by Lynell Cavner, Owner & Master Certified Bowen Practitioner, Lynell & Company
Palma Christi … otherwise known as the palm of Christ or the more common name “castor oil.” Let’s explore the benefits of this old, wonderful oil.
For nearly 20 years, I’ve been recommending it for clients with thick scar tissue build up. It helps stimulate the softening of scar tissue so the body can break it down and allow increased blood and nerve flow. As a child it was used in very small doses to stimulate the emptying out of the digestive tract if constipation occurred.
What other possibilities exist?
While further scientific studies need to be done, there are many benefit stories/theories that have been passed down throughout the generations.
Castor oil comes from the seeds of the ricinus communis plant and is thought to have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and moisture producing traits. Because it is also a stimulate, it is thought to help promote hair growth including eyelashes.
As for the benefit to our facial skin, it inhibits the growth of the bacteria that cause acne, enhances smoothness and softness by promoting the growth of healthy skin tissue. It is unlikely to clog pores.
For the rest of the body’s skin and if the old-timer generation has it right (and they usually do from my experience) — castor oil not only has anti-inflammatory properties, it protects the skin with its antimicrobial properties.
It also contains triglycerides that can help maintain moisture in the skin, and it has been noted that it may have humectant properties, which means it can draw moisture from the air into the skin to keep it hydrated. Good for those who live in hot, dry climates.
Now, don’t go sitting in a tub of castor oil; less is best. Too much of anything, remember, can cause a negative reaction. And as far as the ricin factor, that is mostly contained in the hull of the bean, which is discarded during the manufacturing process, meaning it does not make its way into the end product.
So, give it a thoughtful try if you have a stubborn scar, put a little Palma Christi (or Palm of Christ) on it and see if it won’t begin to melt away. Then try it for a little moisturizer and go from there.
I love the possibility of “old things” becoming “new” again — don’t you?