Castor oil is a soothing and healing oil for use on the skin, scalp or on wounds. It has been used for minor blemishes and skin damage in Africa and India for thousands of years.
It comes from the seed of the Castor Oil Plant and is similar to the rather more familiar garden plant Euphorbia.
You can see that the leaves look like a hand and since the plant has a formidable healing reputation the common name for this healing plant is Palma Christi
It's main use in Naturopathy however lies not in the treatment of skin issues such as boils, styes and stretch marks nor the old fashioned and possibly dangerous practise of forcing kids to swallow it to relieve constipation but as the healing agent in the use of the aptly called "Castor Oil Pack".
Why and How to Use a Castor Oil Pack
The brief answer is to purify the lymph and to help the liver detox and cleanse the blood.
Detox should be done step by step and I have written 2 books full of detail on this so I won't go over that here.
Let's get to the method now…
The Castor Oil Pack is actually a compress that uses organic oil if at all possible and is a tad messy until you get used to doing it.
Any clothing or bed linen that comes in contact with the castor oil may well be left with a mark so its often used with old sheets and pajamas.
Direct Use – straight to the Skin
Many oils are useful in case of muscle pain whether back or neck pain. Olive oil is one of the best and safest easily available oils to use in simple cases of overdoing a sports session or gardening.
Castor oil has advantages of being well absorbed and is believed to cleanse the lymph and assist drainage. Any case of persistent pain may be helped by Castor oil because it is anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial.
This makes it very useful as part of a Detox programme.
When you are too tired to put a Castor oil pack together you can get some benefit simply by rubbing Castor Oil directly to the skin of the abdomen. The whole area from the rib cage downwards is rich in lymph vessels which can get congested and inflamed.
Castor oil can seep into the lymph vessels and help the circulation and clear the congestion and inflammation.
Note – this is not a "one shot wonder" – persistent daily use is needed until the issue has resolved.
If the problem persists then get thee to a health professional for a 1 to 1!
Castor Oil Pack Treatment
Using a Castor Oil pack is the best way to get maximum healing effect from Castor Oil. It does involve resting for a hour or so but even busy people find time to use Castor Oil packs by sleeping with a Castor oil on.
This is extremely restful and produces very deep sleep.
Basically a pack is a cotton or wool cloth damp with Castor Oil on top of a layer of plastic wrap or cling film which is on top of a long towel.
A heating pad or hot water bottle is used to help drive the oil into the skin and also to help relaxation.
Side note – the use of a heating pad or hot water bottle even without Castor Oil is a powerful tool to banish stress and encourage deep relaxation.
Used like this the heat should be applied to the stomach area with care taken to keep safe.
Please take great care when using any kind of applied heat. In particular It is unsafe to fold heating pads. So do take care not to fold them in half for instance or to use and unsafe improperly closed hot water bottles which may be a risk for scalding.
So do take care when using them and do not rush!
Generally we put the pack on just above or below the belly button to help purify the lymph and the liver and help the colon.
This abdominal application is the usual way to enjoy the benefits of the Pack but it can also be applied to the back or shoulders, or applied to a sports injury to help drain and heal the injury
When folded properly the pack may be used for neck pain – I call this a Castor Oil scarf!
Many jobs seem to lead to wrist pain – either typing or using tools and a small pack applied to the wrist and lower arm will help sooth the inflamed and painful tendons and soft tissue.
Ingredients For a Castor Oil Pack
1. Castor Oil
2. Small towel or piece of cotton or wool
3. Layer of plastic wrap or Clingfilm
4. Long Towel
5. gentle heat from hot water bottle or heating pad
Traditional remedies get passed on in families and here we see the mythical Castor family and how they use Castor Oil as a Home Remedy.
Not all family traditions turn out to be as healthy as this one taught by Mrs Castor…
Think she's exaggerating?
Dealing with aches and pains and inflammation as soon as it shows up is one of the most important health habits to cultivate!
The towel is not shown in this pic because it would cover the heating pad. Castor Oil is easy to buy and it is best to find a good health store and get Organic Castor Oil.
The usual way to use Castor Oil is to put it on a piece of cotton and place the cotton on the skin to be treated.
Together with some "Cling film" also called plastic wrap – and a towel and some gentle heat it is called a Castor Oil Pack.
This picture shows you the whole story of a Castor Oil Pack being put together with a heat pad.
Or just put a small amount of oil in a cup and pop that in the microwave – do be careful that you do not overheat the oil!!
Then we just rest and let the Castor Oil do its magic as it seeps into the skin and gently cleanses the lymph and clears congestion and helps heal sore backs (hubby), PMS ( me) and the kids for their sports.
Hope you Luv it!
Sincerely Mrs C
So that's it.
Whether used straight from the bottle to help sooth a minor scratch or used with a pack for a proper treatment Castor Oil is a multi-purpose remedy.
It's been used for 6,000 years and it looks like it's still going strong.
Videos on Using Castor Oil Packs
Well I have not yet made any video so I am going to give you some options here that you can watch at YouTube.
1. Author, Professor and Surgeon Dr. Majid Ali talking about Castor Oil as one of his "Darlings!". He has written many superb books on health and healing and I have only recently noticed that he is on YouTube too, unlike me!
2. Two Naturopaths describing the use of Castor Oil packs and showing use for a sports injury to an elbow. Watch it here
Side Note: they would get better results if they listened to Mrs Castor who would tell them to warm up the oil before sprinkling it on the cloth!
Also in quite a few videos they go overboard with the amount of oil needed – as if they are trying to sell you more.
Be careful with whatever method you use to warm the Castor Oil!
Stay safe and follow Mrs.Castor's advice!
Castor Oil Pack Supplies
• Heritage Products Castor Oil – available widely and in Amazon
• Pukka Organic Castor Oil – found in health stores in the UK and for the Castor Oil Cloth in the UK try Amazon UK
Castor Oil Cloth
Heritage Products Wool Flannel or Cotton Flannel – or use any clean piece of cloth such as a tea towel or tee short. Available at Amazon
The Oil That Heals by William A. McGarey MD and the US Amazon link is http://amzn.to/1ZU8He0