Transdermal Absorption of Castor Oil
Authors: Mein, Eric A.; Richards, Douglas G.; McMillin, David L.; Nelson, Carl D.
Source: Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine, Volume 2, Number 4, 2005 , pp. 239-244(6)
Publisher: Adis International
Abstract:Background: This study evaluated the potential for transdermal absorption of castor oil, a treatment modality recommended by Edgar Cayce and used as an alternative medical treatment. Specific epoxydicarboxylic acids are known to be excreted via the urine when castor oil is administered orally.
Objective: Comparison of the amounts of epoxydicarboxylic acids in the urine of subjects given oral and transdermal administrations of castor oil may provide evidence of transdermal absorption of castor oil and provide clues to its metabolism in the system.
Methods: Three volunteers were given castor oil, both as an abdominal hot pack and by oral administration on two separate trials. Urine samples were collected before and after administration.
Results: Oral administration of castor oil resulted in high levels of excretion of epoxydicarboxylic acids in all subjects. In contrast, the level of urinary epoxydicarboxylic acids with the external application (abdominal pack) sessions did not vary from the relatively low endogenous levels of these molecules that are normally present.
Conclusion: Castor oil is either not well absorbed through the skin or is metabolised in a way that did not have the effect of significantly increasing the excretion of the specific metabolic byproducts associated with the ingestion of castor oil.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Meridian Institute, Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA
Publication date: 2005-01-01