For an extremely long time now, castor seeds have been used all across the world for various purposes. They can be broken down into a liquid that is highly useful in various pursuits due to the high amount of carbon fatty acids that this oil contains. In this article, we will discuss a little bit about what castor oil is made up of, as well as various regimens that it can be used for. From workplaces, to personal health, to anything else—castor oil can be found in society almost anywhere.
The Glorious Juice—Ingredients
As we stated above, castor oil has been obtained and used for centuries. It can be obtained through compressing the seeds of a castor plant. Once they are pushed down far enough, heated up to a melting point, pressed, and reheated again, they can become a “glorious juice”. Well, not a juice really. As the name implies, castor oil is fairly thick, but it gets its nick name because of the wonderfully golden yellow tint that it possesses.
It does not contain any kind of distinct stench, or any other such smell for that matter. Also, if one tries to lick castor oil they will find that they don’t experience any kind of flavor. Castor oil boils at 595 degrees Fahrenheit (which is quite important and we will learn why later), and it is a triglyceride made up almost entirely of fatty acid chains.
Now, just so that one may know the dangers involved with obtaining castor oil, it is not an easy thing to get a hold of. Castor oil is loaded with ricin, which is a toxic protein that is very bad for any person to touch, smell, or taste, because it is capable of affecting the nerves in one’s body and causing severe damage that could become chronic. However, as we stated above, the boiling point of castor oil is 595 degree. Fahrenheit. Fortunately, once the oil reaches this point of extreme heat, the toxin no longer functions as, for all intensive purposes, it should, and the oil is no longer harmful.
Still, this poses a major problem for those workers who have to obtain these seeds from fields and such other places. After all, they are in contact with the product for a large majority of their day, and some of them have worked in this kind of business all of their lives. This is a big deal because the seeds have not been boiled, which means that the toxic protein is directly affecting those workers that are around the seeds.
Of course, as of yet, no substitute has been found that could maintain the amount of positive output that castor oil has been able to produce. As such, the hard, risky work goes on for the workers who farm for these small seeds. In fact, it is believed that almost 600-800 million pounds of castor oil are used each year. That is a mind-boggling amount!
What Can it Do for Me?
There are a number of ways that castor oil can be practically applied in one’s life. In this section, we hope to give one a few pointers about some of the ways that it can be effective. As we said before, it’s great in all different kinds of areas. We will just hit on a few of them here:
- Preservation. The largest way that castor oil is used on a day-to-day basis is as a preserver in various products. Due to the elements that are embedded in the product, it is perfectly usable as a food preservative, as a product that can hinder mold growth, and as an agent to package various items together. It is also somewhat interesting to note that castor oil can be used in various foods as an extra flavor. Castor oil is widely used in eastern cultures to keep food stores of grain healthy and ready for use.
- Medicine. The next biggest use that castor oil was made for was as a type of medicine. More specifically, castor oil is great to drink if one becomes somewhat irregular and constipated. If this person will take just a small amount of the oil at each of their meals, it should help to alleviate their symptoms. Many have claimed that castor oil, when rubbed onto the skin, can remove cancerous cells. However, as of now, this is only a wives’ tale and there is no scientific proofing to back this assumption.
- Lubrication. Finally, the last main use for castor oil is as a lubricant product. Castor oil is one of the thickest, and the most greasy, of all oils that are available. Because of this, it is wonderful to use almost anywhere that there needs to be a little extra give. Examples of where castor oil is used include, but are not limited to, refrigerators, cars, door hinges, and other joint-based machines.
Clearly, castor oil has some very practical uses. It is not only effective in the food industry, car industry, and medical industry, but in almost every realm of life. That sounds like a very general statement, but it really is true. Castor oil is a massive part of everyday life for almost every kind of business that there is, especially if that business involves any kind of transportation of products.
It’s true, though, that castor oil is not a medical anomaly. The wives’ tales that have pervaded castor oil’s image that say it is able to, oddly, cure the sick and those with cancer…are simply not true. We hope that, as you have read this article, you have found many ways that you can, practically speaking, make castor oil a part of your daily life. We feel that it can be very beneficial in many respects, and, although it is not perfect, we believe that it is very effective for the products that it is used for. Hopefully, sooner rather than later, a reasonable substitute can be found for what castor oil does.