The Potential Dangers and Benefits of Castor Oil

Do you suffer from constipation? Did you know that castor oil can help you? Discover the potential dangers and benefits of castor oil in this article.
The Potential Dangers and Benefits of Castor Oil

Last update: 27 May, 2022

Castor oil is extracted from the seeds of Ricinus communis and is a natural alternative to traditional medicines. Castor oil has many different properties and therefore various uses. However, it’s important to elaborate a bit on the potential dangers as well as the uses and benefits of castor oil.

Using this natural remedy can either positively or negatively affect your health in quite a big way.

Remember: natural products do not usually have side effects. However, it’s important to make sure that you don’t have any condition that would make it potentially dangerous for you to use castor oil.

You might like: Everything You Need to Know About Castor Oil

Castor oil

Before discussing the possible dangers and benefits of castor oil, it’s important to review the World Health Organization’s (WHO) reports on this medicinal substance. Here, you can also find out more about the chemical composition and related pharmaceuticals.

The Uses and Benefits of Castor Oil

People who use this oil often do so with a clear purpose: to facilitate bowel movements. It is a natural way to alleviate constipation, whether it’s occasional or frequent. However, to use it correctly, it’s important to consider the following information:

  • Castor oil is always administered on an empty stomach, in a single dose of 25 ml.
  • It can be mixed with milk, juice or carbonated drinks.
  • The effects of castor oil begin to appear between 2 and 6 hours after taking it.
Man standing in bathroom with toilet paper and constipation benefits of castor oil

People with constipation can use castor oil to make it easier to have a bowel movement.

An important fact about this oil is that it should always be taken before breakfast and never at night.

Also, before you take castor oil, think about whether you are going to be away from home. Will you be afraid of needing to have a bowel movement at an inappropriate time or place? If that’s the case, it’s better to use castor oil at another more appropriate time.

The Potential Dangers of Castor Oil

Despite the benefits of castor oil when it comes to combatting constipation, some potential dangers need to be taken into account. As a result, you will prevent misuse of this natural remedy. The following are the types of patients and medical conditions that would make it unsafe to use castor oil:

  • Children: Due to the hypersensitivity of children under 12 years of age to this type of oil, they should not take it under any circumstances.
  • Pregnant women: As this article points out, this oil should not be used by pregnant women, as it can cause contractions and premature delivery.
  • Breastfeeding women: As babies cannot consume castor oil, mothers should not take it while they are breastfeeding, as it can pass into breast milk.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome: Due to the delicate nature of this condition, castor oil is not a recommended remedy, even during bouts of constipation.
  • Intestinal obstruction: castor oil may not be effective for relieving this condition and could cause severe abdominal pain if the patient can’t move their bowels.
Man with tummy ache laying in bed benefits of castor oil

You should also not use castor oil if you suffer from hemorrhoids, colitis, or similar problems. This is because not only could you end up in pain, but you could also become dehydrated.

Also, it’s not recommended to use castor oil if you are taking medication for arrhythmia or diuretics, or if you suffer from a heart condition.

Tips for Proper Use

If you carefully consider all the aspects mentioned above, castor oil can be an excellent way to relieve bouts of constipation.

However, if you are in any doubt at all, it is always preferable to ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking any medication or natural remedy.

Although this oil can help facilitate bowel movements, it’s not good to depend on it all the time. Therefore, the best thing to do is to prevent constipation in the first place by eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Also, don’t forget to prioritize and include physical exercise in your daily routine.

Have you ever used castor oil to relieve constipation? How was your experience? We hope that you have learned a lot about the dangers and benefits of castor oil and that our advice will help you use this natural remedy correctly.

We also recommend that you never exceed the recommended dose. In case of overdose, symptoms such as diarrhea, acute colic or severe electrolyte loss may occur. Therefore, you should always remember to use castor oil with caution.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Agencia española de medicamentos y productos sanitarios. Ficha técnica. Aceite ricino Orravan.
  • Nogueira, B. M., Carrúez, A. J., & Barriga, E. G. Tratamiento de la diarrea y del estreñimiento. FARMACOLOGÍA CLÍNICA Y TERAPÉUTICA MÉDICA, 323.
  • Peiro, P. S., Lucas, M. O., & Tejero, S. S. (2010). Cuidados en el estreñimiento. Medicina naturista4(2), 15-22.
  • Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública. Evaluación de nuevos productos. Información famacológica.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.