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Castor oil is a vegetable oil extracted from the castor seed 2. There are many uses of castor oil, from soap- and shampoo-making, as an ingredient in candy and flavorings, constipation relief, inflammation treatment, and even labor induction 2. Castor oil can also be effective in treating dry eyes 12.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Causes of Dry Eyes
Dry eyes are the most common eye condition 1. Dry eyes are very uncomfortable and, if left untreated, can cause damage to the cornea of the eyes 1. The culprit of most dry-eye issues is allergies. As we age, tear production slows, which can lead to chronic dry eye, as there is not enough lubrication in the eye. Inflammation around the eyelids, known as Blepharitis, can also cause dry eyes 1. The environment, such as harsh winds and blinding sun, can suck moisture out of the eyes 1.
Treat Dry Eyes With Castor Oil
Can Vitamins Increase Risk for Dry Eyes?
Many commercial eye drops contain castor oil 2. It is possible to forgo the purchase of eye drops and rely solely on castor oil 2. Castor oil alone may treat dry eyes better than the marketed eye drops 12. Purchase a clean dropper, wash it thoroughly with soapy water, and rinse well. Suck 100-percent pure castor oil into the clean dropper 2. Administer one drop of oil into each eye. Repeat this three times a day or as needed. There is no evidence that this method cures dry eyes; it may only be useful for short-term relief 1.
Castor oil can be effective in treating Blepharitis 2. The castor oil not only moisturizes the eyes, but reduces the inflammation around the eyelids 12. Dip your ring finger into castor oil and dap the oil around the eyelids where it is red and inflamed 2. The castor oil will soothe the eye and reduce the swelling and redness 2.
Are Castor Oil Eye Drops Safe?
One-hundred-percent pure castor oil will not cause damage to the eye 2. Talk to your doctor before using castor oil to treat any symptoms 2. Consider trying both pure castor oil and regular eye drops to see which one works best for you 2.
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Peppermint Oil Vs. Peppermint Extract
- Dry Eyes
- Castor Oil in Eyes
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- Boel ME, Lee SJ, Rijken MJ, et al. Castor oil for induction of labour: not harmful, not helpful. Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol. 2009;49(5):499-503. doi:10.1111/j.1479-828X.2009.01055.x
- Arslan GG, Eşer I. An examination of the effect of castor oil packs on constipation in the elderly. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2011;17(1):58-62. doi:10.1016/j.ctcp.2010.04.004
- Mcmullen R, Jachowicz J. Optical properties of hair: effect of treatments on luster as quantified by image analysis. J Cosmet Sci. 2003;54(4):335-51.
- Medhi B, Kishore K, Singh U, Seth SD. Comparative clinical trial of castor oil and diclofenac sodium in patients with osteoarthritis. Phytother Res. 2009;23(10):1469-73. doi:10.1002/ptr.2804
- Lin TK, Zhong L, Santiago JL. Anti-inflammatory and skin barrier repair effects of topical application of some plant oils. Int J Mol Sci. 2017;19(1). doi:10.3390/ijms19010070
- National Institutes of Health. "Castor oil overdose: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia". October 2011.
- Maduri VR, Vedachalam A, Kiruthika S. "Castor oil" - the culprit of acute hair felting. Int J Trichology. 2017;9(3):116-118. doi:10.4103/ijt.ijt_22_17
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Facts about ricin. National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH). April 2018.
- Patel VR, Dumancas GG, Kasi Viswanath LC, Maples R, Subong BJ. Castor oil: properties, uses, and optimization of processing parameters in commercial production. Lipid Insights. 2016;9:1–12. Sep 2016. doi:10.4137/LPI.S40233
- Vieira C, Evangelista S, Cirillo R, Lippi A, Maggi CA, Manzini S. Effect of ricinoleic acid in acute and subchronic experimental models of inflammation. Mediators Inflamm. 2000;9(5):223-8. doi:10.1080/09629350020025737
Maggie Lynn has been writing about education, parenting and health topics since 2005, in addition to being an educator. She holds a Master of Science in child and family studies.