Fact Check: Can Castor oil application treat any abdominal problem?

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Last Updated on April 28, 2023 by Dr. Shikha Shiromani

Quick Take

A social media post claims that the application of castor oil on the abdomen will heal any problem in the region, such as fibroids, ovarian cysts, constipation, diarrhoea and heal the colon. We fact-checked and found this claim to be Mostly False.

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The Claim

In a Youtube video, at the 1:01:36 mark, a woman named Barbara O’Neill says, “Now, if castor oil is applied to the abdomen, it will heal any problems in the abdomen… That will penetrate and soften the colon if the person has constipation. That will penetrate into the colon and heal the colon if the person has bad diarrhoea.”

The same section of the video is shared on Facebook as well, where she claims that it can heal fibroids, ovarian cysts, constipation, diarrhoea and heal the colon.

Fact Check

Can the application of castor oil treat fibroids and ovarian cysts?

Not exactly. Castor oil holds anti-inflammtory and antioxidant properties. While its true that castor oil pack has been used for treating fibroids, cramps and ovarian cysts, but firstly, these are considered to be helpful in alleviating the symptoms associated with the disease and not eliminate it completely. Secondly, even these purported claims lack credible scientific evidence that proves their effectiveness. 

These are not yet considered as a definitive treatment option for treating ovarian cysts and uterine fibroids. Herbal healing requires more detailed research and data. Fibroids and cysts are primarily managed with dietary changes and physical exercises. In severe cases, medical or even surgical intervention may be required. This is because natural remedies could relieve symptoms. Nevertheless, if they are large enough to interfere with conception or cause severe symptoms, they must be treated under medical supervision.

Namrata Saxena

Naturopath Dr Namrata Saxena advises that natural remedies could be beneficial in relieving the associated symptoms. However, it is not the definitive treatment of the condition. Thus, ovarian cysts and uterine fibroids must be handled by a qualified doctor.

Can the application of castor oil treat any abdominal problem, such as constipation, and diarrhea and heal the colon?

No. There is no substantive evidence that topically applied castor oil, such as through an abdominal compress wrap, can heal the colon to treat either diarrhea or constipation. Castor oil is a vegetable oil made from Ricinus communis. Researchers state that it is well known for its laxative property; however, numerous communities report several other uses. But, the FDA has approved only its use as a stimulative laxative

Castor oil can help in alleviating constipation and the effects of castor oil are mediated by ricinoleic acid, a hydroxylated fatty acid released from castor oil by intestinal lipases. It must be noted that its effectiveness as a laxative are studied when consumed orally

However, scant studies show that Castor Oil Pack application may be used for controlling symptoms of constipation. However, the transdermal effectiveness needs further studies.

Additionally, the FDA Philippines has given a public health warning against the purchase and use of unauthorized cosmetic castor oil

Gastro

We asked Dr. Sharad Malhotra, Gastroenterologist at Akash Healthcare, New Delhi, to give his view on this. To which he replied, “Castor oil is best used as a stimulant laxative. Apart from this, other indications are purely anecdotal and have no other scientific evidence”

Lastly, a public statement has been released against the claimant, i.e., Mrs. Barbara O’Neill. The Health Care Complaints Commission alleged that she  is an “unregistered practitioner” who “makes dubious and dangerous health claims regarding infant nutrition, causes and treatment of cancer, antibiotics and vaccinations that are not evidence-based or supported by mainstream medicine.”

THIP Media has also fact-checked another claim in the same video, which stated that “ Cayenne Pepper heals stomach ulcers.”

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Disclaimer
Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can further read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Dr. Shikha Shiromani
Dr. Shikha Shiromani
A dental surgeon by education and medical writer by profession, Shikha is passionate to bring her knowledge and experience in busting the myths around medicine and health. At THIP, she is involved in researching, fact-checking and answering all kinds of questions related to health.

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Last Updated on April 28, 2023 by Dr. Shikha Shiromani

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on April 28, 2023 by Dr. Shikha Shiromani

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on April 28, 2023 by Dr. Shikha Shiromani

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on April 28, 2023 by Dr. Shikha Shiromani

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on April 28, 2023 by Dr. Shikha Shiromani

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

More in

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Last Updated on April 28, 2023 by Dr. Shikha Shiromani

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on April 28, 2023 by Dr. Shikha Shiromani

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on April 28, 2023 by Dr. Shikha Shiromani

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on April 28, 2023 by Dr. Shikha Shiromani

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on April 28, 2023 by Dr. Shikha Shiromani

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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