castor oil can act all night. Rinse off the excess oil the next morning. Repeat 3 times a week. To facilitate the application, it is possible to dilute the castor oil in another vegetable oil.
  • Complementary essential oil(s): to stimulate hair growth, Himalayan Nard essential oil can be used.

In case of Constipation

Efficiency : +++

The ricinoleic acid widely present in castor oil gives it laxative virtues. When ingested, this acid irritates the mucous membrane of the intestine, forcing the stomach to produce digestive enzymes (called lipases) in greater quantities. The intestines then start to work harder to accelerate transit thanks to these famous little enzymes. The Ricin thus makes it possible to fight against the constipation but not only! It also has a purgative action allowing it to clean the body of various poisonings. On the other hand, castor oil taken orally can present dangers in high doses, and its action is rather express (4h to 8h). This way of use is thus reserved for the medical prescription, and should not be used by the children of less than 6 years, the pregnant and nursing women, as well as the people having sensitive intestines. The American physician William A. McCarey was interested in the use of castor oil as an ointment. He devoted an entire book to the subject, listing 80 case studies that used ricin oil, particularly for poisoning.

  • Application advice : Orally, for adults only and by agreement of the doctorin, a small tablespoon not to be repeated. By cutaneous way (to be preferred), in hot cataplasm on the abdomen. Warm the oil in a water bath before placing it on a piece of cloth, cotton, soaked compress to be deposited on the abdomen.

For dull hair, hair loss, dry hair, frizzy hair

Effectiveness: ++.

Ricin oil is particularly interesting in hair care for 2 reasons. The first is its exceptional concentration of ricinoleic acid. This fatty acid, which is found nowhere else, gives it a very viscous texture that will coat the hair, nourish it and thus strengthen the hair fiber. This fatty acid also has antifungal and antibacterial properties that help to clean the scalp. And who says healthy scalp, says healthy hair! The second reason is due to the presence of vitamin E in its composition. Vitamin E is a natural antioxidant that will protect hair from external aggressions, repair it and stimulate its growth. It also promotes the microcirculation of the scalp, and thus stimulates the supply of nutrients to the hair bulb.

  • Application advice : make a hair mask on dry and detangled hair by applying the necessary amount. Insist on the ends, and gently massage the scalp. Leave on for at least an hour, or overnight, then shampoo. Very viscous, the oil of Ricin can be diluted in another vegetable oil (according to its type of hair) to 50 % for example.
  • Complementary essential oil(s) : in case of dry, damaged or frizzy hair, True Lavender or Ylang Ylang essential oils can be added to the vegetable oil. Against hair loss, Himalayan Nard, Ginger or Grapefruit will be more effective.
  • Other Suitable Plant Oils: many plant oils can be used to nourish hair: Argan, Avocado, Shea Butter, Coconut or Coconut Butter.

For Immunity

Effectiveness: ++.

Castor oil has interesting therapeutic properties to fight against winter diseases and other microbiological infections. It is antibacterial and antiviral, acts against the flu, warts or gastroenteritis. In addition to that, the castor oil is immunostimulant. According to the American doctor William A. Mc Garey, castor oil improves the functioning of the thymus and other organs of the immune system. He has demonstrated in two separate studies that patients using hot castor oil poultices showed a significant increase in lymphocytes, compared to patients using a placebo.

  • Application advice : make a hot poultice of castor oil, to apply to the belly for at least an hour. Warm the oil in a water bath before placing it on a piece of cloth, cotton, soaked compress to place on the belly.
  • Complementary essential oil(s): to boost immunity, the reference essential oil is Ravintsara.
  • Other suitable plant oils: Cinnamon oil, due to its very particular composition, also helps boost immunity.

For dry skin, damaged skin

Efficiency: +.

Ricin oil is emollient and softening, thanks to its richness in fatty acids. Ricinoleic acid in particular, which is part of the omega-9 fatty acids, will strengthen the skin's natural barrier: the hydrolipic film! Ricin oil also has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, allowing it to calm the discomfort of dry to very dry skin. It also facilitates the repair of the skin, and accelerates the process of cicatrization.

  • Application advice: apply a few drops of Castor oil to dry and damaged areas of the skin. Dilute preferably to 50% in another vegetable oil.
  • Other suitable plant oils: to nourish dry and damaged skin, it is also possible to use Argan, Shea butter, Shea butter or even Sesame oils for example.

Castor oil or Ricin oil?

Castor oil is commonly called by our Anglo-Saxon friends "castor oil". By direct translation, castor oil is often called "castor oil". What does this have to do with the rodent? For the English, nothing, because beaver is said to beaver! The beaver (the rodent this time) is in fact capable of secreting an oily substance, called castoreum, known since antiquity for its virtues. It turns out that the two products, castoreum and castor oil, have similar uses. They are used as lubricants (mainly for engines) and for medicinal purposes. It is due to certain confusions that Ricin has been given the name of castor oil!

Ricin Organic Virgin Vegetable Oil

1159 notes

See the product

Related articles

GUIDE Guide to using castor oil for your hair

GUIDE Castor oil: a natural laxative for constipation

GUIDE How to care for your beard or mustache with castor oil?

GUIDE Castor oil promotes childbirth: fact or fiction?

GUIDE Can castor oil cause blindness?

GUIDE Using castor oil for wrinkles?

GUIDE Is it dangerous to use castor oil?

GUIDE Using castor oil for stretch marks?

GUIDE The benefits of castor oil for eyelashes and eyebrows

GUIDE Is castor oil edible?

GUIDE Castor oil for brown spots

GUIDE Can castor oil cause hair loss?

GUIDE The benefits of castor oil for the face and skin

GUIDE How do you use castor oil to accompany chemo?

GUIDE Is castor oil effective against dark circles?