In my acupuncture practice lately I’ve been recommending castor oil packs like hot cakes! The uses of castor oil are so diverse that just about everyone can benefit. It’s affect on the body stems from it’s powerful ability to detoxify multiple organ systems. Here you’ll find info on castor oil packs, how to use them, store them, and, of course, their amazing benefits.
What is castor oil?
Castor oil is derived from the seeds of the castor plant (Ricinus communis), also known as Palma Christi. Castor oil has been used for thousands of years, dating back as far as 4,000 years as a natural way to detoxify the body.
- Detoxifies the liver
- Detoxifies the uterus, ovaries
- Supports ovarian health
- Supports fallopian tube health
- Supports uterine health
- Detoxifies before conception
- Supports egg health
- Reduces uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts
- Helps with endometriosis
- Eases dysmenorrhea
- Decreases headaches
- Relieves constipation
- Helps with pain and inflamed joints
- Gastro-intestinal disorders
- Gallbladder stones or inflammation
- Frequent night time urination
Castor oil packs stimulate healthy circulation and aid in the detoxification of the lymphatic system and the liver.
Dr. Joseph Mercola sums it up the best, “Lymphocytes are your immune system’s disease-fighting cells and are produced and stored mainly in your lymphatic tissue (thymus gland, spleen, and lymph nodes). Hundreds of miles of lymphatic tubules allow waste to be collected from your tissues and transported to your blood for elimination, a process referred to as lymphatic drainage. When your lymphatic system is not working properly, waste and toxins can build up and make you sick. Lymphatic congestion is a major factor leading to inflammation and disease. This is where castor oil comes in. When castor oil is absorbed through your skin (according to Cayce and McGarey), your lymphocyte count increases. Increased lymphocytes speed up the removal of toxins from your tissues, which promotes healing.”
How to use a castor oil pack
Making your castor oil pack is very easy and only requires a few supplies!
- Bottle of good castor oil (some castor oils may contain toxic contaminants)
- Piece of wool flannel (here’s a link if you want to purchase the castor oil and flannel together)
- Heating pad or hot water bottle or hot rice pack (but you will have to reheat)
- Glass jar (mason jar is a great choice)
- 2 Old towel (castor oil permanently stains)
- Place the piece of flannel in a large glass jar.
- Drizzle castor oil over the flannel until it’s saturated.
- Plug in the heating pad and turn it on medium.
- Set the jar with the flannel, and 2 old towels next to where you will be resting with the pack.
- For a full general health detox, lie down and place the castor oil saturated wool flannel, directly against your skin, on your abdomen covering from ribcage to pubic bone
- For Liver/Gallbladder detox: place pack over the right side of your abdomen.
- For Fertility issues: place castor oil pack over the lower abdomen.
- Put 1 old towel on top of the flannel.
- Place the heating pad or hot water bottle on top of the towel and flannel.
- Place the old towel on top of the heating pad.
- Lie down for 45 minutes to an hour and a half, remove and wipe your abdomen with the old towel or cleanse the area with a dilute solution of water and baking soda.
- Repeat as necessary.
Recommended use is 3 consecutive days.
Store in a glass jar with a lid, simply add more castor oil as needed for each use. Each pack lasts for at least 3 months.
Castor oil should not be taken internally or applied to broken skin. It should not be used during pregnancy, breastfeeding, during menstruation or during the presence of internal bleeding. If you are actively trying to conceive, discontinue use after ovulation has occurred. For females the best time to use castor oil packs are after menstruation and before ovulation.