The castor oil plant has been valued for hundreds of years for its medicinal qualities. Some claim that Egyptian Queen Cleopatra applied castor oil to her eyes to enhance their whiteness. Parents in previous generations sometimes forced their children to take a spoonful of this unpleasant tasting liquid in the belief that it would relieve constipation and yield other health benefits. Older people who remember having to take it could understandably want to have nothing more to do with it, but if they come to appreciate its qualities, they might change their minds.
One of the better-known uses of castor oil is in the relief of constipation. This painful condition poses health threats it not treated promptly. A dose of fifty grams of castor oil mixed into warm milk (perhaps with a little added ginger) gets the waste moving through the colon out of the system. Since it happens to be so rich in fatty acids, it does not easily get absorbed in the intestines, and so it performs its bowel emptying function very effectively. However, be careful not to overdo the dose as too much can also be harmful.
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