The castor oil plant grows in the form of an herbaceous plant or shrub in tropical and subtropical climates. Depending on its maturity, its fruit is covered in green and red spikes. As it ripens, the pods dry and open, revealing seeds that are 40-60% castor oil and rich in ricinolein – an excellent inhibitor of microbe growth. Castor oil has been used as a beauty treatment since Antiquity. Castor oil is known for its fortifying and softening properties, and is used most often to relieve common skin ailments. Castor oil moisturizes very dry skin, lightens eczema scars, reduces and removes dark spots (often called liver spots). Strengthens nails and hair (ideal for dry, frizzy, or damaged hair).