The use of castor oil (CO) in rubs and packs provides a remedy with amazing healing properties. Therapeutic castor oil is cold-pressed from the small, thick round seeds of the tropical castor bean plant (Ricinus Communis L., Euphorbiaceae). The oil comprises 60% of the seed and is rich with ricinolein, a glyceride of ricinoleic acid. What’s in a name? – the oil was known to the Greeks as Kiki and to the Romans as “Palma Christi” (the leaves of the castor bean plant were thought to resemble the palm of Christ – indeed, this name beautifully reflects the inherent healing power of this unique oil). Beginning in the 17th century, CO was taken internally for its effect as an “irritant” or “stimulant” to cleanse the digestive tract, however, its ingestion is no longer recommended.
It is Externally Applied – In the early 20th century, Edgar Cayce recommended castor oil packs as an external application over the right side of the abdomen for a variety of conditions. The packs are used successfully to help increase eliminations, stimulate the liver and gallbladder, and to alleviate various kinds of abdominal complaints, headaches, inflammatory conditions, pains, muscle damage, skin eruptions and lesions. Ricin (not ricinoleic acid) is a deadly toxin – Ricin is an alkaloid, protein toxin that is also extracted from the castor bean. Ricin is more poisonous than cobra venom, even in minute quantities about the size of a grain of salt. Ricin gets inside body cells and by preventing them from making needed proteins, causes the cells to die. Ricin is released if castor beans are chewed and swallowed, and is also toxic when inhaled or injected. Ricin can be made from the waste “mash” left over from processing castor beans into oil. A modified form of ricin has been used experimentally in medicine to selectively kill cancer cells. In some reports ricin has possibly been used as a warfare agent in the 1980s in Iraq and more recently by terrorist organizations.
A castor oil pack can also be placed directly on problem areas of the body
Use CO pack until problem is healed:
For skin conditions – simply wrap the affected area in a castor oil soaked cloth each night, or if the area is small enough, use a castor oil soaked Band-Aid. Tip:
For persistent infections and finger and toenails that have discolored and hardened, soak the area for 10 to 20 minutes in Epsom salts prior to applying the castor oil, to speed up the healing process.)
Over the Liver – CO packs are often recommended as part of a liver detoxifying program.
Factors Affecting Hair
Anyone experiencing a ‘bad hair day’ will know how the way our hair looks affect the way we feel about ourselves. Shiny, well-conditioned hair gives the appearance of health and vitality. When we are ill, our hair quickly looks lifeless and dull. Diet, age, hormones, and other factors discussed below will all have an impact on how our hair looks.
Diet: Health of the hair comes from within therefore a poor diet can affect its condition. The diet must have plenty of protein, essential fatty acids, vitamin B complex, and vitamin C to provide sufficient nourishment to the hair follicles.
Minerals such as iron, sulphur, zinc can help the hair become brighter and more lustrous. Vitamin B5 relieves stress in the hair and vitamin A helps alleviate a dry and scaly scalp.
Illness: Prolonged illness and stress can cause both hair loss and greying – caused by poor uptake of essential nutrients by the body ad slowed down cell metabolism.
Tension in the scalp reduces the circulation of oxygen and starves the roots of nutrients needed for hair growth.
Hormonal Influences: Puberty, pregnancy and the menopause will all affect the hair. Hair can become greasy during menstruation, and dry if there is a thyroid problem. Pregnancy may cause a temporary hair loss. The drop in oestrogen during the menopause can cause the hair to become dry, brittle, and coarse.
Over-Processing: Perming and dyeing the hair can alter the hair shaft causing it to become dry and brittle. Over-use of shampoos containing detergents and chemicals can dry out the scalp.
Shock: Severe shock has been known to cause the hair to fallout.
Medication: Certain medications can affect the hair by drying the skin, which in turn blocks the follicles with dead keratinised cells, which block the circulation to the scalp.
Allergies: Sensitivity to certain products used on the hair and scalp causes a reduction of circulation of the blood to the hair. Dandruff may also result from allergies