Castor oil packs

 The healing benefits of castor oil packs

Castor oil packs were first popularized by the late psychic healer Edgar Cayce and further researched by primary care physician, Dr William McGarey.  Dr McGary had been aware 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 stated 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 on a regular basis 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 this may promote illness.   According to Cayce and McGarey, the lymphocyte cell count increases when castor oil is absorbed through the skin. Increased lymphocyte cells will speed up the removal of toxins from your tissues which promotes a state of healing in the body.

There are several ways to use castor oil topically.

  1. You can simply rub castor oil onto the affected area of your skin and apply heat.
  2. Affix a wool pack that has been soaked in castor oil to an area of concern and then apply heat.  The video below gives a very clear picture of how to use and store them properly.
  3. 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 rhe spinal column and then massaged 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.

The lymphatic system follows along the spinal column.

To make a wool castor oil pack you will need the following supplies:

  1. A high quality Organic Castor Oil, preferably in a glass bottle.
  2. A heating pad or a hot water bottle
  3. A Flannel Square, or you can cut your own.
  4. An old bath towel (large size) to hold the heat in.
  5. Optional- you can add a few drops of Rosemary or Lemon Essential Oils mixed with some 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.  The lemon oil is also detoxifying and promotes regeneration.
  6. I have also combined castor oil with DMSO liquid. DMSO must be diluted by 50% with distilled water when used topically as it can irritate the skin when used full strength. Once diluted you can apply the DMSO to the skin and then apply castor oil pack over it. Read more about DMSO with this link.

Instructions for making and using a castor oil pack

  • Take precautions not to get castor oil on fabric as it can stain certain materials.  You can place a large old towel down on the couch to protect it and then wrap it around your abdomen to hold in the heat.
  • Soak your flannel square with castor oil until it is completely saturated.
  • Lay on your back with your feet slightly elevated (using a pillow under your knees and feet)
  • Rub a few drops of the rosemary essential oil and then use castor oil to cover the liver area
  • Place the soaked flannel onto your abdomen
  • Place a heating pad or hot water bottle over the flannel.
  • 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 it into a mason jar with a lid and then re-saturate with new oil at 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.
In a study:
“A double-blind study, described by Harvey Grady in a report entitled Immunomodulation through Castor Oil Packs published in a recent issue of the Journal of Naturopathic Medicine, examined lymphocyte values of 36 healthy subjects before and after topical castor oil application. This study identified castor oil as an anti-toxin, and as having impact on the lymphatic system, enhancing immunological function. The study found that castor oil pack therapy of a minimal two-hour duration produced an increase in the number of T-11 cells within a 24-hour period following treatment, with a concomitant increase in the number of total lymphocytes. This T-11 cell increase represents a general boost in the body’s specific defense status, since lymphocytes actively defend the health of the body by forming antibodies against pathogens and their toxins. T-cells identify and kill viruses, fungi, bacteria, and cancer cells.”
Best sources for purchasing castor oil:
As with everything else, you must be careful about your source of your castor oil. Much of the oil sold in stores is derived from castor seeds that have been heavily sprayed with pesticides, or it may have been extracted using harmful solvents which can damage the oil and/or infuse them with toxic agents.  To avoid these issues, look for organic cold-pressed oils that are hexane free and are pale yellow in color and preferably stored in a glass container.


It is recommended that you do a “test patch” prior to applying a castor oil pack to make sure you don’t have an allergic reaction 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.

Additional Reading

Combine this therapy with various detoxification protocols to help the body to eliminate toxins efficiently.

Castor oil uses and benefits

Read more about the healing benefits of essential oils

  Heritage Organic Castor Oil, 16 Ounce

  Heritage Store Cotton Flannel, Organic, 13 Inches X 15 Inches

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