Aunt Vadge: Can I use castor oil as lube?

A beautiful smiling Indian woman holds up an oil container, smiling

Hi Aunt Vadge,

Can I use castor oil as a lubricant in my vagina during sex?

Age 68, USA


Hello Ck,

Castor oil is indeed known for being an all-around wonder oil with a ton of uses, most famously castor oil packs.

So many people have found castor oil packs useful for a huge number of maladies. But, is castor oil good to use vaginally as lube? Possibly. Let’s discuss.

The pros and cons of using castor oil as lube during sex

We have a few thoughts for you to consider regarding castor oil, with a list of pros and cons. You’ll have all the information about using this fantastic oil in your vagina, particularly during intimate sex play.

While it might seem like a natural and harmless choice as a lube, oils like castor oil aren’t necessarily great for internal use on mucous membranes, especially in such a sensitive and absorbent area as your vagina.

But, that doesn’t mean you can’t use castor oil (and other oils) for lube – they are natural, and while not everything natural is harmless, there’s no harm in trying it out! We use plant oils for many reasons, and the main issue with castor oil is not that it’s harmful but more so that it’s less practical than other oils for lube.

Vegetable oils are, as a group, pretty benign vaginally, in particular for lube (coconut oil is a favourite), so if you like castor oil as lube and it doesn’t cause you a problem for short-term use, there isn’t a problem using castor oil vaginally.

Our view is that if you want to try castor oil as a sexual lubricant, go for it. Our only cautions are, if you or your partner(s) experience symptoms, stop; if it hurts, stop; and if it’s not helping or doesn’t feel good, stop!

Let’s explore both the sunny and the shady sides of using castor oil as a lubricant.

Pros of using castor oil as a lubricant:

It’s all natural, baybeeeee

For folks looking to keep things au naturel, castor oil is a plant-based product, which might be appealing if you’re into holistic or natural options for lubricant. We’re also into that, we get it. Yes.

Thick consistency

Castor oil has a thicker viscosity, which might provide a longer-lasting lubricant effect compared with thinner oils or water-based lubes that can absorb quickly. This has both benefits and pitfalls.

Skin health benefits

Castor oil is lauded for its skin health benefits, such as moisturising dry skin, which might be beneficial if you’re dealing with vaginal dryness or other vulvar symptoms that castor or other oil may be indicated for, such as dermatitis. Experiment.

Cons of using castor oil as a lubricant:

Thick consistency

It’s also a pro, but it can be a con. It’s a very large fat molecule, like olive oil, making it stickier and thicker than most other vegetable oils.

Castor oil is not that nice to the touch, unlike oils such as sweet almond or coconut, which roll across the skin with smaller molecules for a smoother experience.

For your vaginal health, you may prefer a water-based or silicone-based lube that’s specifically designed for the job. These types of lubes are safe for use internally, won’t throw off your pH levels, and are condom-friendly.

Messy to clean

Castor oil particularly tends to be more difficult to wash off your body and sheets; it can leave stains and a greasy feel that’s not so easy to bid farewell.

Castor oil is a pretty big oil molecule, but it’s still a vegetable oil and tends to wash out. Those using fancy lingerie or your best sheets with castor oil, beware; you have been warned!

Not latex condom compatible

Castor oil can degrade latex, increasing the risk of condom breakage and thereby reducing the effectiveness of this form of contraception and sexually transmitted infection (STI) protection.

You can easily overcome this by using latex-free condoms.

This isn’t a huge big deal for most people, but it does matter if you rely on latex condoms for your barrier during sex.

Potential for irritation

Some people may be sensitive or allergic to castor oil, leading to irritation or allergic reactions, which is the opposite of the good times we’re going for. Again, not a big deal for most people, but something to look out for.

Stay slick safely,
Aunt Vadge 🌷


  1. 1.
    Patel VR, Dumancas GG, Viswanath LCK, Maples R, Subong BJJ. Castor Oil: Properties, Uses, and Optimization of Processing Parameters in Commercial Production. Lipid�Insights. Published online January 2016:LPI.S40233. doi:10.4137/lpi.s40233