Castor Oil Packs: indications, materials and uses.
Though we mainly know it as one of Edgar Cayce’s most famous remedies, castor oil has a long history of traditional medical use dating back to ancient Egypt. Derived from the castor bean, the oil was traditionally used internally as a laxative. However, now it is primarily used externally due to its potential toxicity.
A castor oil pack is placed on the skin to increase circulation, to soften areas of hardness, to speed healing of the tissues and organs underneath the skin. It is used to stimulate the liver, relieve pain, increase lymphatic circulation, reduce inflammation, and to improve digestion and elimination.
Holistic Treatment for: cholecystitis (inflammation of the gall bladder), poor elimination, various liver conditions such as cirrhosis, scleroderma, headaches, appendicitis, arthritis, digestive irregularities, colitis, intestinal disorders such as stricture and colon impaction and common constipation, incoordination between nervous systems, neuritis, and toxemia.
Soaking several pieces of flannel in castor oil and placing it on the skin comprise the castor oil pack. The flannel is covered with a sheet of plastic, and then a heating pad, preferably non-electrical, which is placed over the plastic to heat the pack. The pack can be left with heat for about 45 minutes to an hour and without heat the pack can be left on the body as long as is comfortable. If you do use an electrical heating pad be sure it can be programmed to shut off automatically in 45min. The heat should be warm enough to feel comfortable and never so hot as to scorch the skin of course.
Castor oil packs can be placed on the following body regions:
- The right side of the abdomen to stimulate the liver; and treat inflamed and swollen joints, bursitis, and muscle strains.
- The abdomen to relieve constipation and other digestive disorders.
- The lower abdomen in cases of menstrual irregularities, uterine and ovarian cysts (*not during menstrual flow).
- Directly over local areas of congestion and hardness.
Safety precautions: Castor oil should not be taken internally. It should not be applied to broken skin, or used during pregnancy, breastfeeding, or during menstrual flow. Castor oil packs should never to be used on or around malignant tumors.
* Several layers of unbleached, dye-free wool or cotton flannel large enough to cover the affected area. You can use clean white towel as long as it is free of bleach or fabric softener or sterile disposable cotton gauze.
* Castor oil
* Plastic wrap cut 1-2″ larger than the flannel (can be cut from a plastic bag)
* Heating pads, microwave-able “rice packs” work great!
* Container with lid
* Old clothes towels or sheets. Castor oil will stain clothing and bedding.
Place the flannel in the container. Soak it in castor oil so that it is saturated, but not dripping. Place the pack over the affected body part. Cover with plastic. Place the hot water bottle over the pack. Leave it on for 45-60 minutes. Rest while the pack is in place. After removing the pack, cleanse the area with a dilute solution of water and baking soda. Store the pack in the covered container in the refrigerator. Each pack may be reused up to 25-30 times.
It is generally recommended that a castor oil pack be used for 3 to 7 days in a week to treat a health condition or for detoxification.