Castor Oil Packs – How to Make & Use Them

Castor oil packs for skin and health

I was first introduced to castor oil as my due date approached with my first child. Like any mom, I was eager to meet my little one so I turned to the expansive wisdom that is Google to find ways to speed up my body’s natural process of going into labor.

I found many folk remedies for inducing labor that I tried (walking, spicy food, bouncing on a medicine ball, pineapple, dancing, raspberry leaf tea and others). I also found a few I didn’t work up the courage to try…. especially castor oil (and I’m glad I didn’t).

What is Castor Oil?

Castor oil comes from the castor seed, native to India. It is extremely high in ricinoleic acid, which is thought to be responsible for its health promoting abilities. In fact, it was once called “palma christe” because its leaves resembled the hands of Christ. It is important to note that while Castor Oil is said to have health benefits, the castor seed itself can be deadly and internal use of even castor oil warrants caution.

It was used in ancient Japanese healing arts and other ancient cultures:

Castor oil (Ricinus Communis) has been around for a long time. The Ebers Papyrus, one of the oldest medical textbooks in the world, describes the topical use of castor oil by the early Egyptians, as far back as 1550 B.C. Likewise, the oil of the castor bean has been used in India and China for thousands of years. In medieval Europe, the plant was given the name Palma Christa, since the leaves resemble the human hand. (source)

While it is considered “Generally Regarded As Safe” by the FDA and up to a tablespoon per day is considered approved for internal use, it can cause extreme digestive upset in some people. I am not a doctor and don’t play one on the internet, so talk to yours before using castor oil or anything else internally.

It is sometimes used internally for inducing labor, mostly by causing raging diarrhea in thoughts that this will also stimulate uterine contractions. I chose not to try this and wouldn’t suggest it since there is some evidence that it can increase the chance of baby passing meconium before birth. It is also sometimes used to reduce constipation (again with the raging diarrhea).

I much prefer it for external use and would not personally use it internally. It is one of the two oils I use in my daily oil cleansing routine, which has greatly improved my skin.

I’ve recently been researching and experimenting with another use of castor oil, castor oil packs, as I work to understand and support my body with my MTHFR mutation.

Castor Oil Packs

Castor oil packs harness the anti-inflammatory and lymph stimulating benefits of castor oil but use it externally. From a 1999 study:

With a minimal 2-hour therapy period, this study found that castor oil packs produced a “significant” temporary increase in the number of T-11 cells that increased over a 7 hour period following treatment and then returned to normal levels within 24 hours later.

“The T-11 cell increase represents a general boost in the body’s specific defense status. Lymphocytes actively defend the health of the body by forming antibodies against pathogens and their toxins. T-cell lymphocytes originate from bone marrow and the thymus gland as small lymphocytes that identify and kill viruses, fungi, bacteria, and cancer cells. T-11 cell lymphocytes supply a fundamental antibody capability to keep the specific defense system strong.” (source)

Castor oil packs have been said to help improve liver detoxification naturally, support uterine and ovarian health, improve lymphatic circulation and reduce inflammation.

The idea is to keep castor oil on a piece of cloth on the skin for at least an hour with a heat source to stimulate lymph and liver function. Unlike some “detox” methods, this is not said to have any negative side effects and the there are many accounts of people who noticed immediate better sleep, more energy and clearing of skin symptoms.

There aren’t any conclusive studies on the use of castor oil packs externally (though there are some preliminary ones), but a long history of traditional use in many cultures. There is some evidence that it can have a suppressive effect on tumors and a positive effect on arthritis when used externally. Castor oil packs also provide time of quiet relaxation, which also has health benefits, so I thought they were worth a try.

Castor oil packs have traditionally been used on various body parts:

  • On the right side of the abdomen or the whole abdomen, which is thought to help support the liver and digestive system
  • On strained joints or muscles (not as a substitute for medical care but to speed healing of minor injuries that don’t need medical attention)
  • On the lower abdomen to help with menstrual pain and difficulties

Even for external use, I’d consult with a doctor or naturopath to make sure that this natural remedy is ok for you. It should not be used if pregnant or struggling with a medical condition. I also test any new oil (or any substance) on a small part of my arm before using on a larger area of the body.

How to Do a Castor Oil Pack

Castor oil packs are simple to do at home and I like them because they require me to be still and relax and read a book for at least an hour. They can be messy, but with proper preparation are not.

Needed Supplies

The easiest and least messy option I’ve found is the Castor Oil Pack kit from here. It has the castor oil, cotton flannel and a non-messy wrap around pack that removes the need for plastic wrap and has kept mine from leaking at all.

How to Do A Castor Oil Pack

I highly recommend carefully prepping the are where you’ll be doing the castor oil pack to prevent mess. I like using an old shower curtain, covered with a sheet under me, just to make sure nothing stains. I don’t often have to wash the sheet, and I just fold and store in the bathroom cabinet for the next use.

Before Beginning:

  • Cut a large piece of cotton flannel and fold into thirds to make three layers. My original piece was 20 inches by 10 inches and when folded it was roughly 7×10 but yours could be larger or smaller, depending on where you are planning to place it.
  • Thoroughly soak (but not completely saturate) the flannel in castor oil. The easies way I found to do this was to carefully fold the flannel and place in a quart size mason jar. I then added castor oil about a tablespoon at a time (every 20 minutes or so) to give it time to saturate. I also gently shook the jar between adding more oil so that the oil could reach all parts of the cloth. Ideally, this should be done the day before to give it time to evenly soak. I save the jar since this is where I keep the flannel between uses (it can be used about 30 times).

Using a Castor Oil Pack:

  1. Carefully remove and unfold the castor oil soaked cloth.
  2. While lying on an old towel or sheet, place the cloth on the desired body part.
  3. Cover with plastic (like a plastic trash bag), or ideally with the wrap around pack, and place the heating pack on top of this. A hot water bottle, electric heating pad or rice heating pad can be used, but hot water bottles and rice packs may need to be reheated several times.
  4. Lie on back with feet elevated (I typically lie on the floor and rest my feet on the couch), and relax for 30-60 minutes.
  5. Use this time to practice deep breathing, read a book, meditate or pray (or whatever you find relaxing).
  6. After the desired time, remove the pack and return the flannel to the glass container. Store in fridge.
  7. Use a natural soap or a mix of baking soda and water to remove any castor oil left on the skin.
  8. Relax and rest. Make sure to drink enough water and stay hydrated after doing this.

Other ways to use castor oil:

From Japanese Healing Arts:

Castor oil is used externally in three ways. First, castor oil may be applied directly to the skin for dryness, rashes, hives, fungus, infections, boils, furuncles, liver spots (age spots), warts, benign skin cancers, etc. Also for infection or fungus in the finger or toe nails. Apply castor oil directly and gently rub into the area for a minute or two. Repeat this application 2 or 3 times a day for a few weeks or up to two months in the case of stubborn warts.

Second, the application of castor oil packs can bring significant relief for any kind of trauma, sprain or degenerative joint disorder. In the case of a painful joint, apply a pack and secure it with an ace bandage. Keep the pack on the body continuously and reapply castor oil every 24 hours. For back pain, lay on a castor oil pack for 90 minutes every day for 5 days. (See instructions below.) In severe cases, you may have to repeat this course 3 times over a period of 3 weeks.

Third, castor oil packs are used for cleansing and regulating the internal organs. For disorders relating to the digestion, intestines, liver, lungs or reproductive organs a series of castor oil packs on the abdomen for 90 minutes a day can have remarkable effects.

Have you ever used Castor oil? I’ll be sharing some of my other favorite uses soon, but please share yours below!

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Reader Comments

  1. Thank you for this blog. I used to use castor oil packs many years ago but had forgotten about them. Yes, they are very good for tummy aches and sore joints, a very gentle but safe remedy, especially for the children.

  2. My husband is a cyclist and one time he sprained his ankle really badly. If you know any cyclists, you know that they are absolutely obsessed with their sport, so when this happened, it was so devastating to him because it meant he couldn’t go cycling. Anyhow, a friend of ours suggested castor oil packs, in addition to alternating hot and cold water on the sprain for about 15 minutes. I can’t remember how many times he did this, but needless to say, he was back on the bike in two days. He couldn’t believe how quickly he healed.

  3. Katie, you continue to amaze me.
    I hate the idea of chronic pain, and chronic pain relieving meds…however, inflammation/ pain is really a problem here in the Western cultures, because of fast foods, gut issues, poor posture, not enough excercise, too much driving ,old mattresses, etc. etc. etc.
    So grateful for your research and thoughtful presentation… I’m off to find my heating pad, an old baby receiving blanket and castor oil ( which I also use in soap making ) We need a new shower curtain anyway !!! I’m going to order a few wrap around packs…Now THAT would make a great gift in a teenagers easter basket, don’tcha think? We have alot of tennis elbows and knee twisters here.
    laurie in st louis

  4. Is castor oil safe for pregnant women if being used for oil cleansing?

      • Can you use it as an armpit detox? And can it be used externally if you’re nursing?

        • I have experimented with it as an armpit detox and it seemed to work well. I’d ask a doc to be sure but I have felt comfortable using it while nursing.

          • Castor oil is safe in pregnancy. However, it is recommended only in the third trimester to assist in stimulating labour.

            For armpits or mastitis of the breast a charcoal poultice is extremely safe and effective. moisten the charcoal place on gauze and apply directly to the area. Leave on overnight. Not to apply on open wounds.

          • Is it ok to use as pain relief over the back while nursing? I am having bad sciatic pain on my right side and am currently nursing my 5 month old son.

          • I wanted to know about the “wrap” from Radient Life. I found that vinyl is plastic. 44.00 is a lot; it it because of the design of it? Mostly I was originally interested because you said it was not plastic. See below.

            Polyvinyl Chloride
            Vinyl is not a natural substance but is a synthetic man-made material. It is a type of plastic that is made from ethylene (found in crude oil) and chlorine (found in regular salt). When processed, both the substances are combined to form Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) resin, or as is commonly referred to – Vinyl.
            What Is Vinyl?

  5. I noticed you mentioned drinking lots of water after a Castor Oil Pack treatment. Why is that? Thanks

    • It is a gentle detox, but a detox nonetheless. Drinking lots of water helps the process!

  6. Katie!
    How do you wash castor oil out of your hair?!

  7. So funny this posted today when I was thinking about looking up how to do it just yesterday! Gonna give it a try Thanks for your timely post!

  8. How often do use castor oil packs?

  9. I had seen this blog post linked in FB where you had mentioned the treatment might help with hair. I read through your post and there is no mention of how it could help thicken hair- did I miss it or read something wrong?

  10. I was so desperate to bring on labor that I tried castor oil (mixed with orange juice.) The result was far worse than simple intestinal upset; I could not leave the bathroom for hours… YET, in that time, labor began. My daughter was born about 19 hours later.

    • Do you know that castor oil was used as torture? In Italy, during the fascist dictatorship (1922-1943) political opponents were captured by the local equivalent of SS and forced to swallow copious amounts of castor oil. That would cause pain and humiliation. Some of the victims died, others were sick for long time.
      For this reason I would be extremely cautious with using castor oil internally. In fact I never did and I never will. I’m however ok with external use.

  11. Thank you for this blog! I always learn something new with you. I have systemic Candida and as a result I think my reproductive organs might benefit from this. Also my liver and kidneys since I take so many natural remedies a day and they are put on stress. Very interesting I will try this.

  12. Hi,Katie,this is very interesting.I also have hashimoto’s-dont know if i have the mthfr mutation. I actually had hyperthyroid symptoms. Ever since i went on medication i became hypo because of my medication. Although i’m almost normal, i still struggle with constipation.Will these packs help?Also, i know castor oil is used to stimulate hair growth. My sis used it for oil cleansing and noticed more prominent facial hair after a while.Since I have dark hair and pale skin i’m worried i might turn to a hairy bear in the long term! Have you had bowel problems because of your hashimotos?It would be nice to have a post about how to deal with it.Sorry for the long post,keep up the good work!

  13. In my reading of the castor oil pack– the cloth was to be a wool type. That too is sold in health stores.

  14. My doctor recommended that I use it for my yeast infections. He told me to saturate a tampon with the oil and leave it in overnight. Twice a week plus cut out sugar and starches. It’s worked when the antibiotics and creams didn’t.

    • Seriously? Because I have systemic Candida, went from a simple yeast infection to in my lungs 🙁 and I have to take so many diferent natural anti fungals a day up to 10. Is castor oil an antifungal where did you get yours? Is there another way to use the oil for yeast?

      • I just read this somewhere else that someone posted. “My doctor recommended that I use it (castor oil) for my yeast infections. He told me to saturate a tampon in the oil and leave it in overnight. Twice a week plus cut out sugar and starches. It worked when antibiotics and creams didn’t.”

      • I read in a comment thread once that coconut oil is a superior fungicide and so, perhaps that would help in internal fungal infections. I recall they said to start slowly with your consumption of it…possibly because of die-off symptoms? It’s just a recollection on my part, but you could research it more.

    • good to hear this! i did the same but with tea tree oil, it works but the oil felt like burning inside, Ill try castor oil instead. Thx for sharing.
      I tried it on my skin as oil cleansing and didn’t like it much, it could of been this or something else, but i got a few pimples. I like coconut oil for oil cleansing better.

  15. I am not able to get anywhere in following the links for “wrap around pack” which leads me to believe there may be a shortage. I would, therefore, like to make one if I could only get a good picture. ‘Little help?

  16. I rub castor oil directly on my stomach by pouring it from the bottle. The put a plastic bag over it and then the heating pad. I keep this over night. Feels so soothing and relaxing.

  17. Just wondering if “Black Castor Oil” is the same, or rather, interchangeable, with just plain castor oil? I bought some of the Black castor oil for helping with hair growth… and have lots of it left.

    • I have used it for hair, but for this application I am not sure if it is interchangeable.

  18. I had knee surgery a 6 days ago, had pieces of bone taken out from falling on ice. My knee is still very swollen and I got a rash from the elastic sock doctor made me wear. Would the castor oil work for this?
    I’ve been using essential oils and elevating.

  19. Do you need to resaturate the cloth each time yout use it? About how many tbsp?

  20. Why do you keep this in the fridge? Is it really necessary?

    • Probably not, but one of the resources I’d found about castor oil packs suggested it and I’ve always just stuck with it.

  21. Any issue with applying directly to skin? What’s the purpose of the flannel, since oil goes on skin anyway?

    • The flannel just helps the skin have a constant supply for longer. It would be messy if you just rubbed on the skin, but you could definitely do that.

  22. Katie is the wrap around holder that comes in the kit reusable or is it something I’ll have to replace?

  23. When I was breastfeeding my daughter and had a clogged duct, one of the lactation folks at the hospital suggested using a castor oil pack on the part of the breast that was clogged and it really worked. It cleared the clog quickly and didn’t seem to have any side effects.

  24. I read that you have to reheat the pack after it has been in the refrigerator. Would you do that in the microwave? any other options?

    • To reheat the pack, I set it out on the counter with the hot water bottle sitting on top of it for 5-10 min. Then refill the bottle with new hot water before using the pack on the body.

  25. I’ve been getting these “no mess castor oil packs” from my colonic therapist, as I’ve been doing liver flushes for the past few months. These are really no mess. She sells them at her price with no markup so I believe her when she says that they shouldn’t be used more than once, at the most twice. Her reasoning is that the toxins are absorbed into the material and you don’t want to reuse over and over to re-expose yourself to toxins. I was only using for an hour during the liver flush but last weekend I left it on for four hours with a heating pad (I fell asleep) and the next day I had heart palpitations all day and couldn’t figure out why. Then it dawned on me that the castor oil pack had released the toxins into my bloodstream from my liver! I had a day of palpitations and the next day I was back to normal. It made me a believer in castor oil packs!! Next time I will only leave on at the most for 2 hours. I add saran wrap on top of the castor oil fabric (already soaked) that comes in the kit for an extra layer to protect anything I am touching, then put the plastic that comes in the pack over that. You don’t have to do that, it’s just what I do. The plastic they supply is a continuous circle that you step into and covers the castor oil pack completely. The kit also include a silver heat sheet that you put on top of that. Then I add my own heating pad to the top of the silver heat sheet to keep it really warm. Anyway, here’s the link: for the packs that I use.

  26. Do not take castor oil if you are pregnant. I am an L and D nurse and have seen many people come in because they have taken castor oil,hoping to start labor. It does cause ineffective contractions and abdominal cramping but does not start labor, instead they are just in alot of pain and have to wait it out, but are always sent home disappointed. I would be cautious using it at any time in pregnancy. I do not know what it would do if you use it topically, check with your MD.

    • Really? ALWAYS sent home disappointed? That is interesting as I have three kids that were all castor oil induced labors (always on or after due date). So it had 100% effectiveness for me. I don’t think it is the correct method for everyone, nor is it always effective – but your post makes it sound like it NEVER works which is untrue.

      • Hi , all
        They have to be used when you know you will be going into labor, my mom had 6 out of 9 kids at home . She did it every time and it was successful . You don’t take it just because you want the baby to come that day . It does not work like that . But if you started labor and you want a quicker smoother delivery , she swore by it. But for sure you have to know what your doing,

    • This is not true at all. I took 3 tbsp of castor oil and was in hard labour 4 hrs later. I called the hospital they laughed and said oh that’s an old wives tale, well I just made it in time to the hospital and I mean just! My baby was born about 1 Hr later and I had many nurses apologizing. A friend of mine took it as well, same thing happened. So unless you have actually tried this yourself or know someone whom has do not disregard its effects, if you are ready to have your baby it can and will put you into labour, why else do you say repeatedly “do not use in pregnancy”? My Doctor and several others have all said the same castor oil will cause very real, very strong contractions.

    • Please check your facts please. Castor oil will put a person into labour, if your body is ready to give birth. Under a Doctors supervision I used this method to induce labour and it worked like a charm. I also know of several other people who have used it and it worked every time. Now had I listened to the nurses I would have had my baby at home because they told me it was impossible and I was just having cramps from diarrhea. So PLEASE get your facts straight. Because had I listened to the nurses, I would have had not only had my baby at home but I also hemorrhaged to death. So be very careful on the accuracy of your information.

  27. My grandmother told me years ago when I was pregnant to take castor oil when I wanted to have the baby. She was full blooded Native American. When I finally got the courage to do so, I took 2 tbls. of castor oil and went to bed. At 5am my water broke and I delivered at 8:00am. I’m a believer! Do I recommend it for jump-starting labor? Probably not…but then again… I’m no health professional. Be advised…it is the NASTIEST tasting stuff. All I know is that it worked for me. My son was born happy & healthy, 8 lbs, 3 oz, and 2 weeks early. But I’m going to use it now for several of the other benefits. And I’m NOT going to drink it!

  28. hey there Katie. so I am making one of these for my son’s sprained ankle. the book I was reading in said that each member of the family should have their own pack and not share. IS there any reason for this? I don’t have much of the cloth…is it harmful if used between family members?

    • I’m guessing that is just because of the castor oil’s ability to pull things from the body and perhaps the authors were thinking that if it pulled a harmful substance from one person, you wouldn’t want to introduce it to the skin of another. For an ankle, it would probably be ok to use on multiple people though

  29. I’ve been using it for an 8cm complex dermoid ovarian cyst for only 3 days 2hrs. a day. I’m noticing that the pain increases after the first hour of applying the castor oil pack. Too soon to tell I guess. I’ll keep doing it and try to remember to update.

    • Did it help? I’m starting it for similar reasons…and endometriosis

    • I’d love to know if this helped you. I hope it did.

    • Hi Analucia. I have the exact size ovarian cyst as yours. Please do tell me how it went considering it’s about a year for you. I really don’t want to lose my ovary to this cyst, or a hysterectomy for that matter! Please respond…or anyone who can help me pls! Thank you…

      • Please check onion cure for ovarian cyst. I didn’t do it as I didnt know before they removed it at the hospital but I heard it works! And it also helps fall pregnant.

    • Same for me. I have a 7,5cm chocolate cyst that they want to remove obsviouly because they said it will no go away on its own. I’ve worked so much on my diet no meat, no sugar, no alcohol, no gluten, no soy, no eggs, no corn.
      When I do the castor oil pack, my cyst hurt afterwards and the next day.
      I would love to hear someone says that the castor oil made it shrink.

    • Hello, how did it go??!!

  30. Do you think this could help a intraductal papiloma? I have been told the only way is to have it excised and I don’t want any surgical intervention so have been trying to find a way to help heal naturally. I’ve tried bentonite masks but never castor oil.

  31. I have Lupus and I use the Castor Oil Packs every night for an hour before I go to sleep. They help keep my immune system balanced and strong and I am off of my Lupus medication now. I was told my by nutritionist that they stimulate non inflammatory Lymphocytes, which boost the immune system but they don’t attack you. The packs are supposed to be very good for auto immune problems and they have been a miracle for me. I am totally off of all my Lupus meds.

    • I have an autoimmune disease too and am wondering where on your body you place the pack for the hour each night?

      • I’m guessing over the abdomen Lynn, since autoimmune disease begins in the gut.

    • Glad to hear you are off your lupus meds. The root of lupus is parasitical. The best natural way to combat these guys is by using Diatomaceous Earth (food grade). This will get rid of your lupus! Castor oil helps eliminate parasites as well.

      • I wonder if parasites are the root of all autoimmune disease? With Hashimotos I have been taking Endomet GB-3 tablets, which consist of three ingredients (pancreatin, ox bile, and russian black radish) & worked my way up to 3-3-3 each day. The parasites are coming out & I help them on their way out with coffee enemas.

        • I believe so from the research I have done most including myself have been caused by Epstein Barr Virus 95% of the popultation is said to have antibodies of it in our systems. Look into medical medium or really just a basic google search will give you tons of info

  32. Are packs safe while breastfeeding? Nursing an 18month old only throughout the night.

    • I’ve used them while breastfeeding, but check with a doc or health professional, especially if you are unsure.

  33. I am interested in starting the castor oil due to ovarian cysts and gut issues. However I am on several medications. Is that a problem?

    • I would definitely talk to your doctor about it before starting to use packs.

  34. Love your blogs! You’re amazing!! Everything is so detailed! It would be nice to see some step by step photos too for visual learners like me. (:

  35. I love castor oil! I have been using castor oil for 10 years. The first time was for a nail fungus from a nail salon. It was on my big toe and I didn’t know what to do. I soaked a small piece of cotton and applied it and covered with a band-aid. I did this twice a day and could feel it working right away. It took a long time and I lost the nail which freaked me out but I saw a new nail growing in!! It took 7 months of applying the castor oil until the nail looked normal and I never had a problem with it since then. Second time I hurt my shoulder and it hurt me for 4 months and so before bedtime I rubbed it in my should (no pack) and it never hurt again. It’s also helped with a bad bruise on my shin from falling. Today I’m using the pack for a liver detox and on my bladder area cause of pain and inflammation. I’ll keep you posted for my results from this : )

  36. Is there a way to modify this treatment so it is safe for babies?

  37. Use of castor oil pack & heat pad gives excellent results. I have got my knee replacement 2.5 months back. I have also numbnes on right leg for the last 5 yrs. Swelling & knee pain stops me to walk even
    .Only from 3 days I’m using castor oil pack & heat pad 3 times a day. I feel it better. I take with God”s grace I will recover fully.

    • Blessings to you Partap, it is always by the grace of God isn’t it? I believe He gave us the herbs of the fields as well as the seeds and nuts for healing.

    • God Bless you. I too have knee issue. Have just discovered castor oil as possible treatment so of course am going to try it… Much better than shots I have had, did not help my knee, and much better than looking forward to knee surgery as doctor suggested. I believe there are natural treatments for all that ails us if we can search and find them..
      Would like to know if there are others who have had success treating degenerative knee issues with castor oil.

  38. I did wind up using castor oil w/ one of my deliveries, and it worked great. No meconium issues.
    I wouldn’t use it frivolously, but if the alternative is a modern medical intervention that could have adverse repercussions, as it was with my baby, I would do it again.

  39. I started Castor oil pack treatment the other day for liver cleansing benefit and Systemic Candida issues, also live in Cajun country in Louisiana and allergies are BAD here and am hoping my immune system will receive strength as the result. Thus far I had detox the day after the first treatment and felt better the next day… I have also done coffee enema’s for liver detox and one site recommended those in conjunction with the Castor oil pack treatment, especially as a cancer protocol…. I have found that DE and ACV are the greatest remedies for Candida problems and was thankful to read on your site Wellness Mama that U experienced the same… The coconut oil also seems to be quite a potent anti candida element…. And as a couple of others said on this blog, it is the grace of God that we have these natural methods of healing and health maintenance to benefit our bodies that He created…

  40. Also excellent for toothache and associated swelling that can often come with it – even without a hot pack, as I recently discovered when a toothache hit, my sinus area began to swell up painfully and I didn’t have access to anything with which to create a hot pack.

    All I had was a huge bottle of organic castor oil with me (I tend to carry some with me wherever I go) so I simply massaged it into the swollen area of my face over the toothache and hoped for the best. I did that every half hour, but even after the first application, the swelling and pain immediately began to subside. Three hours and a few more applications later, and the pain and swelling are completely gone.

    Things like Castor Oil and other of nature’s pain relieving/healing gifts, make me wonder what the point of drug companies are. Oh, that’s right – profit.

  41. Anyone ever felt sick the day after using a castor pack on the abdomen?

    • Yes – I figured out that all the toxins in my liver had been released so it’s a good thing. It just takes time for them to be excreted out of your body but when they are, you’ll feel great. If you can get a colonic, or even do a enema if you can’t get a colonic, that will help.

      • How do you feel that he toxins are out. And how do u do the enema of castor o.

        • After this happened to me I went to get a colonic because I did feel ill too. I came out after the colonic feeling so good! When you get a colonic (I like the closed system) you will actually see the toxins through the clear tube on the machine because they are bright yellow. You have to continue to do castor oil packs to continue to get the toxins out, as we are being exposed to them on a daily basis. I am doing the castor oil packs every two weeks, followed by a colonic. You DON’T do the enema using castor oil – you do the castor oil pack first on your abdomen and later do the enema with water, or coffee. I started doing coffee enemas daily to help my bile flow (using organic SA Wilson coffee) but you could do enemas with plain water if you are feeling sick and want to flush them out quickly. I like the coffee enema because I have gallbladder issues and it does definitely help move the bile, as well as move the toxins out fast. I got my supplies at the optimal health network website, you’ll need an enema bag, enema bag hook (both the pear-shaped hook and the s-shaped hook), an enema nozzle and 6 foot hose, and a hose ramp clamp. You can use coconut oil as your lubricant. That website has all the instructions on how to do them, as well as videos. Good luck!

          • Love this blog and learning from others.

            OMG Lynn I am glad you mentioned colonics and enemas! They are the best natural home remedy. IMHO, better than meds, chemicals and other things. I hope other moms will also learn about enemas.

            Lynn, you are right in telling her NOT to do a castor oil enema! OMG never give or take a castor oil enema! Always talk with doctor before getting or giving an enema or colonic!

            Sorry for the long post.

            Over the years, I have given many different types of home enemas. Enemas given for fevers, constipation and when sick with colds or flu.

            I also have gotten colonics and also feel wonderful after a colonic. But they are costly $$$$ where I live. So between colonics I do home coffee enemas.

            Not as good as a colonic but a liver detox can be done with a home coffee enema bucket or enema bag.
            I feel wonderful after getting a CE. Great way to detox liver is a coffee enema.

            For a coffee enema I use a 2 quart red rubber enema bag. Got it and a 8 oz enema bulb syringe at CVS.

            I see you mentioned OPTIMAL HEALTH NETWORK (, called OHN. Kristina there is professional. Her and Dee Dee are wonderful. Instructions for preparing the coffee, the enema and taking the enema is on OHN.

            The stainless steel enema buckets sold on OHN are expensive but are of excellent quality.
            I find the red rubber bag works just fine.

            Yes can use coconut oil as lubricant. But can also can use KY. Kristina, at OHN, sells the super slave (lubricant for the enema nozzle). Hope I spelled it correctly. Even can use vaseline in a pinch on the nozzle. I can hear the yelling now LOL “vaseline !! no way”

            What do you mean by the “pear shaped hook?” What is that? I use the hook that came with the enema bag kit. Don’t hang the bag too high. That was cause too much force and cause cramping. Kristina at OHN, says a few feet above where you are laying works fine. I prefer laying on the bed on a towel when getting a coffee enema. No mess. The best time for an enema is when I have the house to myself and can relax and take my time getting an enema.

            In the bedroom I hang the bag on a hook I put on the wall or hang it on the bed post. I have hung the enema bag on one of the chester drawer pulls in the bed room. Had to move the chester drawer closer to the bed for the enema.

            I have read a few moms say to hang from the shower curtain rod if giving in the bathroom. That is too high. And most shower curtain rods are not very secure on the shower stall wall. ugh what if the bag fell when getting an enema? omg a mess that would be !

            Dee Dee and Kristina at OHN tell if you have cramps, or the one getting the enema has cramps, stop the flow and relax. Take deep breaths out of open mouth. Once the cramps have passed resume giving/getting the enema.

            Kristina at OHN says the first time you do an enema you may not be able to get much solution in. This is normal. As you repeat the enema or the next time you do one, you will get more solution in.

            She also says, if you give an enema and there is no BM this may be caused by dehydration. The solution was absorbed. If there is no BM in a few minutes. She recommends a second enema be given.

            She says to take your time. Do not rush giving or getting an enema. They are very soothing and relaxing. I agree !
            You feel wonderful after getting a colonic or home enema.

            Always clean the bag or bulb with warm soapy water. Rinse well a few times. Don’t forget to also clean the nozzle and hose. Some recommend putting alcohol in the bag or bulb after washing. Swish it around the alcohol in the bag or bulb. Then dumping it out. I only clean with warm soapy water. Let air dry for a few days sitting out. Never put up damp or wet.

            Not a doctor here. Best to always check with your doctor before giving or getting an enema.

            Always seek professional medical help.

        • Lynn, what is the pear shaped hook?

          • Stainless Steel Pear-Shaped Enema Bag Hook is what you put through the bag (there is a hole at the top of the bag) and then use the s-shaped hook, which goes through the pear shaped hook to hang it from your towel rack, etc. when doing the enema. If you go to that website that I mentioned, and type in “pear shaped enema bag hook” a picture of it will appear with a link to purchase (it’s $2.99). If you order from their website and order a bag, it may come with the bag and you won’t have to order separately. If unsure, just call them to verify.

  42. I used castor oil to induce labor on 2of my3 children and it works very well. I did not get raging diarrhea though. 2tbs castor oil 1tbs baking soda and 3oz of Orange juice. Works within a few hours. Sometimes faster. Only works if you are to term and the baby is ready. Otherwise I’m sure you world get raging diarrhea.

  43. Is it ok for two people to use the same castor oil wool flannel (no Wash)?

  44. Lynn, I have never given or gotten a castor oil pack.
    I was surprised to learn of so many uses for a oil pack.
    I will try that remedy.

    Back to the oil enema…I forgot to mention that there is a oil retention enema.

    See this link for instructions:

    The oil retention enema is NOT to be confused with a castor oil enema. NEVER give a castor oil enema.

    The oil retention enema is made with mineral oil and given with a small rubber enema bulb. Retained over night or for a few hours. To be followed with a large volume cleansing enema later. Since the oil needs to be cleansed out.

    The oil retention enema is given for hard stools. To soften the BM.

    From the link above: It mentions that you can use “a small rubber enema bulb and fill it with warm oil of choice. such as mineral oil, flax seed oil, extra-virgin olive oil, Organic Virgin Coconut Oil vegetable oil any of these will work well for softening stool and lubricating the rectal canal . Oil temperature should be approximately 103°Fahrenheit…”

    I have only given one oil retention enema to soften the impacted stool. Gave it on a towel on the bed with the small rubber bulb syringe.

    I had to keep a eye on him and keep him in bed on the towel. Because the oil slowly leaked out. Best not to put pants or pjs back on because of the oil coming slowly out. If possible best to have them rest on tummy for a hour or so.

    But it did a miracle in making the stool soft and a BM easier.

    I gave him a cleansing enema later.

  45. Lynn, glad you mentioned colonics and enemas!

  46. Lynn, thanks! omg I have seen those hooks many times before. They are like the shower curtain hooks.
    I never knew they were called pear shaped hook. I looked on OHN at the hook.
    They don’t come with the red rubber enema bag, 2 qt, I got at CVS.

    Do you do a daily coffee enema?
    How often do you do the oil packs?

    I haven’t done a oil pack yet. I may try it.

  47. Hi Katie, I just ordered the wrap around pack and I’m worried it has BPA too because it is vinyl. I’m worried if the vinyl does have BPA, I’d be letting it seep through my skin when I wrap it around me and apply heat. Do you know if it has BPA? It’s the brand you recommended above. I appreciate any thoughts you might be able to share!

  48. Hi Katie,
    I’m thinking to use caster oil on some cotton pads placed on the under side of my feet with some old socks on for the night as a detox. Maybe using cling film as a wrap around the cotton pad if it gets messy. Do you foresee any problems with that?

  49. Hey Katie,
    The lymph nodes in my neck have been swollen for awhile now. Do you think castor oil packs may help since they stimulate lymphatic flow and reduce inflammation?
    Thank you for this post!

  50. Katie, I was wondering the same thing as Britta. The wrap around pack from Radiant Life is made of vinyl, which is plastic made from ethylene and chlorine. Would you please give us your thoughts on this? Thank you!

  51. Katie, You are my go to for everything. I was wondering after the recommended use of 30 days if the pack can be washed and reused? They are a bit pricey, it would be nice if this were the case. I appreciate you and your service to help others, this is an amazing blog. Keep up the amazing work. Blessings

    • I would think so, though I might hand wash in a degreasing detergent before placing in the washing machine. Thanks for reading 🙂

  52. I buy mine organic flannel from Etsy and cut them down. I figured it’s about $1.00 a day. I throw them out after one use. I’ve had two naturopaths tell me never to reuse them because of the toxins.

    • Hi Anne, I also buy organic cotton flannel on etsy to use for castor oil packs. You can buy it by the yard and cut it into whatever size rectangle you want. I also had a naturopath tell me that you can only use the flannel one time. I only use a double thickness, not a triple thickness of cloth. Anyway, she said that some of the toxins will collect in the cloth and so you should discard after every use.

      Also, before I use the cloth I apply some oil directly to my skin. I put some oil on the cloth, but don’t saturate. I was using such a large amount of oil at first when I saturated the cloth. When I apply to my skin I know I’m putting the oil exactly where I want it to go.

      • Susan, is your organic cotton flannel also unbleached? Can you tell me exactly which company/person you purchased it from?

  53. Insomnia
    I am definitely for castor oil packs but beware, if you have severe health issues—take it really slow. I could only do 10 mins. and then get nauseous. I read somewhere where someone pushed through and ended up vomiting and diarrhea, for quite awhile. I caution people and tell them be sure and use a timer, do not fall asleep—this can happen even if you have insomnia. One guy testifies he could not sleep at all sometimes and now sleeps 8 full hours praise the Lord!!! On a good night I am now up to 6 hours if I don’t eat gluten. I am going back on the castor oil packs!!!!!! Ya!!!!

  54. I know this is older, but when do you use it for an ovarian cyst? I know not when you’re bleeding but does it matter after that?

  55. Has anyone used castor oil packs for a benign breast cyst? Mine is small and certified benign.

    • Another thing I found for breast lumps is figs. You put them on your breasts. There is an herbalist and acupuncturist on youtube with instructions. I think it’s an old Native American Indian thing. I would try, but my lump is too painful right now. If you are to try, do it now in fig season.

    • I’ve not tried the packs on breast cysts but I wanted to tell you what worked for me, and was a lot less messy! For healthy breasts, I read that they need iodine. I had a dime sized cyst and since I had just read about iodine and breast health I decided to try it. I took one 6.25mg capsule each day for a month, then upped it to two caps each day for the next two months. You don’t need to increase it, I was just in a hurry to make it shrink. I have Hashimotos and generally iodine is not recommended (although Dr. Brownstein disagrees) but the cyst was bugging me and I decided to go for it. I am still taking iodine to this day and it has not hurt me regarding my Hashi’s. After those 3 months I went for a breast ultrasound and it was gone for the most part.

  56. I have, it did nothing. It was suggested by an ND. I have PASH, breast disease. It not only didn’t shrink, it grew. Not blaming the castor oil pack. Just what happened. I’m looking at getting my root canals out since they are on the breast meridian and most are infected, so hopefully that will be my solution.
    Here is what I did with my castor oil pack. I was told never to use again, even don’t refrigerate. I cut a organic piece of flannel, purchased on Etsy into about 14 pieces. I soaked it, put it on my breast for 40 minutes to an hour and used my IR heat lamp to get it hot. It was hot, and relaxing, but 40 hours later in six weeks of time, nothing happened. I actually thought of starting up again, because it did help with the pain, the IR lamp is probably all I need for that.

  57. Does it matter what kind of castor oil you use?
    Can you use regular OTC castor oil or is there a specific kind or brand needed?

    • I link the kind I recommend in the post…

  58. Hi I wanted to know what is the protocol to use castol oil packs for thickening your uterine lining? Im TTC and read some places do it daily then others only days 3-11 of your cycle?? so confused do you know what would be best for this thin lining condition? thank you

  59. Thank you for all the great info and instructions! I have a leaky gut and recently had a miscarriage. I was recommended to use a castor oil pack for a multitude of reasons for healing. I applied the oil to the flannel and had the pack on my abdomen with a heat pad for 90 minutes. The next day I didn’t notice anything different. So that night before applying the pack I rubbed some of the oil directly onto my lower abdomen. The following morning I vomited what seemed to be my entire stomach twice before noon. Bed ridden with pain all day, I felt very sick. That evening I had diarrhea 5 times. It took two full days to feel better. I would just like to note that vomiting and diarrhea are very unusual for me even while traveling to many other countries.
    I understand the castor oil must have gotten something toxic out of me, but I would rather not self induce two days of sickness.
    Has this happened to anyone else?

  60. I just stumbled upon hour blog and so grateful I did. I have been diagnosed with fatty liver and starting to have pain. Has anyone had success with using the castor oil packs? How often do you recommend? I also have hyperthyroidism with benign nodules and considered using the packs on my thyroid. Any thoughts, comments, recommendations will be greatly appreciated.