Ricinus communis Seed Oil; Ricinoleic Acid
The castor oil plant is native to the tropical regions of East Africa but has spread far-and-wide across the globe thanks to human activities. It is an invasive species that requires careful farming.
Is Castor Oil Faithful to Nature?
Castor oil is a natural ingredient with many beneficial uses if used properly. It’s a highly renewable crop, but must be managed carefully to avoid negatively impacting the surrounding ecosystem.
Benefits: Why is Castor Oil Used?
Castor oil can help to inhibit acne-causing bacteria.
Castor oil is rich in ricinoleic acid with anti-inflammatory properties to reduce skin redness.
Castor oil has cleansing abilities that remove dirt and sebum from the skin.
Castor oil’s natural anti-inflammatory properties may help to improve circulation to the scalp and promote hair growth.
Castor oil can be found on store shelves as single ingredient products for hair and scalp and as a health supplement. It also enjoys extensive use in body and beauty items such as lipsticks, foundations, moisturisers, shampoos and soaps.
Castor beans are first mulched and heated to temperatures in excess of 80°C. The castor bean mulch is usually then fed into a screw press which extracts the oil. The crude oil can then be bottled, or refined further.
Castor bean is classified as a Category 2 invasive plant species in South Africa.
Raw castor beans contain a toxic substance called ricin. Technically, ricin is a lectin, a type of plant protein, and when it gets exposed to heat in excess of 80°C it gets ‘deactivated’.
Cold-pressed castor oil has been evaluated for the presence of ricin and the levels present are well below toxicity thresholds.
Castor oil is being explored as a renewable source of energy in the form of biodiesel.
Notice: The information provided here is not intended as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.