Constipation is not a disease but a condition where the bowel movements are not normal. The elimination of waste from the body happens less frequently associated with great difficulty, discomfort, and pain. This is a very common problem among many people on a regular basis.
Constipation is generally caused because of two reasons.
- Eating foods with very less or no fiber
- Frequently eating food that is high in fat.
This brings us to a fact that fiber-rich food should be taken and fat rich food should be shunned.
People resort to using medicines whenever they have any health issue. But one natural and best option would be to use castor oil for constipation. This article will tell you all about the magical benefits of Castor oil and how to use it against constipation(1).
Types of Constipation
- Slow-transit constipation – Where the movement of the food in the intestines takes longer than usual
- Pelvic-floor dysfunction – Where the contraction and expansion of the pelvic floor are disorganized or improper.
- Normal-transit constipation – This is the most common type, with abdominal bloating, discomfort, etc.
Causes of Constipation
- Metabolic disturbances like hypothyroidism,
- Neurological problems like Parkinson’s disease,
- Diseases of the large intestine,
- Highly potent medication.
- Pregnancy Constipation
Symptoms of Constipation
- Passing fewer than three stools a week
- Having hard, lumpy stool
- Bloating and discomfort.
Castor Oil for constipation
Castor oil comes from the castor seeds called Ricinus Communis. It is a native shrub of Asia and Africa and is extracted from the seeds. It is a very pale-yellow thick liquid and has anti-oxidant as well as anti-inflammatory properties that make this beneficial in various ways.
For centuries, castor oil is being used for its medical as well as therapeutic benefits. It is said that castor oil gets all its benefits from its high concentration of unsaturated fatty acids.
It can be used in many ways, from being directly applied to being consumed. However, castor oil has a strong and unpleasant taste, it has multiple benefits for your body, aiding with the prevention of constipation to building up immunity.
[Also Read: Natural Remedies of Constipation]
Types of castor oil
There are various types of castor oil one can use and find in the market. These here are the best types of oil one can use.
Organic Cold-Pressed Castor Oil:
Cold pressed castor oil is freely available in the market, and one would have heard this name quite often if they are looking for castor oil. When the term cold pressed is used. It refers to the action of directly removing the oil from the seed without the use of heat. When too much heat is used, they may deplete the nutrients from the oil. Cold pressed castor oil usually has a pale-yellow color.
Jamaican Black Castor Oil:
The Jamaican black castor oil process usually involves roasting the seeds and then pressing them to extract oil. The ashes then are added to the oil and mixed. This gives the oil its black color. The seeds are roasted and the pressed for oil. The ashes created by the roasting process are mixed with the oil and give it its black color.
The nutrients of both the cold pressed and the black Jamaican castor oil is the same, except the black Jamaican castor oil is more alkaline.
Hydrogenated Castor Oil:
Hydrogenated castor oil is made from hydrogenating pure castor oil by the aid of a nickel catalyst. Castor wax is brittle, insoluble in water and has no fragrance. It is odorless. It is found in various cosmetics, varnishes and polishes.
Why use Castor oil for Constipation:
For those who regularly suffer from constipation, castor oil is a safe, natural, low priced treatment one can use. Castor oil works as a stimulating laxative. According to research, these laxatives help in bowel movements and aid in digestion. Therefore, drinking Castor oils timulates the bowel movement and helps the stool pass through the intestine and out through the rectum.
How to use castor oil for constipation
Castor oil has a very distinct taste that people find similar to petroleum jelly. The oil is also very thick, making it difficult to swallow. There are many ways one can consume castor oil. One can also add it to other mixtures to make it more palatable. If one is suffering from constipation and wants to use castor oil, one should ensure to take a proper dose. Read the instructions carefully. A typical dose is about 15 ml or 3 teaspoons.
Some people even mix castor oil to other drinks or liquids to add flavor and mask the strong taste and smell of castor oil. Some of these additives can include fruit juice, milk, soft drinks and one can even dilute the oil in water.
[Read: Benefits of Cassava Leaves]
How long does the oil take to show effect?
Castor oil is a stimulant laxative and creates a bowel movement to take place in 2 to 3 hours. However, some people react to the oil differently, and the oil starts to take effect within 6 hours. To avoid such a situation, one should take the oil before bedtime.
Precautions and safety instructions
Before using or consuming castor oil for constipation one must always seek the advice of a health expert as they know the best to suit your body vitals. Some people could have an allergy to castor oil. If you are buying products that contain castor oil, it could also incite an allergic reaction. One must check all the ingredients in the product to ensure it is safe to use.
Before consuming castor oil by mouth, one must consult a health specialist. One must ensure the oil is from a renowned, certified and graded company. It must be 100% pure and organic, and one must ensure there are no such signs of adulteration.
One must tell the specialist their medical history, the oil reacts with patients who have had appendicitis and can cause nausea, abdominal pain, and change in bowel movement, internal blockage and bleeding of the rectum.
Using castor oil for long periods may also cause constipation. A severe allergic reaction to this oil is rare but can happen. If it does, seek help from the health specialist immediately.
[Also Read: Essential Oils That Treats Constipation]
Do’s and Don’ts
- According to health experts, a particular type of castor oil may cause harm to an unborn fetus or create abnormalities to the fetus during pregnancy. Women who are pregnant should avoid taking caster or seek health experts’ advice before starting the treatment.
- People who start to experience rectal bleeding, nausea, symptoms of appendicitis, strong or sudden abdomen pain, vomiting, etc. should immediately stop the treatment and seek a health expert’s advice. In a few cases, castor oil causes further constipation and gas.
- Castor oil as a laxative should only be used as a short-term solution. As it is with all laxatives, the body starts to depend on the laxative to create a bowel movement, and this can create complications in the body. One may experience dehydration, loose motion, an excess of potassium in the body, body weakness, loss of certain and essential nutrients in the body due to rapid stool movement. It may even cause the bowel to swell up.
- Children below the age of 6 should not consume castor oil. One should always seek health experts’ advice before starting treatment, even for children aged 6-10.
- One has to make sure that the oil is pure and does not contain color, fragrance, alcohol or any other enhancement as these may dry out your skin and cause allergic reactions or irritation to the skin.
- The oil should be certified organic and should be from a renowned company. As this oil can be consumed and may cause allergic reactions one must always seek the advice of a health specialist before using these products. If one sees any symptoms of irritation, skin rash, hair fall, irritable bowel movements, nausea, stomach pain, one must see the specialist immediately.
- Using too much castor oil may cause hair fall, irritation and allergic reactions. It may lead to building up in the hair as well causing it to be sticky and look lifeless.
Other home remedies for constipation
Constipation could be a harrowing, exhausting and embarrassing experience. One may not take
Add more fiber to your diet and water
A lot of the times, it is our diet that causes us to be constipated. The body is not getting enough fibre to be able to create a bowel movement naturally. One can solve this by adding more fruits and vegetables to their diet. Eating at proper times is also helpful. One should also add more green leafy vegetables and add exercise to one’s day. According to research, this has proven extremely helpful in curing chronic constipation. A lot of times even something as simple as drinking more water can help with constipation.
Other natural laxatives
There are various herbs, and other natural preparations can also have laxative properties and help with constipation. Flaxseed oil, Aloe Vera, Seena, etc. have been proven helpful. One can also have food rich in probiotics or add a probiotic supplement to their diet such as yoghurt.
[Read: Aloe Vera for Constipation]
Being rich in various nutrients such as vitamin e, fats, proteins, etc. castor oil is hugely beneficial for the whole body and also for skin, hair, eyebrows, etc. It can be used to relieve constipation, aid digestion, boost immunity, and moisturize the hair and skin. It can help induce a bowel movement within 2-3 hours but can also take up to 6 hours.
It can be consumed plain or can be mixed with a diluent or an additive to mask the taste. It can also help in skin conditions like acne. It makes the eyelashes and eyebrows thick, healthy and shiny. One must however always seek the advice of a health expert and ensure that the oil is a 100% pure, organic and certifies.