smoothieThis is a healing therapy that should be in everyone’s toolkit. If you haven’t tried this yet, then I strongly encourage you to give it a go. I’ve even brought some Castor Oil Kits into the Shoppe to make it easier for you!

Castor oil (extracted from the castor bean) penetrates deep into the tissues and stimulates the lymphatic system, to get the good stuff in and the bad stuff out. As Dr. Carolyn Dean MD ND says:

“Castor oil packs increase circulation to an area and stimulate the lymphatic system to mobilize toxins aiding in detoxification. They are excellent for organ pain, especially of the liver, pancreas and kidneys and help relieve muscle spasms.”

Due to its ability to increase circulation, castor oil also helps to break up adhesions and scar tissue in muscles – which can often be a cause of pain or repeated injury due to restriction.

A castor oil pack has many applications and has also been used in cases such as non-malignant uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, headaches, liver disorders, constipation, diarrhea, intestinal disorders, gallbladder inflammation or stones, poor elimination, inflamed joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons and general detoxification.

Just remember to use a cold-pressed castor oil and 100% cotton flannel (or wool) – no synthetics. You can use either a hot water bottle or a heating pad as the heat source. Here are the detailed instructions – along with an easy method at the end:

Castor Oil Pack Components:

Cold-Pressed Castor oil.
• Two sheets of plastic (garbage bags OK).
• 1 yard cotton or wool flannel.
• Heating pad (if indicated).
• Large old bath towel.
• 3 safety pins.

Preparing a Castor Oil Pack

1. Fold flannel into three thicknesses to fit over your whole abdomen.

2. Cut a piece of plastic 1-2 inches larger than flannel.

3. Saturate the flannel with gently heated oil, but not so much that it is drippy. Fold it over and squeeze until it is oozing. Unfold.

4. Place plastic and old towel over flannel to prevent staining of surface you will be lying on.

5. Lie down, placing flannel over abdomen, putting fitted plastic over the flannel.

6. Now wrap the towel under you, around your torso and pin with safety pins.

7. Place a heating pad (low heat) or hot water bottle on top of the towel.

8. Rest for 30-60 minutes. Use visualization, meditation, or just sleep. A good time to use castor oil packs is just before bedtime.

9. When finished, it’s best if you don’t get up and walk around and be busy (except to go to the bathroom). Try to stay still and relaxed.

If you are doing your pack at bedtime, have a zip-lock baggie next to your bed, and a towel to remove any excess oil and protect your bed sheets. Fold the oily pack up and put it into the baggie, then drop it to the floor till morning. In the morning, put it in the refrigerator.

11. Store the pack in the covered container or baggie in the refrigerator. Remove it from the refrigerator 1-3 hours before you plan to use it, so that it is at room temperature when you are ready to use it.

12. Each pack may be used repeatedly. When it starts to smell stale, make a new pack.

What’s the easy method?

Okay, so if this procedure is way too complicated for you, here’s the easy button: Apply a generous amount of castor oil to the skin of your abdomen. Cover that with an old cotton t-shirt or other cloth you won’t mind eventually discarding. Lay your heat source (hot water bottle, heating pad) on top of that. Keep the cloth you use to protect your heat source from the oil to reuse. Eventually it will smell like stale oil, but can be kept for a few weeks at least in a plastic bag. Rest for 30-60 minutes. Stay covered and warm so you can relax. Have a soft cloth or rag handy to catch any oil dripping off your body. You may want to put a towel or plastic underneath your body so your bed doesn’t get oily. It’s not necessary to have a castor oil pack that you keep in the refrigerator. Just do what works for you.

How often should I use it?

To be effective, a castor oil pack must be used at least 3 times a week, although 5 times a week is better. In cases of long-term chronic pain, it works best to commit to a 6 week treatment period using a castor oil pack 5 times per week, then as needed for episodes of pain. It’s also wise to consult with a naturopathic physician for the best frequency of treatment for your specific health problem.

Adding DMSO to your castor oil pack

For additional healing benefits (including softening scar tissue), you can also spread a layer of DMSO on your abdomen first, let it dry, and then apply the castor oil pack as per the instructions above.

DMSO must be handled properly though, as it transports everything it comes into contact with into the bloodstream – so be sure and read these safety and handling instructions first.

Make up a 50% dilution of DMSO with either Aloe Vera Juice or filtered water – this means you combine 2 tbsp. 99% DMSO and 2 tbsp. aloe vera or water in a glass bottle, shake well.

Apply to your abdomen using your fingers or a natural hair paintbrush. Let it dry – but if it starts feeling too itchy, then go ahead and apply the castor oil (you can also massage some castor oil in with your fingers to get rid of any itchiness).

*Do not use synthetic anything with DMSO as it will pick up and transport everything it contacts into your skin/bloodstream. Make sure hands and abdomen have been washed with plain soap and water and do not have any creams or fragrance on them.