Ever since my naturopath introduced me to the wonderful world of castor oil packs, I've been hooked. Castor oil's healing properties go way back to ancient Egypt, where it was regularly taken orally as a laxative (which is now known to be toxic). Today, Chinese medicine, ayurvedic medicine, and naturopathy recommend castor oil packs because of their ability to promote healing and to reduce inflammation. They also improve elimination and circulation, especially of the lymphatic system. Other ailments castor oil packs are said to aid with include hepatitis C, hyperthyroidism, pelvic pain, tendinitis, kidney stones, fibroids, ovarian cysts, swollen joints, irritable bowel syndrome, and digestive disorders.
Castor oil packs are made with several layers of flannel and cold-pressed castor oil (both of which can be purchased online or from a local health food store). When placed on the affected area, the pack acts as a poultice to draw out infection and dissolve scars, cysts, and tumors.
Keep reading to learn how you can make your own pack.
How to Make a Castor Oil Pack
- A soft, clean, thick material like flannel, wool, or cotton (organic is best)
- Castor oil
- A glass bowl or glass jar that you can pour the castor oil in over your flannel
- A hot water bottle or heating pad
- Old clothes that you don't mind getting stained since castor oil stains fabric
- A plastic bag (I find kitchen or regular garbage bags work best)
- A large towel
- Put on your older clothes.
- Take your piece of flannel and place it in your bowl or glass container and pour enough castor oil over it to soak it (make sure it's saturated, but it doesn't need to be dripping in oil).
- Get your hot water bottle or heating pad ready.
- Place your towel on a flat surface (either a couch, your bed, or the floor). For added protection you can also put down a garbage bag so that your bed or couch won't get stained from any oil that manages to escape the plastic cover.
- Once you lie down, place your saturated flannel over the affected area of your body.
- Cover the pack with plastic.
- Place the heating pad or hot water bottle over the pack and let it sit for at least 45-60 minutes. During this time you can rest or read a book.
- When the time is up, remove the pack and clean the area with water and a bit of baking soda.
- You can keep the pack in a plastic bag in a cool place or the refrigerator. I keep mine in a sealed glass jar in one of my kitchen cabinets. Just add another tablespoon of castor oil for the next session.
And if you're a visual leaner, here's a video describing how to make a castor oil pack (sorry it's so old!).