The Benefits of Castor Oil

Castor oil is especially known for its ability to help grow hair. Many women use it occasionally on eyebrows and eyelashes.
The Benefits of Castor Oil
Nelton Ramos

Reviewed and approved by the doctor Nelton Ramos.

Written by Gladys González

Last update: 27 December, 2022

Castor oil is rich in ricinoleic acid (87 to 91%) which gives it the highest and most stable viscosity index among all vegetable oils. The oil comes from the castor bean, a plant cultivated as an oilseed for industrial and ornamental use. It has a number of industrial applications, including the manufacture of soaps, pharmaceuticals, perfumes, tonics, and emulsifiers, and much more.

  • Make-up remover
  • A relaxing massage oil
  • Moisturizer for hair, skin, and nails
  • Repairs split ends and damaged hair in general
  • A stimulant for hair, eyebrows, eyelashes, and nails growth
  • Adjuvant (in case of calluses and corns)
  • Scars and stretch marks reducer
  • Soothing for insect bites

Although this product can provide benefits, its misuse can lead to unpleasant situations. Therefore, consistent and responsible use is advised.

Adverse effects

Castor oil has been used as a household purgative. However, this isn’t a recommended use, as it causes multiple health hazards. In fact, the use of castor oil in the home has generated some controversy in the scientific community.

Castor oil comes from a homonymous seed composed of ricinoleic acids. It was adopted by different cultures as an oral remedy against constipation. However, even though it “helps” this intestinal process, it has significant adverse effects, such as:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Dehydration
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain

It’s important that whatever use you want to make of castor oil, you should first consult with your doctor. Under no circumstances should you resort to the advice of people who don’t belong to the scientific community, as this can put your health at risk (both in the short and long term).

Cosmetic benefits of castor oil

A close-up of an eye.

As mentioned above, one of the most widespread uses of castor oil is as a stimulant for the growth of hair, nails, eyelashes, and eyebrow hair. Moreover, by using it daily for about 15 days, you can already perceive its benefits. This is due to its high content of vitamins and antioxidants.

Eyelashes and eyebrows

To take advantage of castor oil for the growth of your eyebrows and eyelashes, we recommend that you discard the mascara bottle, as you’ll only need the applicator. Then, the first thing you should do is place the brush in boiling water to disinfect it and remove any makeup residue. Then, dry it with a clean towel before dipping it in the castor oil. Finally, apply the oil before going to sleep.

The ideal time to use the oil is undoubtedly during the night just before going to sleep, as this will decrease the chances that the oil can get into your eyes, irritate them, and make them uncomfortable.


Castor oil is thick and difficult to remove if used in excess. Therefore, a teaspoon will be enough for you to spread it from the middle of the hair towards the ends. Leave it on for 30 minutes and then wash your hair as usual. This will help it to be more hydrated and stronger.


This powerful oil also stimulates nail growth. Put the oil on nails and cuticles to moisturize the skin and strengthen the nails.

Castor oil body moisturizer

Lotion on a woman's leg with a heart drawn in it.

As mentioned before, the oil stimulates growth, but it can also help deeply moisturize the skin and hair.

If you want to get rid of dry elbows, knees, and heels, apply a few drops of castor oil and you’ll see how in 15 days, these areas will be much smoother and better looking in general.


Castor oil is a product that can be used for certain issues, such as moisturizing the skin and hair. However, moderation is essential in order to avoid getting it in the eyes, for example, when moisturizing the eyelid area or promoting the growth of eyebrows and eyelashes.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Abin Keen M, Hassan I. Vitamin E in dermatology. Indian Dermatology Online Journal. Julio-Agosto 2016. 7 (4): 311-315.
  • Azadmard-Damirchi, Sodeif & fathi achachlouei, Bahram & Alirezalu, Kazem & Alirezalu, Abolfazl & Hesari, Javad & Emami, Shiva. (2011). Physiological and Medicinal Properties of Castor Oil.
  • Patel, Vinay R et al. “Castor Oil: Properties, Uses, and Optimization of Processing Parameters in Commercial Production.” Lipid insights vol. 9 1-12. 7 Sep. 2016, doi:10.4137/LPI.S40233.
  • Purnamawati S, Indrastuti N, et al. The role of moisturizer in dressing various kinds of dermatitis: a review. Clinical Medicine and Research. Diciembre 2017. 15 (3-4): 75-87.
  • Reis Gavazzoni Mª F. Hair cosmetics: an overview. International Journal of Trichology. Enero-Marzo 2015. 7 (1): 2-15.
  • Vieira C, Evangelista S, et al. Effect of ricinoleic acid in acute and sub chronic experimental models of inflammation. Mediators of Inflammation. 2000. 9 (5): 223-228.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.