Castor oil offers numerous health benefits to babies. Some of which include relief from dry skin, clearing of warts and blemishes, moisturizes tender areas of the skin, promotes hair growth, relieves sore muscles, helps in treating fungal infections and diaper rashes, etc.
For centuries, castor oil has been known for its many wonderful benefits. Anthropologists have found castor seeds inside ancient tombs in Egypt. The many wondrous medicinal properties of the plant have been mentioned in the works of Herodotus, a historian from ancient Greece.
Castor oil is used to treat a wide variety of health problems, from skin infections to arthritis. It is no wonder that it is a plant extract that is most commonly used in the world.
Castor oil is manufactured from ricinolein, which is an extract found in the plant’s seeds. The seeds contain about 60 percent vegetable oil. The castor bean plant’s seeds contain ricin proteins and are poisonous. The leaves may be poisonous too; however, this depends on the plant’s growth.
Castor oil has a pale yellow color and is used widely for medicinal and therapeutic purposes. According to researchers, the benefits of this oil come from its high content of unsaturated fatty acids. Despite its unpleasant and strong taste, it is used in soaps, cosmetics, medicines, textiles, massage oils and many other products that we use every day.
Properties of Castor Oil
Castor oil has many properties that make it a handy essential to have at home. Its ability to provide relief from different conditions and aches and pains is what makes it so great. Whether it is for adults or babies, it is a definite must-have in every home.
Castor oil is rich in a fatty acid which is known as Ricinoleic acid. It is this acid that gives the oil its many wonderful and beneficial properties. This marvelous oil has the following properties which make it one of the most used oils in natural remedies all over the world:
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- Anti-fungal properties
- Anti-bacterial properties
Castor oil is a natural laxative that is preferred by many people worldwide to treat their problems with constipation. It is also used as a natural labor inducer for pregnant women. However, there are differing opinions about whether women should use it to induce labor.
Castor Oil During Pregnancy
Many experts recommend it only as a last resort when no other methods work. Castor oil should also be used only if pregnant women are past their due date by ten days or more.
This oil is also known to be a superb emollient. This is why it is used to treat different skin conditions. It is also used to treat severe dry skin and hair. It can also be used to prevent and eliminate stretch marks and heal nipples that are cracked and sore due to breastfeeding.
Castor Oil Health Benefits for Babies
It is not only grownups that benefit from using castor oil. Babies to have been known to benefit from this amazing oil. It is used as a natural remedy to treat many problems that babies have. This wondrous oil provides many health benefits that other oils do not, which is why it is becoming a popular natural remedy for various baby problems. Here are some of the benefits of castor oil for babies:
Relieves dry skin
Castor oil is used as a safe and natural remedy for dry skin on babies. A gentle daily massage can provide babies relief from irritated, dry skin. It helps keep their skin soft and moisturized. Babies often have dry patches on their skin that need more effective moisturizing than what mere baby oils offer.
You should use castor oil as a remedy and keep your baby’s skin free of itchiness and irritation. You will have a happy little baby once she has had a warm castor oil massage after her bath!
Read More: 11 Tips For Taking Care Of Your Kids Skin
Clears warts and blemishes
This amazing oil also helps in clearing away skin conditions like warts as well as blemishes. Massaging the affected area with warm castor oil will help keep baby skin clear and smooth. You should always make it a point to check the oil’s temperature to make sure that it is not too hot for your baby’s tender and sensitive skin. Once you have done that, apply the warm oil all over your little one’s body, concentrating on the areas with blemishes or warts. You will notice that they have disappeared after a few applications.
Moisturizes tender areas
Castor oil can be used to massage babies’ nails and hair. The soothing properties of the oil help in keeping tender areas well-moisturized. Again, it is important to make sure that it is not too hot or too cold before application. Applying castor oil on your baby’s hair will make it thick and shiny as well. This amazing oil can also be used to promote healthy nail growth in babies and give them strong nails that are not brittle or prone to cracking. Remember to not apply castor oil in areas near your baby’s lips, eyes, anus and genitals.
Promotes hair growth
Many parents apply castor oil on their babies’ hair every day. It is believed that it promotes healthy hair growth in babies. The oil also makes hair strong and eliminates dry spots on the scalp. As mentioned earlier, regular application of castor oil on your baby’s hair will strengthen it and make it shiny and thick. It also prevents hair fall in babies which are quite common as parents often make their little ones wear hats and caps. By applying castor oil, you make sure that the roots of your baby’s hair are strong.
Read More: Top 11 Oils for Baby Hair Growth
Cures colic in babies
Castor oil is also used as a natural remedy for colic. Experts recommend massaging the oil when it is warm on the baby’s abdomen. It should be rubbed on the baby’s abdominal area using a clockwise motion. To heat the castor oil, boil a pot of water and bring it to a simmer. Place the bottle of castor oil inside the pot and remember to loosen the cap so that the bottle does not burst. Let the oil heat up for a few minutes. Once the oil is adequately heated, test the temperature by dropping a small amount on the inside of your wrist. If it is not too hot, massage your little one’s tummy using the motion mentioned above.
Relieves sore muscles
Babies can gain relief from sore muscles with the help of castor oil. Soaking a piece of soft cloth like flannel with warm castor oil and applying it to the sore area works wonders. Aches and pains are a part of every baby’s life as they are always developing and growing.
You can also use a castor oil pack to relieve your baby’s sore muscles. While you may wrap the pack in plastic to gain relief from aches when you have them, it is best not to use it on babies as the plastic can be a choking hazard. You should also remember to consult a doctor before using a castor oil pack on your baby.
Treats fungal infections and diaper rashes
Castor oil has a high content of active compounds known as undecylenic acid. These compounds are known to be a highly-effective remedy for the prevention and treatment of fungal infections as well as diaper rashes. Rashes are another part of every baby’s life.
No matter how careful you are, they do occur even if it is not too often. They can cause discomfort and pain which is why you need to provide relief quickly. Castor oil is definitely one of the most effective ways to make sure that your baby’s skin is free of painful rashes and infections.
The wonderful castor oil is a superb emollient. This is why it is often used on babies to treat sunburns. A baby’s skin is tender and sensitive and they are more prone to sunburns than adults are. If your little one has sunburn, apply castor oil on the affected area and it will soothe her skin quickly.
It will also provide relief from the burning sensation and discomfort that comes with sunburns. You can make sure that your baby’s skin is back to being soft and smooth with a little bit of this excellent oil. It is also used to treat skin conditions such as eczema.
Read More: 7 Must Have Oils in a Child’s Diet
Is Castor Oil Safe for Babies?
There have been many debates about the safety of castor oil for babies. The answer is that it is safe, as long as parents consult a doctor before they use the oil on their little ones. Precautions also need to be taken to make sure that babies do not suffer from any adverse effects that are caused by castor oil.
These precautions include:
- Never use castor oil on skin that is broken as it can cause irritation
- Don't apply castor oil on areas near the lips, eyes or genitals
- Never feed castor oil to babies as it has poisonous properties
Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should not ingest castor oil or use it topically. It can have a negative effect on pregnancy cycles and breastfed infants may suffer from severe diarrhea that is caused by the castor oil. It is also important to remember that castor oil should always be used on dry, clean and unbroken skin.
Babies should not be administered castor oil. It can lead to aspiration pneumonia and paralytic illus, which is a painful condition that causes intestinal obstruction. There have also been records of hyperalbuminia, which is a medical condition that causes low blood serum levels, caused by administering castor oil to infants.
It is believed that this oil is an effective constipation remedy for babies; however, the side-effects pose a threat to babies which is wiser to have a safer alternative constipation treatment.
The ill-effects of oral administration of this oil should not be ignored and parents should avoid feeding it to their babies. Topical application has many benefits and there is no harm in using it for this purpose, as long as a doctor is consulted before it is used on babies.
As mentioned earlier, castor oil has toxic properties. This makes it dangerous to use without proper care and knowledge. This is why experts repeatedly recommend consulting a physician before using it as a treatment, no matter what the problem is. When it is not properly used, it can cause many medical problems and in some cases, even death.