Castor Oil for Baby Constipation

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Castor Oil Side Effects

Is your baby having constipation? Did your grandma or mother tell you to feed castor oil to help baby poop? Read this carefully before you start with this so called super effective home remedy on your baby.
Castor Oil is called as Erand Tel in Hindi and Erandel Tel in Marathi. This is a vegetable oil which is obtained from seeds of castor oil Plant.
In old days Castor oil was like a super remedy fighting against constipation in toddlers and adults and many other medical conditions. It was one of must to have at home for small health issues (like bowel movement, skin and hair care etc.). It is healthy oil according to Ayurveda.
I remember my granny and mom talking about its benefits when I was a child, while my mom never used it for us. She always had a fear of loose motion from Castor Oil to kids.

Can I give Castor Oil to my Baby?

However the Castor oil beneficial may be when it comes to your baby, should you give it or not?
Its NOT RECOMMENDEDfor small babies and toddlers due to its strong laxative properties. Castor oil may give instant relief to your baby but it might bring up the unexpected side effects too. It might give your baby loose motions. Also it tastes very bad so it might make your baby vomit. Your baby is not yet ready for such intense methods. Without pediatrician consultation, giving castor oil to infants is not safe.

Is Baby really Constipating?

Most of times it is observed that parents get a falls alarm. It is very common for babies under 1 year old not to pass motion for 2-3 days.
Again, it is always recommended that you talk to baby’s pediatrician. Depending on for how long baby has not passed the motion, baby’s diet and the age of baby will determine if there is any health trouble.
If baby is on exclusive breastfeeding then it is quite normal for baby to not to pass motion for a few days.
If baby has recently started solid foods then there can be few possibilities
1. Recently introduced solid food is not very easy to digest.
2. Baby is been fed hard to digest meal just before sleeping at night.
3. Baby is having less fruits and green vegetables.

What are Safe Alternatives to Castor Oil for Relieving Baby Constipation Naturally?

If baby is on exclusive breastfeeding then mother must increase the intake of green vegetables and fiber rich fruits. The spinach used to work wonder with my baby. My first baby had constipation few times during first 6 months. With increased use of spinach in my diet I had seen my son used to pass motions easily.
If baby is more than 6 months old and has started with green vegetables then give boiled spinach + tomato puree.
For babies more than 10 months old , you should give raw grated cucumber and raw tomatoes without seeds in small pieces (small enough to avoid chocking).

Other uses of Castor Oil and Precautions to be taken

1. Massage for Colic Pain in Baby

Castor Oil is used for massage to release the intestinal gas and colic pain in baby. If you are told by old ladies in your family to use castor oil for baby massage, always check with your doctor first. The application of oil on cuts on skin can make it worse. So doctor’s advice is must when it comes to baby.

2. Labor Induction

In old days at the time of delivery to induce the labor the pregnant lady was fed castor oil. Now days ladies do follow doctors instructions so rarely seen such use of castor oil now.

3. Traditional Storage Practice for Rice and Pulses

Castor oil is also used in preventing bugs in pulses. If in case you use it, please make sure you wash the pulses properly before using it. But still the small amount absorbed inside the pulses will remain in food which will enter your body regularly. It can make your body addicted to its use for bowel movements. So to be at safer side, it is better not to use such things regularly.

4. Castor Oil for Constipation during Pregnancy

Dont ever try any risky home remedy during pregnancy without consulting your doctor. Eating healthy and balanced diet is best to avoid constipation during pregnancy. You must drink lots of water and eat fiber rich foods during pregnancy.
You might read different opinions of article writers on internet about Castor oil use on babies, mainly in Ayurveda based articles. Please do not get confused. Using pure Castor oil for baby constipation has surely risk of side effects. Your baby’s health is most important for you so take your little precious to his/her doctor.

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About Author

Sapana

Software professional – now work at home mom

10 Comments

  1. Castor oil is good for baby skin as it helps in clearing blemishes and warts, and nourish the skin. It is also good for hair growth. I think it has more benefits if used externally. But yes, it should be avoided to consume directly. What’s your opinion?

  2. My baby is 01-year-old and she is having constipation problem. My mother-in-law too recommended castor oil. But your article has a different view. I am really confused about whether I prefer it or not. Is there any other alternative which I can use?

  3. I have heard that coconut oil is good for baby constipation. Have you every used it? Kindly, suggest whether I can use coconut oil or not.

    • Sapana

      Babies should not be given Coconut oil orally, its hard to digest. You should use only Pure Ghee(Clarified Butter/unsalted butter) in place of oils in baby foods.
      You can use Coconut oil for baby massage though. Its least allergen oil.

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