Castor oil is valued for its medicinal qualities. Some claim Queen Cleopatra applied castor oil to her eyes to enhance their whiteness. In past generations, parents fed their children spoonfuls of the unpleasant liquid in the belief that it would relieve constipation and yield other health benefits. Like many natural remedies, while castor oil's powers may be overblown in some cases, there is no question this oil made from castor beans has many potential benefits.
Relieving constipation is one of the better-known uses of castor oil. A dose of fifty grams of castor oil mixed into warm milk gets the waste moving through the colon and out of the body. The oil is rich in fatty acids and, as such, is not easily absorbed in the intestines and moves through quickly, bringing other waste with it. Too much castor oil can also be harmful, however, so it should be consumed in moderation. Anyone whose constipation does not resolve within a week should see a doctor.
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