Castor oil is a natural laxative being used for lessening constipation since the ancient Egyptian era. Deficiency of required fiber and fluid hardens the stool, leading to constipation. Recent researches have shown proper usage of castor oil can put a stop to this problem, ensuring smoother passage of stools.
Is Castor Oil Good for Constipation
A study carried out in Turkey has documented mentionable improvements in reducing the symptoms of constipation in elderly people.
Another study, conducted in Nigeria on chronically constipated kids with Hirschsprung’s disease, showed positive effects of castor oil when consumed for three weeks at a stretch.
How Does it Help with Constipation
Castor oil contains a large amount of the fatty acid, ricinoleic acid, which aids in intestine muscle contraction by binding itself to the muscle’s prostaglandin receptors EP3 and EP4. As a result, the contracted muscles induce digestive activities and set the stool in motion swiftly. Castor oil also acts as a catalyst in retaining fluids in the intestine that in a way helps smooth passing of the stool.
How to Use Castor Oil for Constipation
Consuming the Oil
How much to take: Have one teaspoon of castor oil each morning on an empty stomach. For children, the dosage should be half teaspoon. It usually takes 2-6 hours to work properly.
You can dilute one teaspoon of castor oil to one glass of warm water or milk and drink before going to bed at night.
To mar the bitter taste, refrigerate it for around one hour, then mix along with one glass of fruit juice.
Using Castor Oil Pack
Soak a piece of cloth in castor oil and place on your abdomen for around one hour.
Use cold-pressed refined or Jamaican black castor oil. Continue for seven days for best results, making sure not to exceed the recommended time of application.
Safety and Precaution
Prolonged usage can lead to certain intestinal disorders, chronic constipation, nausea and abdominal cramp.
For Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women
Pregnant women should not use castor oil as it can lead to untimely uterine contraction.
It is believed to be useful for constipation after a c-section surgery, but a professional clinical advice is required beforehand. Little is known about its effects on breastfeeding women.
Make sure to consult a pediatrician before giving castor oil to toddlers.