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A castor oil pack is a naturopathic therapeutic technique using castor oil applied externally to heal areas of inflammation.
A castor oil pack is one of the OLDEST, most widespread healing rituals in the world and the best kept secret known only to a privileged few. From Traditional Chinese Medicine to Indian Ayurveda to modern Naturopathic Medicine, it has withstood the test of time for centuries in cultures all over the globe. Amazing, right?
It is the ritual of applying castor oil to a piece of organic cotton flannel then placing it onto the body (traditionally over the liver) and wearing it for 1 hour or more for physical and spiritual wellbeing.
What supplies do I need?
This is my favorite kit for heatless, less-mess Castor Oil Liver Pack Kit makes this transformational self-care ritual easier than ever before so you can wake up like new every day!
- Queen of the Thrones® Castor Oil Liver Pack | Inner layer of organic cotton sherpa, outer layer of non-toxic, solvent-free polyurethane (PUL), nylon straps
- Queen of the Thrones® Castor Oil 16.9 oz (500ml) | 100% pure, USDA certified organic, hexane-free, cold-pressed, extra virgin, always bottled in glass
Where should I put castor oil?
The most common application is over the liver and intestines to soothe digestive complaints. Depending on what your symptoms are, there are different castor oil packs to meet your needs. Take this quiz to find out which one is best for you!
How do I use a castor oil pack?
The process has multiple variations, but generally entails applying a thin layer of castor oil to the area, covering it with a flannel or other non-permeable cloth and allowing it to soak in for approximately 45 minutes or more.
Benefits of a Castor oil Pack
For centuries, castor oil packs have been used for:
- Body, mind and soul wellness and health optimization
- Hormonal imbalances (PCOS, menopause, estrogen dominance, etc.)
- Constipation, diarrhea, bloating, indigestion, IBS, colitis, Crohn’s disease
- Insomnia and other sleep problems
- Stress reduction, anxiety, depression, ADHD
- Period regulation, endometriosis, TTC, ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids, fibrocystic breasts
- Cancer, tumours
- Thyroid issues (hypothyroid, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, nodules, etc.)
- Liver cleansing and detox, fatty liver
- Inflammation, arthritis, joint pain
Just like the father in the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding used Windex on everything, castor oil packs are supportive in all conditions (EXCEPT pregnancy!) to naturally engage the healing mechanisms of the body.
What do I use a Castor oil pack for?
Now you’re probably thinking, how could a piece of cotton with castor oil on my skin impact my insides?! It all sounds a little ‘woo-woo’, don’t you think? I thought so too, until I tried it, felt the benefits and discovered that this ritual is clinically practiced and scientifically supported!
A Castor Oil Liver Pack supports:
- Bowel movements regulation1 2
- Inflammation reduction3
- Liver cleansing and antioxidant status4 5 6
- Microbiome balance7 8 9
- Less stress and anxiety by moving the body into a relaxed state10 11 12
How castor oil packs heal the Liver
Castor oil contains a unique constituent called ricinoleic acid, which has been shown to have analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects on par with capsaicin. …That’s what makes it a go-to remedy in the naturopathic repertoire.
The oil’s healing properties can be applied to just about anywhere there’s inflammation. Because most modern-day ailments stem from toxicity, applying the pack over the liver helps it do it’s job, which reduces the total body burden.
Castor oil packs help many things
The incredible anti-inflammatory properties of castor oil are beneficial all over the body. For example:
- heals dry skin patches
- reduces joint pain
- speeds muscle recovery
- helps repair soft tissue injury
- aids hair growth
- reduces eye puffiness
My personal favorite is the digestive repair that happens when we apply castor oil over the abdomen. Not only does it stimulate bile flow and reduce toxicity in the liver, it also encourages cell repair in the intestinal lining, improves motility, encourages well-formed stool, and helps detox the intestinal tract.
Castor Oil and BM’s
Did you know that the frequency of your bowel movements can indicate different issues within the body?
The daily ideal bowel movement should be the unique length of your wrist to your elbow. Now this can be in one big stool or 1-4 smaller stools that approximate this length.
Whether you’re going too much or not enough, castor oil packs help to regulate bowel movements.
Is castor oil dangerous?
Castor oil may raise red flags for some, especially if you’ve been pregnant. When ingested, castor oil is a highly effective bowel stimulator, activating bowel contractions and the process of peristalsis, which moves stool to the rectum for evacuation. This stimulation is dangerous for pregnant women as it may also trigger uterine contractions and lead to premature delivery. However, in many cultures, castor oil is a common remedy for severe constipation and is prescribed at a dose of 1-3 tablespoons daily. This can be a dangerous treatment if a bowel obstruction is present.
Ricin protein is another concern people often have, after a particular episode of “CSI: Miami” which showcased ricin protein being used as a chemical weapon. It’s important to note that ricin protein is not present in the castor oil.
Kids and Candida
Have you ever heard of Candida overgrowth? It’s when yeast grows out of control in our system and causes symptoms like:
- Bloating/ Gas
- Foggy brain
- Skin rashes
- White coating on tongue
- Sugar cravings
- Urinary tract infections
Castor oil is one of the only natural substances with the ability to break down biofilm (the gross, slimy protective layer bad bacteria can produce).
How does castor oil work?
Castor oil is a very unique vegetable oil, coming from the castor bean. It contains 90% ricinoleic acid, and the remainder is linoleic and oleic acid.
The ricinoleic acid has a unique fatty acid structure that is strikingly similar to that of Prostaglandin E1. In human speak, that means it is a strong anti-inflammatory agent in our body.
And if that wasn’t enough science for you, the ricinoleic acid has a low molecular weight of 298 Daltons. Why does that matter? Because any constituent must be under 500 Daltons in order to absorb through the skin’s surface, also called transdermal absorption.
Fun fact: collagen is 300,000 Daltons. (makes you rethink that expensive moisturizer, huh?)
What type of castor oil should I buy?
- 100% pure
- Cold pressed
- Glass bottle (plastic chemicals may be absorbed by the oil)
The best castor oil pack I have ever seen is this one created by my colleague. It contains the mess better than any other method out there. Before finding this kit, I used to recommend using a flannel cloth covered by a layer of plastic wrap! This is a common recommendation in the naturopathic field, it’s how I was taught in school. However, every time I explained it I felt so silly. Thankfully, Dr. Marisol saw the need and came up with a product that is so much better. After I tried it myself, I immediately became an affiliate so I could give all of you easy access to it.
What I love most, is you can reuse the wrap. With the flannel cloth method, it would get sticky and disgusting, and you’d have to store it in a plastic bag between uses to prevent the mess from spreading. This wrap is easy to roll up and store, mess-free. And after 3 months of use, you simply throw it in the top rack of your dishwasher to clean it!
Can children use castor oil packs?
Yes, castor oil packs are safe for children to use, also. It’s an essential therapy that aids gentle detox. I often recommend it for my patients after vaccinations, mold exposure, or trips to the dentist.
How to do a castor oil pack with kids
- Step 1: Castor oil pack laid down flat with soft cotton side facing up
- Step 2: Organic castor oil (1-2 tsp) in the middle of the pack, blot to evenly distribute the oil – avoid the seams!
- Step 3: Place pack on liver and tie in place (great for kids who can’t sit still!)
Wear for 1 hour in the evenings – you can tie the practice into story time and make it part of your child’s bedtime ritual. It nourishes your child’s little body and gets them relaxed & ready for a good night’s sleep. The pack can simply be folded and tied to adjust the fit over the liver for smaller bodies.
It’s wonderful for mom to do it too as a good example, plus she’ll benefit from the hormonal balance, better sleep, regular stools and less stress.
Please ALWAYS supervise your child while they are wearing their pack. The straps can be a choking hazard.
Can you use castor oil with babies?
Castor oil can be used to do light belly rubs to promote good gut health and digestion. You can also do mini castor oil packs to help with colic, always under your supervision. Castor oil can also be used topically to help with cradle cap & diaper rash!
Can I just rub castor oil on my child’s skin instead?
Simply rubbing castor oil on your child’s belly and throwing an old T-shirt on overtop (also known as the “Lazy Man’s Castor Oil Pack”) only gives them about 50% of the benefits. The castor oil pack is an equally important part of the process because the soft compression of the pack on their skin is what promotes the release of feel-good hormones like oxytocin and dopamine, and helps move their body into the relaxed parasympathetic state.
Would a castor oil pack help my child?
Is your child the one who’s always bouncing off the walls and can’t sit still? Maybe you notice eye rolls and glares from other parents when you’re out in public; always apologizing as you go…
Or is your child the kid who’s always getting belly aches, struggling with constipation or loose stools? You are never sure what to do… is it what you fed your child that’s the culprit? You feel so bad.
Are they having problems sleeping at night, always crawling into your bed and waking you up?
Getting bad grades in school or unable to concentrate? Did they inherit this from you or could it be something else?
Do they get constant infections like cold and flu? It feels like you’re always grabbing the tissues to help them blow their nose or telling them to cover their mouth when they cough…
Do they have unexplained rashes and eczema? You’ve tried every cream at the drug store and you were told it might be food allergies, but not much has worked…
Or maybe your child is on the spectrum, has PANDAS or other chronic conditions… And you’ve been on an endless journey of trying to find what works for your child.
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, I recommend trying castor oil packs.
How we use castor oil to heal chronic symptoms
Castor oil packs play a lead roll in my healing method, which is laid out in detail in the Heal your Kids at Home Masterclass.
The healing program is completely self paced, with 5 recorded modules that teach you my top strategies for healing.
The first step in the program is detox and drainage, which I also like to call priming. When we prime the body for healing, all the other work we do is more effective. For example, a food elimination diet doesn’t always work to heal the root cause. But, if we prime the body first, then eliminate harmful foods, then add in beneficial nutrients – Jackpot!
If you’re the DIY type, you might find exactly what you need in this program. Check it out and see if it’s right for you!