Nurse Warns TikTok Health Trend Causes ‘Explosive Diarrhea’

NEWSWEEK – Castor oil is taking TikTok by storm.

#Castoroil has over 60,000 posts and Google searches for the plant seed oil have more than doubled since 2022. But while castor oil has many purported benefits, experts have warned that some of these trends can cause…unwanted side effects.

Castor oil is derived from the seeds of the plant Ricinus communis, and it has been used for medicinal and cosmetic purposes since ancient Egypt.

“Castor oil has many great uses,” Jane Clarke, an incontinence nurse at ConfidenceClub, told Newsweek. “It has been widely used in cosmetics since ancient times. It’s an excellent moisturizer, can treat mild skin dryness, and can improve the strength and shine of hair.”

These are mostly external applications. However, over on TikTok, influencers have been promoting drinking the castor oil to “detox” the body, lose weight, and even supposedly fight off more serious illnesses.

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“There is no scientific evidence that castor oil will have any impact whatsoever on serious illnesses such as cancer. This is simply untrue and these myths are harmful.”

“The most dangerous myths we see, time and again on platforms such as TikTok, not just from creators themselves but especially in the comments, are that 1) castor oil is a cure-all for everything, including cancer, and that 2) castor oil is a miracle for weight loss,” said Clarke.

But what about weight loss?

Castor oil is a powerful laxative, and using it frequently can cause serious health consequences. “It will most likely lead to malnutrition, dehydration, and electrolyte imbalance,” Clarke said.

“Once ingested, castor oil activates the prostaglandin receptors, leading to rapid contractions … ”


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