Castor oil for constipation

Benefits of castor oil to treat constipation

Why castor oil is good for constipation?

Ricinoleic acid from castor oil has a stimulating effect of the large intestine so that it causes an increase in bowel movements.

This effect is greater or less depending on the swallowed dose. For this reason, castor oil is used as a component in some medicine to combat constipation.

In fact, it has been the method most used in the past to promote defecation.

How does castor oil act?

The mechanism of action in the intestine of ricinoleic acid is to trigger irritation of the intestines mucosa. which increases liquid. Furthermore, this acid prevents the liquids to be subsequently reabsorbed, increasing the intestinal contents.

Then, liver produces bile salts for digestion and the pancreas releases in the small intestine an enzyme, called pancreatic lipase, that breaks down fats,. These effects are attached to the lubricating properties of the oil, which will favor the sliding of stool through the intestine.

As a result of these processes, castor oil increases intestinal peristalsis reflex (The movements of the stomach) and facilitates the evacuation in a relatively short time, between 3 and 9 hours before intestinal cramping may appear.

What is the appropriate dose of castor oil to evacuate?

Castor oil can be used as a purgative or as a laxative.

As laxative, it should be used in higher doses of 3.75mg / day for children and 3.75-7.5mg / day for adults and half for elderly.

As purgative, it can be used at higher dosages between 10-30 mg / day for adults, max.

How are laxatives medicines with castor oil made?

For the development of such medicines, the oil is treated and subjected to purification. Other substances, such as excipients, can be added. Purification is performed because pure castor oil contains a toxoalbumin (ricin) that is lethal in doses as low as 0.03g.

What castor oil laxatives are used for?

In addition to chronic cases of constipation, laxatives or purgatives prepared with castor oil can be used before surgery to empty the intestinal contents and also in cases of accidental food poisoning, to evacuate more quickly and thus minimize emetic symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, etc.

We should note that this application is suitable as long as the content of ingested food is not soluble, that is to say, it can not be dissolved in fats, since, in this case, it will not minimize absorption, but it will increase it.

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This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

3 December, 2021

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