What is ‘#Castoroil’ TikTok trend? Experts warn new craze can cause ‘explosive diarrhea’ - Hindustan Times
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What is ‘#Castoroil’ TikTok trend? Experts warn new craze can cause ‘explosive diarrhea’

BySumanti Sen
Jun 02, 2024 07:29 AM IST

Castor oil has taken social media by storm, with more than 60,000 posts with “#Castoroil” having been shared.

A dangerous TikTok trend has picked up pace, with experts warning of dire consequences. castor oil has taken social media by storm, with more than 60,000 posts with “#Castoroil” having been shared.

What is ‘#Castoroil’ TikTok trend? (Pixabay)
What is ‘#Castoroil’ TikTok trend? (Pixabay)

The plant seed oil has been praised as a treatment for hair growth and complexion problems. Creators on TikTok say that the oil can even “detox” the body. They have been promoting drinking the oil, saying that apart from detoxing, it will help in weight loss and will fight off serious illnesses.

However, experts believe otherwise. They have said that castor oil, derived from the seeds of the plant Ricinus communis, can cause “explosive diarrhea.”

Ingesting Castor oil can increase the risk of ‘dehydration and electrolyte imbalance’

"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," Jane Clarke, an incontinence nurse at ConfidenceClub, told Newsweek. "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."

A very powerful laxative, the oil, if used frequently, can lead to 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 that push contents through your small intestine at speed without giving you time to fully digest content and form solid stools,” Clarke added. "Castor oil also inhibits fluid absorption in the gut, adding to accelerated bowel movements and increasing the risk of dehydration and electrolyte imbalance."

These side effects cause "explosive diarrhea," nausea and vomiting, Clarke said. "For this reason, despite what TikTok influencers would have you believe, it is advisable to avoid ingesting castor oil altogether," Clarke said.

She added, “In the past, castor oil was used medicinally as a laxative to cure constipation, and to induce labor in overdue expectant mothers. However, it is no longer recommended for these purposes due to safety concerns. The fact is, in 2024 we don't need to rely on the same laxatives that the ancient Egyptians needed to, medicine has moved on and we now have safer options."

Clarke added that the oil can be used externally safely. "There is also no way that putting it in your belly button will cure disease, but it might ruin your clothes,” she noted.

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