Castor Oil Pacs
What exactly is Castor Oil?
Castor oil is derived from the Castor bean plant (Ricinus communis) found growing in parts of Africa and India. Ricinus communis is also referred to as the Palma Christie because its leaves are palm shaped and because it has a reputation as a healer of wounds and curer of ailments.
Edgar Cayce – a medical intuitive known as the “sleeping prophet”, brought castor oil to our consciousness. It has been used for the treatment of many conditions. Double-blind studies were performed by the Association of Research and Enlightenment that helped us to understand that castor oil works by increasing our body’s lymphocytes, known as white blood cells: T cell, B cells, and Natural killers cells also referred to as NK cells. These white blood cells are the dis-ease fighters of our body, part of the body’s immune system. They work by killing bacteria, viruses, and removing toxins from our tissues, in turn enhancing the healing process.
The circulatory system is stimulated as well, which increases blood flow to areas in need of toxins/waste material removal.
In addition, the liver: the body’s main cleansing/filtering organ is stimulated to receive and further breakdown toxins to be excreted by the body.
According to Herbalist James Green, castor oil is similar to the natural oils of the body, making it easily received by human tissue.
Why use a Castor Oil Pac:
- To promote healing and reduce inflammation
- Digestive complaints: irritable bowel syndrome, constipation
- Ovarian cysts; Fibroids
- Scar tissue post surgery
- Swollen joints
- Menstrual cycle
- Irregular bleeding
- Small Pyrex dish; Oven
- Cotton flannel cloth
- Castor oil
- Plastic wrap
- A shower curtain from a 99cents store (or an old one from around the house)
- One large bath towel for each body part that is being treated
- Hot water bottle filled or heatable “bean pillows;” not a fan of electric heating pads…
To prepare and apply a Castor Oil Pac Treatment:
- Preheat the oven to 150 degrees.
- Place the cotton flannel cloth into the Pyrex dish
- Pour 1-2 cups of Castor oil onto the cotton flannel cloth, soaking it with the castor oil
- Place the Pyrex dish into the oven for 15 minutes
- Put the shower curtain down where it is that you intend to recline while you are doing your castor pac treatment
- Place a large towel over that so that half the towel is hanging off of the side of the bed or couch
- Prepare your hot water bottle or bean bag
- Retrieve the Pyrex dish from the oven with the castor oil pac in it: make sure that you are able to hold it in your hands, ensuring that you will not burn yourself
- Lie down on the shower curtain and towel
- Place the castor oil pac on your abdomen
- Quickly add the plastic wrap to the castor oil pac
- Place the hot water bottle on top of the plastic
- Reach down and pull the towel up and over your abdomen
- Cover yourself up and keep warm
- Good time to just breathe, relax, meditate, journal, pray, whatever makes you happy
How do you maintain a castor oil pac?
- You can reuse a castor oil pac for several months: until it becomes rancid.
- It is best to preserve it in a glass jar left at your bedside or in a plastic gallon-sized bag.
- Just add fresh castor oil before using it again.
- Most importantly, please remember that this castor oil pac is for one person: you and you alone!
A typical regimen for non-acute conditions is: Three times a week, every other night for three weeks with a fourth week off. You can do this for several months ~ until symptoms disappear.
For acute situations: Use 60 minutes daily for five nights, take two nights off, then repeat the cycle until symptoms resolve.
- Use castor oil from a roll-on bottle
- Apply directly to the area intended to address
- Cover with a piece of cloth: an old wash cloth, even a piece of paper towel if traveling
- Cover with plastic wrap or a plastic bag
- Apply a hot water bottle; you may need to use two or three hot water bottles for a 60 minute treatment
- Cover with a towel
Libster, Martha. (2002) Delmar’s Integrative Herb Guide for Nurses. United States: Thomas Learning.
Green, James, Herbalist, (2002), The Herbal Medicine- Makers Handbook: A Home Manual. Berkeley, CA: The Crossing Press.
Romm, Aviva. (2010) Botanical Medicine for Women’s Health.
St Louis, Missouri: CHURCHILL LIVINGSTONE ELSEVIER.