Although many people initially considered the Castor plant to be an overrun and unwanted weed, the fine oil produced from its seeds contained benefits that would soon become known all around the world. The advantages of Castor Oil were made popular by Edgar Casey, a man who was considered to be “the Father of Holistic Medicine.” He taught the public about its healing properties, and Castor Oil became known as “Palma Christi,” or “Hand of Christ.” 

Ricinus communis, better known as the Castor plant, is native to the Mediterranean region as well as the tropical regions of Africa and India, but it also grows in other tropical regions. Oil-rich Castor seeds, or the “beans,” were traditionally used without their hulls to make a paste that was applied topically. 



These versatile beans were used to produce paints, industrial lubricating oils, varnishes, as well as the popular cosmetic oil. In Ancient Egypt, Castor Oil was used in wicks to light lamps, and the beans were discovered in tombs that date back to 4000 B.C. Today, Castor Oil continues to be a staple ingredient for the skin care, hair care, and cosmetic industries around the world. Castor Carrier Oil and its derivatives are also used in the production of soaps, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, perfumes. It is ideal for use as a massage oil for its moisturizing properties. 



The benefits of Castor Oil are plentiful due to its rich fatty acid profile as well as its antioxidant content. Along with skin care and hair care, many of Castor Oil’s benefits can support overall wellbeing.   

The main chemical constituents of Castor Carrier Oil are: Ricinoleic Acid, Oleic Acid, Linoleic Acid (Omega-6 Fatty Acid), α-Linolenic Acid (Alpha-Linolenic Acid - Omega-3 Fatty Acid), Stearic Acid, and Palmitic Acid.


Castor Oil Benefits for Hair 

Castor Oil can positively impact hair by stimulating circulation at the roots and by locking in moisture with its humectant properties. Castor Carrier Oil’s moisture-locking abilities is ideal for dry and damaged hair by promoting moisture retention in the strands, leaving it with a fuller, glossier appearance. When applied to the scalp, Castor’s emollient properties can treat excess flakes caused by dryness or tightness, resulting in a balanced environment that is ideal for new hair growth.  

Castor Oil Benefits for Skin  

Due to the high vitamin, antioxidant, and fatty acid content, Castor Carrier Oil possesses numerous skincare benefits that can enhance virtually every skin type. For mature skin types, Castor Oil deeply moisturizes, softens, and soothes fine lines caused by dryness. It also has the potential to target and stimulate collagen production within the skin. By exhibiting these activities and reducing the appearance of wrinkles, Castor Oil promotes a more supple and youthful-looking complexion. 

Rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and fatty acids, Castor Oil offers various benefits for skin care. It can deeply moisturize and soothe the skin, potentially aiding in maintaining elasticity and promoting a more youthful appearance. Its light, non-greasy texture may be suitable for acne-prone skin, offering hydration without worsening breakouts. The protective, antioxidant properties of Castor Oil can help shield the skin from environmental stressors. 

Castor Oil Benefits for Health 

Castor Carrier Oil can be employed in various ways to potentially support overall well-being. It may offer relief for skin discomfort related to dryness, minor sun exposure, or occasional acne. The warming sensation of Castor Oil may offer a pleasant experience during massages. Some individuals find that it helps them feel more comfortable during seasonal challenges, potentially contributing to a sense of well-being.  



The Castor plant can grow on a vast range of soil types, as long as they are deep and have adequate water drainage. The ideal soil is a well-drained, deep, loamy sand with a pH of approximately 6 that is moderately fertile, free of weeds, and has somewhat acidic conditions.

In India, the beans are sown either at the beginning of the rainy season between late May and early June or they are planted at the end of the rainy season between late September and early October. Planting the beans at one of these two times helps ensure that the second half of the crop’s life can avoid wet weather. In tropical regions, the harvest begins before the rainy season (November in India), while in dry regions, the beans are harvested when they have all reached maturity. Harvesting is done largely by hand in tropical areas.



During the harvesting process, the spikes of the pods are first broken off, then the capsules are stripped off into a wagon, sled, or into containers worn by the harvesters. If the capsules are not already dry when they are picked, they must be spread out and dried. In India, they are spread out to dry under the sun until they become black. The beans are removed from the capsules – usually being beaten out with sticks in India – then they are winnowed and screened to remove the beans’ outer coverings or “hulls” along with any unwanted particles. A regular thresher, which is a machine that separates the outer coating of the bean from the plants by beating, is not usually a suitable tool for de-hulling the seed, as the soft seeds would be broken by the thresher’s beater bar or peg drums. Instead, the seeds may be decorticated by being rubbed against a rubbing board.



Castor Oil is derived from the ripe beans of the Castor plant by either the cold or expeller pressing method or through solvent extraction; neither grinding nor tempering can be applied to Castor seeds the way it is applied to Flax Seeds or Soy Beans.

In the industrial process of extraction, the cleaned beans are first passed through machines that remove their outer coats. The more thorough this part of the process, the lighter the resulting oil. The Castor beans are then placed in a cage press through which the crude oil is obtained. This oil is refined and bleached. The final Castor Oil is colorless or pale-yellow in color. The final oil can be stored for up to 4 years.

A press-cake develops throughout the pressing process, and any remaining oil in the cake is extracted through the use of solvent extraction. This oil is called “Number III Oil.” It is not pure, and it cannot be successfully refined.




The uses of Castor Carrier Oil are abundant, ranging from medicinal to cosmetic. Its many forms include oils, gels, lotions, soaps, shampoos, conditioners, and candle making.

Castor Oil Uses for Skin 

Castor Oil is a highly desired ingredient in natural skincare formulations, especially moisturizers targeting the signs of aging. It can be simply applied directly to the skin to relieve dryness, to stimulate the production of collagen, and to boost elasticity. For an economical bedtime serum, Castor Oil can be massaged into the face and left on overnight, then washed off in the morning. The appearance of blemishes may gradually fade, as Castor Oil is known to promote skin cell production. This simple, direct application to the skin works effectively for reducing the appearance of stretch marks as well. 

Castor Oil Uses for Hair 

In haircare, Castor Oil acts as a conditioning agent that leaves hair hydrated, shiny, and free from flakes and itchiness associated with dryness. It can be applied either before or after shampooing to moisturize the hair and scalp or it can be used as an overnight hair treatment mask that can be washed off in the morning. Castor Oil may improve the resilience of hair while promoting and maintaining an environment for new, healthy hair growth. It leaves hair looking thicker and richer in color by locking moisture in the hair strands. 



Castor Organic Carrier Oil

Ricinus communis
Found in:
  • India
Known for:
  • being slightly viscous
  • being clear and colourless
  • being odorless/having a light oily scent
  • smoothing calluses
  • adding volume to hair while treating breakage
  • increasing lather in cold-processed soap
Castor USP Carrier Oil

Ricinus communis
Found in:
  • India
Known for:
  • being an ideal emulsifying agent
  • remaining on the skin’s surface as a protective barrier on skin and guarding against harsh environmental conditions
  • being pale yellow to golden yellow in color
  • being almost odorless
  • conditioning hair and skin
PEG 40 (Hydrogenated Castor Oil) Raw Material

PEG 40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil
  Known for:
  • being either a semi-solid or a liquid raw material
  • being a surfactant and cleanser in natural cosmetics
  • being an excellent emulsifier in formulations with large water phases
  • being yellow in colour
  • having a mild odour
  • having strong solubilizing qualities
  • being recommended for use as the main, if not the only, emulsifier in cosmetics such as lotions, serums, sprays, and oil-free creams
Hydrogenated Castor Oil

Castor Wax Flakes
  Known for:
  • being solid white flakes with little to no odor
  • being heavily used in the cosmetic industry when a waxy component is needed in a formulation
  • acting as a thickening and moisturizing agent (eyeliner pencils, antiperspirant sticks, body washes, creams, lotions and lipsticks)
  • being used to make liquid soaps


As with all other New Directions Aromatics products, carrier oils are for external use only. The beans/seeds of the Castor plant contain a toxic byproduct called Ricin. Although the heat of the oil extraction process deactivates it and deprives it of its natural properties, this inactive ingredient can still cause an allergic reaction. Attempts are being made to discover alternative hydroxy fatty acid sources and to modify the Castor plant in order to prevent Ricin from synthesizing with the oil.

Potential allergic reactions that could be caused by the topical application of Castor Oil include: itching, rashes, redness, and a stinging sensation. More severe side effects can include difficulty breathing, dizziness, and swelling of the face and throat. It is highly advised that a small skin patch test be conducted 24 hours before Castor Oil is applied topically in larger amounts. Slight itching or redness on any user will indicate that Castor Oil is not suitable for use on that individual, as there is a risk of experiencing an allergic reaction.