Castor oil originates from the south eastern Mediterranean Basin in Eastern Africa. The castor oil plant has been cultivated for at least 6000 years, and is one of the few major crops with an African origin. Castor oil is a viscid fluid, almost colourless when pure.
Castor oil claims to be a purgative for millennia and diarrhoea caused by food poisoning. Castor oil is also used externally for sores, abscesses and Cutaneous conditions e.g. ringworm.
Castor oil is used in a variety of cosmetic products such as nail polishes and removers, solid perfumes and lipsticks.