Castor oil packs have been used as a natural remedy to promote healing, improve circulation and reduce inflammation for thousands of years. In fact, the use of applying castor oil to the body topically can be traced back to medical textbooks in Egypt as early as 1550 B.C.
Castor oil (Ricinus communis) comes from the castor seed which is native to India. It is extremely high in the fatty acid ricinoleic acid (about 90% of the oil), which is thought to be responsible for its health-promoting abilities.
Castor oil works by stimulating your lymph and liver function by increasing your lymphocyte count, which then allows the body to speed up the process of removing toxins from your tissues. Lymphatic congestion is a key factor in inflammation and disease.
Where there is inflammation - there is sickness, toxicity and overall distress in the body.
So, if you have an autoimmune disease or health issues in general, you are likely struggling with a sluggish lymphatic system where toxins are building up and making you sick.
Castor oil packs can be placed over a large area from the pelvic bones to the clavicle bones or placed over smaller areas of the body, such as the thyroid, the liver, or mid-section to target particular areas of the body.
Placing the castor oil pack over your liver (upper, right quadrant of the abdomen) you can help support detoxification. Placing it directly on strained joints or muscles reduces inflammation and can ease arthritis. Placing a castor oil pack over your entire abdomen will ease menstrual cramps, support reproductive health, improve gut health and aid digestion.
The many benefits of Castor Oil Packs include:
Relaxing the digestive system, reducing bloat and improving constipation
Reducing gallbladder inflammation/stones
Improving lymphatic drainage
Reducing gut inflammation
Reducing headaches and migraines
Detoxifying the liver
Shrinking thyroid cysts and nodules
Reducing painful menstrual cramps
Shrinking cysts in breast tissue
Shortening periods and regulating cycles
Shrinking uterine fibroids
Shrinking and reducing ovarian cysts
Reducing symptoms of PCOS
Improving healthy gut microbiome and biofilm breakdown
Reducing overall inflammation, muscle soreness and joint pain (systemic pain)
Breaking up adhesions or scar tissue (recommended for after surgery)
Strengthening the immune system
Improving and healing the skin (improves eczema and psoriasis, decreases stretch marks and scaring, soothes dry or sunburnt skin and rashes, removes skin tags and moles)
Improves hair health (increases growth, thickens hair, reduces damage)
Fights toenail fungus
Increases relaxation and improves sleep quality (best to do at night)
Supporting weight loss
Reducing water retention
Increasing thyroid health and supporting autoimmune issues (Hashimoto's)
The use of castor oil packs also increases master cleansing agent, Glutathione. Glutathione is a super antioxidant that pulls and supports the elimination of most, if not all, toxic substances from the body - even including heavy metals.
If you suffer from autoimmune issues, chronic constipation, PMS symptoms or estrogen dominance, dysbiosis or Hashimoto's Thyroiditis - castor oil packs are a no brainer!
So, Castor Oil Packs are basically a super cleanse for your body. As they support and encourage your body’s natural ability to detox and heal itself. If you’re sick or struggling with certain health issues, that is a huge red flag that your body needs help improving these basic functions – so give it a try!
How to use a Castor Oil Pack:
Castor oil packs are very simple to do in the comfort of your own home. You only need a few items to enjoy the relaxation and many benefits of Castor Oil Packs and you most likely already have most of these items.
You will need the following:
1) First, choose which castor oil pack you would like to use. You can purchase a Castor Oil Pack that ties around you so you can go about your day or sleep in it with little to no mess. In this case, we recommend Queen of Thrones Castor Oil Packs. You can purchase one HERE.
Or, you can choose a do-it-yourself Castor Oil Pack. Make sure to purchase an unbleached, dye free and organic wool or cotton flannel (you can use on old towel or flannel shirt that has been washed in a toxin-free detergent many times as a last resort). Organic cotton or wool flannels can be purchased HERE.
Whichever you choose, can be used up to 2-3 months before changing them out.
2) Secondly, you will need a high-quality Castor Oil (organic, cold-pressed, 100% hexane free). Glass bottles are encouraged, and my personal recommended brands are Queen of Thrones or Heritage. However, others include Banyan Botanicals, NOW, Baar, and Sky Organics - try to get organic. Usually, you can find castor oil at a local health food store OR pharmacy, but we also have it in our Queen of Thrones store or Fullscript Online Store.
3) Heating pad or hot water bottle (if you want). It is not necessary for Queen of Thrones packs as they are designed to utilize your own body heat.
4) Glass container with lid to store your castor oil pack after use. I use a glass food storage container for storing the oil-soaked flannel between uses.
5) Old clothes and towels or blankets. Castor oil can stain, so it is preferable to do them naked or in clothes you do not care for anymore.
6) A comfortable place to relax.
Once you have your kit together, you’ll see how easy it is. After experiencing the relaxation and inflammation reducing qualities, it’ll be something you’ll reach for again and again.
If you choose the DIY Castor Oil Pack, make sure to prepare your space first before applying your pack.
1) Prepare your space thoughtfully as Castor Oil will stain. Put an old towel or blanket underneath you, remove clothing that could touch it, or wear clothes you are okay with getting stained (and then wear these clothes each time).
2) Have your book, meditation music, tea/water, or show/movie ready to go.
3) If you choose, plug in your heating pad (or heat your bottle) and place it where you will be laying.
4) Drench your chosen pack/cloth with the castor oil. You can place it in a jar or glass container or on top of a larger old towel, then drizzle some of the castor oil over it until it is moist but isn’t dripping wet. You will want to add 1 tbsp of Castor Oil before each use.
If you use a jar or glass container, you can store the pack in that container afterwards. If you decide to reuse the material with the castor oil on it, it is best to store it in the refrigerator or cool dark place, so it doesn’t go rancid.
5) Place the castor oil pack where you would like (most commonly the entire mid-section from clavicle to pelvic bone, ribcage to pelvic bone, directly over liver and gallbladder or directly over the thyroid for autoimmune conditions or nodules).
6) Place hot water bottle or heating pad on top if you decide to. You will want to put another old towel or pillowcase between/around the heating pad for protection from the oil (trash bag or saran wrap as a last resort).
7) Relax for preferably an hour with your legs elevated comfortably. If using a Castor Oil Pack that ties around you, you can go about your day or sleep in it for best results.
8) When time is up, gently remove the heating pad and flannel and rub in the excess castor oil if going to sleep. If moving on with your day, wear an old shirt or wipe the excess castor oil off with warm water (can use soap or baking soda for better cleanup). I personally just rub the excess castor oil onto my skin.
Place the castor oil pack in your storage container and make sure to wash other towels/clothes used during your castor oil pack session separately. Never put your actual castor oil pack through the washing machine.
How often can you use a castor oil pack?
For maximum effectiveness, apply at least four consecutive days per week for one full month. Clients who use the pack daily report the most benefits.
For more serious health issues or if you lack time throughout the day, I recommend purchasing an actual pack with straps and sleep in it. I have personally done this many times and feel fabulous in the morning.
Once you have experienced the benefits, it is nice to use them once a week to a couple times a month for maintenance. You can always return to them more frequently if issues arise again (ex. digestive distress – bloating/constipation, painful periods, or just experiencing inflammation or water retention).
The great thing is that you can do what feels good for you. There are no specific rules to Castor Oil Packs. If you do start to feel any stomach upset, which is unlikely, you can skip a day or two between them and still see results.
Remember that you can reuse the pack several times (up to 2-3 months), each time adding more oil as needed to keep the pack saturated.
~ Queen of thrones castor oil and castor oil packs for the abdomen, liver or thyroid HERE.
~ Castor oil and wool or cotton flannel HERE.
Upcoming Event: Ditch the Diet Mentality for Good & Choose Nourishment Instead!
*If you have any questions, consider scheduling a FREE 15-Minute Session
with us to discuss your health concerns and how we can help.
*Ready to jump in and start healing from the source?
Consider our Gut Rebalance & Restore Package with Functional Testing!