Castor oil is extracted from the seeds of castor bean plant. Castor oil is widely used in rural areas. Using the name of this, there is a proverbial saying, “ why are you blinking like the one who has taken a dose of castor oil?”
Castor oil contains lot of medicinal benefits. In addition to this, it is used in temples for the lamps. There is a shrine for Lord Siva in Thirukottayur near Kumbakonam wherein it is believed that the Siva lingam itself emerged only from this traditional castor plant.
Dr.Edward Perianayakam, naturopathy practitioner, highlights its chief benefits right from its efficacy in stopping a crying child to preventing constipation.
Unlike other oils, this oil is very dense and sticky. In villages, it is known as ‘Kottai Muthu’ plant. Its leaves are comparatively hard, broad and bushy in nature. It possesses very active chemicals that its seeds contain venom also. However, once the oil is extracted its toxicity will disappear.
Our forefathers had known the features and benefits of castor oil even as early as 4000 years ago. Little intake of castor oil will prevent constipation and facilitate easy bowel movement. Even today, the villagers use this as a laxative. It can be used along with coffee or tea in the morning. Else, it can be smeared over the country banana which, if eaten, will ensure normal stools the next morning.
Children sometimes cry due to stomach ache caused by stomach heat. If we smear this oil over the navel and foot, it will subside the excess heat. In the case of phlem and cold, castor oil and honey in the ratio of 2: 1 can be taken. External application in the navel on a daily basis will improve the vision. In modern days, many people spend more time with computer and other gadgets which result in pain and dryness of eyes for which the best remedy is application of castor oil in the navel portion.
Intake of this oil will cure constipation and stomach related problems including gastric issues. Stomach infection will be cured and toxic elements will be eliminated. Worms will be removed and it is a cooling agent. Castor oil bath is also advocated for reducing the heat.
If turmeric powder is mixed with this oil, heated and then applied over foot cracks, it will be gradually cured. Similarly, people having severe cold and headache can soak castor oil in finger turmeric (virali manjal), heat it and then inhale the smoke in order to cure the same.
Further, Dr.Edward suggests that the castor oil can be applied externally over the nipple of the mothers post-delivery, in case they do not secrete enough breast milk.
Thus this oil is a simple but powerful home remedy for many an ailment.
(This article written by M Maria Belsin has been transcreated in English by P.S.Ramamurthy)