Castor oil packs are used to promote healing and reduce inflammation. They also improve circulation and elimination. Castor oil packs benefit kidney stones, fibroids, ovarian cysts, swollen joints, irritable bowel syndrome, digestive disorders, liver & gallbladder disorders, and more. Once I was introduced to castor oil packs, I became hooked! They may seem like a bit of work at first, but once you get the routine down you can get set up in no time at all. And hopefully, like me, you will find the benefits make it worth your time!
Supplies you will need:
- A thick material like flannel, wool, or cotton (organic is best); folded in half it should be the size of your abdomen*
- Castor oil (cold pressed & cold processed)
- Hot water bottle
- Old clothes that you don’t mind getting stained (since castor oil will stain fabric)
- Plastic wrap or plastic bag
- Two or three large towels that you don’t mind getting stained
- Washcloth to wipe off oil (optional)
- Put on your older clothes. A simple tee-shirt and loose pants work best.
- Place your towel on a flat surface such as your couch or bed. For added protection, I layer two towels so that my bed or couch won’t get stained from any oil that manages to drip. (A third towel or old blanket can be used to cover yourself for warmth.)
- Get your hot water bottle ready and place it by your towels. Place your plastic wrap there as well.
- Take your piece of flannel and place it on a surface that will not stain (like your kitchen counter top) 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).
- Once you lie down, place your saturated flannel over your body. Usually this is the abdomen, but castor oil packs can be used almost anywhere on the body to decrease inflammation.
- Cover the pack with plastic (I use a piece of plastic wrap, but a plastic bag will also work) and place the hot water bottle over the plastic/castor oil pack.
- Relax for 45-60 minutes. During this time you can rest, read a book, or watch something uplifting on TV.
- When you are done, remove the castor oil pack. You can store the pack in a plastic bag or Tupperware in a cool place or in the refrigerator. I keep mine in a Tupperware in my bathroom cabinet. Just add another Tablespoon or two of castor oil for the next session. Replace your pack with a new piece of flannel every few weeks or anytime the oil starts to smell rancid.
- The castor oil remaining on your abdomen will be sticky. Personally, I gently wipe-off my abdomen with the old clothes I had on before tossing them in the washing machine. Alternatively, you can wipe your abdomen with an old washcloth. I know others who are bothered by any stickiness that remains on their abdomen. Warm water and some baking soda can be used to remove any excess castor oil.
How often can you use castor oil packs?
- For acute inflammatory conditions, you can do castor packs daily—or at least 3-4x/week.
- I’ve been doing them for years and even after all this time I still try to do at least 1-2x/week—especially in the winter! I find them relaxing, healing and I enjoy a simple act of self-care.
* Money Saving Tip: I recently bought a set of twin sized flannel sheets on sale at the end of the season. Since my daughter won’t use a flat sheet on her bed anyway, I use that HUGE piece of fabric to cut from and make my castor oil packs with. Its probably enough flannel for several years of use….. from just one twin sized flat sheet!