Ingestible vs Non-Ingestible Castor Oil. Any Difference ?

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Gaspar Navarrete

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Happy Holidays Everyone,

I was looking at Castor Oil. I found two brands, both had only "castor oil" on the ingredients list. However, one said it was edible (you can take 1 teaspoonful for constipation). The other one plainly stated in bold "Do Not Ingest - External use only".

Can I use either one for my soap ? What's the difference between the two from a soapmaking perspective ?

Thanks
 
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IrishLass

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You can use either one for soap. The one that I buy from my healthfood store (Homehealth brand) says 'For external use only' and it does fine in my soap. I've been soaping with it for years and I also use it (as recommended on the bottle) for castor oil packs applied to the skin with a heating pad.

I did some web searching to see if I could find out why my particular brand lists 'For external use only', since castor oil is a traditional, well-known laxative, and especially since my bottle specifically says that it is cold-pressed and free of hexane and parabens. The best answer I've been able to dig up so far is that it's very possible that it is processed in the same place as their cosmetic-grade oils and they therefore would not be able to guarantee that it is 100% free from cross-contamination with any of those other oils.

For what it's worth, I happened to have found out the above answer posted on a forum where a member wrote about having called a coconut oil company asking why the 100% natural, organic coconut oil they bought in the cosmetic aisle said 'Do not ingest' when the bottle lists it as being organic and natural, and the answer they were given was the above. They said that normally, it would be ingestible, but since they couldn't 100% guarantee that it was 100% free of any cross-contamination with the cosmetic-grade oils, they had to label it with 'Do not ingest'.

I don't know if that is the actual reason for why the brand I use lists 'Do not ingest' since I have not contacted Homehealth to confirm, but it seems a most reasonable answer to me.


IrishLass :)
 

dixiedragon

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I think that food grade stuff has to pass more rigorous inspections, and probably they have to pay for some type of certification. For my personal choice, I would use food-grade castor in lip balm, but regular in everything else.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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I have found a supplier of tallow - a pet food shop that sells it as a way to bind seeds together for bird feeders! It's 100% tallow but not for human consumption. When I ask them why, they explained that they would need a food trading license which they didn't want, so by stating that it is not for eating they can sell it. So it's fine for soap (and would be fine for eating) but they have to sell it the way they do
 

earlene

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I have found a supplier of tallow - a pet food shop that sells it as a way to bind seeds together for bird feeders! It's 100% tallow but not for human consumption. When I ask them why, they explained that they would need a food trading license which they didn't want, so by stating that it is not for eating they can sell it. So it's fine for soap (and would be fine for eating) but they have to sell it the way they do
Yes, suet. Periodically I make suet squares and keep them in the freezer until needed. I really enjoy watching the birds at the feeders.
 

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