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The carrier oil series–castor oil

Ricinus communis/

Palma christi

What is castor oil?

Castor oil comes from the Ricinus communis/Palma christi plant which is a treelet originally from Africa. The entire plant including the seeds are poisonous. It contains an irritant substance that poisons the blood. The oils is safe, because the poison remains in the seed.

Castor oil is cold pressed from castor beans, then heated to clarify. It has a thick viscosity with a greasy feel. The aroma is neutral, and the color is slightly yellow. The shelf life of castor oil is 5 years or less. I had some that looked moldy, and I know it wasn’t 5 years old. The oil had no off aroma or rancid smell, it just looked bad. Out in the trash it went.

What else is in castor oil?

Castor oil contains Ricinoleic (ris-uh-noh-lee-ik) acid 85-95% : linoleic acid 1-5%; Oleic acid: 2-6%, A-linolenic acid and undecylenic acids. The therapeutic properties of ricinoleic acid are: Antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial. Ricinoleic acid is used in pigment, printing ink, and textile finishing. It is sometimes added to Turkey red oil and dry-cleaning soaps.

Castor oil is used in over 80% of lip products.

Uses of castor oil…

I have used castor oil in blends that need to sit on the skin-say to use on a wart for example. The castor oil blend sitting on top of the skin allows the essential oils to do their thing. After all, this oil needs to be on the skin, not absorbed into the skin.

The comedogenic index rates how the oils used will clog pores. Castor oil is a heavy oil that will sit on the skin and not be absorbed quickly. Which is really weird because the comedogenic rating is 1–which means it is low on the list to clog pores. Other articles state that castor oil should be mixed with other carrier oils for use on the skin. Make sure that the carrier you buy is hexane free. The emollient properties make it an excellent carrier for psoriasis and eczema. Castor oil is great for lip gloss products. In a study I read stated that castor oil is used in 81% of lipsticks.

Next blog will focus on yet another carrier in the series, stay tuned.

Happy blending,