Castor oil has been a part of the Jamaica’s cultural heritage since slavery. Seeds came into the island directly from West Africa during the slave trade and flourished island-wide. The oil gained prominence during the middle of the nineteenth century when it was produced by the colonial government and shipped to England for use primarily in the medical profession. Most of the wild seeds strains which are called “Jamaican” are from the original stock and seeds introduced from Egypt and Florida in the 1960’s. Purerzan Jamaican Black Castor oil is made from this wild variety of seeds which grows in all soil types from the mountains to the coastline. We purchase seeds from our gatherers and small farmers in over six parishes in Jamaica.
Jamaica is known for the production of Black Castor oil which was traditionally produced by women in deep rural communities and sold in local and urban markets. In fact the women who produce this oil are held to a high moral code by their community, as this was the only way to know that the oil is “clean” and able to benefit the users. Women had to remain celibate before boiling the oil, there should be no quarrels or arguments in the yard during processing and boiling is sometimes done in secret away from negative influences and “unclean” persons. Everything must be kept peaceful and calm. These rules were instituted by our ancestors to preserve the spiritual healing nature of Jamaican Black Castor oil and to assist the oil to flow during processing. According to Miss Lindo ‘’Jamaican Black Castor Oil Advocate” She had conducted several informal interviews across the island and have heard several folk remedies and uses for castor oil ranging from tooth extraction to warding off evil spirits.
Medicinal UsesCastor oil has been used as a healing oil by numerous cultures, from the ancient Ayurvedic medicine of India, to Egyptian mummification practices. Until recently, information on the oil’s benefits has been handed down from one generation to the next, shrouded in strict rules of production and pscho-spiritual guidelines.
With the coming of the internet and advanced research, we now know that Castor oil can be useful for a myriad of ailments and is a component of a variety of products, -in twenty six different industries. In order to derive the nutraceutical benefits, castor oil is topically applied to the affected area and is useful for a variety of skin conditions like keratosis, dermatitis, wound healing, acne and ring worms. The oil is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral and is one of the best cleansers for the body’s lymphatic system.
There is extensive information online regarding the full benefits of this wonderful healing oil and according to the American Cancer Society, Castor oil even shows some promise in the treatment of certain cancers. Early clinical trials suggest that ricin, when combined with an anti-body to confine this poison to malignant cells, shrinks tumors in Lymphoma patients.
Having experienced several positive benefits of this oil I am a confident fan and a very strong supporter. However, I certainly cannot attest to Castor oil’s efficacy for all these conditions as research is incomplete to date.