by Sheree-Anita Shearer | Associate Writer
Making authentic Jamaican Black Castor Oil has been done on the island for decades. But how is it done?
Miss Sally, from Beeston Spring, Westmoreland, was more than happy to share the entire process on how it is done. You can watch that video on our YouTube channel (link below)
Miss Sally has been making Jamaican Black Castor Oil for a little over 7 years now. While it has only been a few years since she has started doing it on her own, she has seen her mother do this process many times over the years since she was a child. She only started going at it alone when her mom became physically unable to make the oil anymore.
Since then Sally has taken over the reins and now does the long and tedious process by herself.
This is a multistep process, which at first can be really difficult to remember but after doing it for a while you’ll enjoy every step.
Step 1: The castor beans are picked and left in the sun to dry, usually for 4-5 days. You’ll know the drying process has been completed when the pods turn brown and start opening on their own.
Step 2: You then use a knife to husk open the pod to remove the seeds.
Step 3: The dried beans should then be sieved. Ensure you remove all debris and bad nuts from the container.
Step 4: Now it’s time to wash the nuts. A good three rinses in water should be good, however, you can always adjust the number of times you wash it depending on the amount you have.
Step 5: After washing, allow the nuts to dry properly to prevent the nuts from rotting, especially if you will not be using it the same day. It is also advised to wrap the dried nuts in a clean cloth if you will be completing the other steps in making the oil on another day.
Step 6: The nuts should now be parched. This is a fairly simple step, all you will have to do is ensure the pot is very hot, add the nuts and leave it to parch for about 10 minutes or until the nuts change to a slightly darker colour and are no longer glossy but have a mat finish instead. Stir the nuts in the pan occasionally to ensure all the nuts are parched evenly.
An important thing to note is that the nuts must be measured in quarts when adding them to the pot.
Step 7: Remove the pot from the fire and add the nuts to your mortar immediately. The beating process should be done while the nuts are still hot. Using the pestle, grind the nuts until they are completely crushed. The consistency should become a really thick paste.
When you’ve accomplished this consistency, it is time to boil the paste. This is the final step before it becomes Jamaican Black Castor Oil.
Step 8: Ensure the water has begun boiling before adding the castor oil nut paste to the pot.
There isn’t much else to do at this point except wait and stir the pot occasionally to prevent the paste from sticking to the bottom of the pan. The length of time it takes depends on the number of castor beans you are using.
To know when it’s done and ready to be removed from the fire, you should see oil forming on the surface of the liquid inside the pot as well as hear a frying sound indicating that the water has evaporated and there is now most if not all oil in the pot.
Step 9: Pour the oil from the pot into an appropriate container, remember the oil will be hot as it has just been removed from the fire.
To get the most of your castor oil, add more water to the pot the castor oil was boiled in and allow it to settle for about half an hour. The remaining oil will now come to the surface of the water and you can careful skim it and add it to your batch of castor oil.
Step 10: Now, the final step is to put the oil back on the fire for about 10 minutes or so. This will remove any impurities or water remaining in the oil.
And you are done!
You have your very own batch of Authentic Jamaican Black Castor Oil which can be used as a treatment for hair, acne, scars, pain, insomnia, constipation and a host of other health benefits.
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