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Castor oil has been widely used as a laxative agent, treating constipation and other bowel ailments.


Lately, castor oil has been acclaimed for its ability to treat various disorders within different areas of the body.

But just like any other substance, castor oil does have its shortcomings. Castor oil side effects are not limited to only a few, and some may be life threatening if castor oil is taken in the wrong dosages.

Castor Oil Side Effects: What May Go Wrong

When castor oil is taken in large dosages, or in amounts that a person cannot tolerate, the body may react in an unpleasant way. Castor oil has several effects in the different systems of the body.

  1. Integumentary System – Allergic reactions such as a skin rash may ensue. When allergens are present, the body may also react by constricting the bronchioles of the lungs, making it difficult to breathe.
  2. Cardiovascular System – One of the more serious complications of castor oil is the possible occurrence of irregular heartbeats. This could mean having a faster than normal heart rate. When the heart is beating faster than usual, this could cause an ineffective delivery of oxygen throughout the body. When oxygen is not conveyed well, this could cause dizziness and lightheadedness. This feeling is also uncomfortable, and may cause anxiety and undue stress.
  3. Digestive System – The most common side effect of castor oil is diarrhea. This is obviously the effect of the oil’s action against constipation. When diarrhea continues, this could result to dehydration. This condition, especially among children, is very serious since it may cause shock and potentially death.
  4. Muscular System – Muscle cramps and weakness may also be side effects of castor oil.

Precautions When Taking Castor Oil

Some conditions are contraindicated when it comes to taking castor oil. If these are experienced, castor oil should not be used.

  • Appendicitis – Castor oil works by stimulating contractions within the colon. These contractions may move to the appendix, causing more damage to the already existing condition.
  • Pregnant or Nursing – The oil can also stimulate the uterus to contract. This can be detrimental to the baby and the mother since it may result in a miscarriage.
  • Inflamed bowels – Although castor oil has anti-inflammatory effects, the oil can be irritating when applied directly to the inflamed portion of the bowels.
  • Nausea or vomiting – Because of its purgative effects, the oil can worsen the condition.
  • Diarrhea – Castor oil works by hastening the movement of fecal matter within the colon. Taking the oil when diarrhea is present may further the diarrhea and cause severe dehydration.

Avoiding Castor Oil’s Negative Effects

When taking castor oil orally, dosages must be followed as indicated in the package description. For safety purposes, it is best to consult a physician with regards to the dose. A safer way to use castor oil is by making a castor oil pack. This only involves external use of the oil, which is far less dangerous than taking the oil orally.

Castor oil side effects can be serious depending on how much oil was ingested, or on how little attention was given at the first sign of the reaction. When an unwanted outcome is noticed, it is best to immediately seek medical attention and have it treated right away.

Thank you for reading Steering Clear from Castor Oil Side Effects.

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