If you saw the start of our Shark tank episode you know we started off our pitch with revealing one of the best kept Haitian health and beauty secrets. Somewhere tucked away, in every Haitian household is a sacred bottle of “lwil maskreti” or castor oil.
We Haitians have known about the healing powers of castor oil for generations, but now we also have science confirming the validity of what our ancestors passed down to us.
Here are 5 health benefits/uses of castor oil, some that you may have heard from your tati & manman (aunty and mom) and some you may not.
As a general Haitian rule of thumb, next to the baby Tylenol, there is a bottle of castor oil. Every time, a child gets even a hint of a cough or fever, Haitian parents take a heavy pour of castor oil and lovingly rub it into chest, top part of the back, forehead, and under the nose. The massage coupled with the anti-inflammatory properties of castor oil work to decongest and reduce fever. * Please note, you should only do this with original (unscented) Haitian Black Castor Oil.
The “Woy! doule” (WHOA! pain) cure. Joint pains & arthritis are small potatoes for castor oil. Castor oil has natural anti-inflammatory properties that make it an ideal massage oil that can be applied to aching muscles and joints. The ideal treatment plan is massaging the affected area with castor oil followed by a hot water pack/compress. Follow this practice for a week to start to see a reduction in pain.
3) Promotes Wound Healing
Castor oil is highly moisturizing and these same properties of ricinoleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid also work to stimulate tissue growth. Applying castor oil to clean wounds creates a moist environment that promotes healing and prevents sores from drying out.
4) Fungus Fighter
Athlete’s foot, ring worm, or dry itchy skin can be relieved with castor oil. Castor is full of undecylenic acid, which is a strong fungicide. In addition to your regular fungal treatment, add a bit of warmed castor oil to the infected area and leave it overnight. Repeat daily until you see an improvement.
5) Diaper Rash
Diaper rashes are every caretaker’s nightmare. Some babies are especially prone to them, castor oil can provide relief for your little one. After every diaper change, allow the baby’s bottom to dry fully, and gently massage the castor oil into their skin. The anti-fungal properties will help treat the diaper rash and additionally it will create a barrier between the skin and wet diaper to prevent future diaper rashes. If you’d like, you can also incorporate the use of castor oil into your general diaper changing routine. * Please note, only the original (unscented) Haitian Black Castor Oil should be used for this purpose.