Spotlight on Ingredients : Castor Oil
The image that springs to mind at the mention of Castor Oil, is one of Grandma feeding a spoonful to a reluctant child. Thankfully, that practice has long since ceased, which I am sure many generations of children appreciate.
Castor Oil comes from the seeds of the ricinus communis plant, which is native to tropical areas of Africa and Asia.
It is a key ingredient in my shampoo bars for a number of reasons.
Firstly, Castor Oil is responsible for the rich lather that the shampoo bars create - essential for a thorough clean. No need for chemical nasties such as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), or any other chemical emulsifiers and foaming agents.
It is rich in ricinoleic acid, which boasts amazing anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties which is great if you have a problematic scalp. Alongside this, it also has an impressive Vitamin E content, and plenty of Omega 6 and Omega 9 fatty acids.
It is antimicrobial, which may also protect the skin from bacterial infections by keeping out microbes.
Castor Oil contains triglycerides. These can help retain moisture, making it a useful treatment for a dry, itchy scalp. And, of course, the triglycerides are also helpful in removing dirt.
It strengthens the hair to prevent breaking, and improves its overall condition.
It adds extra shine - most of the glimmer you see from hair that has just been washed will most likely come from Castor Oil, and we all want a head full of shiny, healthy hair.
Castor Oil has so many properties which are beneficial, maybe Granny wasn't so daft after all.