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Castor Oil Really Comes From
Just in response – to your response (Castor
Oil for Scalp P)! Castor
oil actually comes from the bean of the castor plant; whatever that is.
It’s an ancient oil that was once used for fuel to burn lamps and
in ancient beauty treatments, according to the label on the bottle.
And let’s not forget our favorite use: as a laxative.
You were right, it’s good for what ails us!
I just wanted
to say how much I appreciate this website.
Thank you for all your hard work and for getting the ball rolling,
Ed. It helps me a great deal
to know there’s a network of flakers out there supporting each other.
Sincerely, -Abbi L.
Response: There’s an example
of a life-long mistake. For as
long as I’ve known the name “castor oil” – which has been a long
time – I have mistakenly assumed it derived from fish.
Why? I can only guess a
parent or grandparent, or an oblique reference from somewhere else,
planted the assumption when I was in grade school.
I can’t remember what the bottles looked like – surely never
read a label – and only remember the agony of being made to swallow a
spoonful when, for whatever reason (probably constipation) my care givers
deemed it appropriate. There's also a likelihood that I've confused it forever
with cod liver oil.
My shame drove
me to do some punitive research and I came up with this web site:
Here is, I’m
sure, everything most anybody would ever want to know about castor plants,
beans and oil. This excerpt is
from the introduction:
it is native to the Ethiopian region of tropical east Africa, the castor
bean or castor plant (Ricinus communis) has become naturalized in
tropical and warm temperate regions throughout the world, and is becoming
an increasingly abundant weed in the southwestern United States. Castor
plants are very common along stream banks, river beds, bottom lands, and
just about any hot area where the soil is well drained and with sufficient
nutrients and moisture to sustain the vigorous growth. Although the seeds
or beans are extremely poisonous, they are the source of numerous
economically important products and are one of earliest commercial
products. Castor beans have been found in ancient Egyptian tombs dating
back to 4000 B.C., and the oil was used thousands of years ago in wick
lamps for lighting. To many people the castor plant is just an overgrown,
undesirable weed, and yet it produces one of nature's finest natural oils.
Now I just hope
I run into strangers on the bus, in restaurants, better yet sitting beside
me on an airplane, who happen to mention castor oil.
“Do you know where it comes from?” I’ll ask.
And if they say they do not, they’re in for it.
Thanks for your kind words about FlakeHQ, Abbi. Hearing from people like you is what it’s all about. So stay in touch. –Ed