Castor oil has been used for centuries in different cultures and for a variety of health reasons. Castor oil packs, made popular by Edgar Cayce in the early 20th century, are a great practice to incorporate into your regimen. They help to improve circulation of the lymph system, reduce inflammation, balance the endocrine and nervous systems and assist the liver.
- constipation or diarrhea
- balancing hormones
- balancing the nervous system
- stagnant lymph
- improving sleep
- liver support
- reduces inflammation
- busts bloat
- boosts immune system
You can use castor oil directly on your skin without doing the pack; however, there are benefits to the compression and heat portions of the practice when looking to rebalance your health.
How to do a Castor Oil Pack
- cold pressed, organic castor oil
- natural cotton or wool flannel (3 layers, final measurement should be 12″ x 14″)
- small garbage bag (13 gallon, cut down the seams to create two pieces)
- towel that you are okay with possibly staining
- heating pad
- Fold a bath towel in half then half again, place on a sturdy table and set heating pad on top
- Turn heating pad to the lowest setting and place plastic on top of heating pad
- Fold flannel to correct size/layers and place it on the plastic bag
- Pour castor oil on cloth, avoiding the edges (I stay about 1-2″ from the edge) Just make a few streaks across the fabric, then gently fold over and press to evenly distribute the oil
- Fold the entire thing over (including the towel) and allow to warm for 15 minutes
- Prepare rinse water by mixing 2 cups warm water with 1-2 tsp baking soda. Place the bowl and a small washcloth next to your treatment area for easy access
When it’s warm
- Lay a towel or other protective layer across the bed or couch you are using. You can spread a large plastic barrier covered by an old sheet if you are really concerned about staining.
- Remove any clothing from the area of treatment (especially anything you do not want stained, although if you do get a stain you can add 2 cups baking soda or oxyclean to the wash cycle to help get it out.)
- Unfold entire “pack” you made and place the cloth and heating pad on your abdomen from rib cage to hip bones.
- Take the towel, unfold it once so it’s folded in half and tuck it under your body on each side to seal in the heat and compress a little more.
- Turn the heating pad up to medium (no higher than that).
- Relax, pray, sleep, listen to music, etc. for 1 to 1-1/2 hours. You can also leave it on overnight, using some sort of tight clothing or abdominal/back support to hold it in place.
- When you are done, remove the towel and heating pad and set them aside.
- Remove plastic bag and flannel pieces as one, and fold the “oily” sides together and store in a ziplock bag. You can reuse by adding a little more oil each time. Clean and start again if the oil goes rancid.
- Wipe your abdomen with the baking soda solution, which helps to alkalize the area and increase absorption into the lymphatic system.
- Store the pack in your refrigerator or a dark area. Castor oil has a very long shelf life.
How often should you do a pack?
You can do castor oil packs daily or you can do it on a rotation of 4 days on 3 days off, 3 days on 4 days off or every other day. It’s really up to you.
Ways to use castor oil directly without a pack
- Reduces fine lines and wrinkles – use alone on eyes, face, neck, etc. or with your favorite oil such as jojoba or argan
- Helps to increase eyebrow and eyelash growth – apply 1-2 drops each night and wipe excess (I use a disposable eyelash brush for both)
- Can stimulate hair growth – apply each night to bald or sparse areas, allow to sit 1 hour to overnight, then rinse with 2 cups warm water mixed with 2 tsp baking soda before shampooing. Warning: castor oil stains anything it gets on, so make sure to cover your head with a shower cap if you’re going to sleep with it in!