When I first started using castor oil packs years ago, it wasn’t for my autoimmune diseases – it was for infertility.
I had multiple miscarriages in the process of having my second child and when I started seeing a fertility acupuncturist, she mentioned that my cycles were all messed up and the miscarriages were a sign of some kind of blockage, either in blood flow, or otherwise, and castor oil packs would help.
At that point, we hadn’t seen a reproductive endocrinologist yet, but months later when we did – he actually confirmed what the acupuncturist said. I have a rare blood disorder that was contributing to the issue.
Luckily, the castor oil packs, acupuncture and strange Chinese tinctures I drank helped reduce inflammation in my gut, completely fixed my cycles, and increased blood flow.
I’ll talk more in future posts about our infertility journey, but today, we are focusing on castor oil packs and the incredible relaxation and health benefits they provide.
Even though we are done growing our family, I have continued to use castor oil packs over the years to help with symptoms related to autoimmune diseases and am a big fan!
The Benefits of a Castor Oil Pack:
When I did my due diligence and researched the benefits of castor oil packs – I was super excited and totally game to try this ancient Chinese medicine technique.
Castor oil packs have been used in Ayurvedic medicine to promote healing, improve circulation and reduce inflammation for thousands of years. The use of applying castor oil topically can be traced back to medical textbooks in Egypt as early as 1550 B.C.
Unlike drinking castor oil, which can be unsafe an cause digestive upset, using castor oil topically is much safer and gentler, and packs a lot of benefits.
Castor oil works by stimulating your lymph and liver function by increasing your lymphocyte count, which allows the body to speed up the process of removing toxins from your tissues. Lymphatic congestion is a key factor in inflammation and disease. So, if you have an autoimmune disease or health issues, you are likely struggling with a sluggish lymphatic system where toxins are building up and making you sick.
Castor oil packs can be placed on different areas of the body, such as over the thyroid, over the liver, over the mid-section, etc., to target particular areas of the body, and the many benefits include:
- Shrinking uterine fibroids
- Shrinking and reducing ovarian cysts
- Reducing symptoms of PCOS
- Relaxing the digestive system and improving constipation (see my whole post on 5 natural remedies for stomach pain and bloating, too)
- Reducing gallbladder inflammation/stones
- Improving lymphatic drainage
- Reducing gut inflammation
- Reducing headaches and migraines
- Shrinking cysts in breast tissue
- Detoxifying the liver – for liver castor oil pack tips, check out this post.
- Shrinking thyroid cysts and nodules
- Reducing painful menstrual cramps
- Shortening periods and regulating cycles
Basically, it’s like a super cleanse for your body – and encourages your body to do a better job of what it should be doing already. But, if you’re sick or struggling with health issues, thats a big heads up that your body needs help improving these basic functions.
And, strangely, castor oil packs can have a subtle shrinking effect on the midsection, too. Not a bad deal.
Related: For 7 ways you can use castor oil packs all over your body, check out this post where I get into a lot more detail on where to place the castor oil pack. If you’d like even more detail on the many benefits of castor oil packs, especially for women, check out this helpful post.
What You Need To Do a Castor Oil Pack:
Castor oil packs are a super easy, non-invasive and relaxing natural remedy. You only need a few things to enjoy the relaxation and many benefits of castor oil packs and I bet you have most of them! I’m linking to the products that I have, use and love. Affiliate links are used.
- Castor Oil: Be sure to buy an organic, cold-pressed, 100% pure, hexane-free, extra virgin castor oil, preferably in a glass bottle.
- Heat Pad: This can be a plug-in heat pad, a microwaveable rice heat pad, or something similar.
- Old Towel/Shirt: Castor oil STAINS, so be sure to put a towel underneath you that you don’t care about and remove clothing that could touch it, or wear clothes you are okay with getting stained. Once I use items with castor oil, I keep them together in my castor oil kit, so I don’t damage anything else.
- Comfortable Area: You’ll be laying down, preferably with your feet elevated above your body, for at least 30 minutes. So, set yourself up in a comfortable place, with a TV show or a book and make it a relaxing time.
- Soft Small Fabric: Grab a small wool flannel or cloth to use with the castor oil. You don’t want the fabric to be too absorbent, like a towel, or you’ll just waste product that is soaked up. Or, you can just put the castor oil direct on your skin and put an old burp cloth, receiving blanket or hand towel on top and underneath your heat pad. Personally, I just do it the second way.
- Castor Oil Wrap: If you’re using it around your midsection, a wrap can be a really easy way to do this. I have this one and it’s so soft, adjustable, washable, and easy to use.
- This cool kit comes with the flannel, castor oil and a towelette to clean it off. All you’ll need to add is a heat pad, which you may already have!
How To Do a Castor Oil Pack:
The steps are so simple. Once you get your kit together, you’ll see how easy it is and after experiencing the relaxation and inflammation reducing qualities, it’ll be something you’ll reach for again and again.
Castor oil packs can be put on different areas of the body, such as over the the thyroid, over the liver, over the general mid-section area, over a certain area that has been in chronic pain, etc.
The use of a heat pad on top just encourages the castor oil to deeply penetrate the skin and increase the benefits.
You’ll want to set up your area before you put the pack on, because once it is in place, you don’t want to move for awhile.
Here’s how to do it:
- Set up your relaxing area with a towel underneath where you will lay and change into clothes that you don’t care about. Castor oil stains.
- Plug in your heat pad or microwave your pad and put them where you will lay.
- Make sure you have your TV remote or book and something to drink nearby as well.
- Put your small piece of flannel or cloth in a jar or glass container (some even use a large mason jar) and drizzle some of the castor oil over it until it is moist, but isn’t dripping wet. If you use a jar or glass container, you can store the flannel in the container after, too. **If you decide to reuse the material with the castor oil on it, store it in the refrigerator so it doesn’t go rancid.
- Alternative: Use a wrap. Pour the castor oil in the middle, dab it in until it’s not dripping and then fix the wrap about your midsection or the area you’re using it on and secure it with the straps.
- If you are dripping the castor oil on your body, rub it around and then put a cloth on top. You can use an old burp cloth, receiving blanket folded, cotton hand towel, etc. This will protect the heat pad from getting stained.
- Place heat pad on top of the area with the castor oil.
- Relax for up to an hour, preferably with your legs elevated comfortably. You can stop the heat after 20-30 minutes.
- Time is up! Time to gently remove the heat pad and flannel and wipe the excess castor oil off with wipes.
- Make sure to wipe off any excess castor oil before getting dressed and going to bed.
Remember that castor oil removes color from anything it touches, so cover your couch, change your clothes, take precautions so you don’t touch anything when it’s on your hands.
If you want to sleep with the castor oil pack, just be sure to remove the heat source before falling asleep.
How Often Should You Use Castor Oil Packs:
I used them consistently over the course of a few cycles at first and saw incredible changes. These days, I use them when I start to feel a lot of digestive distress, start having painful periods again, or just have a lot of autoimmune disease inflammation.
Typically, for best results, use them every day for 30-60 days, skipping when you are on your period, for a particular ailment. Or, for maintenance, they can be used 1-2 times a week.
The great thing is that you can do what feels good for you. There aren’t really specific rules to this and because castor oil packs are so gentle and easy, you can decide. If you do start to feel any stomach upset, which is unlikely, you can skip a day between them and still see results.
But, a bit of housekeeping, I am not a doctor. I am a well-researched person who shares what I have learned in the hopes that it might encourage you to find what works for you. Please run any ideas by your trusted medical team if you’re being treated for any illness and/or stop immediately if you feel any discomfort in using castor oil packs. You’ll need to be your own advocate and take full responsibility for any results of using castor oil packs. I love them and am one of many people who have great results with them and I sincerely hope that is also the case for you, too.
Have you ever tried castor oil packs? What did you think?
There are so many other uses for castor oil, too, such as a natural way to grow super long eyelashes, so you may be reaching for that castor oil more often than you think!
If you love natural remedies, you might also like these posts:
- The surprisingly easy way to get rid of cold sores and Lupus lip sores
- 6 Beauty Benefits of using Apple Cider Vinegar
- 4 Reasons to Drink Celery Juice
- 10 Anti-Inflammatory Supplements for Autoimmune Diseases
Have a fabulous day,