Castor Oil is the world’s oldest and most valuable herbal remedy. Used by practitioners for thousands of years to improve the health of ancient civilizations, the thick, golden oil is prized for its healing properties. But does it really work?
We put it to the test, took some pictures along the way, and tracked the results…
What is Castor Oil?
Thick, golden and syrup-like, castor oil is produced by cold-pressing the seeds of castor bean plants, which can grow to the size of small trees. It is one of the oldest cultivated crops in human history.
In fact, castor seeds have been discovered in ancient Egyptian tombs dating back to 4000 BC. The Egyptians were early pioneers of the oil, utilising it for its most well-known use – to nourish and strengthen hair. According to Ebers Papyrus, an Egyptian medical text from 1500 BC, they also used it to protect eyes from irritation. Cleopatra herself is reputed to have used it to brighten the whites of her eyes. So there you have it, Cleopatra’s seal of approval!
Not only the Egyptians but throughout history, many cultures have used castor oil to treat a wide range of ailments. These include:
To increase hair growth
Moisturise and brighten the skin
But can castor oil really grow hair?
Across the ages, one of the most enduring claims of castor oil has been its ability to stimulate hair growth. I know it worked for me during my own hair loss journey. That was before Earth To You, when I was struggling with MS and depression and trying desperately to find a solution to my increasing hair loss and other health problems. When I came across the castor oil it was such a miracle that it began my journey into the world of natural oils. If I’d known then that I would find a solution to my hair loss, quit my day job and start a business – I would definitely have recorded the whole journey!
Having missed the opportunity to document my own transformation, I recently asked my sister if she would put Earth To You’s Organic Castor Oil to the test and record the process. She’d always had very little eyebrow hair due to overplucking when young. Remember the 2000s? Pencil thin eyebrows? Gwen Stefani has a lot to answer for! I remember my sister going at her brows with a tweezer and mirror, while I watched bushy-browed in the background. Eventually, she didn’t have much left at all.
This is her in 2010:
When I suggested she try our castor oil to restore her sparse brows, she didn’t take too much convincing, knowing how effective it proved in healing scars. In August 2019 she underwent surgery, and as the responsible big sister, I made her use the oil, alongside our Organic Jojoba Oil. Today her scars are barely visible, and she is still using the oils every day to nourish her skin.
Now we turned our attention to her brows.
These are the before and after pictures of her brows after just one month of applying castor oil every night before bed:
So where did all the hair come from?
She already had full brow hair growing upwards, so the hair follicles were there but dormant. The castor oil gave them a little nourishing nudge and voila! If she’d had no hair follicles, maybe her results would be less visible or unsuccessful. I’m not sure. But if you are in the same situation as her, I suggest you test out the benefits of castor oil for yourself.
Is there research to support using castor oil for hair growth?
It is thought that ricinoleic acid – a fatty acid that makes up almost 90% of castor oil and has been found to fight inflammation – contributes to the oil’s ability to enhance the health of hair follicles and promote their growth. There are a number of scientific studies that support this:
In this study researchers found that men who have lost their hair as a result of male pattern baldness have high amounts of the protein prostaglandin D2 (PGD2)
In another study, researchers found that ricinoleic acid may inhibit PGD2, helping the participants of the study grow their hair back
So there is hope even with the extremes of baldness.
Our castor oil is organic, free from hexane and other additives and preservatives, but a patch test won’t hurt! Apply a tiny bit and leave for 24 hours before you fully commit.
For eyebrows, the oil is best applied at night before bed so it can really soak in. Make sure your brows are clean and then apply a small amount with a cotton bud or clean mascara wand (we supply these with our castor oil). Gently massage the oil into the eyebrows. Wash off in the morning.
For head hair, you can mix Organic Castor Oil with some of our Organic Argan Oil for easier application (and added shine benefits!). Dampen your hair a little if you wish and then massage through the oil mixture for 3-5 minutes, focusing on the roots and scalp. Tease the oil through the rest of your hair and then cover with a shower cap, towel or both. Leave in for 30 minutes to 3 hours, or even overnight, before washing out. We’ve written a blog post about it here.
Good luck! and if you try it, let us know what results you have!
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