Castor - Ricinus communis L. is also known as Castor Bean, Castor-Oil Plant, Palma Christi, and Gourd.
Ricinus is the Latin name for "a tick". Because its seeds resemble the bodies of ticks, Carl Linnaeus, who formalized the modern system for naming organisms, used this feature as a basis for the genus name of the plant. Communis is Latin for common or general. L. is for Carl Linnaeus.
Castor – A biblical plant
And the LORD God prepared a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be shade for his head to save him from his discomfort. So, Jonah was very grateful for the plant. But as morning dawned the next day God prepared a worm, and it so damaged the plant that it withered.
Throughout the middle ages the plant was called Palma Christi. Because the large leaf of this tall plant is shaped like the palm of a hand.
Castor oil is a multi-purpose vegetable oil that people have used for thousands of years. Castor seeds have been found in ancient Egyptian tombs. The Egyptians used the oil to anoint their bodies and as a a slow-burning fuel for their lamps. Cleopatra is reputed to have used it to brighten the whites of her eyes.
Castor oil is produced by pressing ripe seeds (called beans) that have had their outer covering, the seed hull, removed. About 50% of the weight of the seed is oil. The hull is removed for good reason; it contains a deadly poison called ricin.
Castor oil has long been used on the skin to prevent dryness. The high percentage of ricinoleic acid in castor oil and its derivatives, inhibit viral, bacterial, and fungal microbes.
So, why this oil?
Castor Oil is a Natural Moisturizer - It is rich in ricinoleic acid, a monosaturated fatty acid. These types of fats act as humectants that help to moisturize the skin. Humectants retain moisture by preventing water loss through the outer layer of the skin.
Castor Oil Promotes Wound Healing - Applying castor oil to wounds creates a moist environment that promotes healing and prevents sores from drying out. It stimulates tissue growth so that a barrier can be formed between the wound and the environment, decreasing the risk of infection. It also reduces dryness and the buildup of dead skin cells that can delay wound healing. It may be particularly useful in helping to heal pressure ulcers.
Castor Oil is an Anti-Inflammatory - When castor oil is applied topically, it reduces inflammation and relieves pain. Its pain-reducing and anti-inflammatory qualities can help those with inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.
Castor Oil Reduces Acne - The antibacterial properties of castor oil can help to overcome acne. Its anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties help to soothe the associated inflamed and irritated skin.
Castor Oil Improves Scalp and Hair Health - Dry or damaged hair benefits from an intense moisturizer like castor oil. Its moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties make it ideal for reducing dandruff symptoms and for keeping hair soft and hydrated. Hair breakage can cause thinning and loss of volume. Applying castor oil lubricates the hair shaft, increasing its flexibility and decreasing hair breakage.
Does Whidbey Island Natural (WIN) use Castor Oil? You betcha!
All of these WIN products contain castor oil:
Give them a try. They are sure to please.