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The Castor Oil Conundrum

The Castor Oil Conundrum

The Castor oil used in our products is a non-toxic, expeller pressed and an ultra, high quality oil rich in glycerin esters of ricinoleic acid (fatty acid). Castor oil is used throughout the world for a variety of things, but its main affinity is the skin. It is therefore readily found in soaps and skincare products.
Characteristics: Anti-viral, antibacterial, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-acne, cleansing, hydrating, moisturizing, non-comedogenic.
Lately Castor oil has been targeted for its toxic processing requirements.

– Castor beans contain Ricin, considered to be one of the most toxic substances found in nature and has been a known biological weapon since WWI. – Castor oil is a Category B threat by the CDC
– There is no known andecdote for Ricin poisoning.
– Castor plants are also allergenics

Castor oil DOES NOT CONTACT RICIN. It is removed during the extraction process. The issues that are being raised are 2-fold:

  1. Human rights concerns surround the factory and farm workers who grow, harvest and process the beans. Prolonged contact with the plant’s sap, flowers, seeds or leaves may result in a rash which can also develop into conjunctivitis (assuming eye contact is made with skin or hands). Castor plant will also produce a great deal of pollen, similar to Ragweed, and therefore cause allergies. In severe cases asthma may develop (mostly seen in factory workers)
  2. The proper disposal of the Ricin rich “mash”


ISSUE #1: Worker exposure to toxin
A note on this issue, it has been written across internet websites the following statement:

“Allergenic compounds found on the plant surface can cause permanent nerve damage , making the harvest of Castor beans a human health risk.”

There is no substantiated evidence of this occurring. In fact, Castor plants grow wild throughout Florida, Texas and California and are commonly found as a garden ornamental.
The same risks factory workers face in processing Castor oil are the same for the following workers:
Coffee factory workers 
Cocoa bean processors
Microwave Popcorn Plant
Confectionery plant workers
Spice processors
Soybean processors


ISSUE #2: Proper Disposal of Ricin
Ricin mash is properly neutralized and then recycled for the following purposes:
Animal feed
Wallboard material
– Used in cancer cell fighting therapies
– Used in bone marrow rejection therapies 


Responsibly Grown Palm Oil

Responsibly Grown Palm Oil

Our Supplier’s Commitment to Responsible Palm Oil Production

Our Supplier is committed to responsible palm oil production and understands the need to respect and protect environmentally sensitive areas while continuing to meet growing global demand for agricultural products.

Our Supplier does not and will not knowingly source or purchase palm oil from illegally cleared land or palm oil that does not comply with local laws and regulations.

Our Supplier’s Palm Oil Transactions

Much of the palm oil Our Supplier sources come from the major palm oil producing countries, which include Malaysia and Indonesia.According to the USDA, of the 140 million tons of vegetable oil produced worldwide in 2009, palm oil accounted for one third, of which 5 percent was certified by the RSPOas sustainable. Because palm oil and palm oil derivatives may be sold and traded many times before they reach processors, full transparency within the marketplace is difficult. In the case of direct transactions, while the identity of the direct seller is known at the time of purchase, the identity of the parties preceding our seller is not disclosed. Therefore we may indirectly receive palm oil from sources that are not known to us. Our Supplier does not disclose confidential supplier or
customer-related information to third parties.

Our Supplier’ Commitment to Meeting Customer Needs

For customers who want to source a palm oil from certified sustainable sources, Our Supplier can currently provide RSPO-certified palm oil under the Book and Claim system, which utilizes the online GreenPalm certificate system.As an active member of the RSPO, Our Supplier can also offer certified sustainable palm through the Mass Balance system.The Mass Balance system administratively monitors the trade of RSPO-certified palm oil and its derivatives throughout the entire supply chain.

The Alchemist Collection’s Supplier supports a proactive approach to resolving issues in accordance with the RSPOCode of Conduct, in order to ensure that the world’s palm oil is produced in a legal, economically viable, environmentally appropriate and socially beneficial manner. Palm oil, incredibly rich in anti-oxidants and vitamin E is one of the main base oils in The Alchemist Collection handmade bath bars. It contributes to the long lasting, hard bar allowing for a rich, creamy lather. There are serious concerns about Palm Oil farming in Malaysia, which we take very seriously, and the impact it has on the land, the people and the animal species.


• Palm Oil MSDS

• Certificate of Analysis