Is Castor Oil Good for Constipation?




What can you take to help with constipation? Find out why we don’t recommend using Castor Oil for Constipation in this detailed review!

Constipation is an uncomfortable experience and it often occurs when we don’t take a balanced diet with enough fiber and water. And when it comes to curing the condition, many people prefer to take laxatives over natural remedies to obtain instant results. One such common laxative people prefer to ingest is castor oil.

But,

Is this really a safe practice and can it help?

You’ll want to know these answers before you try castor oil for constipation.


In this article:

  • How does castor oil work as a laxative?
  • Should you use castor oil for constipation?
  • What are the other potential side effects?

How Does Castor Oil Work as a Laxative?

There has to be a reason why so many people recommend taking castor oil for constipation symptoms. This oil is highly effective at generating a few bowel movements due to its high content of ricinoleic acid.

While this component can work wonders on your skin and hair, it can wreak havoc in your digestive tract.

Castor Oil for Constipation | Castor Oil Guide

This acid can change the actual mucus lining of your intestines, which is what leads to the diarrhea you’ll inevitably experience. Individual cells of the intestinal wall can bind to the acid which causes them to contract and push out their contents.

It works much the same way as other stimulant laxatives will work, with extremely quick turnaround time.

Should You Use Castor Oil for Constipation?

While it might be effective in the short-term but taking castor oil for constipation can be extremely dangerous if you ingest it. We never recommend swallowing castor oil in any quantity, regardless of what symptoms you might be experiencing.

The primary ingredient that makes castor oil highly effective can also be extremely toxic if handled incorrectly. Cheap castor oils or those that are prepared incorrectly can have traces of ricin that can be fatal to humans when consumed.

Even with high-quality oils, you could be taking a major risk if you choose to swallow it.

Castor Oil for Constipation | Castor Oil Guide

The immediate symptoms won’t show up for roughly two to six hours. It leads to extreme issues with the liver and kidney that can result in death if they aren’t treated quickly. While this condition might be rare, it isn’t worth the risk when you could consume a much safer laxative.

What are Other Potential Side Effects?

Apart from the possibility of ricin poisoning, you could experience other minor side effects that can make you feel extremely uncomfortable. Using castor oil for constipation can come with a few other unpleasant side effects, including:

  • Stomach pains and cramps
  • General weakness in your limbs
  • Vomiting
  • Redness and itching
  • Racing heart

Keep in mind that using castor oil for constipation will also lead to an electrolyte imbalance. You will need to drink more water in order to stay appropriately hydrated with any laxative consumption.

Final Thoughts

We would never recommend ingesting castor oil for any reason, including using it for treating constipation. Consuming it can be harmful to your digestive system and may cause some serious illnesses.

So if you’re struggling with constipation, we highly suggest you take proper medication and consult a doctor in case of an emergency.




Dr Helen Smith
Dr. Helen Smith provides food and nutrition consultation and treatment for obese as well as health-conscious patients. She holds B.S in psychology and completed her M.S in nutrition sciences from California State University. She has over five years of experience in advising and helping patients with the right nutrition and diet. Her mission is to make nutrition information accessible to everyone and help people follow a healthy lifestyle.

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Our articles are written and reviewed by medical experts who have extensive experience in nutrition, health, and essential oils.

Every information we share is research-backed, including the claims and statistics. The numbers in the parentheses (1,2 and 3) represent the scientific references so that you can study the topic in brief.