Castor oil has been making a huge comeback recently with the rise of young Instagrammers applying it to their hair (and even eyelashes) for shinier, thicker and longer locks. But did you know there are many other ways to use castor oil for natural healing? Once you start using castor oil, you will seriously be amazed and wonder, “How did I not know about this before?”!
All information in this article is for educational purposes only.
It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
What is Castor Oil
Castor oil comes from the castor plant that grows castor beans. The castor bean plant originated in Egypt and was used for medicinal purposes in the Middle East as much as 5,000 years ago! In the old days, many people used castor oil to help promote a bowel movement and prevent constipation. You may remember your grandmother having 1 spoonful of castor oil a day for good gut health. But way before that, castor oil was commonly applied topically for healing cuts, wounds, injuries, muscle pain, body pain, menstrual pain, and in many cases even healing internal infections, disease and imbalance. So much so that in the Middle Ages, castor oil was actually known as “Palma Christi,” perhaps because people believed that anywhere you applied the oil was like having the “Palm of Christ” applied to that area, often offering instant and miraculous healing.
What can Castor Oil do
Edgar Cayce was a medical intuitive who used castor oil for healing hundreds of patients. Dr. William McGarey, MD eventually picked up where Casey left off, helping thousands of patients using castor oil for various ailments over the course of 20 years. In his book, The Oil that Heals: A Physician’s Success with Castor Oil Treatments , he lists many cases of castor oil working very well for healing. Open festering wounds that would not heal started to miraculously dry and close after applying castor oil daily. Ringworm and other fungal infections on the skin were healed after applying castor oil to the affected area. And amazingly, people who complained of gallbladder pain often had zero reoccurrence after several rounds of applying castor oil directly to the skin on the right side of the abdomen with a heating pad, otherwise known as a “castor oil pack.” Knee pain, shoulder pain, joint pain, muscle pain, sports injuries, sprained ankles, wrist pain, hernias, bowel obstructions, pain after surgery, arthritic pain, even skin cancers – all seemed to improve after applying a castor oil pack topically to the affected area. Some people say that castor oil can also be taken to help induce labor ( but remember: always check with your doctor first).
In his book, Dr. McGarey wrote, “The most obvious effect I found in treating the body using a castor oil pack was the enhancement of the immune system. As a portion of their duties, the lymphatics – part of the immune system – drain all parts of the body. When the tissues in any area of the body are cleansed by the eliminatory process, the cells are in much better condition to work normally – and the activity of the immune bodies and substances are able better to do their job in defending the body or rebuilding it.”
Wow! With nothing to lose and possibly so much to gain, why not give the old school castor oil pack a try?!
How to Apply a Castor Oil Pack
To make your own Castor Oil Pack at home, you need these 4 items:
- Castor Oil (preferably organic castor oil)
- Wool Cloth
- Heating Pad
- Old towel (either hand towel or bath towel size)
To make things as easy as possible, look for the Heritage brand “Castor Oil Kit” for sale on amazon or iherb. The kit contains both a wool cloth and castor oil, so it’s a great starter for making castor oil packs at home. The only thing is that the kit has regular castor oil and not organic castor oil. If you want to start with organic castor oil from the get-go, you can buy the wool cloth and the organic castor oil separately. What I did was I bought the kit first, and then upgraded to organic castor oil when I ran out of the oil in the kit. Either way will work! (Each person should have their own flannel so if you’re planning to do castor oil packs with your partner, friend or family member, then every person ideally has their own wool cloth. Best not to share your wool cloth with other people.)
With castor oil, you always want to choose a high quality cold-pressed oil. Don’t go for cheap, low-quality alternatives that may have been heated to a high temperature in processing.
Next item you will need is a heating pad. I bought my heating pad on amazon. (Note: If you live in a 220V country, you will need a heating pad for 220V voltage outlets.) Alternatively, if you don’t like or don’t have a heating pad, you can use a good old-fashioned hot water bottle.
I also use an old towel to keep the oil away from sheets or clothing. Castor oil is sometimes known to stain material, so having a towel to catch any oil can help to keep things white and bright.
Apply the Castor Oil Pack
- Lay down and get comfortable with whatever you may need for 40-60 minutes (book, water, phone, TV remote (to watch a health DVD of course), iPad (to read my book on Green Smoothies – hint, hint!). I will usually do a castor oil pack before bed so I can just fall asleep with the heating pad on (I use a heating pad with a 2-hour timer).
- Plug the heating pad in and have it ready to apply.
- Apply a generous amount of castor oil topically to the affected area. I will usually add a palm-sized area of oil. The goal is to cover the skin area you are working on with a layer of castor oil.
- Immediately put the wool cloth on top of the oil.
- On top of the wool cloth, add your old towel.
- On top of the towel, place the heating pad. Turn the heating pad on. Heat helps the skin (and body) absorb the castor oil more quickly and efficiently.
- You’ve now made a Castor Oil Pack! It’s a “sandwich” of 4 layers directly on the skin: castor oil, wool cloth, old towel and heating pad on top.
- Now, relax and think of all the good you are doing for your body!
- Keep the heating pad on for at least 40 minutes, up to 60 minutes.
- Then, remove the heating pad and turn it off. Wipe the skin dry with a clean towel. You can store the wool cloth in a clean ziplock bag for future use (I simply wrap my wool flannel cloth in the old towel and store them together).
Congratulations! You can now use castor oil to help heal the body or promote detoxification.
If you’re interested in knowing more about healing power of castor oil, I highly recommend the book called The Oil that Heals: A Physician’s Success with Castor Oil Treatments by William McGarey.
My experience with Castor Oil
I’ve personally seen some pretty amazing results with castor oil. I’ve done many castor oil packs on my liver (abdomen right side area) during colon cleanses, after a liver/gallstone flush or even if I’m just feeling tired or sluggish, after a long-haul flight for example if I’ve got a bit of jet lag. I’ve also personally had menstrual pain go away completely in 30 minutes or less after applying a castor oil pack to my lower abdomen (I’ve never experienced heavier bleeding as a result). I always feel better after a castor oil pack. I’ve used castor oil to eradicate ringworm, both on myself and on our dogs and cats, with outstanding success. (For more info on fungal infections, check out my article – What is Ringworm and How to Treat it Naturally.) Castor oil is definitely a staple item in our house and I seem to continue to find more uses for it all the time.
Often I recommend Castor Oil to my Iridology and Health Coaching clients, for anything from liver/gallstone pain to skin rashes to arthritis to Fibromyalgia, in addition to what their medical doctor recommended and after seeking approval from their doctor first, of course.
My husband was sold on castor oil after he healed a neck and shoulder injury in less than 24 hours. Several months ago, he fell while going up the stairs at home. At the time, he was holding things in both arms (and going up the stars too fast, in a hurry) so when he tripped on a stair, he didn’t have a free hand to catch the fall. He wound up stumbling hard into the stair with his shoulder/neck. Yes, ouch! Poor fella was in a lot of pain and could barely move his head from side to side. I immediately applied castor oil directly on his neck, with a wool cloth and heating pad and had him lie down for 45 minutes. Afterwards, he was feeling better but the neck was still stiff. That night, we applied another castor oil pack on his neck and he went to sleep with it on. The next morning, he was 100% back to normal with no pain, no stiffness and full range of motion in the neck. He was totally amazed! He commented that had it happened a few years ago, he would’ve been feeling bad for a week!
Read more information on the liver and liver cleansing here:
What’s your success story with Castor Oil? Having natural tools for healing is truly a blessing. I love to hear new ways to use castor oil, so please share your experience in the comments below!
More on Detox:
- How do you know when it’s time to STOP fasting
- When is the BEST time (and WORST time) to START a detox
- Can your eyes change colors on a juice fast?
- Easy Recipe: Make organic pickles at home!
- What your Poop and Pee can tell you about Your Health
More on Skin Cleansing:
- Top 10 Tips for the Best Healthy Sunscreen
- Benefits of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
- How to Clean the Lymphatic System & Detox the Skin in 5 Simple Steps
- Raw Detox Salad Recipe
- 3 BEST Detox Bath Recipes to help release toxins
More on Liver Cleansing:
- Healing Power of Onions: Can Onions absorb Bacteria, Viruses and Flu?
- Gluten-Free, Raw Food and Detox at Pachamama, Costa Rica
- Liver Flush Detox Drink – Recipe for a Daily Liver Cleanse
- What’s the best detox retreat for raw food, yoga, juice & meditation in Thailand?
- How to make a Castor Oil Pack for Healing, Pain Relief or Detox