Can the world’s deadliest poison make your eye lashes grow longer?

Several readers have asked about promoting eyelash growth. The notion of using castor oil as a growth accelerant keeps coming up…

Marta Says:

I have heard that castor oil does promote eyelash growth. I was talking to an old Indian lady who is an aesthetician and she said that in the old country this is what women used for eyelash growth.

The Left Brain Comments:

At the risk of upsetting Marta and aetheticians everywhere, I feel compelled to point out that while aestheticians are trained in skin care techniques, they are generally not chemists. This half of The Beauty Brains would prefer to see the scientific research on castor oil rather than take someone`s word for it.

So what does the scientific community say? Well, the American Cancer Society looked into a bunch of false claims about castor oil and decided that there was no data to show that it did much of anything. I quote the ACS:

Naturopathic practitioners and some others claim that castor oil boosts the immune system by increasing white blood cells, which help the body fight infection,and other immune cells. They also claim that castor oil helps dissolve cysts, warts, and tumors, as well as soften bunions and corns. Other claims for castor oil include treating lymphoma, bacterial and viral diseases (including HIV), arthritis, skin and hair conditions, eye irritations, diseases of the colon and gallbladder, bursitis, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease. There is no scientific evidence to support these claims…

So, until someone can do a controlled study that shows castor oil makes your eyelashes grow, color me skeptical.

By the way, did you know that castor oil comes from the castor bean, the same bean that ricin, one of the world`s most deadly poisons is derived from? Only 1/5000 of a gram of ricin can kill you if you inhale, ingest, or inject it. It’s twice as deadly as cobra venom! Does that mean castor oil is dangerous? Is it it really some kind of murderous mascara? Not at all, I just thought this was an interesting science fact that would catch your attention. (he he, I warned the Right Brain that I was feeling mischievious today!)

Ok, but what about other eyelash growth products that readers have asked about like Jan Marini Age Intervention and Mavala Switzerland’s Double Lash? Stay tuned for a future post on these soon!

February 8, 2007 at 11:38 pm

Actually, I’ve used pure castor oil from my pharmacy on my lashes and they became thicker and longer after about a month.

March 16, 2007 at 1:22 pm

I have been using castrol oil for about a month, and Havn’t seen any changes. My eyelashes are the same. This is just a myth, and i wouldn’t be recomending anyone to use it, since i have had several eye infections since using castrol oil.

Left Brain
March 16, 2007 at 2:12 pm

Thanks for the comments Jen. Castor oil could harbor bacteria so it would make sense that you could get an eye infection. You could put a preservative in there to prevent it.

May 1, 2007 at 3:34 am

Castor oil really does work.. my eyelashes are great because of this.. so shut up.. you dont know everything!!!

May 1, 2007 at 6:34 am

True we don’t know everything. But we know enough to be skeptical of claims about castor oil. I’d love to believe it but there just isn’t any proof. Just because you use a material and you think you see a benefit (whether you really do or not) doesn’t mean the stuff you put on was responsible for the effect.

If you treat your lashes with castor oil, 3 things can happen.

1. They get longer

2. They get shorter

3. They stay the same.

The exact same things could happen if you treat your eyelashes with nothing. Now, how do you prove the castor oil did anything. Anecdotal stories about a material working for someone is not proof.

May 5, 2007 at 7:11 am

On this website:

which says its is from the university of chicago dry eye institue it says that castor oil has anti-inflammatory effects on the eye if used regularly (it even cites a journal article) and it says that 2 popular dry eye ointments contain castor oil. While this is not scientific evidence that it helps with eyelas growth it does look like ther is evidence of other eye nenefits

May 5, 2007 at 2:08 pm

Thanks for the reference, Tac. You’re right, this doesn’t prove anything about eyelash growth but it’s interesting none the less.

June 17, 2007 at 4:54 pm

Does It Make Ur Hair Grow On ur Head?

June 18, 2007 at 7:02 am


July 24, 2007 at 1:13 pm

Refresh lubrication eye drops as well as Restasis for severe dry eye have Castor Oil in both.

The most important thing is to understand how the oil or medication is formulated.

August 9, 2007 at 7:00 pm

A hypothesis: Is it possible that the appearance longer lashes is just due to the castor oil killing off demodex folliculorum (which make lashes fall out easier)?

It would explain why castor oil is effective in treating eye irritation and hit or miss as far as seeing lash results (you’re either have the mites or not). And probably a good alternative to those in less developed countries (like India) where such ointments aren’t readily available.

August 10, 2007 at 8:27 am

I’ve had literarily amazing effects with CAstor oil. Just apply it like you would mascara (lightly) and then go to sleep .. do this for a week and you should see excellent results.

My lower lashes are SO long.. as well as my outer ones which means i no longer wear mascara. My boyfriend started telling me just how amazing my eyes/eyelashes were when i woke up first thing int he morning.

This stuff seriously does work.

Obviously it will vary from person to person.. as in how much your eyelashes are already growing ot their full potential and what the full growth potential of your eyelashes is!


October 1, 2007 at 7:02 am

i really tried it b4 ad it worked and later on it stopped workin..isnt this a bit weird??lol

October 1, 2007 at 7:04 am

and btw is there any eye drops or sumthin which will help in growth of eyelashes (as in thicker,longer,and darker lashes?!) please replllyy!!! thnx heapz

October 1, 2007 at 7:06 am

i have the same question as wat aysha asked…….please email me or write it in here if therez any way in getting longer,thicker and darker lashes……anything for the eyebrow to get thicker and darker aswell?? PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE reply….thnx alooot

October 5, 2007 at 12:32 pm

I share a healthy skepticism of a natural healing claims but am also open to trying some. I can tell you, for a fact, castor oil works on removing warts and skin lesions. I had a wart like skin lesion; I put castor oil on it, covered it with a bandaid, and after 10 days it peeled off smoothly. It left a red spot, but that faded within a week or so. It ou can’t even tell anything was there now. This skin lesion was the same type that was on my back that I had frozen off a year or so earlier.

I don’t know about the hair growth, but it actually worked for me on the skin lesion, and we also use it for sore muscles, and it works for that also.


December 8, 2007 at 5:04 pm


Will castor oil help grow hair back on my bald head??

Appreciate an answer


May 7, 2008 at 3:57 pm

It depresses me to see your site be so negative, it seems like no product works out there and that we are so dependent on chemicals drugs and studies , which a lot of times are purposely rigged to have the drug companies make the most money. How in the word have we survived for so long without those drugs before????

May 7, 2008 at 3:59 pm

No Castor oil will not help hair growth.

May 11, 2008 at 4:09 pm

i don’t really understand “deadly poison” …most of the people in haiti use it(and have been using it for many years) for about everything and they ingest it too and i’ve never seen anybody have any kind of reaction with it and the haitian one is unrefined…so…i dont know about that poison thing

and it does make hair and lashes thicker

July 31, 2008 at 2:12 pm

well Castor Oil is a stimulant laxative, its not a “deadly poison”. if it werea “deadly poison” people wouldnt be selling it, but im going to try it on my eyelashes see how it works for me

T. Mendes
August 5, 2008 at 7:47 pm

Ummm…. Castor Oil grew the hair on my head out. But see, I am black and my hair is naturally curly and dry. It works wonders as a hair shine serum since you only need one drop for the whole head. My hair was cut in a bob due to a bad salon experience and I used this on my ends for protection. My hair is now past my bra after 2 1/2 years. No, it doesn’t make it grow ‘faster’ but it coats the hair shaft to make the hair stronger so that it doesn’t break and it helps lubricate the scalp to give the hair a healthy environment to grow. It doesn’t force hair to grow. It does work on my eyebrows though :-)

That and I don’t think this will work on Caucasian hair. My hair can be oiled daily after washing. For castor oil to work, you must use it often. I think this will make caucasian hair oily and limp.

So if your hair already grows fast, you dont need this. If your hair is dry and breaking, rub some oil on your ends at night and wash out. This will help retain your length and grow out longer.

August 21, 2008 at 5:38 pm

My dog had a wart in his mouth. The vet said it is very common for puppies in daycare because of mouth to mouth contact with other dogs. For 3 weeks there was no change until I read on a homeopathic website about castor oil. I put it on a q-tip and put it on the wart for 2 nights….IT IS TOTALLY GONE. I’m still amazed!

August 27, 2008 at 12:14 pm

I have used Castor Oil on my eyelashes (which are pretty nice to begin with) for the past month. They are incredibly long and full now. My bottom lashes are longer & fuller than they have ever been. I have had no irritation. What I’ve seen so far is very impressive.

September 22, 2008 at 7:25 am


I suppose the treatment of the castor oil is very important since the poison is located in the seeds.

I wonder if the castor oil bought from a pharmacy is subject to any risk like that?

October 5, 2008 at 12:10 am

I would like to buy ORGANIC Tea Tree 100% Pure Australian Oil (100ml+),

culled from the leaves of a tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), Pharmaceutical Grade of less than 5% cineole and over 35% terpinen-4-ol

which qualifies for “Pharmaceutical Grade”, as established by the Australian Tea Tree Oil Industry Association

and ORGANIC TTO PRODUCTS to Contain the Natural Benefits of Tea Tree Oil (can contain other organic ingredients like Aloe Vera, etc.) but having difficulty to find it free from SLS/SLES, Parabens, phthalates and artificial fragrances etc. or it does not state: PHARMACEUTICAL GRADE and its percentage- I need at least 50% TTO in all products: facial non- soap cleanser, shower gel, shampoo, lotion, cream, deodorant, toothpaste (e.g. 50% tea tree oil with Macadamia nut oil, applied with cotton tip applicators, after one drop of tetracaine, then 20% and 10% tea tree oil ointment for dry inflamed eyelids on Demodex Folliculorum/ Brevis. TTO Products on face- mild pustular ROSACEA).

Anyone there could help (UK London based, it is needed by this Sunday 12/10/2008), please?

Many thanks for any suggestions

November 15, 2008 at 1:21 pm

well i ordered some castor oil and almond oil from the pharmacy at the grocery store that i work at. i will be picking it up today and trying one or the other today. i will keep u posted. i am nervous. but i think i will try the almond oil first since it is also good for ur skin. but isnt ironic? castor beans and bitter almonds are poisonous when prepared a certain way.

November 28, 2008 at 8:22 pm

castor oil helped me eyelashes grow, and it is good to be used on cetain types of hair specifically dry or brittle hair it helps it stay strong similar to using olive oil on the hair

January 2, 2009 at 5:43 pm

I just purchased cold pressed castor oil

from the health food store. and I am going to try it on a friend of mine who is bald. we shall see. I will write back after a month.

May 15, 2009 at 9:09 am

I think its great to consult natural remedies to naturally occurring problems. It has been long known that even our rights to seek such “naturally” occurring remedies hs been down played by ever growing companies that simply use them themselves to compose a solution. Even the governmental policies have scewed to target stamping out our rights to even seek natural remedies. I urge you to be aware of these falicies and exercise your rights to do just what you are doing, freely access natural remedies.

May 18, 2009 at 9:48 am

i started using castor oil on my face nightly and eyelashes nightly. a few weeks later i noticed that i had new hair growing at my temples. also my eyelashes are definitely longer because my boyfriend asked me when i started wearing eye make-up and i wasn’t! he said my eyelashes looked longer than usual!

try it – what do you have to lose? if it works for you great – if not save it for constipation. :)

August 22, 2009 at 8:26 am

um. i don’t mean to be rude but indian, arab and even some african women (including all the women in my family) have been using castor oil for centuries. I myself have been using it with good results. the castor BEAN oil is poisonous but only if you are a chemist who knows how to utilize it. otherwise the regular comestic grade and laxative castor oil is completely harmless. if anything its more more safe than talika and other ‘lash growth miracles’.

October 5, 2009 at 12:00 am

Of course the ACS will say this. They hate naturapathic practitioners because they actually have CURED people. I’m proof of that. I DO NOT trust the ACS or the FDA or western medicine. Castor oil DOES NOT contain ricin. It is extracted and left on the shell of the seeds so therefore the oil does not have ricin. I just bought some cold-pressed castor oil from Whole Foods. I plan on using it on my sparse lashes as well as on my dog who has a tumor on his side. I spent 4000 dollars to have it removed but it came back. I will not put him through the pain of surgery again. It is worth a try.

This works 4 me!
October 11, 2009 at 9:56 pm

I have done this and it works. If there is no proof that it works why are they using it as an ingrident in eyelash growing cosmetics under it’s ingredient name (not listed as castor oil)? Why waste your time adding it? You can put water and chicken fat in a tube and sell it as an eyelash product. There is proof they just aren’t saying so. And I have proof because I do this and it works.

October 13, 2009 at 7:10 am

They put it in there because people believe that it does something. People who believe things without proper proof are a cosmetic marketer’s dream customer.

November 19, 2009 at 2:30 pm

how do you apply the castor oil on your upper and lower lids?

what happens if it gets in your eyes? should you rinse?


February 28, 2010 at 6:10 am

These comments have solved a question that has bothered me for a long time. Many sources of information on castor oil such as Wiki mention that it is used to help eyelashes grow. But none of the sources including ones in German mention one word about applying it externally on the lashes themselves or by taking it internally.

A good way to test it would be to apply it on just one eye.

About using it on hair I found no effects on the hair but it certainly keeps dandruf under control. The only disadvantage I found is that the pillow cases soon get dark.

Ea Ea
March 21, 2010 at 6:44 pm

Thanks for the good list of things for which castor oil may be useful. Obviously, it DOES work for some of them (even spectacularly at times).

June 13, 2010 at 12:18 pm

Bah.. science wants to debunk all the fun theories. Go ahead and trust this article, girls.. but daily castol oil applications to my lashes has done wonders.

August 15, 2010 at 8:36 pm

I dont understand why evryone is being so negative about the castor oil applied on eye lashes since they didn’t even tried it!! I’ll tell you guys actually i use it and it really does works i swear! i use it, my mom, my sisters all of us have long, thick, and strong eye lashes it really does work i’ve been using this about a year and it really does work don’t worry you won’t get any eye infection or whatever since you apply it lightly and smoothly on your eye lashes by the mascara. Just mix Castor oil with Vitamin E pure oil (Vitamin E very good option For eye lashes volume, its great) and put them in the mascara (let it be completly clean) and apply it evry night before you sleep believe me from the first week u’ll notice GREAT results.


August 25, 2010 at 8:12 pm

Hmmmmmm… Castor oil a ‘murderous mascara’? Highly doubtful. Especially considering the carcinogenic ingredients in conventional mascara.

September 6, 2010 at 2:16 pm

@ TheBeautyBrains There have been close to 1,800 recalls on drugs in the U.S. last year alone; castor oil has been used to thicken lashes in many different communities for ages.

Now I could tell you from personal experience that castor oil has made my lashes/brows significantly thicker and longer but I doubt my opinion would hold any merit. If you want answers look it up! Scientific research does exist supporting this theory, it’s just harder to find.

*Sidebar* I think it’s interesting how you got the scientific community’s opinion with citations from the American Cancer Society considering that Americans have the 9th most deaths from cancer in the world. But I digress.

September 28, 2010 at 2:34 pm

Is vaseline could also make our eyelash grow longer and thicker. Because I don’t know where I should buy castor oil here in philippines, could somebody tell me if they know.. Thank you…

October 6, 2010 at 2:04 am

Castor Oil (cold pressed) from a health food store (I buy the brand “Home Health” it costs $6.00 for a 8 oz. bottle) has removed wrinkles off my face, gown eyelashes and brows longer and thicker and removed sun spots off my arms. I am 60 years old and guys 1/2 my age hit on me all the time. I just simply wash my face, dry it, pat Castor Oil on my face, lashes and brows (also pat on my ears) and under my jaw line every night before I go to bed. Tip: Apply the Castor Oil then wait 5 minutes then lightly pat warm water where ever you applied the oil and the oil will drink up the water and fill your pores with moisture. Your skin will have a natural fresh youthful glow in the morning, not oily. I’ve been doing this for 3 years and my face is tight and wrinkle free! Try it girls, you’ll love the fresh feel and look.

November 4, 2010 at 10:37 pm


This comment is directed not just to this article, but articles generally posted on this website. I am assuming that they are being posted by the same person. I think you have a very limited understanding of scientific research and it’s application to answering everyday problems or questions. The fact that research has not confirmed a notion to be true does not make it false. It simply means that it has not been proven. I wonder if you have a scientific background. You make it appear so, but i disagree with the stand you take on many of the articles I have read on this site. I am a medical researcher but I do not think that only claims that have been verified through research are worth trying. Please try to revise your approach to answering questions posed to you. I think many people regard you as a reliable source.

November 4, 2010 at 10:52 pm

I also wanted to add. With regards to the toxic protein you mentioned in the post, RICIN is not found in castor oil, but remains in the seed mash after extraction. Thus, the oil is safe to apply to the skin and even to consume(it does however have a strong laxative effect). I can also tell you that where I come from, the whole castor seeds are eaten(after fermentation). It is called “ogiri” and used as a condiment in food. Probably, this eliminates the toxicity of ricin; the same way cassava which contains cyanide is fermented and actually used as a staple food. I know this is a bit off-point, just thought I should mention.

November 7, 2010 at 12:33 pm

Castor Oil really works for eyelashes, hair and eyebrows. Whoever says it doesn’t probably hasn’t tried it, hasn’t been persistent enough with it or is involved in selling other, more expensive remedies.


Try to buy as good custor oil as you can, perhaps pharmaceutical grade or organic.

Get a little dropper bottle for ease of application.

I just put the tiniest amount (half a drop, maybe less) on my index finger, smear it quickly between my index finger and my thumb and stroke my eyelashes with my index finger in an upward motion, such depositing castor oil on them. If you have and old, clean mascara wand and tube, you can use that, otherwise, the clean finger method works perfectly. Do this every night after washing your faces and before going to bed.

My eyelashes are stronger, longer and thicker and they never fall off any more, even when I rub my eyes. This used to be my pet peeve, not any more. When I ocassionally wear reading glasses, my eyelashes now touch the lenses of the glasses, lol, that’s how long they became.

The results (thicker, longer, stronger lashes + new growth) will usually happen within 2-3 weeks of REGULAR application. I sometimes apply castor oil during the day, but, for obvious reasons, I don’t wear mascara after oil application.

For hair, you must mix castor oil with the runnier oil, jojoba is good, otherwise castor oil is too thick to work with.

Add a few drops of rosemary oil (experiment with quantities, start with a few drops and increase if needed). Massage this into your scalp a night before washing your hair the next day, making sure that the scalp absorbs it nicely. I guarantee that your hair will start growing thicker, longer and be healthier (this is for women only). In addition, rosemary oil will eliminate any itching, flaking and dandruff you may have and it also helps regulate the oil production – pepermint oil is good for this, too. I actually mix in a few drops of both, my scalp loves it.

My hair is thicker, healthier, and I have baby hair growing in the areas where I had no hair previously, such as around my very high hairline.

Hair takes a bit longer to grow than eyelashes/eyebrows, perhaps after a couple of months. However, the massage is highly relaxing and benefitial and only once/twice a week is enought to stimulate new hair growth. Perhaps if someone is to do it more often, it would happen even quicker.

Do try it, it is cheap, effective and natural. And, no, I am not an oil purveyor, I just want to share my experience as I spent hundreds of pounds on some artificial, unnatural junk that doesn’t work, while these beautiful oils were available for pennies. Now I don’t use anything else and will never be without wonderful oils.

P.S. Another tip

While washing your hair, mix a couple of drops of rosemary oil with your shampoo and massage into the scalp. This will also stimulate the scalp and eliminate any itching and flaking you might have. But just a couple of drops, please, as it is a very potent oil and may irritate the scalp if used in large quantities.

November 25, 2010 at 10:44 am

OMG !!

NOTE . . . .Castor Oil is bought in a health food store or a pharmacy

I see a message from someone saying they got eye infections from Castrol Oil !

THATS CAR OIL ! I sincerely hope thats not what they were using.

December 21, 2010 at 9:38 am

LMFAOOOOOO at “concerned” comment!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

December 22, 2010 at 3:28 am

I’ve been using castor oil on my eyelashes every evening for a month and a half now, and it DOES work! My lashes are thicker, longer, stronger, you name it. Also, the tiny wrinkles under my eyes – gone… But it’s very important to be persistent. Since I like my little evening rituals, I don’t think I’ll be forgeting to put castor oli on.