Castor oil packs applied externally can go beyond its usual effective skin care to affect internal organs beneath epidermal applications as well. Besides being considered “old fashioned” or passe’ simply because of Big Pharma’s pushing folk and herbal remedies aside to grip the medicinal market, there were toxicity concerns rumored.
Animal Study Resolved Toxicity Issues
An animal study confirmed no serious adverse effects for putting castor oil into rats’ diets. Toxicity comes from the castor bean, which contains a highly toxic compound called ricin. Ricin can be fatal, as an early episode of “Breaking Bad” illustrated when Walt tried to put it into his captors’ food.
But ricin toxicity is easily eliminated with the cold press and filtering process used for medicinal castor oil.
This situation is similar to oleander or mistletoe. Both are toxic in their basic raw forms, but the extracts have been used to successfully cure cancer. Medicinal castor oil’s filtering with the cold press process eliminates all or almost all of the ricin. Castor oil for industrial purposes is toxic for animals and humans.
However, medicinal castor oil should never be used by pregnant women because it may induce abortion.
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