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Castor Oil For Pets


What is Castor Oil?

Castor oil (Ricinus communis) comes from castor beans which are plants native to Africa. Castor oil as natural medicine has been used for decades and even today is an added ingredient in a number of prescription medicines and skincare products. 

These days most of the world's production comes from India and sadly there are companies producing castor oil plants that are genetically modified. (1)  Ideally, any source of castor oil you decide to use for yourself or your pet should be from a natural source that is not genetically engineered. 

Castor oil has a naturally high content of ricinoleic acid which makes it a great omega 9 that can help with inflammation, pain, and cramps. The high concentration of ricinoleic acid gives castor oil its antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial properties.

Castor Oil Uses 

In Naturopathic medicine, castor oil is used to treat a number of different health issues, and although allopathic medicine hasn't really produced any comprehensive scientific studies, many pet owners and people working with natural medicines have used castor oil to help heal a broad spectrum of illnesses and disease. 

The fact it's been used since the Egyptian period, used as an ingredient in both prescription drugs and skincare products, in a way, tells us everything we need to know. It's worked for centuries and using an oil that draws on the wisdom of the whole naturally grown plant means you're tapping into the complete wisdom of the plant. The oil is the extraction from the best pharmacy of our times - nature.

However, don't forget your pet is an individual so be mindful of your pet's needs as not all things work for all pets all of the time. But castor oil is a great multi-purpose oil to have around the home for both you and your pet. Just ensure your purchasing an excellent grade of castor oil.

Castor oil uses range from helping with...

  • Constipation
  • Stimulating the uterus in labor
  • Cysts
  • To clear up hematomas 
  • Helps with skin issues such as dry flaky skin, dermatitis
  • Helps those pets that suffer from dry noses
  • Helps with the healing of wounds
  • Acts as an inflammatory especially for skin problems
  • Is a natural antifungal for issues such as candida
  • Can relieve pain from arthritis
  • Helps with acne
  • Boosts immune function
  • Helps improve circulation
  • Helps boost the lymphatic function
  • Used to help with cataracts
  • Can treat certain eye irritations
  • Helps with muscle pain
  • Effective against bacteria such as staph infections
  • Helps with sunburn
  • Helps treat ringworm

Is Castor Oil Safe?

Yes and no. It all comes down to how you're using it and how often and the quality of the oil. Also, the harvesting of the seeds has potential risks but if you're buying the oil you'll not have to worry about harvesting the plant, as any natural toxins found in the seeds are eliminated in the production process that makes the oil. 

However, as with any medicine, you'll still need to apply caution, especially with cats and if giving it orally to both cats and dogs. Castor oil is a good solution for a number of issues but long-term use is not recommended. 

Always look for the root cause of the issue and eliminate the cause of the problem in order for your cat or dog to fully recover. If they are always exposed to the "cause" you'll forever be treating symptoms and your pet will suffer numerous health issues throughout its lifetime if you don't get rid of the "toxin". As an interim solution, however, castor oil can be very effective in helping heal a number of different health issues.

Castor Oil Side Effects 

Side effects tend to be rare, however, it's important to be aware of any potential reactions as each pet responds differently.

  • Do not give to pregnant cats or dogs unless working with your integrative vet
  • Can cause diarrhoea
  • Potentially toxic to cats (work with your integrative vet)
  • Some pets may have an allergic reaction
  • May cause vomiting when given orally
  • May cause weakness
  • Continued long term use can damage the digestive system
  • Continued long term use can cause mineral depletion and electrolyte abnormalities

How To Use Castor Oil With Pets

Castor oil can be given orally, placed directly onto the skin, or used as a poultice. Dosage will vary depending on what you're treating, existing medical conditions, etc. 

If you're using it to help with constipation then depending on the size of your pet, one or two drops may be sufficient to loosen their stools or it may cause diarrhoea and rapidly. Castor oil can be given twice a day over the course of 2 to 3 days. Avoid using for a longer time frame. 

Start out with small amounts going up to for example half a teaspoon depending on the weight of your pet (for medium to large dogs) It will all depend on the individual animal and their body's tolerance. Work with your Naturopathic vet especially if you intend to give it orally and your pet is taking medications. Depending on the ailment being treated, alternative oils to try are CBD oil, coconut oil, or olive oil. 

For home treatments of constipation, olive oil is a good alternative to castor oil if your pet can't tolerate castor oil. If your cat or dog suffers from constipation it's generally a sign that there is not enough water in their diet, to help flush things through their system. Look to increase the amount of real raw food you feed your pet. Most animals that have problems with constipation are normally eating a dry food diet. To reduce the occurrence of constipation feed your pet real food and not just processed foods.

If you're using castor oil to help with skin issues, just be aware that your pet's stools may loosen as the oil is being absorbed into the body via the skin. Start with small amounts and depending on the skin issue being treated you could apply twice daily. You could also look to mix castor oil with coconut oil or olive oil to apply it topically to your pet's skin.  It acts as a great antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial whilst moisturizing the skin. A good rough ratio would be about 1/3 of castor oil is needed for the amount of coconut/olive oil you use. Mix together and apply it topically to your pet's skin. You don't need to lather it on, lightly dab it onto the affected areas.

If you're treating a wound then once you've cleaned the area, lightly dab castor oil onto the wound as it acts as an antibacterial and helps reduce inflammation. The oil is viscous so will penetrate and help with wound healing. Be mindful that if you're applying castor oil to a cat, your cat may lick the area and ingest the oil, which consequently may cause loose stools or vomiting.

If you're using it as a treatment for cataracts just pop one drop in each eye daily, and over the course of a couple of months, you should begin to see results. 

Applying castor oil as a poultice is more complicated as most pets won't sit still. However, you could apply a poultice by using an organic cotton cloth, if possible, dampen the cloth with castor oil, but don't soak it. Place this over the area you're working with e.g. hip area if your pet has joint pain. You can wrap the castor oil cloth with cling film and place it on the area or also look to warp cling film for example, around the leg to help hold the poultice in place. You could apply a warm hot water bottle or heat pad over the poultice. Don't place anything too hot on the poultice as you don't want your pet to cook in the oil or burn your pet. The idea is that it is warming and giving relief. 

As with all things, take guidance from your pet. Your pet will stay quiet for the time it needs to work with the oil. If your cat or dog begins to get restless or won't accept the poultice, remove it as it means they've reached their limit or it's not for them. The cling film helps limit the amount of oil that touches the skin or you could rub small amounts of oil into the area. Once done ensure you clean away any excess oil to limit the amount ingested if your pet begins licking itself as this will prevent the oil from accidentally becoming a laxative.

Like many natural treatments, less is more, and patience is needed as you're working with the body allowing the body to slowly release the toxins at a rate the body can cope with. Remember most illnesses in pets start with a poor inappropriate diet. If you're trying to heal a pet with, for example, recurring skin issues you'll also need to address diet. With any health issue, you need to eliminate the cause of the problem rather than just treat symptoms. If you ignore the root cause of the health issue your pet will always bounce between health problems. 

Many pet owners worldwide have had great success using castor oil as it's a powerful treatment but please remember that your pet is an individual so take guidance from your cat or dog whether it's working in harmony with their body or not. If you see adverse reactions then stop using the castor oil, there is no need to prolong your pet's suffering just because you think it should work. 

Natural medicines are designed to work with the body and not against it and by using natural treatments the idea is that you greatly reduce side effects that would occur when using prescriptive or allopathic medicines. Hence why it's always important to be guided by your cat or dog and closely watch for any changes good or bad that help you determine continued use or not.

Depending on the ailment you're treating if you don't begin seeing results after a given period stop its use and try something else. Or castor oil may need to be used in conjunction with some other natural medicines such as colloidal silver or healing herbs

Remember one solution does not fit every animal and there are a lot of amazing natural medicines out there that can help heal your pet whilst not putting their body under more toxic stress

Castor oil is a safe and effective treatment in many instances and is great to have on hand if needed. Just ensure you've bought a great quality castor oil and avoid anything that has been genetically modified. 

AHORA, nos encantaría recibir tus comentarios, por lo que por favor DEJÁ UN COMENTARIO y sentite libre de compartir esto con personas a las que creas que les gustará.
¡¡¡Vida natural, salud natural, mejora natural!!!

(1) https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090625074514.htm

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Sunday, September 24 2023

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