Castor oil

Castor Essential Oil Information

Castor oil is a vegetable oil pressed from castor beans. The name probably comes from its use as a replacement for castoreum.

Oil Properties

Castor oil, produced from castor beans, has long been considered to be of important commercial value primarily for the manufacturing of soaps, lubricants, and coatings, among others.

Origin of Castor

Probably native to tropical Africa, the castor-oil plant has become naturalized throughout warm areas of the world. The plants are chiefly cultivated in Africa, India, China, and Brazil, largely as the source of castor oil.


Castor oil seed contains about 30%–50% oil (m/m).74, 75 Castor oil can be extracted from castor beans by either mechanical pressing, solvent extraction, or a combination of pressing and extraction.

Chemical Composition

Castor oil is well known as a source of ricinoleic acid, a monounsaturated, 18-carbon fatty acid. Among fatty acids, ricinoleic acid is unusual in that it has a hydroxyl functional group on the 12th carbon.