There is recorded use of Castor Oil as far back as the Ebers Papyrus dated 1550 B.C. As as we might suspect this only means that the healing properties and use of Castor Oil goes back much much further.
I was introduced to Castor Oil Packs by Edgar Cayce. Known as the Sleeping Prophet as he would go into a trance state and give health readings to over fourteen thousand people during the course of his life. I will not go into how extraordinary a man he was here nor how much he gave to us during the course of his life to help us all on our healing journey. For that would take a book of it’s own and there are many out there already. I am going to include a quote of his though as it is so poignant about health and healing:
Healing may really be peace – a peace that comes to rest in the body, that is a reflection of the “peace that passeth understanding”. We see it come to the body much as peace is allowed to come to the earth: a nation here and a nation there. When we find real peace in the earth, we may see a state of health having come to all bodies.
Castor Oil is extracted from the seed of the Ricininus communis or more commonly referred to as the Palma Christi plant. It was taken internally as a cathartic and it is also believed that Cleopatra used Castor Oil as a base for her makeups. It was used as an anointing oil and was rubbed into the soles of one’s guests after the ritualistic washing of their feet. It is still widely used today by cosmetic companies in lipsticks and makeup for it’s stable and soothing characteristics.
Here though I am going to focus on the most recommended treatment by Edgar Cayce in his readings and that is as a pack, referred to as a Castor Oil Pack.
I have been using Castor Oil Packs both personally and professionally for over 40 years now. I have experienced and have seen some amazing healing results with such a simple tool. It is still one of my basic recommendations to nearly every client I see. I can not imagine doing a session and not having a Castor Oil Pack somewhere on the person’s body. Usually it is on the abdomen area but many times I might move it to the chest or back or even have two going at once.
I am going to mention right away that there are a few times you DO NOT want to use a Castor Oil Pack. I want to be sure anyone reading this gets this information right up front.
- Never use a Castor Oil Pack on an open wound!
- Pregnant women should only use one under supervision of a qualified practitioner especially in the last trimester!
- If there is any chance of a malignant tumor!
As far as the research shows these are the only times one needs to proceed with caution or avoid their use altogether. That said I always recommend checking in with a qualified practitioner to be sure these packs are appropriate for your situation. I need to say this but honestly I have never heard or read of one person having any negative reaction to using a pack that did not fall into one of the above categories.
Now on to the really fun stuff…
I love Castor Oil Packs. I told you I was going to repeat this many times. There is a reason that Edgar Cayce recommended Castor Oils Packs for so many who came to him. They work! And they work on so many different dis-eases. It is going to be impossible for me to list all the health issues that one can use them to help but you will get the idea by the end of this page.
Some areas that Castor Oil Packs can benefit you:
- any soft tissue injury or soreness such as sprains or over exerted muscles
- inflammation of joints such as arthritis
- structural pain in the joints of knees, hips, backs, shoulders, ribs, ankles, wrists
- gastrointestinal disorders of all kinds: colon, liver, gall bladder, stomach, pancreas
- swollen lymph nodes and support for the Lymphatic System flow and Lymph organs ( spleen, thymus)
- emotional support by calming areas of stress especially the solar plexus and abdominal area
- lung support: pulmonary edema, pneumonia, asthma, bronchitis
- connective tissue repair
- edema and swelling from a sports injury
- menstrual cramps
- benign breast lumps such as cysts or discomfort associated with a woman’s menstrual cycle (there will be a whole section devoted to the lymphatics of the breasts)
I am only skimming the surface here but you get the idea. From toe to head the use of Castor Oils Packs is quite extensive.
How Does A Castor Oil Pack Work?
Castor Oil Packs work with our Lymphatic System. They help to support the flow of the lymph fluid and to help any areas that the lymph flow is being sluggish or blocked. Because they stimulate lymph flow they support the healthy functioning of organs, glands, joints, connective tissue, soft tissue and really any cells the lymph flows to which is nearly every cell in our body.
It is this stimulation of flow as to why we do not use Castor Oil Packs on cancerous tumors, we do not want to spread them, or with a pregnant woman unless under the direct supervision of a qualified practitioner.
In addition to stimulating the lymphatic flow they also have a drawing out effect. They will draw out through the skin toxins and other impurities.
There are times a pack will need to be tossed after one use so much gets drawn out through the skin that the pack actually shows discoloration from the toxins being pulled out.
What You Need For A Castor Oil Pack:
There are a few things you will need:
- Cotton or wool flannel
- Castor Oil
- A heating pad
- A piece of plastic larger than the size of your pack
- Towels to protect furniture or bedding
- Time – usually between an hour and an hour and a half
1: You can find pre-sewn castor oil packs at most health food stores. I tend to use the organic cotton ones made by Heritage Store. This is the company founded by Edgar Cayce but has since been sold to a large corporation. The quality of materials is still the same as far as I can tell. Some people sew their own so feel free to be creative. Always boil any material first to remove any impurities. And no colored fabric!
2: You can find Castor Oil in any health food store or on online. There is an organic castor oil but so far from my research I have not discovered any chemicals used in the growth or production of castor oil as to why there is a difference. Let me know if you find otherwise.*
3: I prefer a heating pad over a hot water bottle because of the long time I am using the pack on my body. I also recommend buying an oversize heating pad as opposed to a standard size. You will appreciate the extra length when working with the Castor Oil Pack.
4: You need some plastic sheet between the castor oil soaked flannel and the heating pad. I buy a roll of plastic at the hardware store and cut to size. Not as easy to work with but in a pinch you can use plastic wrap or cut a plastic bag.
5: As you heat the pack the castor oil will spread out over the cloth and you always want to have some towels around you to protect your bedding or furniture.
6: I usually recommend anywhere from 1 to 1.5 hrs for each session. If you need to do it for a shorter duration, something is better than not at all. Remember you can do the packs while relaxing in a chair or during a meditation. So you can read or watch a movie if you want. I do not recommend falling asleep at night with it on. Just do not do one while eating and best to give about an hour or more after a meal if you are doing it on your abdomen.
A Personal Experience!
I was picking up our indoor/outdoor cat, Brigid, trying to keep her and our outdoor cat, Goldie, from having a tiff. Brigid panicked and dug her nail into the web area by my thumb. I know, dumb me! I had an immediate reaction called Cat Scratch Fever. I could feel my hand begin to swell immediately. This is a very serious infection. Untreated you could lose a limb. I immediately began Castor Oil Packs on the hand and wrist area. I lived with this pack on for days. My whole hand had swollen to a point where you could not see any knuckles at all. My hand and wrist looked like it had Elephantiasis**. I could not bend any of my fingers. The hand felt lifeless and looked it. A doctor friend who saw me wanted to rush me to the ER and certainly thought I was crazy for not going. It took a few days of 24hr castor oil packs and my performing specific lymphatic and micro-movement therapy on my hand before the symptoms began to dissipate and then leave all together. My doctor friend was quite impressed but still thought I was crazy.
I am telling you this not because I want you to do something you might not be skilled to do or really should even attempt yourself. Remember I am coming from years of a background in healing and knew how to support the Castor Oil Pack to get optimum results. I am sharing this because in your every day to day situations these packs can be amazing tools for healing.
How To Do A Castor Oil Pack:
The basic set up is the same for most parts of the body you will be working with. There are some parts of the body, like the neck and throat that I custom cut my pack and will use a narrow heating pad. Also there are times when you would not use the heating pad but would only use the packs by themselves. An example here would be when working with hemorrhoids or extended sessions that go on all night while sleeping. The bodies own heat provides the necessary warmth. Please seek out a trained practitioner for guidance if you are not sure on your specific needs.
You have all your ingredients and the flannel has been boiled and dried. You have the pack, plastic, castor oil, heating pad, and towels.
You are going to start with the heating pad on a flat surface. On top of this lay your plastic and on top of that the flannel cloth. I like using a plastic bottle for my oil that has a pop up top. Going in a spiral starting in the center pour out a thin line staying away from the edges. Remember the oil is going to spread out when heated. Repeat this same pattern just moving the spiral around. It is going to take a fair amount of oil to get the cloth saturated. But to not put too much to account for the heat thinning the oil. At this point have your heating pad set to low. I then fold the plastic and cloth over itself once and starting from the center press the oil around. This is like folding an omelet and getting all the goodies inside spread around but not falling out. You still want to keep the oil from the edges as best as possible to keep the oil contained in the pack. Open the pack up and add more oil as needed. The cloth is going to keep absorbing the oil and you are going to keep spiraling more on until you sense it is fairly damp all around the center.We do not need for it be overly wet. Every time you use the pack you will add more castor oil so do not worry if it is perfect the first time. I would rather start with a dryer pack and then add more oil then start with a soggy pack that is messier to work with. But hey that too is not a problem! You got towels under you for that reason right!
Now you are ready. In either a sitting or lying position you will first have towels under you and then place the pack, plastic, and heating pad on the area of the body you are working with. There are some areas I might tie the pack around with a piece of cloth. This works great on the knees or legs. Most areas you can just wrap the pack around or lay it on top and it will stay just fine as long as you do not move too much.
Be comfortable in what ever position you are in. You are going to relax in this position for an hour or more. Wonderful meditation time…In fact use the time to visualize the area receiving the healing energy of the Castor Oil plant. Castor Oil, Palma Christi, has a long history of being used for both healing and anointing, for both physical and spiritual practices.
Depending on your situation you might do 1 pack a day or 1 a week. You might do it 2-3 times a day or once a month. There are no rules and other than not falling asleep overnight for safety reasons you really can not over do Castor Oil Packs. As with any healing modality use common sense. I always start with low heat and will adjust the temperature from there. You do not want to feel hot in the area being treated only warm to medium heat. Be sure to keep the packs moist with Castor Oil.
Castor Oil is thick and not easy to just wipe off. Always wear older clothing you do not mind getting oil on. Take care of bedding as it will ruin your sheets. I usually use a paper towel to wipe off the excess and then just wear older clothing so that a light oil residue can remain on my skin. The Heritage Store does sell a solution for cleaning castor oil off your body but usually I find just a regular shower works fine.
Unplug the heating pad. Once room temperature I fold up my pack and plastic together and store in a plastic bag for the next use. The plastic sheet helps to keep the pack in tact and the oil off the bag. You do not need to refrigerate. The pack can be stored for quite awhile under most conditions and then just add more oil when you use it again.
One Special Story:
During the 70’s there was a doctor in San Francisco who was applying full body Castor Oil Packs with people who had physical disabilities. The results were truly amazing. So amazing in fact that he was closed down for practicing an unorthodox form of medicine. People would enter in a wheelchair and leave walking. I have always wanted to have a room set up for full body Castor Oil Packs. If you know of anyone doing this please let me know.
On a side note we have truly come a long way. Many practitioners who were once threatened for their daring to go against the norm of the established medical profession are able to now practice and give us all choices in our health care. I once had a doctor friend who told me he was envious that I could include healing modalities in my practice that he could not for his fear of being caught and losing his license to practice. Here I felt less not having gone to medical school and he felt less having gone. Things have really changed and blessed be for this change.
A moment to thank all the healing pioneers who were willing risk all to keep practicing no matter what the cost!
♥ ♥ ♥
I love Castor Oil Packs and could go on and on. All I can say is give it a try on yourself and then you will know what I mean when I keep repeating, I love Castor Oil Packs.
Thanks for visiting and for giving me the chance to bring Edgar Cayce here to my site and his wonderful gift of Castor Oil Packs to you and yours.
A very sincere thank you to the Palma Christi for the gift of its oil and healing energy.
Together Our Hands Are Joined To Heal One AnotherAlexander Gardener The Lymph Guy Lymphatic Massage Specialist
*I do use Organic Castor Oil in my custom oil blends as all of the ingredients are certified organic or wildcrafted.
**During my work in Mexico in the early 70’s, Elephantiasis was something we did encounter with some of the local villagers. I mention this because we were shocked that it still existed in the 20th. century and was something we had to figure out how to treat. Perhaps that is one reason I was not too overly alarmed at my own condition. I had already treated something similar in others.