The healing benefits of castor oil packs
Castor oil packs were first popularized by the late psychic healer Edgar Cayce, and then further researched by primary care physician, Dr William McGarey. Dr McGary was also a follower of Cayce’s work and later went on to write the book The Oil That Heals: A Physician’s Successes With Castor Oil Treatments, which further detailed the healing benefits that can be obtained from using castor oil.
McGarey wrote that when castor oil packs are used properly, they can improve the function of the thymus gland and other components of the immune system. He also reported on two separate studies that revealed that patients who used abdominal castor oil packs had significant increases in lymphocyte production compared to those who were given placebo packs.
Lymphatic congestion is a major factor leading to inflammation and disease.
Lymphocytes are your immune system’s disease-fighting cells and are produced and stored mainly in your lymphatic tissue (the thymus gland, spleen, and lymph nodes). Hundreds of miles of lymphatic tubules allow for waste to be collected from your tissues and then transported to your elimination channels, a process which is referred to as lymphatic drainage. When your lymphatic system is not working properly, waste and toxins can build up and result in illness. According to Cayce and McGarey, when castor oil is absorbed through the skin then the lymphocyte cell count increases. Increased lymphocyte cells will speed up the removal of toxins from your tissues, which then helps to promote a state of healing.
There are several ways to use castor oil topically.
- You can simply rub castor oil onto the affected area of your skin and apply a heating pad.
- Affix a wool pack that has been soaked in castor oil to a small area that needs to be treated and then apply a heating pad. The video below gives a very clear picture of how to use and store them properly.
- For larger or more systemic applications you can use the oil for a lymphatic massage. This is reported to be especially effective when applied along your spinal column and then massaged deeply along your lymphatic pathways that line the spine on either side (see the spinal image below). An effective way to do this is to have a partner use their thumbs or the knuckles of both index fingers and apply circular pressure between the ribs as they travel up and down the back on either side of the spinal column.
To make a wool castor oil pack you will need the following supplies:
- A high quality Cold Pressed Castor Oil
- An electric heating pad or a hot water bottle
- Plastic wrap such as saran wrap, sheet of plastic, or a garbage bag to help to keep the oil off of your clothes.
- Wool Flannel Pack, or you can cut wool so it is a one-foot square piece.
- An old bath towel (large size) which is used to insulate the heat.
- Optional- you can add a few drops of Rosemary Essential Oil mixed with a few drops of castor oil and then rub this over the liver area before applying the castor oil pack. Rosemary contains chemical substances called caffeic and rosemarinic which help to facilitate proper functioning of the liver. Both of these chemicals can also help to reduce inflammation. Additionally, rosemary may help to stimulate the liver to produce glutathione which is one of the most important molecules in the detoxification process.
Instructions for making and using a castor oil pack
- Take precautions not to get the oil on the surface that you are laying on as castor oil can stain materials.
- Place a large old towel down on your couch so that it will wrap around your abdomen when you lay on top of it.
- Soak your flannel with castor oil until it is completely saturated.
- Lie on your back with your feet slightly elevated (using a pillow under your knees and feet works well)
- Rub a few drops of the rosemary essential oil and castor oil over the liver area
- Place the soaked flannel onto your abdomen
- Then cover the flannel pack with the sheet of plastic wrap (saran)
- Place a heating pad or hot water bottle over the plastic wrap.
- Wrap the towel around everything in order to insulate the heat.
- Leave the pack on for 1 to 2 hours.
- When finished you can remove the oil from your skin by washing with a solution of two tablespoons of baking soda and water, or use soap and water.
- You may want to wash the towel by itself as the castor oil can make your clothes smell odd if they are washed together.
- You can reuse the wool pack several times. The best way is to store it is by placing into a mason jar or a Ziploc bag and then re-saturate with new oil for the next use.
- Replace the pack when it becomes discolored or begins to smell.
- For maximum effectiveness, apply the packs for four consecutive days of every week, and do this for one month. Patients who use the castor oil pack in this fashion basis report having the most benefits.
- You can use castor oil packs anywhere on the body to relieve lymphatic congestion or muscle soreness.
- Include your favorite essential oils to get their additional healing benefits.
It is recommended that you do a “test patch” prior to applying a castor oil pack to make sure you aren’t allergic to the oil.
How to make and use a castor oil pack for the relief of pain and inflammation, as well as to stimulate the liver and lymphatic system.
Combine this therapy with various detoxification protocols to help the body to eliminate toxins efficiently.