Castor Oil
Natural Remedies

Castor Oil Benefits and Uses - Edgar Cayce's Famous Treatment

| Modified on May 30, 2023
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Castor Oil Remedy on Earth Clinic.

Castor oil has been used for thousands of years to benefit hair and skin and its use as a topical pain reliever.

Castor oil is simple to use, easy to acquire, and inexpensive. The best news is that you don't have to use it internally to reap its rewards.

Many decades ago, castor oil would have been a staple in homes and used to treat stomach aches or for a "spring cleanse" to eliminate parasites. It is recognized for its pain-relieving, abnormal growth reducing, and beauty-enhancing properties in more recent years.

This article explores the most popular uses of castor oil and how to make a castor oil pack effectively.

Castor Oil and Inflammation

Research has shown that ricinoleic acid, the active component found in castor oil, has remarkable anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. (1)

Earth Clinic readers have written about castor oil's incredible effect on easing pain and inflammation for over 15 years.

What is Castor Oil?

Castor oil comes from the castor bean Ricinus communis.

The ricin in the castor bean is quite poisonous, but there is no ricin in castor oil once processed from the bean.

The resulting oil, once processed, is a fantastic emollient. This alone makes it useful in many ways.

It is easy to find in larger grocery stores, pharmacies, and online. When using castor oil for health purposes, choose a cold-pressed, hexane-free brand and preferable organic.

Health Benefits of Castor Oil

Conditions that benefit from Castor Oil include:

  • Adhesions
  • Gallstones
  • Kidney Stones
  • Sprains
  • Bruises
  • Arthritis
  • Insomnia
  • Ovarian Cysts
  • Swollen Lymph Nodes
  • Cataracts
  • Stys
  • Nasal Polyps
  • Eczema
  • Nail Fungus
  • Growths
  • Tumors
  • Hair Thinning
  • Warts
  • Moles
  • Skin Tags
  • Insect Bites
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Age Spots
  • Wrinkles
  • Pimples
  • Large Pores
  • Dry Skin
  • Lackluster Skin
  • Scars

How To Make a Castor Oil Pack

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:

  1. 100% cotton or wool cloth. 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 pain.
  2. Castor oil
  3. Plastic wrap
  4. Heat source (hot water bottle, warm rice sock, heating pad)
  5. Ace bandage or clothing that will keep the castor oil pack in place


  1. Fold the cotton or wool cloth into the size desired. Ideally, the resulting folded material will be several layers thick.
  2. Place the folded cloth onto a piece of plastic wrap.
  3. Pour some castor oil onto the fabric and allow it to soak in. Ideally, the whole material will be soaked (but not drenched) with castor oil. It should not be dripping but adequately moist.
  4. Place the castor oil cloth against the area of the body to be treated.
  5. Place plastic wrap over the fabric. Ideally, it will go at least an inch beyond the material in all directions.
  6. 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. Likewise, you could use a sock to hold a pack onto an elbow with the foot cut out.
  7. Now apply the heat source (heating pad or hot water bottle). A castor oil pack can be applied for an hour or two or overnight. (Do not use a heating pad overnight.)
  8. After using the pack, fold up the castor oil cloth and place it into a ziplock 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.
  9. 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.)

How to Use a Castor Oil Pack

Castor oil packs can be used as needed. It may take several applications to achieve results. For detox purposes, castor oil packs may be used four nights a week for a month or so.

Castor oil packs are wonderfully soothing when used for pain. When utilized overnight, they bring pain relief and promote sleep. You can use them for joint pain, kidney stone pain, gall stone pain, back pain, etc.

Castor Oil Packs for Ovarian Cysts, Fibroids, and Abdominal Adhesions

For reducing ovarian cysts, fibroid tumors, or abdominal adhesions, use castor oil packs four nights a week.

Note: Women should not use them during their menstrual cycle. They are also not recommended during pregnancy.

Castor Oil Massage

If you cannot do a castor oil pack, you can also massage the castor oil into the skin where you have pain. While this may not be as strong a delivery method as a castor oil pack, it will often bring relief to sprains, strains, and sore joints.

It is also helpful when used topically for hemorrhoids, skin tags, or moles.

How to Use Castor Oil for Hair Growth

Castor oil can be applied to the scalp, eyebrows, or eyelashes to promote hair growth.

For eyelashes and eyebrows, it is easiest to apply a small amount of oil to the lashes or brows at night and sleep with an old pillowcase on the pillow since the oil can stain.

To promote hair growth, apply castor oil to the scalp. You can accomplish this most efficiently when the castor oil is first put into a cosmetic squeeze bottle with a tip. Then the oil can be applied directly to the scalp and gently massaged in. Cover the hair with a towel and leave the oil in for an hour or two or overnight. It may take two shampooings to remove the castor oil altogether. This treatment can be done 2-4 times a month as desired.

If the hair is long, it is essential not to overdo the amount of castor oil in the hair as it can result in a tangled mess!

How to Use Castor Oil for Eyes

Castor oil is sometimes an ingredient in over-the-counter eye formulas. It is useful for dry eyes and has been reported to reduce cataracts and eye floaters. Drop one drop of castor oil into each eye at bedtime. It will leave the eyes blurry for a while and may sting a bit at first.

Castor oil can also be applied to the eyelids instead, as it is quite penetrating. Applying castor oil to the eyelids is also a remedy to promote sleep.

How to Use Castor Oil for Beautiful Skin

Castor oil may seem too greasy to use on the face. However, it feels quite luxurious on the face and is used to prevent or decrease wrinkles, reduce puffiness, fade scars, and get rid of pimples. Many find it leaves the face positively glowing when used as part of a bedtime ritual.

Use fingers to gently massage a few drops of castor oil to the face at bedtime. Use a tissue to blot off any excess. By morning the oil has usually wholly absorbed into the skin. Castor oil on the face the night before can also make makeup application smooth in the morning and makeup removal quick at the end of the day.

Castor oil massaged into the feet at bedtime can benefit athlete's foot and calloused feet. Corns may also be reduced or eliminated with this nightly routine.

How to Use Castor Oil for Swollen Lymph Nodes

To reduce the pain and inflammation of swollen lymph nodes and promote lymph flow, massage castor oil onto the skin wherever the nodes are inflamed. You can do this twice daily or as needed.

How to Use Castor Oil for Nasal Polyps

Castor oil can be dripped into the nostrils a couple of times a day to reduce nasal polyp size and any irritation.

Castor Oil for Pets

Castor oil benefits four-legged family members as well. Pet owners use it to reduce cysts and tumors.

As with humans, it is applied to the eyes for cataracts. For more information, please visit Earth Clinic's page: Castor Oil for Dogs and Cats.

Continue reading to see how our readers have used castor oil to heal various conditions. Have you used castor oil for health or beauty? Please send us some feedback!

Related Links:

Castor Oil for Cysts in Pets
Castor Oil for Gout
Castor Oil Packs for Kidney Stones
Sinus Polyp Remedies

3rd Degree Burn

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Sharon (Redding, California) on 08/26/2008
5 out of 5 stars

My daughter sunburned the shins on both legs. They had 3rd-degree burns. Big yellow blisters. She could walk for about 3 days. I was told by an elderly man to soak gauze in Castor Oil and wrap her legs with the gauze and leave it for 3 days. The next day my daughter was able to walk. The 3rd day I removed the gauze and she was healed. Blisters gone. Her legs we just a shade pink. It left no scars. Awesome stuff.

Abdominal Adhesions

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Gabbie (Massachusetts) on 04/24/2022
5 out of 5 stars

I was having pain from what I believed to be adhesions after abdominal surgery. A knowledgeable friend advised me to simply rub organic castor oil over the places that were sore. It only took a couple of days before the pain was gone. Anytime I feel any twinges of pain there, I rub the oil on again and the pain is gone. Pretty simple and very effective!

Abdominal Adhesions
Posted by Ellie (Durham, NC)
5 out of 5 stars

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

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Julie (In) on 10/25/2018
5 out of 5 stars

I had swollen gums and a slight tooth ache, so I put some castor oil in my mouth, and swished with it for about 15 minutes then spit it out, then brushed my teeth with toothpaste and baking soda (did this 2x a day). I noticed the pain slowly went away, and within 2-3 days, the pain wasn't there anymore! My teeth looked whiter too! The castor oil must've cleared up the infection (?)

Abscessed Tooth
Posted by William (Plains, Mt.) on 03/18/2015
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Replied by Marcig

Makes me wonder if I could brush my teeth with it?

Replied by Sandy

I will be grateful if you could please tell me how did you apply castor oil for your gum/tooth pain.

Replied by Steve

Question for Post from William in Plains, Mt:

Exactly how did you use the castor oil on your gums and teeth? I have a similar problem.

Replied by Lynda

Did you just put castor oil on the tooth using a cotton ball and did not swish the oil between teeth?

Replied by keyanna
(Ontario Canada)

William, what did you do with the castor oil on the painful jaw and tooth?

I am in a lot of pain as I believe under the cap on a back tooth is abscessing...jaw pain and face and ear on that side as well as the gum throbbing away and piercing pain at times.

The dentist filed down the tooth on top to stop grinding on the infected tooth.

Might have to go to a dental surgeon...ack.

right now I am swishing with castor oil for the first time for 15 minutes as I read on this site.

any further ideas how to use the castor oil for this?

Thank you for any feedback.

Replied by Vegan
(Somewhere Nice)

Were I in your position I might apply clove bud essential oil behind the ear on the affected side. Diluted probably. There are websites that explain all that. Other oils like wild oregano or thyme oil may help if you cannot acquire clove. Even just the oil from a crushed garlic clove. It may not cure your tooth but it may relieve some swelling and pain.

I might also apply a vibrating back massager to the neck on that side to encourage circulation. Ginger is believed to encourage lymph circulation, too.

I might even try swishing with 3% hydrogen peroxide in the chance that there is an opening in the tooth that could allow it to penetrate.

Zinc and vitamin c candies sold for colds might help.


Activates T Lymphocytes

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Redman (Adelaide, South Australia) on 04/10/2011
5 out of 5 stars

Hi, this is Dr. Red from Waterfall Gully South Australia.

You may not know that the A.R.E. of Edgar Cayce Virginia Beach did a study supervised by Dr William Magarey many years ago. They found that 'T' cell Lymphocytes accumulate in the thousands where a castor oil pack is applied. The castor oil does not osmose into the skin, it is too viscous, however, it acts as a giant ultrasound unit attracting the 'T' cell to the area which do the healing.

The A.R.E. has this on record as a double-blind study.

Hope this helps you all... Dr Red.

Age Spots

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Alyson (Plano, Tx, Usa) on 08/26/2009
5 out of 5 stars

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!!


Alyson, that's fantastic news! How long did it take to fade away?


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Grace (La, Ca) on 04/28/2013
5 out of 5 stars

I was ill for a 15 months before they figured out I had chronic appendicitis I was soooo sick that all my glands swelled up my ND told me to start rubbing good quality H--- health castor oil on my gland I would do while I was in shower (if you do this be careful it may make the shower slippery) I spray my shower daily to break up the oil. I also used a heating pad to get the oil to penetrate deeply within a few days all my glands returned to normal and my appedix was removed a couple weeks later.

Application Tips

5 User Reviews
5 star (5) 

Posted by Rsw (Oh) on 04/25/2017
5 out of 5 stars

I have used the castor oil packs occasionally, and bought my products in a pack. The material for the castor oil pack came with one side as an absorbent, cotton-type material, with an attached waterproof, plastic type backing on the other side. I cut mine with scissors to fit the area to be covered. Add the castor oil to the cotton side fairly liberally, and place that wet side against your bare skin. The attached plastic backing is facing outward. The castor oil does not turn into a paste on mine but remains an oil. Wrap plastic wrap around your body, covering the cotton and plastic pack so that the oil doesn't leak out the sides. Maybe wrap a towel or shirt over this, or an elastic bandage to keep it in place and catch any leaks. Place a heating pad over all this, and let the castor oil warm up on your skin. I would leave the heating pad on for at least a half hour or more (several hours would probably be OK). When you are finished, you can put the used castor oil cotton/plastic pad in a plastic bag and keep it in the refrigerator to use again. You might have to add a little more castor oil when you re-use it. I hope this helps. Best wishes!

Replied by Mama To Many

Dear Rsw,

Thanks for your details about the castor oil packs! I did not know that the store bought packs had the plastic built in. That is great and I am sure more tidy/handy than what I do. I will be looking in to that further!

Thanks! Always something new to learn...

~Mama to Many~

Application Tips
Posted by Prioris (Fl, US) on 09/25/2014
5 out of 5 stars

I really like the idea of using a hair dryer to help castor oil absorb. This can be used on humans also.

Today I was using a hand held infrared device when I was applying castor oil on part of my abdomen. Most infrared devices are just too expensive purchase. The one I had I bought on amazon (infrarex st-302) for $20 and it works for a small area. It comes with an extra bulb. Before I bought it I wondered why it was so cheap and why the other products couldn't bring down the price so I was leery. I have had it a couple years and it's worth every penny. It gives one more options in treating various situations.

I saw a infrared device in a chiropractors office but expensive model. Instead of someone paying $50 a treatment, I had them use this cheap device themselves and they got positive results. It's a good addition to your medicine chest at very low cost.

Many people have difficult financial situations so any DIY approaches to pet care are very helpful.

Application Tips
Posted by Esprit64 (North Yarmouth, Maine Usa) on 03/24/2011

I am reading conflicting recommendations regarding castor oil and use of packs. Once a castor oil bottle is opened and first used, how long can you keep reusing the oil that you have put into your container for packs? As for the packs themselves, how many times should you use the fabric pack until discarding (I'm reading 30 times max, others write 3-6 months). Finally, once you have initially set-up your castor oil and packs for use, is there any need to continue adding castor oil for "refreshening. " At what point do you throw the oil out and begin again?

Replied by Phoenix23002
(Amelia, Va)
5 out of 5 stars

Hi, Esprit64... I responded to your other questions about castor oil packs above. Sorry I didn't cover everything for you.

I have used castor oil packs for many, many years. As to your question about how long you can use an opened bottle of castor oil?... til it is gone.. Lol. After I have my heating pad laid out, plastic on top of that and flannel on top of that.. I trickle more castor oil from the bottle onto my pack and turn on the pad, letting the whole pack heat up a little. Then I apply it to my tummy.. flannel pack first, then the plastic, then the heating pad.

"how many times should you use the fabric pack until discarding?" I have used mine for years. If it gets too runny/sloppy/messy, you will probably have to discard it and start over. And not because there is anything wrong with it but just because it will make a big mess and leak out everywhere.

"is there any need to continue adding castor oil for "refreshening. " At what point do you throw the oil out and begin again?" Unless you have just absolutely soaked the pack, you do need to renew/refresh the castor oil each time you use the pack. I have never thrown out any oil that I can remember, except for a bottle or two maybe some years ago. I used to buy the drugstore variety and, if it had been a while since I had used a pack and if the castor oil smell was really, really overwhelming AND if I had plenty on hand, that smelly bottle might hit the trashcan. But if you are a regular user of the packs, you will probably use up your supply on hand long before you have to worry about it getting too old to use.

One trick I use is... I try to rub the castor oil into my skin directly where I will be putting the pack. Continue to rub in the oil, letting the skin absorb as much as possible. If you rub briskly, everything gets a little warm and enhances the absorption. Then I apply heating pad/pack as usual with renewed oil on the pack also. I think it just gives you/your pack a jumpstart.

Just let me know if you have anymore questions, my friend, ok? phoenix23002

Application Tips
Posted by Maureen (Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada) on 09/12/2010
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Application Tips
Posted by Merilee (Guelph, Ontario, Canada) on 07/03/2009
5 out of 5 stars

I have a Castor Oil application idea that I would like to share:

I have suffered from pain for years - first endometriosis, and now full-blown fibromyalgia, neck (both muscle and lymph), gall, and kidney pain (which I now know all stems from Lyme infection of 15 years...). Ever since using a heating pad for the debilitating monthly cramps in my teens, I have found heat to be an aid. In addition to the over-used hot water bottle, I also use an infrared heat lamp that a Chinese Medicine Practitioner gave me, which I place over whichever organ/area I wish to treat (he uses one to increase the effectiveness of acupuncture). It's about 8-10" in diameter and has a swing-arm stand, which holds the light about 8-12" from my body, resulting in an approx. 12" treatment area.

This has been very helpful to me. Apparently, the infrared wavelength of light penetrates a couple of inches into the body, vibrating at a wavelength that resonates with fat cells (the water in them?), and can cause them to mobilize and excrete toxins (much of our toxic load is attached to fat cells, and hard to remove). It has a greater impact on my pain than the water bottle (greater muscle relaxation, I think), and I find it soothing, especially as it does not have to be particularly hot to work (it works because of its particular wavelength of light, not just the heat).

The reason for my post:

I have recently been using the lamp as a means of Castor Oil application, with the thought that it might produce deeper penetration (and much less mess) than simple Castor Oil packs. I just slap some on my skin and apply the light for 20min-1hr, then wipe/wash it off. I have nothing to compare its effectiveness to (I never tried castor oil packs after a few messy, unhelpful PMS cramp-releif attempts in my teens), but it does seem to ease my uterine and gall bladder pain, and my sore/swollen groin-area glands.

As both therapies are purported to mobilize toxins, I'd like to think they potentiate each other, and together pull out some of the stuff that is giving me trouble.

I would be interested in hearing what someone with more Castor Oil know-how thinks of my practice, and perhaps other infrared lamp owners could give it a try.


5 User Reviews
5 star (5) 

Posted by Sunny (Sunny CA) on 12/31/2022
5 out of 5 stars

Castor Oil for Arthritis

Helps me take fewer OTC meds on days I overdo it.

I started using organic castor oil on my knees and inner elbows. I rub a lot of oil on my knees and place plastic wrap on them and over them with semi lightweight knee sleeves. I add more oil to it a few times during the day.

It's been amazing, more than I hoped for. I used castor oil in 2005 to save my gallbladder, and use it on the gallbladder liver area off and on even to this day.

Worth a try.. I can NOW GET UP from my computer without a cane and without my knees locking up on me for sitting there too long.

Posted by Charlotte (Texas) on 08/11/2017
5 out of 5 stars

My castor oil pack for knee osteoarthritis consists of a cotton cloth saturated with castor oil, Saran Wrap to cover it, and an Ace Bandage to cover all that. It's not too messy, and works well with a heating pad applied, or just to sleep with alone overnight.