Castor oil is one of the oldest healing remedies in human history. Castor oil use dates back to ancient times among the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians for its healing properties and still has many useful purposes today. Castor oil can be applied directly onto the skin, where it functions to improve circulation, detoxification, and elimination of waste in the body. Castor oil stimulates the lymphatic system, which in turn helps to improve digestion, boost immune function, reduce swelling, and inflammation. In particular, castor oil packs are helpful for stimulating bile flow from the liver. Bile plays an important role in cleaning up the digestive system, and it is needed for the absorption of lipids and fat soluble vitamins. We also need sufficient bile flow for peristalsis, which is the contraction and relaxation of muscles throughout the GI tract. It creates wave-like movements that push the contents through our system.
What is a castor oil pack?
Castor oil packs involve pouring a few tablespoons of castor oil onto either an old cotton T-shirt or a cloth-like material such as wool flannel or cotton flannel and then placed onto the abdomen. The pack can be placed on the upper right abdomen where the liver is to help with liver detoxification. For constipation relief, the pack can be placed on the lower abdomen where the large intestine resides to help with bowel movements. Using a heat pack overtop the castor oil pack is optional but can help with the absorption of the castor oil into the skin.
Health concerns that respond well to topical castor oil include:
Intestinal imbalances: constipation, loose stools, poor elimination.
Liver and gallbladder imbalances: stagnant bile flow, fatty liver disease, etc.
Gynaecological imbalances: irregular or painful periods, uterine fibroids, and ovarian cysts.
How often should you use a castor oil pack?
Castor oil packs can be used frequently, up to daily, if needed. For chronic conditions, it is best to start with every second or third day. For acute conditions (constipation, general detoxification, etc.) they can be used daily. Castor oil packs should generally be used for a minimum of 45 - 60 minutes. However, you can also sleep with the pack on as well to get deeper rooted benefits.
What kind of castor oil pack should I get and where from?
Queen of Thrones Original Organic Castor Oil Liver Pack Kit is one of my favourites and is one that I often recommend to many of my clients. This is a complete kit, it comes organic castor oil, cotton sherpa pack with adjustable straps. You can check them out here and use my promo code ‘SEEDLING10’ to receive a 10% discount. If this pack is not available to you where you live or if you would prefer to not use this pack, you can make your own.
How to make your own castor oil pack:
Start by purchasing organic castor oil. You can find this online or at most health food stores. It is preferred to use unrefined/cold pressed oil in a dark glass bottle.
A sheet of organic, non-dyed fabric, such as flannel, wool, or thin cotton. You'll want to pick something that you can dedicate to just castor oil pack use as the oil can stain.
A heating source, such as a hot water bottle, electric blanket/heating pad.
Garbage bag, ziplock bag or old bath towel.
How to use a castor oil pack:
If you purchase The Queen of Thrones Castor Oil Pack it will come with instructions, but here is a link to a YouTube video instruction for some extra guidance. Also as mentioned briefly before, make sure to put the castor oil and the pack on the area of the body that will support the correct organ. For example, the liver is located under the right rib cage so if you are trying to support that organ, make sure to apply the pack to that part of your body. Please refer to the picture below showing the exact location of the liver for reference. I personally love using castor oil packs right before bed, while having a cup of tea, watching TV. It is very relaxing to put a heating pad on top of the pack as well. It is not required to use heat, but I personally find that I get better benefits when I do, so I strongly encourage using a heating pad on top of the pack during use.
Steps for using your own castor oil pack:
Since castor oil can stain clothing, make sure to be wearing old clothing which won't matter if it gets stained.
Then take the flannel/wool/cotton sheet, fold it to the size you want, and then cover it with castor oil.
Oiled side down, lay it on the area you want to support, such as the uterus, the right side under the rib cage for liver/gallbladder, stomach/abdomen for bowel support, etc.).
Cover with a garbage bag, ziplock or old bath towel (optional). Adding the plastic or towel in between the flannel/wool/cotton sheet helps with getting less oily. You can also use a tensor bandage to wrap around your abdomen, keeping the pack set.
Apply heat source over top of the flannel/wool/cotton sheet.
Lay down somewhere comfy with the pack on for 45-60 minutes or overnight.
Remove excess oil from your skin or leave it on to fully absorb.
How to store a castor oil pack:
Because castor oil does not go rancid, you can keep it at room temperature so that it is ready to go when you want to use it. That way when you go to put it on it won't be cold. However, you can keep it in the fridge if you'd prefer as well. You can store the pack in a large zip-lock bag or glass jar. The pack can be re-used many times, adding more oil as needed to keep the pack saturated. At some point the pack will need to be replaced, usually it changes colour after several months of use.
Cleaning the pack:
It is recommended to replace the castor oil pack and start new after about 3 months. It is preferable to not wash the pack. Queen of Thrones recommends to be careful with where the oil is placed on the pack. It's best to keep the oil away from the seams, towards the middle of the pack. If you'd like step-by-step instructions for how to clean the pack, they outline how to do so on the Queen of Thrones website, in the FAQ section, under the header 'How to Wash my Castor Oil Pack'. You can read more about it here.
On a full stomach - best to wait 2-3 hours after a meal.
If you’ve never a used castor oil pack before but think you might benefit from using one speak to a qualified health practitioner to see if it’s appropriate for you.