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Natural Cures Using Castor Oil

Last Modified on Oct 03, 2015

Castor Oil and Castor Oil Packs

Though we mainly know it as one of Edgar Cayce's most famous remedies, castor oil has a long history of traditional medical use dating back to ancient Egypt. Derived from the castor bean, the oil was traditionally used internally as a laxative. However, now it is primarily used externally due to its potential toxicity.

A castor oil pack is placed on the skin to increase circulation and to promote elimination and healing of the tissues and organs underneath the skin. It is used to stimulate the liver, relieve pain, increase lymphatic circulation, reduce inflammation, and improve digestion.

How Can a Castor Oil Pack Help Me?

Castor oil packs are a traditional natural cure for a range of conditions, such as: cholecystitis (inflammation of the gall bladder), poor eliminations, epilepsy, various liver conditions such as cirrhosis and torpid liver, scleroderma, headaches, appendicitis, arthritis, incoordination between assimilations and eliminations, colitis, intestinal disorders such as stricture and colon impaction, incoordination between nervous systems, neuritis, and toxemia.

How to Make a Castor Oil Pack

Castor oil packs are made by soaking a piece of flannel in castor oil and placing it on the skin. The flannel is covered with a sheet of plastic, and then a hot water bottle is placed over the plastic to heat the pack.

A castor oil pack can be placed on the following body regions:

The right side of the abdomen to stimulate the liver; inflamed and swollen joints, bursitis, and muscle strains; the abdomen to relieve constipation and other digestive disorders; the lower abdomen in cases of menstrual irregularities and uterine and ovarian cysts.

Safety precautions

Castor oil should not be taken internally. It should not be applied to broken skin, or used during pregnancy, breastfeeding, or during menstrual flow.


* Three layers of undyed wool or cotton flannel large enough to cover the affected area
* Castor oil
* Plastic wrap cut 1-2" larger than the flannel (can be cut from a plastic bag)
* Hot water bottle
* Container with lid
* Old clothes and sheets. Castor oil will stain clothing and bedding.

Place the flannel in the container. Soak it in castor oil so that it is saturated, but not dripping. Place the pack over the affected body part. Cover with plastic. Place the hot water bottle over the pack. Leave it on for 45-60 minutes. Rest while the pack is in place. After removing the pack, cleanse the area with a dilute solution of water and baking soda. Store the pack in the covered container in the refrigerator. Each pack may be reused up to 25-30 times.

It is generally recommended that a castor oil pack be used for 3 to 7 days in a week to treat a health condition or for detoxification.

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Most Popular Castor Oil Remedies:

Multiple Cures13
Beautiful Skin11
Deep Sleep5
Swollen Lymph Nodes3
Sty Remedy3

User Reviews

Abdominal Adhesions   1  0   

Posted by Ellie (Durham, NC)

[YEA]  I had major abdominal surgery and a few years later knew I had adhesions as a result. I used the packs for an hour each day for about 2 months. One day I actually felt it break loose! It felt like being hit with a huge rubber band and was painful for only a few seconds before feeling better. No longer did I have the painful pulling sensation in my side. My doctor is from India and agreed with me that the castor oil packs dissolved the scar tissue. This saved me from more surgery, that would have created more scar tissue, and on and on and on.

Replied by Prem
Bangalore, India

Hi Ellie,

I am from India and am facing the similar problem of abdominal adhesions after a major surgery. If you can suggest your doctor from India and the process of appying castor oil pack, may help me as well. Really appreciate your response.

Abscessed Tooth   1  0   

Posted by William (Plains, Mt.) on 03/18/2015

[YEA]  Castor oil is the best oil ever. I personally have used it for an abscess in my teeth, more than once. I cured an infection in my jaw bone from the abscessed tooth. This was examined by a dentist who wanted to pull the tooth. I did not want the tooth pulled so I used castor oil on my gums and on the tooth. It cured the infection and took the pain away within an hour. I still have the tooth many years later.

Advice Needed   0  0   

Posted by Esprit64 (North Yarmouth, Maine Usa) on 03/30/2011

My understanding of castor oil packs is that you should use them on an affected area three days, then four days off. However, since I have multiple health problems and pain sites, can I also use packs in multiple body locations at the same time? Can I stay with one body site for three days, then move to another site for the next three days, etc. ? Every day, having a pack somewhere on my body?

Are packs also effective for upper respiratory and heart problems?

About massage. I understand that castor oil massages can also be done. However, I'm reading the massage should generally be done in the direction of the lymph system. How do I know what direction a lymph system is going?

Finally, does it make sense to massage castor oil into an affected area and then, cover it with plastic wrap, perhaps sleep this way overnight?

Thanks for any clarifications.

Replied by Phoenix23002
Amelia, Va

Esprit64.. Hi. I have been using castor oil packs for going on 30 yrs now and.. They are great for lots of things. The instructions for use are.... You should only use pure wool flannel (no polyester or nylon) and fold it so you have 4 - 6 thicknesses... Soak the thicknesses with cold-pressed castor oil, but not so it is messy. Cover with saran wrap then cover with heating pad.

Ck the heat from time to time (if you combine oil & heat.. What do you get?? possibly a burn). Cut it off or lower heat temp every 10 mins or so to make sure it is not too hot, then cut it back up. Try to give yourself an hour or two with the pack.

The packs are good for so many things. If you use it on your abdomen, it helps activate some immune factors that are in your intestines. Normally you use the pack for 3 - 4 nites per week. You reuse the packs and keep them in a zip-lock bag between uses and don't share the packs with anyone else. Everybody gets their own packs.. Lol. You never wash them. Cayce's instructions say to follow use after a week or so with a dose of olive oil. I can honestly say I have NEVER done that. Just thinking about it gags me... Lol.

I don't know about keeping this on all night long. I am just going by Cayce's original instructions. He never advised wearing for that long. I have no idea how helpful it would be if you don't wear the heating pad but it certainly can't hurt. Massaging with it won't hurt either.

As for the lymphs.. Just massage up to the body from the extremities. On the arm, push up to the elbow from the wrist, from the elbow up to the shoulder, etc. Same with the legs.. From the bottom up. I broke my shoulder and the therapist massaged my arm that way so I wouldn't develop edema in my arm. Must of worked because I never had any swelling.

Be sure and use old, old towels. I use a large plastic yard trash bag, cut so it lays flat and cover that with a large old towel. I put all this under me so none of the oil gets on my bed linens or recliner. I prop up on pillows and I use an old, small hand towel to wipe off excess oil and wipe my hands after use. You can wash these towels but save them & use them just with the packs because the castor oil smell gets in them & never comes out, even after washing.

You can use the packs all over your body if you like. It sure won't hurt anything but, it is messy. Multiple sites might be hard to manage, logistically.

I get my supplies from Baar and they have a great book on Cayce's cures... "The Edgar Cayce Handbook for Health Through Drugless Therapy". Cold pressed castor oil is recommended but, before the internet and health food stores, my only access was the drug store variety of castor oil and it worked just fine. I do use the cold-pressed oil now.

I broke my back in 5 places in an auto accident years ago and wouldn't allow the drs to fuse my spine. The castor oil packs were a God-send for pain relief when I would occassionaly throw out my back. Over the years, I have used it for sprains, strains, sore throats... Just about any pain concern. They shouldn't be used in lieu of a dr for serious concerns but for run-of-the-mill aches/pains, the packs are great. Good luck!!

Age Spots   1  0   

Posted by Alyson (Plano, Tx, Usa) on 08/26/2009

[YEA]  I'm in my late 30s and a few years ago, after my first pregnancy, I started get a number of small sun/age spots/freckles on my face. About a year ago, I got two on the top of my checkbones under my eyes, where my glasses rest. They are big in comparison and made me look much older than I am (at least to me!) Ive been very hesitant to use any medical or chemical procedures - prescriptions, laser treatments, etc. I read here and on one other site about caster oil and thought Id give it a shot before spending way too much money on natural beauty products on the market (one was for over $40, vs the $5 castor oil!). Its been a little over a week now, dipping a cotton swab into the oil and applying twice daily after washing my face. I rub it in a little and wait about 10 minutes before applying daily or nighttime lotion. The spots have lightened DRAMATICALLY! I barely have to use any coverup on them when before I had to cake it on. I cant wait to see what they look like in a month! My skin where i have used it is looking much better, too, although I cant quite pinpoint why - smaller pores, tighter, fewer lines...not sure yet. Ive started using it on my "worry crease" between my eyebrows and have also noticed a difference!

Thanks, Alyson

Replied by Alyson
Plano, Tx Usa

Update to my post: The dark age spots I started using the castor oil on are almost completely gone! My skin looks so much better - my mother and father when I showed them thought I had been wearing extra makeup! Such a god-send - thank you for the tip!!

Application Tips   1  0   

Posted by Maureen (Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada) on 09/12/2010

[YEA]  Castor Oil Use during Work-Out

A few months ago I decided to experiment and apply Castor Oil to my face, neck, torso and legs before starting my work-out. I figured since I sweat profusely the oil would absorb into the skin as the pores opened up. I find that it does completely absorb into the skin with the exception of my legs. They feel tacky since they do not sweat as much as the rest of my body. I do not use a towel as I would normally do to dry my face and neck as I begin to drip, instead I rub my hand over the area as little as possible but as needed because I do not want to rub off the oil. Clothing will get stained slightly but tends to come out in the wash because it is watered down with sweat. To be safe, do not use "good" clothing. I work-out (jog) at home not outside. Getting greased up to go outside may not be a good idea although by the time you are finished there is no grease to be seen. So start making your work-out do double duty with the use of Castor Oil or any other oil for that matter! I have not noticed any benefits I just do it because the oil is good for the body in general. Maureen

Replied by Miriam
Miami, Fla

Castor oil... I use packs and use it on eyelashes small amounts here and there but one time thought more is better and applied liberally over face torso and ended up with an allergic reaction itchy rash all over. I still use just liver packs and a little on face just not total body lotion.

Posted by Maureen (Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada) on 09/12/2010

Castor Oil Use in Infrared Sauna

I have an Infrared Sauna and decided a few months ago to experiment and apply Castor Oil to my face, neck, torso and legs. I figured since I sweat profusely the oil would absorb into the skin as the pores opened up. I find that it does completely absorb into the skin. The legs take longer to absorb the oil. Use your hands to help rub in the oil only after you begin to perspire. Just stay in the sauna long enough for the oil to absorb (you will not be sticky) because after that your body will be flushing out your pores and likely the oil as well. Towels/robes will get stained slightly but tends to come out in the wash because they are watered down with sweat. To be safe, do not use "good" towels/robes. Other oils will soak into the skin much faster than Castor Oil. Maureen

Arthritis   1  0   

Posted by Carolyn (Inverness, FL) on 02/27/2007

[YEA]  Castor oil packs driven in with heat. Arthritic condition (back out). Will cure various problems. Famous Edgar Cayce cure. Look at Una da Gato a Peruvian rain forest herb -- other name Cats Claw. Also for arthritis and other ailments, Edgar Cayce said 'Castor oil will leave the body in better condition than it found it.

Beautiful Skin   11  0   

Posted by Judy (N/york) on 07/30/2013

I like all I had been learning, I have just started using the Castor Oil in face before I go to bed 2times and have noticed a change already. Am gonna go ahead & use it on my legs. Thanks & keep up the good work you are doing.

Posted by Patti (Seattle, Wa) on 10/19/2011

[YEA]  I am 69 and just started using castor oil nightly. My skin has never felt this good. I am so amazed! Why spend money on expensive cosmetics when this works wonders. I add a little sweet almond oil to thin the castor oil a bit.

Posted by Pam (Groveland, Fl) on 09/17/2011

[YEA]  Castile soap is an awesome face and body wash! Among other uses for it! It acts as a natural degreaser, without drying out, then I put castor oil as a bedtime moisterizer while my face is still moist with water for easy application. Yes I do have a fresher look in the morning and also have noticed the little fine lines that started appearing by my eyes have disappeared! I feel so wrong if I miss a day without my castor oil. you'll learn to love its thick viscosity.

Posted by Len (Seattle, Wa) on 06/10/2011

[YEA]  I used to use proactive years ago and I didn't like how it seemed to bleach all my pillow cases. If it was doing that to my pillows, what was it doing to my skin? I now have a very simple skin regimine: I cleanse my face at night with grapefruit seed extract (I wet my fingers a little, put 4-5 drops of GSE on my fingers, rub it on my face and rinse. I started doing that because I was diagnosed with perioral dermatitis and GSE not only took care of that, it's taken care of my acne problem as well. )

After cleansing, I use my homemade lotion of aloe vera gel, vegetable glycerin, shea butter and lavender oil.

Before going to bed, I apply castor oil around my eyes and on my forehead. When I wake in the morning, my skin is glowing. I don't even usually wash my face in the morning (though I used to be adamant about it) because I don't feel like I need to; it feels very clean when I wake up. I do get the occasional zit here and there but it is nothing like it used to be. Hope that helps!

Posted by Tricia (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada ) on 10/21/2010

[YEA]  After reading many articles on the wonders of castor oil, I have started using castor oil (neat) to spread on my face. My goal is to improve my sun damaged skin (large brown spots and red around the nose area). I am also acne prone although it's been much better than when I was a teenager. My skin is so greasy you could fry an egg with the amount of oil that comes off it by the end of the day. I have been using Proactiv for years and it works for the acne but leaves my skin dry and oily at the same time!

Anyway, in only three days, the castor oil has already smoothed out my skin, made it LESS oily and seems to have dissolved the flat skin tags that I had on my cheeks near my nose. After cleansing (still with my Proactiv cleanser) and toning with alcohol-free witch hazel, I put the castor oil on my cheekbones (where the brown spots are), around my nose and on my chin. I massage it in for 5 minutes to work it in, then pat the excess off with a Kleenex. I do this in the morning too and wait 10 minutes before putting on makeup on my face. My pressed powder seems to glide on now. The makeup stays on my face ALL day with only one touch up necessary in 10 hours! My skin looks AIRBRUSHED! This is only after three days!! I'll be trying the Oil Cleansing Method next. I want to give up using commercial cleansers altogether.

Replied by Risa
San Francisco, Ca, Usa

Hi Tricia,
Congratulations, and thank you for letting us know how the castor oil has improved your skin. I have a question regarding the usage of castor oil on the face. I have read that castor oil promotes hair growth. So doesn't castor oil when applied on face promote facial hair growth? What was your experience?
Replied by Brooke
Montgomery, Tx, Usa

I have been using Castor oil on my face for 20 years and have never had a problem with facial hair growing.

Posted by Tina (Princeton, New Jersey) on 09/12/2010

[YEA]  I agree that castor oil is an amazing face oil. I have been using it as a night-time treatment for nearly two months now. I use a tiny amount which I thin down with a few drops of almond oil which makes it easier to pat onto the skin, since castor oil has a thick consistency. I have also noticed that my eyelashes are growing longer!

Posted by Hazelnut (Phoenix, Az, Usa) on 09/10/2010

[YEA]  I absolutely agree that castor oil is great for Beautiful skin... I started using castor oil on my face every night after bath 1 week ago and today only 7 days later my face somehow looks at least 5 years younger and flawless and more toned... I am thankful for Earth Clinic or I never would have tried castor oil on my face.... From Hazelnut

Posted by London (Sandusky, Ohio) on 08/08/2010

[YEA]  My Mother uses Castor oil on her skin and she looks great, her skin glows. She uses it at night.

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