The health benefits of castor oil include boosting immunity, skin and hair care, and relieving rheumatism, menstrual disorders, and constipation. It also helps in inducing labor and improving lactation.
What is Castor Oil?
Castor oil is a tasteless and odorless vegetable oil that is extracted by pressing of the seeds of the castor plant, scientifically known as Ricinus communis. Castor seeds are rich in triglyceride, which is what makes them so valuable. They also contain small amounts of a toxin called ricin, which is potentially deadly in concentrated or excess amounts.
About half a century ago, castor oil was a nightmare for many children, and there were sufficient reasons for that. It was extensively used as a purgative, and most peculiarly, as a medicine against almost all ailments in children and the elderly. These possible illnesses ranged from a cough, cold, and fever, to constipation, and indigestion.
Castor oil was also used to treat other problems such as ingestion of any poisonous material, tapeworms and roundworms, and skin diseases. Stomach malfunctioning was believed to be the root of all the problems. So, a thorough cleansing of your digestive system would eliminate them altogether. All the medicinal uses of this oil are mostly due to its germicidal, toxic, purgative, and disinfectant properties. 
Health Benefits of Castor Oil
Let’s have a look at what this powerful oil can do for us; the health benefits of castor oil include the following:
Castor oil improves the lymphatic function, blood flow, and thymus gland health. According to recent research, it promotes the production of lymphocytes in the body which helps in fighting the toxins and other bacteria present in the body.  Thanks to its ricinoleic acid content and immunity-boosting effects, it is often used as an effective purgative, thereby also preventing inflammation.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute , in a recent research feature, have connected a healthy lymphatic system with other organs of the body. As castor oil is able to keep the lymphatic system healthy, it helps in promoting circulation from the heart to the rest of the body through small capillaries and arteries. This helps to detoxify our body by bringing oxygen to our cells.
Castor seed oil contains undecylenic acid, which has germicidal and disinfectant properties. It is useful for treating skin diseases and skin ulcers, particularly those which are caused due to bacterial or fungal infections. Castor oil is also used to protect burns and wounds from infections. It is extensively used as a skin care agent as it helps in treating acne, pigmentation, and sunburn, and preventing blemishes and stretch marks along with dry skin.
You can use castor oil for the skin in a number of ways. If you are experiencing irritation or inflammation, clean and wash your face thoroughly with warm water, which will help open your pores. Then, apply a light layer of castor oil on the skin, or you can mix it in with any carrier oil, which is often easier. The best carrier oils are olive oil, almond oil, and coconut oil.
Castor oil helps in the balancing of hormones by absorbing the fat molecules in the body. A better blood flow to the sexual organs helps in increasing the libido or the sexual drive. By regulating the hormones it also reduces PMS symptoms, anxiety, and mood swings.
A study by Dr. Gary Rothberger, Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, NY, USA, revealed that castor seed oil has been historically used for its amazing benefits to induce labor – as it helps in uterus contractions.  This ability of castor oil is attributed to the presence of ricinoleic acid in it, which helps in activating the EP3 prostanoid receptors in the uterus.
You can use about 4 tablespoons of the tonic, as this is believed to induce the beginnings of labor in pregnant women. Castor oil is also believed to help with constipation during pregnancy, as it is often used as a laxative. You should always check with a medical professional before trying an alternative therapy, particularly with castor oil.
Treats Fungal Infections
Being an antifungal, castor oil helps in fighting toe fungus, moles, cysts, ringworms, and other fungal infections.
Castor seed oil is most widely used as a laxative (better to call it a purgative). The presence of ricinoleic acid helps in the digestion process by ensuring regular bowel movements and also promotes nutrient absorption. It is thus a very effective treatment for extreme cases of constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), cramping, edema, and leaky gut syndrome. It also helps in balancing the gut bacteria.