Castor oil is derived from the seeds of the Ricinus communis. These are plants that grow wild in wastelands across tropical regions. It is often grown as an ornamental garden plant in milder climates. And now cultivated on a large scale for biodiesel manufacture. It has been around for a very long time. And is widely used for medicinal purposes in its native lands spread across Africa, the Indian subcontinent and the Mediterranean basin. It is one of the first vegetable oils which is used for industrial purposes because of its high viscosity and lubricating property. In fact, the automotive lubricant company Castrol derives its name from the oil. Infamous as a laxative, many people consider castor oil as a crude product. But this unique vegetable oil has so many wonderful uses that it deserves a place in every home.
Ricinoleic acid, present in it, is an emmenagogue by nature and helps open menstruation in cases of delayed, painful, or obstructed menstruation. It also helps in skin care, ease constipation among others.