Most of traditional use for castor oil is based on folk medicine and anecdotal evidence. There are some studies that have demonstrated castor oil to be a powerful anti-inflammatory.
In ancient times castor oil was used to initiate labour, as a laxative, wound healer and for skin tonification.
Castor oil comes from seeds of the ricinus communis plant found in India, parts of Africa and Asia. The seeds themselves cannot be consumed as they are highly toxic, however pressing the ripe seeds produces an oil which has many known uses.
The main compound found in castor oil is ricinoleic acid (RA) which is demonstrated to have analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.
It is highly recommended that when using castor for the first time you choose an organic cold-pressed brand. There have been reports of allergic reaction and some suggest that the method of extraction and / or the origin of the seeds to be the cause.
Always perform a spot test before using any topic or internal product for the time to ensure no allergic reactions occur.
- Improve Assimilations (absorption and digestion of food / nutrients)
- Improve Eliminations (detoxification)
- Improve Circulation of blood and lymph
- Helps break down scar tissue
- Helps reduce pain during menses
Make Your Own Castor Oil Pack
You will need:
- Piece of Flannel cloth big enough to cover your abdominal area
- Castor Oil (Organic Cold Pressed is a mindful choice)
- Bowl to soak cloth in the castor oil
- Hot Water Bottle or Wheat Pack
- Old Towel or sheet of plastic to protect your couch or bed
- A spare Old Towel to help insulate the hot water bottle or wheat pack
- Plastic Bag to store piece of cloth when not in use
- Paper Towel or cleaning cloth for when you are finished
How to put it all together:
- Prepare your bed or couch by protecting it with plastic sheet and/or old towel. This is to prevent any accidental spillage of oil
- Warm your hot water bottle or wheat pack – ensure it is not scalding as you do not want to overheat or cause burns to your body. CAUTION needs to be taken as the oil will also heat
- Soak the flannel cloth in the castor oil – the cloth should be completely soaked with oil but should not be dripping with oil
- Lie down on your prepared space
- Place the cloth over your abdomen, followed by the wheat pack or hot water bottle (you may want to protect your heating device)
- Layer the extra towel over top to insulate the pack
- Leave pack in place for a minimum of 20 minutes but ideally up to 60 – 90 minutes (some preliminary studies have found benefit for 30 - 60 minutes)
Best Time to Use Castor Oil Packs
If trying to conceive use between day 1 and ovulation of your menstrual cycle.
The heat pack will assist with menstrual pain, stimulate circulation, aid in detoxification of the body and break down adhesions and scar tissue.
Ash, Michael 2013, The Forgotten Therapeutic Applications of Castor Oil, Clinical Education viewed October 2018
Blake, Clare, 2015 Fertility Massage Handbook, Fertility Massage Therapy