"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Eye experts say the TikTok hype about castor oil is dangerous

August 7, 2023 – Cleopatra used castor oil to maintain her hair shiny, and its medicinal laxative properties are well documented. But eye health experts are speaking out to refute the most recent TikTok claims that castor oil can cure eye ailments.

The hashtag #Castoroilforvision has garnered 3.7 million views on TikTok. Videos show people rubbing the oil on their eyelids and around their eyes, claiming to enhance vision, akin to eliminating the necessity for glasses, curing glaucoma, or removing floaters, that are spots or streaky appearances within the visual view.

“We simply cannot make a recommendation for something for which there is very little evidence,” said Ashley Brissette, MD, MSc, spokeswoman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology and assistant professor at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York. NBC News“Castor oil is not a cure-all. If you have problems with your eyes, you need to see an ophthalmologist.”

Castor oil made a comeback in the wonder sector in 2019, as there may be great interest in oils used for beauty and nutrition, based on The Washington PostActress Charlize Theron used it on her eyebrows and hair, the Post reported on the time.

Castor oil has been used for greater than 1,000 years in lots of areas, from industry to medicine to beauty. It is extracted from the seeds of the castor plant, which originated in India but is now grown commercially and as a decorative plant in other parts of the world, based on the University of Wisconsin-Madison Horticulture Department. The seeds contain pure castor oil, which is utilized in products starting from motor oil and soap to ink and plastic. Aside from the oil, the seeds of the castor plant also contain ricin, one in all the world's deadliest natural poisons.

Some over-the-counter eye drops contain castor oil, NBC News reported, but experts said those products are made specifically to be used on the attention and there is proscribed research showing that the oil helps with dry eyes or inflammation. Many of the claims aren't feasible with a topical oil, experts said. Direct application of castor oil, which can contain preservatives, dyes or fragrances, may as a substitute cause eye problems akin to irritation or infection.