How to Make and Use a Castor Oil Pack

Castor Oil Packs—An Effective Home Remedy to Boost Immunity and Reduce Inflammation

If your qi doesn’t flow smoothly, the energy gnarls up and symptoms develop. A warm castor oil pack is an effective way to unscramble this energetic traffic jam. The common cause of virtually all symptoms is energy gone awry, and if uncorrected, an energy snarl eventually results in one or more systems misfiring. One way to self-regulate is with a castor oil pack, a simple remedy you can apply at home.

Castor Bean Plant (Ricinus communis)

A warm castor oil pack applied externally increases lymphocyte (disease-fighting cells) production, thereby boosting immunity. (1) This aids in more efficient removal of toxins to unkink blocked energy and promote faster healing. The benefits of using this traditional remedy can be phenomenal. And unlike a fast-acting drug, this technique has no negative side effects, though it does require some repetition and patience.

Castor Oil Packs Act as a Specific Remedy for:

Non-cancerous uterine fibroids
Ovarian cysts

Castor Oil Packs Reduce the Following Conditions:

Intestinal issues
Liver and gallbladder disorders
Menstrual irregularities
Skin problems
Strained joints or muscles

Getting Started with a Castor Oil Pack Routine

To test for allergies, first rub a few drops of castor oil into your skin and wait for one day. If you have no adverse reaction to the oil, proceed. Allow 15 to 20 minutes for your first application. If you are extremely sensitive, your symptoms initially may increase in which case wait until your symptoms subside. Then repeat and gradually increase the amount of time you use the pack. As a longer application is more healing, increase your sessions to an hour or more. Many people find it convenient to sleep with a pack rather than carving out treatment time during the day.

For most conditions, including allergies and headaches, place the pack over the lower abdomen. For liver and gallbladder issues, place it along the right side of the abdomen. For bursitis, hypothyroidism, skin problems, strained joints or muscles, and swelling, place it on the afflicted area. Fold the flannel so that it will cover the area to be treated.

Castor Oil Pack Equipment and Ingredients

100% wool or cotton flannel, approximately 18 inches x 24 inches
Organic castor oil, cold-pressed
Large bowl
Plastic wrap or a plastic bag to cover the flannel pack, or a reusable pack (like this)
Hot water bottle or electric heating pad
Baking soda
Wide-mouthed pint glass jar for flannel storage

Place the flannel in a large bowl and add just enough oil, about 1/4 cup, to saturate the cloth; rubbing the flannel together helps distribute the oil. (Avoid using excess oil which might then leak onto your clothing.) If using the pack on your abdomen, warm it, as it’s not advisable to place a cold pack on this region. Bring the saturated pack to body temperature or a little warmer by placing it on a plastic covered heating pad for a few minutes or by warming it in a pan, on the stovetop, turning as necessary. Microwaving it is not recommended.

Fold the cloth to fit the designated application area. Place the pack on your dry, bare skin and cover it with plastic, plastic wrap, or use a reusable pack. Apply the hot water bottle or electric heating pad. Now stretch out and relax while the castor oil goes to work.

When finished, remove any residual oil by rubbing a teaspoon baking soda over the treated area and then wash with soap and water. Fold the used flannel pack and store it in a pint glass jar. For your next application, add 1-2 teaspoons fresh castor oil (excessive oil is apt to leak out). Should the pack become rancid smelling or discolor from the toxins that your body releases, wash the flannel with a strong detergent and then reuse. The flannel is typically good for 30 or more uses before it needs washing. It is not necessary to refrigerate the cloth between uses, as castor oil naturally resists rancidity.

Repeat for three to five more days. Then take a few days off. Repeat the cycle. Or you may pulse the treatments with one day on and one day off.

Admittedly, oil stains and can be messy. If you use plastic wrap or a plastic bag between the pack itself and your clothing, wear old clothing. Better yet, use a castor oil pack that nicely contains the oil. I’ve tried several different pack holders and found that this economical and well designed handmade reusable pack is the most effective.

Contraindications: Castor oil and castor oil packs are is not to be used during pregnancy, heavy menstrual flow or the presence of internal bleeding or a recent injury.

1.Naturopathic Doctor News and Review, May 5, 2015, accessed on April 8, 2017

7 Responses to Castor Oil Packs—An Effective Home Remedy to Boost Immunity and Reduce Inflammation

  1. Thank you Rebecca. I wasn’t specific, but the client is my 30 y.o. daughter who had an open partial nephrectomy 1 1/2 yrs ago for a cancer scare (happily benign). Parts of her incision have improved but other sections have not despite frequent massages. She is also struggling with low back pain issues which as PT, I can’t help but feel are connected, at least in part, to changes in her abdominal wall.

    • This is obviously too technical a question to adequately relate to on this forum. If your daughter wishes to consult with me, we can address the low back pain issues.

      • My apologies Rebecca, I didn’t mean to be requesting too much specifics regarding the back pain, rather the time since open abdominal surgery in regards to the castor oil pack, which you answered the first time.

        Thank you.

  2. Thanks for this detailed explanation! I’ve been wanting to do more castor oil packs, but found it really messy. I was wondering: if my pack now smells rancid, but I don’t want to throw it out because it’s pure wool, what’s the best way to clean it properly?

    • Give your old castor flannel a good wash using, if necessary, a strong detergent. Then it’s ready for another long cycle of use.

  3. Hi Rebecca,
    Somewhere over the past few years I learned of this and gave it a try for menstrual cramps, but now menopausal (yay!) I haven’t thought of it again. I’m wondering what your thoughts are on the use of this 1 1/2 yrs following an open abdominal surgery where a 6-8 inch keloid scar is present. Thanks so much for all the work you share!

    • By all means, resume castor oil pack. They will help keep the scar tissue soft as well as support your liver and gut functions.

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