A castor oil pack is a safe and efficient way to get the healing benefits of castor oil. Castor oil packs are an important part of many holistic healing protocols including detoxification programs, cancer treatments, and protocols that work to improve conditions of the digestive system.
What is Castor Oil?
Castor oil is derived from the beans of the castor plant (Ricinus communis) which is native to India, the Mediterranean, and Eastern Africa. The use of castor oil can be traced back to 3000BC when the ancient Egyptians used it for its medicinal effects. Castor oil is also a widely used remedy in the ancient healing system of Ayurveda.
Castor oil is pale yellow in colour and a bit sticky in texture. It has a high content of fatty acids, particularly ricinoleic acid which makes up about 90% of its fatty acid content. Ricinoleic acid is a rare substance with exceptional healing abilities.
Benefits of Using a Castor Oil Pack
- improves liver function
- aids removal of toxins
- relieves abdominal pain
- reduces inflammation
- cures constipation
- increases circulation in the abdomen
- improves digestive disorders
- promotes healing of abdominal tissues and organs
- increases lymphocyte count and activity
- improves lymphatic circulation
- supports ovarian and uterine health
- detoxifies the reproductive system
- improves sleep
How to Use a Castor Oil Pack
A castor oil pack can be placed on different parts of the body to help with various conditions.
Some ways you can use your castor oil pack are:
- Place the castor oil pack on the right side of the abdomen or over the entire abdomen to detox the liver and improve digestive health.
- Place the castor oil pack over the lower abdomen for reducing menstrual pain or fertility issues place.
- Place the castor oil pack on the chest to relieve chest congestion or ease a cough.
- Use the pack anywhere on the body to speed the healing of strained muscles or joints.
- Use only high quality, hexane-free castor oil. Most of the commercially available castor oils have come from castor plants which have been heavily sprayed with pesticides.
- Get a piece of unbleached cotton or wool flannel. The piece of flannel should be large enough to cover the affected area when it is folded over two or three layers thick.
- Soak the piece of flannel in warm or room temperature castor oil. The cloth should be saturated, but not dripping.
- Lie down on your back and elevate your feet with a pillow. You can lay on an old towel to protect your sheets from getting stained by the oil.
- Place the oil-soaked flannel over the affected area and cover it with plastic wrap, an old towel, or a castor oil pack holder to prevent oil getting on your sheets or clothing.
- Place an electric heating pad on top. You may also use a hot water bottle, but you may need to reheat it a few times.
- Leave the pack on for 45-60 minutes. You can rest, read, practice deep breathing or meditate during this time.
- Remove the castor oil pack and clean the oil off your stomach with soap and water or water and baking soda.
Helpful Tips for Using Your Castor Oil Pack:
Do not wash the flannel cloth. Place the castor oil-soaked cloth in a glass container or jar and store in the refrigerator for the next use. You can reuse each castor oil pack up to 30 times. You may need to add a little more castor oil to the flannel from time to time. Replace the pack if it begins to change colour.
Wash this towel you were laying on separately from other items to prevent the smell of the castor oil from getting into your clothing, sheets, or other towels.
For the best results, use your castor oil pack on four or more consecutive nights every week for at least one month.
Drink adequate water when using your castor oil pack to stay hydrated and help with detoxification.
Related: 7 Ways to Detox Your Body
Resources and Recommend Reading:
- William McGarey, The Oil That Heals: A Physician’s Successes With Castor Oil Treatments
- Harold Reilly, Ruth Hagy Brod, The Edgar Cayce Handbook for Health Through Drugless Therapy
- Ley, Beth M. Ph.D., Castor Oil! It’s Healing Properties
Photo: Michelle Greene