Castor oil has many internal benefits when used externally.
Castor oil is a gift of a multipurpose plant oil that ancients in Egypt and other cultures have used for thousands of years. Many decades ago, castor oil was a staple in American homes, used to treat stomach aches, monthly cramps, or for a “spring cleanse” to eliminate parasites. It’s made by extracting oil from the seeds (called castor beans) of the Ricinus communis plant.
I know from my own mom that my Nana used castor oil packs in the 30s.
There is a great and growing need for the ability to care for oneself and one’s family confidently at home in an inexpensive and timely manner. What do we do when there is no doctor (as we experienced in 2020)? We cannot know when or if some crisis will make it impossible to get the medical care that we have become accustomed to. Knowing something about homeopathy; how to make a medicinal tincture from herbs; nature’s penicillin; fire cider; and a few practical things like the Wet Socks treatment; the “lost treatment” for pneumonia; and topical care for wounds -will get you quite a long way.
Used in traditional systems of medicine for the following health conditions (source):
• Abdominal disorders
(I am adding Bone Spurs, Plantar Fasciitis, Varicose veins, Precancerous tissue)
• Muscle aches
• Parasitic infections
• Chronic headaches
• Gallbladder pain
• PMS, menstrual bloating and pain
• Arthritis, Rheumatism
“I use castor oil on small precancerous bumps, mostly on my face. This was recommended to my grandmother about twenty years ago after she’d had several of those spots removed surgically. The castor oil works. It also works on sun spots and age spots. It usually takes only three or four applications of the oil, over a week or two. Castor oil is inexpensive to buy and keeps well, so everyone should have a bottle of it in their medicine cabinet.” ~Kathleen S.
Castor Oil Benefits (source):
1. Increases the number of immune-boosting T-11 cells and lymphocytes at the site (source)
2. Boosts Circulation
3. Moisturizes Skin and Boosts Wound Healing
4. Can Help Induce Labor
5. Helps Dry, Irritated, Sun-Burnt or Acne-Prone Skin
6. Acts as a Laxative to Relieve Constipation
7. Lowers Symptoms of Arthritis
8. Helps to Encourage Strong, Shiny Hair
9. Supports Eye Health
Castor oil penetrates very deep – deeper than any other oil, so it can be used externally. Wherever castor oil penetrates, it breaks up lumps, bumps, congestion, adhesions. It can even break up a bone spur and has been known to break up benign tumors and fibroids.
For reducing ovarian cysts, fibroid tumors, lipomas, or abdominal adhesions, use castor oil packs 4 nights a week.
Studies indicate that many of castor oil’s benefits come down to its chemical composition. It’s classified as a type of triglyceride fatty acid, and almost 90% of its fatty acid content is a specific and rare compound called ricinoleic acid. Ricinoleic acid is not found in many other plants, making the castor plant unique since it’s a concentrated source. Castor oil also contains other beneficial salts and esters. This is why the International Journal of Toxicology reported this oil is safely used in over 700 cosmetic products and counting. (More studies).
How To Make a Castor Oil Pack Effectively
A castor oil pack helps relieve pain, reduce cysts, growths, and as part of a complete treatment plan for kidney stones and gall stones. Castor oil packs are sometimes used over the liver for detox purposes. Castor oil packs are soothing and promote blood flow, white blood cell production, and pain relief.
To make a castor oil pack, gather the following supplies:
- 100% cotton or wool flannel. Even an old, clean T shirt. You will fold this several times, so start with a much larger fabric than the area covered. Castor oil packs can be small, even 1 inch by 1 inch, or quite large – even 1 foot by 1 foot. It depends on what is being treated. An insect bite might need a small pack. A large pack is useful for back or abdominal pain.
- Castor oil – only choose an organic hexane-free, cold-pressed product in an amber glass bottle.
- Plastic wrap
- Heat source (hot water bottle or heating pad)
- Ace bandage or clothing that will keep the pack in place
- Caveat: castor oil stains!
- Fold the cotton or wool cloth into the size desired. Ideally, the resulting folded material will be several layers thick.
- Place the folded cloth onto a piece of plastic wrap.
- Pour castor oil onto the fabric and allow it to soak in. Ideally, 3/4 of the material will be soaked with castor oil, but not dripping.
- Place the castor oil cloth against the area of the body to be treated.
- Place plastic wrap over the fabric. Ideally, it will go at least an couple inches beyond the material in all directions.
- Use an ace bandage to keep the castor oil pack in place. You can use old clothing instead. For example, if a castor oil pack is used on the lower leg, you could use a long sock to hold it in place. Or you could use a sock to hold a pack onto an elbow – with the foot cut out.
- Now apply the heat source (heating pad or hot water bottle). Do not use a heating pad overnight.
- After using the pack, fold up the castor oil cloth and place it into a zip-lock bag. You can reuse it as many as 25-30 times. More castor oil may need to be added every few days. Replace the cloth with a fresh one if it becomes soiled.
- The skin will have some remaining castor oil, which can be rubbed into the skin or washed off in the shower. You can use a baking soda solution to remove the oil residue as well. (1 teaspoon baking soda in 1 cup of water.)
When and How Long to Use
Castor oil packs can be used PRN, as needed. It may take several applications to achieve results. Castor oil packs may be used 4 nights a week for a month or so.
They are wonderfully soothing when used for pain. When utilized overnight, they bring pain relief and promote sleep. Think joint pain, kidney stone pain, gall stone pain, back pain, cramps, varicose veins, etc.
Risks and Side-Effects
Castor oil is classified by the FDA as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for both topical and internal use (source). However, DRINKING castor oil may still potentially cause side-effects such as:
- abdominal cramping, nausea or diarrhea, especially when used in large amounts
That said, it’s very unlikely to cause severe reactions as long as someone is not allergic and doesn’t overdose.
Note: NOT recommended during pregnancy. However, this study showed women (between 40 and 41 weeks) who took castor oil had a lower incidence of Caesarean section. “The use of castor oil is related to a higher probability of labor initiation within 24 hours. Castor oil can be considered a safe non-pharmacological method for labor induction.” (source)
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