What Is Castor Oil Used For?

Medicinal Uses of Castor Oil

Castor Oil Plant: Sources of Information:  The Reader’s Digest  ‘Magic and Medicine of Plants’, Published in 1994,  Surrey Hills NSW and John Lust’s herbal,  entitled ‘The Herb Book’. (publisher etc to be given)

The Castor oil Plant, ‘Palma Christi’.

The Castor Oil Plant has been known for centuries as the  ‘Palma Christi’, the Palm of Christ.  This gives an indication of just how highly the plant has been regarded over many  centuries.

Its botanical names are:  Ricinus  communis L., and it belongs to the Spurge Family, a Euphorbiaceae.   It is native to India and parts of the Mediterranean, but now grows in many parts of the world.

Castor Oil plant, the Palma Christi, has a long history: The seeds of the plant have been found in some ancient Egyptian tombs which date back 4000 years,  according to the Reader’s Digest herbal.  Dioscorides and Pliny in their writings which are almost 2000 years old,  both mention the therapeutic aspects of the castor oil plant as a purgative oil and laxative.

The Castor Oil Plant grows  in Australia and New Zealand as a free-range weed.  You can find it in many overgrown gardens and along the banks of railway lines.  These days, though, it is becoming harder to find, because councils, farmers and householders often use dire methods of weed eradication which are eliminating many varieties of plants from our botanical lists.  Big  weed-cutters  are used along banks to eradicate weeds, and herbicides are used by many people: these practices are causing many medicinal ‘weeds’ to become scarce.

Castor Oil is pressed out from the seeds of the plant.  The oil is not poisonous, but the seeds and leaves of the plant are poisonous. So you must never use castor oil leaf or seeds to make your own remedies for internal use.  The leaves, however, can be used externally in poultices which can be laid on the body.

Castor oil, which you can buy in most supermarkets, health shops and chemist shops or drug stores, comes from  Brazil,  India, and other places where it is farmed commercially.

In Medicines: Castor oil is a valuable vegetable agent which is used in ayurvedic medicine, some orthodox  medicines,  and cosmetics, especially lip-sticks and eye-cosmetics.

For Intestines: It is famous for its laxative effect and as a remedy for constipation.It cleanses the intestines of old debris.

Liver and Gall Bladder: It benefits the liver and gall bladder. Castor oil removes toxins from the liver, helps eliminate stale bile, and helps to dissolve gall stones.

Eyes: Castor oil benefits the eyes, and so castor oil is found in some eye medications. Castor oil is used in Ayurvedic medicine as a treatment for some eye diseases, such as cataract if it is caught in the early stages.

Castor Oil  benefits hair growth when applied externally, and taken internally on a regular basis, such as in the Gerson Cancer Therapy. Castor Oil can be applied once a week to thinning hair, or to baby’s scalp to encourage hair growth.  Leave it on for several hours, or overnight, then wash out with good  quality natural soap.

Ricinoleic acid is the active ingredient of castor oil. Ricinoleic acid is the purgative agent.  This is used in some contraceptive jellies, creams and foams.  Castor oil, because of its ricinoleic acid content,  is also used in industry to make things like nylon and linoleum.

In Africa and parts of Europe, castor oil leaves have been used as an external application on the breasts to increase lactation.

Castor Oil is a valuable healing oil, both externally and internally.  It has been used by many alternative cancer therapists, such as Dr Max Gerson, Walter Last and Dr Ann Wigmore. Jacqui Davison wrote a book on how she recovered from cancer using castor oil therapy, which she learned about from the writings of Dr Gerson.

Gerson Castor oil Treatment For Cancer: This therapy can be used to treat many degenerative diseases, not just cancer.  Dr Gerson devised a treatment which included the use of castor oil.  The dose of castor oil was 2 tablespoonsful every second day. Castor oil is a powerful detoxifier, which makes it a very good medicine for cancer patients.   It cleans out the liver, gall bladder, and intestines.  It has the ability to draw out poisons from other parts of the body, including the site of tumours.  However, to do this treatment, you need professional advice and much preparation and determination.  The Gerson Castor Oil Therapy is very hard work, but it has saved the lives of many people.

Castor oil is an integral part of the treatment which Dr Gerson used.  Other essential aspects of the regime were: daily enemas; porridge for breakfast, eaten with one raw, grated apple;  High Vitamin C intake: fresh vegetable and fruit juices every hour; salads at every meal.  Extra Vitamin C was given, and vitamin C was also combined with 2 aspirin for a ‘natural’  pain relief.

Castor Oil And Ginger For Weight Loss

Tamarind Paste Laxative

Benefits of Tamarind

Ayurvedic medicine uses tamarind as an herbal medicine. Ask your ayurvedic practitioner for advice on uses of tamarind for the health.

Tamarind paste is an incredibly versatile cooking commodity to have in your kitchen.   Using tamarind paste in your cooking is very healthy, as it  helps to promote good digestion, and encourages effective elimination. This might be partly due to the fact that the Vitamin C content of the  tamarind fruit,  even when the fruit is dried and made into a paste, is exceptionally high.

Tamarind paste is an important ingredient of Indian cooking, and in the cooking of South East Asia.  Tamarind  gives a curry that slight acid or tart flavour which imitates lemon juice, and which enhances the other flavours of the curry.

Using Tamarind Paste as a Laxative:  You can use tamarind paste as a medicine to help detoxify the bowels.  However, tamarind contains oxalic acid, which tends to draw calcium from the body if your calcium intake is not particularly high.  This means that tamarind should not be used on its own for people with calcium disturbances, such as osteoporosis, or osteomalacia, or arthritis, or even gout. This does not mean tamarind should be put into the ‘dodgy’ list at all – silver beet, spinach, and beetroot are all quite high in oxalic acid, and are still regarded as healthy foods for some people.

However, tamarind works best, without disturbing calcium absorption too much, when it is used in a curry, especially with  coconut milk, meat, or nuts and vegetables, as these all help to  balance out the effect of oxalic acid in  tamarind, and provide the calcium needed both for your own body metabolism and for the action of the oxalic acid.

Tamarind on its own should be used as an emergency measure, and by people whose constitution is fairly robust. Do not use it if you are on any medications. Ask your doctor before you try this if you are in doubt or have any health problem, including constipation.

If tamarind paste used as a laxative, then take it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.

The recipe for Tamarind Tea is:

  • One teaspoon of tamarind paste
  • The juice of one lemon
  • One cup of hot, but not boiling, water.
  • A large pinch of ginger powder.

Mix the tamarind paste into the hot water.  Add the lemon juice and the ginger. Stir well, and take the whole cup of tamarind tea.

  • Wait for ten to fifteen minutes, then drink a full glass of whole milk. Do not use thin milk which is fat free, unless you have been advised by your physician or health practitioner to use fat free milk:  in this case, you should certainly check with this health professional before using tamarind as a laxative.  You need the whole milk to balance out any negative effects from the oxlic acid.
  • Nut Milk: If you do not have dairy milk, or cannot digest this, then make up some  nut milk.  You can use cashews, or almonds, sunflower seeds, or sesame seeds, or a combination of any of these.  Use between a quarter to half a cup of nuts or seeds, and blend these up in about a cup or so of warm water. Take a cup of this nut milk
  • Next – eat breakfast just as normal.

Complete List of Gluten Free Foods for People with Wheat Sensitivity

from Canon 280(1)This is a complete list of gluten free foods for people with wheat sensitivity.

Thanks to Lok for this awesome pic of gluten-free stuffed peppers with rice.

If you have problems with your digestion, with  diarrhea or constipation or both these conditions,  then you could be sensitive to the gluten found in wheat, rye flour and barley.

Note: Do see a health practitioner if you have these problems, in case there is some other disease present.

You might have been diagnosed with coeliac disease:  Both the coeliac condition and allergy or sensitivity to gluten respond well to wheat products, barley and rye all being eliminated from the diet. If your problem is coeliac disease, then you will be best to avoid dairy products and sugar as well, at least until yur condition improves.   But if your problem is specifically gluten sensitivity, then you will find your condition improves radically and dramatically,  simply by leaving out wheat, rye, barley, and all products which may contain gluten.

You may suspect that the gluten in wheat and other food items might be the problem if you have diarrhea, or constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, a distended stomach, stomach cramps or discomfort after eating a meal,  sinus trouble, skin problems, depression, candida and symptoms of malnutrition due to your food not being processed properly, with accompanying listlessness and a lack of motivation to tackle important tasks.

Of course there are other conditions which can cause the above symptoms, so if you have any of these symptoms, then  it is best to see a health professional to get a proper medical diagnosis.  Meanwhile, you might try a gluten free diet using suggestions from our complete list of gluten free foods to see whether your condition improves.

Doing without gluten in your cooking and your daily diet is actually an easy thing. Take heart, because you can  survive very well without products like wheat flour,  rye and barley. You can also improve your nutrition enormously by using other foods instead of the daily bread and wheat-laden foods to which we are accustomed.

We find the ubiquitous wheat with its problematic gluten in many commercially produced foods such as  sausages, sausage meat, baked beans, textured vegetable protein, sauces, soups, cornflakes,  and a host of other items.  Make sure you avoid all such products and use only the foods from our complete list of gluten free foods, unless, of course, the product indicates specifically that it is gluten free.

It is far better to make all your meals from scratch, at home, with the raw ingredients you can be sure are gluten free, rather than buying any commercially made preparations or meals.  If you do have a sensitivity to gluten, as yet undiagnosed, then you will find your health improving dramatically in a matter of weeks by using the recommended substitutes for wheat which we have listed below.

Generally speaking, rice is the king of grains, best used to replace wheat and rye and barley. Rice  is totally gluten free which is surprising since it has what we call a “glutinous” make-up once it is cooked in plenty of water.  Use rice every day – at every meal if you wish.

Rice can replace those breakfast cereals which contain wheat. It can accompany a meal of protein such as fish, meat or chicken and leafy green vegetables, or it can accompany a vegetarian salad with nuts, seeds, almonds and avocado.

Made into flour, rice  can be used,  in combination with other gluten free grains,  in baking,  to make the most delicious, and nutritious, of cookies and deserts. These treats should be used only occasionally for most people.

For people with multiple sensitivities, candida or hyperglycaemia, sweet foods of any kind, and dairy foods,  are best left out until the condition improves. Butter is usually OK, though, as is ghee, a product made from butter. You can experiment with butter and ghee to see if they do suit you.

Brown rice, of course, is the most nutritious and the best type for the digestion, as the vitamins and fibre in the outer part of the rice are still intact. But white rice ground into flour is a good substitute for white wheat flour, to use in baking biscuits and cakes and bread.

BAKING GLUTEN FREE: Our complete list of gluten free foods for people with wheat sensitivity will begin with the flours and grains which can substitute wheat and rye in your cooking. A mixture of  chick pea four, soy, rice and corn flours is generally a good mix to use in baking cookies and cakes, or to use for thickening stews and gravies.

Tapioca and arrowroot flours are also great gluten free flours to help your baking rise. These flours do not contain any gluten and are therefore safe for people with gluten intolerance.  Use rice flour for about half the measure of flour needed, and make up the rest of the quantity stated in the recipe with some soy and corn flours with a bit of  tapioca or arrowroot flours added for lightness in baking.

Wheat-Free Baking Substitutes: Gluten Free Flours and Grains

Arrowroot Flour

Buckwheat – Groats and Flour Note:  Don’t use buckwheat for now. Will have to research buckwheat a bit more.  I have an idea they may contain a type of gluten similar to that found in oats. This could be OK for most people, but it is best avoided for now.

Chickpeas and Chickpea Flour

Cornmeal – Groats or finely milled yellow cornmeal.

Note about Cornflakes: be cautious when using cornflakes, as some brands have malt added to them. Malt contains gluten. You really can’t go wrong if you stick to  the real yellow groats, or fine yellow cornmeal.

Millet – Ground millet is an especially nourishing breakfast cereal. Made into a porridge, it is good for delicate people and the very young, as well as for those who have an intolerance to gluten.

Oatmeal: Oats are not totally gluten free. They contain a different type of gluten to wheat and rye, and this is a very small amount compared to that found in wheat or rye. Many people who are sensitive to gluten find that they can tolerate small amounts of oats daily: half a cup in a porridge, or in cookies, is generally an acceptable amount. However, in extreme cases of sensitivity to gluten, oats might best be left out, and millet porridge, or rice, used instead.

Pea Flour (from dried green peas, finely ground)

Rice and Rice Flour

Potato Flour

Soy Beans and Soy Flour

Tapioca and Tapioca Flour

Dairy Milk is Gluten Free. If you also wish to avoid dairy products, then you could choose from the following milks, which are also Gluten Free

Almond Milk

Cashew Nut Milk

Coconut Milk

Rice Milk

Sesame seed milk

Sunflower Seed Milk

Soy Milk

Note: Check the product packaging on Soy Milk. Some brands may contain wheat products. Make sure you buy a brand whose labelling you can trust.

Gluten Free Fruits and Vegetables

All root vegetables, and all leafy green vegetables are gluten free with the exception of the Jerusalem Artichoke, which has a small amount of a gluten type substance in its tuber.

 Fruits are also gluten free. These foods are also better nutritionally for you than eating wheat flour bread, pastries and other wheat-based products, even if you are not gluten sensitive.  This is because they provide good quality roughage to the bowel.  Fiber is  just the thing to make you healthy.

Vegetables and fruits also contain large amounts of vitamins and minerals which are not so abundant in cooked wheat flour. Vitamin C is high in all fruit and vegetables, especially when eaten raw as in a salad, or as a desert or a snack. Of course, if you have hyperglycaemia as well as an intolerance to wheat and rye, then you will need to be careful with sweet fruits until your health has recovered somewhat.

Alfalfa Sprouts



Artichoke (Globe Artichoke, not the Jerusalem artichoke)


Aubergine or eggplant







Broad beans – dried or freshly picked



Brussels Sprouts










Chick Pea Sprouts

Chinese Cabbage – Bok Choy, Chi Hi Li


Cumin seed













Green beans

Green Peppers







Lima beans



Melons – Watermelon and Rock melon

Mung bean sprouts (cooked mung beans are also gluten free)




Onions –  all types of onions are gluten free

Oranges (although many people cannot digest oranges so well)

Peanuts (actually a legume)


Passion Fruit

Paw Paw



Peppers – red and green. Also chili peppers





Potato (and Potato flour for baking)




Red Peppers



Silver Beet


Sugar Cane and sugar cane products such as molasses, treacle, golden syrup, and brown and white sugar. Brown sugar and molasses are best, of course, as these contain chromium and other minerals and vitamins which are absent in white sugar. Unadulterated Honey is also gluten free. Maple Syrup is also gluten free.



Sweet Potato (kumara)








FRUIT JUICES.  All fruit juices are gluten free. However, these should be taken in moderation, especially if your bowels are not yet operating normally. Sometimes citrus fruit juices are added to fruit-juice mixes- citrus fruits can be  problematic for some people.  In extreme cases, it might be best to avoid fruit juices until health is restored.  Some people find a grape juice fast, or an apple juice fast to be helpful in the beginning of a treatment: best to get some professional advice on this before you attempt a juice fast, though.

Gluten Free Protein Foods:

You can eat any of the following gluten-free foods:  Almonds,  Cashews, Walnuts,  Avocado, Fish, Meat, Tempeh, Tofu, Eggs,   Nuts, Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Sesame Seeds.

All Dairy Products- butter, cream, cheese, milk, are gluten free. However, some people might be best to leave dairy foods alone until they have recovered. Butter is generally tolerated by most people, even if they have sensitivites to milk and cheese. Butter is an ideal cooking fat, as it does not make the toxins which most oils do when heated.

All natural protein foods are gluten free. This means you can eat any fish or shell fish, all meats, beef, chicken or mutton, and eggs. Of course, you will try to choose free range products. Tofu, a soy bean curd, is a very good protein-rich food, ideal for people on strict vegetarian diets.



Fish –  cod, eel, herrings, lemon fish, mackerel, mullet, mussels, oysters, sardines, salmon, snapper, terakihi, tuna



Shell fish


Protein-Rich Milks –  All the following are gluten free:

Almond milk

Coconut milk

Cow’s milk

Camel’s milk

Goat’s milk

Nut milk – made from cashews, or hazelnuts or brazil nuts or walnuts

Rice milk

Soy milk

Nuts, Pulses and Seeds-

All nuts, pulses and seeds listed here are gluten free. You can choose from:

Alfalfa – cooked, sprouted, or made into a tea


Black eyed beans or peas

Broad beans – dried or fresh from the vine


Chick peas – cooked, or sprouted, or used as a flour


Lima beans

Macadamia nuts

Mung beans (cooked or sprouted)

Peas and pea flour


Pumpkin seeds

Red Kidney beans

Soy beans

Sunflower Seeds

Tiger beans

Vegetable Oils are Gluten Free

All the following oils are gluten free,  and most are rich sources of Vitamin E and other goodies.

Almond Oil

Avocado oil

Corn oil

Grape seed oil

Olive oil

Peanut Oil

Rice bran oil

Peanut oil

Safflower oil

Soy oil

Sunflower seed oil

Wheatgerm Oil

See merrilyn’s new post entitled  Gluten Free Recipes. You might like to visit  the new site, Gluten Free Cookies.info

HAVE FUN experimenting with this complete list of gluten free foods, as yet to be completed, but we’re almost there.

See Merrilyn’s song, ‘Marianne, Let Us Be’ on Youtube:

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