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Castor Oil Helps Cracked Fingertips and the Corners of the Mouth

Q. After successfully using castor oil to heal those pesky fingertip cracks I get every winter (my cousin’s suggestion), I decided to try it on the corners of my mouth. They are always cracked and sometimes bleed.

Nothing I’ve tried previously–from switching toothpastes to topical and systemic antibiotics or antifungals–has made a difference, and this has been a problem for several years.

After a single night using the castor oil, the cracks had healed significantly. After just one week of use, healing was complete.

I continue to use the oil around my mouth and on my hands every night. I will never be without it!

A. Castor oil has been used for thousands of years orally as a laxative and topically to treat bruises and warts.

Yours is the first report that it helps heal cracked fingertips or angular cheilitis (perleche). These painful cracks at the corner of the mouth may be caused by a fungal infection.

Castor oil has antifungal activity (Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, Dec., 2012). Perhaps that helps to explain your success.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.”.
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