Castor oil: indications and contraindications

Castor oil is extracted from the seeds of Ricinus communis and it is a natural option with different properties. However, it is convenient to deepen the indications and contraindications of this oil, due to the importance they have for our health.

Recall that, although natural products do not usually have side effects, In some cases it is necessary to check if we are in any condition in which its use is not recommended at all.

Castor oil

To be able to talk about the indications and contraindications of castor oil, It is important to review its technical data sheet that collects the Spanish Agency of Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS). In it we will also find other information such as its composition and pharmaceutical form.


People who turn to this oil do so with a clear purpose: to facilitate intestinal emptying. It is a natural way to eliminate constipation, be it occasional or frequent. However, to use it correctly, it is important to take into account the following data:

  • Castor oil is always administered on an empty stomach, in a single dose of 25 ml.
  • It can be taken mixed with milk, juice or carbonated drinks.
  • Its effects begin to be noticed between 2 and 6 hours after its taking.

People with constipation can use castor oil to facilitate the evacuation of stool.

An important fact about this oil is that It should always be taken during breakfast, never at night. If we are going to be away from home and we are afraid that the urge to evacuate will arise at an inappropriate time, it is preferable to use castor oil at a more appropriate time.

Read also: 5 tips to live better with chronic constipation


Despite the benefits of castor oil to combat constipation, there are some contraindications that it is necessary to take into account so as not to misuse this natural remedy. Let's see some of them:

  • Children: Due to the hypersensitivity that children under 12 years present to this type of oil, its use is not recommended.
  • PregnantAs indicated in the article 'Evaluation of new products', this oil should not be used by pregnant women, as it can cause contractions and premature delivery.
  • Lactation: As babies can not consume castor oil, mothers should not take it while they are breastfeeding, as it can pass into breast milk.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome: Due to the sensitivity of this disease, castor oil is not recommended, even in cases of constipation.
  • Intestinal obstructionCastor oil may not be effective in these cases, causing acute abdominal pain due to the inability to evacuate.

Castor oil neither should it be used if we suffer from hemorrhoids, colitis or other problems. The reason is not only in the pain that we may end up suffering, but in the dehydration that can cause its consumption.

In addition to this, its use is not advised if we are taking medications for arrhythmia or diuretics, or if we suffer from heart conditions.

Tips for using castor oil

If we take into account all the previous aspects, castor oil can be an excellent ally to treat cases of constipation. However, in case of doubt, it is always preferable to seek advice from our trusted doctor or pharmacist.

In spite of being able to count on this oil to facilitate the evacuation of feces, it is not positive to resort to it frequently. Therefore, the best is prevent constipation by resorting to a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Also, let's not forget to include physical exercise as part of our routine.

Discover: Can constipation favor weight gain?

Have you ever used castor oil to relieve constipation? How was your experience? We hope that the indications and contraindications that we have told you have helped you to know more about the correct way to consume it.

Also, we recommend that you never exceed the recommended dose. In case of overdose, symptoms such as diarrhea may appear, acute cramping or a severe electrolyte loss. Therefore, castor oil should always be used with caution.