Castor oil seems to be everywhere you turn in fashion magazines and alternative beauty recipes. While we certainly acknowledge its endless possibilities, there’s one question that continues to come up among new enthusiasts: can you take castor oil for internal use?
Many companies promote the use of castor oil as a diuretic, a laxative, or a safe way to induce labor in pregnant women. All of these uses are only possible through ingesting the castor oil orally and allowing it to actually enter the body’s main systems.
We have to first examine the claims that these people are making before we can reach a conclusion how you can use castor oil for internal use.
In this article:
- Why might someone recommend ingesting castor oil?
- How much castor oil is safe to take?
- Why can’t you use castor oil for internal use?
- Castor oil for internal use can be toxic
Why Might Someone Recommend Ingesting Castor Oil?
The primary reason someone may recommend ingesting castor oil is to invoke rapid amounts of weight loss. There are many individuals who believe that it’s healthy to use castor oil for internal use due to its natural laxative properties.
You can purchase laxatives over the counter, so it must be even better to consume this all-natural product, right?
Actually, this is a false statement that can cause some serious damage to your body. While castor oil can be used as a laxative, it generally is NOT recommended. You will feel as if you’re losing weight quickly but only because your body is naturally ridding itself of excess water weight.
In the end, your body is likely to become extremely dehydrated by these excessive trips to the restroom. This dehydration can obviously lead to more intense problems that may require medical attention. Weight loss comes more easily when done the right way with a balanced diet and exercise.
Even if your primary goal isn’t weight loss, you may still be tempted to use castor oil for internal use as a laxative. Patients suffering from constipation related to irritable bowel syndrome may hear this home remedy fairly often. Using a plant-based product that comes from nature seems like a viable alternative to a small pill that can yield the same results. However..
You should still be very cautious with this as it can lead to unpleasant side effects beyond simply spending a few hours in the bathroom.
You may hear some people recommend ingesting castor oil to induce labor.
According to research, this wasn’t actually proven to be effective compared to the most natural method – waiting for the baby to come on its own terms. Simply put, it isn’t worth the potential risk to the mother or the baby for negligible benefits in terms of the ability to induce labor with castor oil.
How Much Castor Oil is Safe to Take?
If you are taking castor oil for internal use, you may be puzzled over just how much you can consume.
When it comes to dosages, no one should ever recommend taking more than a spoonful of castor oil. Taking large gulps or consuming excessive amounts of castor oil can cause major problems for your health.
Unfortunately, even small amounts of castor oil could induce some serious health concerns.
The simplest answer is that it is safest not to ingest any castor oil at all.
There is too much risk involved for us to confidently recommend that you take castor oil for internal use.
Applying castor oil topically in treatments for weight loss, hair growth, and skin rejuvenation is the far safer option for everyone. No matter how much you may love a natural product, that doesn’t mean that it is ultimately safe for you to ingest it. It may seem safe since it is primarily plant-based but there is potential danger lurking under the surface.
Why Can’t You Use Castor Oil for Internal Use?
The reason so many “experts” tout castor oil for internal use is because of its high content of fatty acids. In particular, ricinoleic acid makes this viscous liquid ideal for use as a natural laxative. It can work for these purposes, but the high content of this primary ingredient tends to lead to a host of painful and uncomfortable side effects such as:
- Muscle cramps or weakness
Less common side effects of ingesting castor oil include cognitive changes (including confusion), an irregular heartbeat, dizziness, and decreased urination.
Castor Oil for Internal Use Can Be Toxic
You should also know that the castor oil plant in its most basic form is extremely toxic to humans. Just a few of its bean-like pods can lead to poisoning and death for individuals who touch and ingest them. They contain high amounts of the chemical ricin, which the body cannot handle.
There is also a potential risk that some castor oil will still contain traces of this ingredient. It is extremely rare for this to occur but not outside the realm of possibility. The symptoms of ingesting ricin could take days to appear, and they are extremely severe.
They may present as increased stomach issues and bathroom problems that are common with castor oil consumption. You should be aware that they can quickly escalate to more serious symptoms. These tend to indicate a problem with the pancreas, kidneys, and liver. You may experience:
- Bloody feces or urine
- Excess thirst
If you suspect you may have ricin poisoning, head straight to the emergency room because it can become fatal.
Even when using high-quality castor oil that is organic and hexane-free, there is always a possibility that this could occur. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to taking major risks with your health simply for the sake of using a “natural” product.
Final Thoughts: Castor Oil for Internal Use
While it certainly seems like castor oil for internal use comes recommended for a multitude of reasons, we can’t find any reason to encourage people to ingest it. It could pose a major threat to your health, which doesn’t seem worthwhile in comparison to the relatively minor benefits.