Castor Oil: The Old-Timer’s ‘Cure-All’ That Should Be In Every Stockpile

An old fashioned almost cure-all

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Written by: Tammy Robinson

Castor Oil: Why Grandma’s Miracle ‘Cure-All’ Should Be In Every Stockpile

If you have ever watched old cartoons or movies, you may have seen more than one reference to castor oil. The scene usually involves someone’s grandmother pushing a huge spoonful of castor oil down a sick person’s throat — with funny faces ensuing due to its horrible taste.

How did castor oil get its start? Does it really do anything for the body? And does it actually taste that terrible?

Let’s take a look at that old-fashioned cure-all.

What Is Castor Oil?

Castor oil is extracted from the seeds, sometimes called “beans,” of castor plants. These seeds are unique in that they contain a fatty acid triglyceride, most of which is ricinoleic acid. Although this type of fatty acid is found in other types of plants, such as cottonseed, it is only found in minute quantities. Castor oil is about 90 percent ricinoleic acid.

It’s important…

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3 thoughts on “Castor Oil: The Old-Timer’s ‘Cure-All’ That Should Be In Every Stockpile

  1. This brings back some memories. My parents used to tell lurid stories about the contents of their respective parents’ medicine cupboards including castor oil, sennacot, and camphorated spirits (which my mother believed was a cure-all for just about everything). Makes me shudder to think of it.


      • I know, it’s very strange. My father (who came from a very poor family) told me that he and his sister were regularly given a mixture of cascara, castor oil (which I suspect may be the same thing) and sennapods every Friday evening, whether or not they needed them. Suspect it may have been some sort of Victorian cleanliness obsession. Eek!

        Liked by 1 person

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