Castor oil is extracted from castor beans. It has been used as a natural remedy since ancient times.
It is a great lubricant for dry eyes and even can relieve constipation. Applied topical can help with knee and joint pain.
One of the most popular industrial oils, castor oil has many medicinal uses. Extracted from the castor beans, legend has it that the castor plant, for the longest time was referred to as Palma Christe. This was because the leaves of the castor plant looked like Christ’s palm. Ricinoleic acid, an unsaturated fatty acid found in castor oil, offers a lot of benefits for our health.
Castor oil is used in many hairs, skincare, and makeup formulations, particularly in lip glosses due to it’s thick, sticky and shiny texture.
It is one of the few oils that work like a magic potion no matter it is consumed orally or applied topically.
Castor oil, thanks to its high (90%) content of ricinoleic acid, can fight fungi and bacteria, reduce inflammation and pain, and also function as a laxative. But can you put it in the eye? Yes, you may, but only after you consult your doctor.
Benefits of castor oil for the eye include treatment for dry eyes and inflammations.
1. Can Treat Eye Inflammation
In India, castor oil seems to have been used to cure cataracts before the advent of modern medicine and surgery, but there’s no evidence for this benefit. Castor oil, however, has been used in the preparation of certain anti-inflammatory drugs, which shows it could treat some cases of inflammations.
In a study conducted on 11 patients of keratoconjunctivitis (which is the inflammation of cornea and conjunctiva), it was found that topical administration of cyclosporine as a 2% dilution in castor oil could treat the condition.
2. Can Keep Your Eyes Beautiful
Additionally, applying castor oil on the eyelashes ensures they grow long and strong. Castor oil is excellent for hair growth, moisturizing hair strands, and keeping them healthy.
All you need to do is gently apply castor oil on the eyelashes. Moreover, massaging the oil around the eyes can keep the wrinkles and crow’s feet around the eyes at bay. This is because castor oil is very effective in keeping the skin moisturized and supple. Regular application of castor oil around the eyes can help you sleep better, say, users, though no clinical study has backed it yet.
3. Reduces Symptoms Of Dry Eyes
While research has conclusively proven that castor oil is a good remedy for normal to severe dry eyes, this fact is often overlooked.
Dry eyes have become nothing short of an epidemic. At least 25% of all visits to ophthalmologists are related to dry eyes. Several factors like aging, laser eye surgery, reduced rate of blinking (given the time most of us spend on electronic devices with bright screens), and a few disorders of the eye can result in dry eyes.
Your tear film has three layers: water, oil (lipid), and mucus. In most dry eye cases, tears evaporate from the surface of the cornea due to a lipid deficiency or imbalance. Lipid deficiency or imbalance can also be caused by meibomian gland disease and blepharitis.
In such cases, the remedy could be administering a castor oil emulsion in the eyes 6 times a day for 2 weeks. Castor oil can reduce the evaporation of water from the cornea, and there is mounting evidence to show that a castor oil emulsion can treat it much more effectively than any conventional treatment.
Even severe dry eye cases that have not responded to regular treatment or conventional medicines have improved with castor oil administration.
Conclusion: It’s beyond debate that castor oil is good for the eyes. But it would be better to consult your ophthalmologist before administering it because it could have a toxic effect on conjunctival cells. This effect could explain why some people complain of eye irritation or allergies after the application of castor oil in their eyes.