The reason castor oil works so well as a laxative is down to ricinoleic acid. This chemical latches onto chemicals in the smooth muscle wall of the intestines which causes contractions and hence, can help relieve constipation.
Apparently, it has the same effect on the lining of the uterus so is sometimes prescribed by midwives for women who are pregnant and overdue.
There's even a thing called Midwives Brew that contains almond butter and castor oil. Not recommended unless you're beyond your due date as the consequences are everything will come out, not just your baby.
However, castor oil can be dehydrating and cause nausea so if you're going to take it internally, seek advice from a health professional.
#5 Hair Growth
Hairline starting to thin? Fret not, one of castor oil's benefits is that it can help bring back those lustrous locks.
A small dose of Briogeo Organic Cold Pressed Castor Oil (Sephora, $40), massaged into the hairline on a regular basis will help thicken hair and can be used on eyelashes and eyebrows too.
Bonus: It's 100% cold pressed and fragrance free.
Dee B says it's a game changer; "Massage it into your ends, leave it in for 30m to an hour, and after you wash it off it is silky soft. A tiny bit goes a long way - and I usually only apply this as a mask once a week - so you definitely get the bang for your buck."
#4 Skin and hair health
Said to be the king of all castor oils, Jamaican Black Castor Oil has anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Great for keeping hair glossy and soft, it's also used for dandruff, skin conditions such as acne and is even used to treat muscle pain.
According to Vrindavan Body Care, "The primary difference in Jamaican black castor oil vs castor oil is the pH level of the finished product."
"Because of the alkalinity of Jamaican black castor oil, it is commonly used in a wide array of ailments including: acne, age spots, stretch marks and other skin blemishes, ringworm, fungal infections, sunburn, athlete’s foot, and sebaceous cysts."
Vrindavan Jamaican Black Castor Oil from Biome RRP $20.05
#4 Eyebrows and eyelashes
Women have used castor oil to achieve lustrous lashes for decades and you can too!
Noosa Basics Eye Lash+Brow Revitaliser (RRP $26) contains certified organic castor seed and pumpkin seed oil and claims that if used twice a day for 4-6 weeks, will naturally help improve your lashes and brows to grow.
One reviewer said: "This is my second purchase of the revitaliser. It really works on my lashes, I can obviously see them grow longer and thicker after weeks."
#2 Cleanse and moisturise
Kiehl's Creme de Corps Smoothing Oil-to-foam Body Cleanser (RRP $28), contains grapeseed oil and castor oil to gently cleanse and hydrate your skin - all done while you're in the shower.
Castor oil's natural cleansing properties help to wash away the day while replacing lost moisture with natural oils.
It's an easy way to achieve healthy, glowing skin with zero fuss.
#1 Sore muscles and joints
Castor oil packs can be used whenever you have abdominal pain, constipation or sore muscles and joints.
Palma Christi who sell a range of cold pressed castor oils say, "Castor oil applied externally in the form of 'packs' is a popular holistic therapy recommended by health care practitioners."
"These packs are applied over the abdomen to improve assimilation, elimination and circulation; especially of the lymphatic system."
You can make your own castor oil pack or buy one ready made from a chemist. There are plenty of How To videos and instructions online but in short, you'll need a minimum of an hour and up to 2 hours to complete the full process.
Disclaimer: Consult a health professional before taking castor oil internally.