One of the most common ways of enjoying the health benefits of castor oil for better health is via the use of a castor oil pack.
A castor oil pack is essentially a cloth, usually, a flannel, soaked in castor oil and then applied externally onto the skin. The application is on the targeted area for relieving or improvements, such as your abdomen, liver, gallbladder, joints, muscles, skin, or any organ which needs attention.
When the flannel cloth is saturated with quality castor oil it allows the castor oil to deeply penetrate your cells, allowing your body to absorb the nutrients and help remedy the condition of concern. This beneficial effect can even penetrate between your GAG’s (glycosaminoglycans) and your lymphatic system where waste products in your body might otherwise remain for a long period of time, causing toxicity over time. The persistent and consistent use of castor oil packs can, therefore, help create a profound shift towards optimal healing.
Materials Needed to Make a Castor Oil Pack
The two key ingredients here are the castor oil and the flannel cloth. So get the best quality castor oil that you can afford, such as those from India and organic sources.
As for the flannel cloth, get a sheet made of 100% organic cotton which is free of bleach and colors (i.e. natural beige color). That way, you can ensure that it is free of chemicals and pesticides. Get either a large sheet that you can trim down to about 3 pieces of 6” x 8” or 3 pieces of 10” x 12.” Depending on your intended application area, the size of each flannel can be smaller or bigger.
1. Castor oil (preferably cold-pressed/processed)
2. 3 pieces of unbleached wool/cotton flannel (~ 6” x 8” each)
3. 1 piece 13-gallon trash bags
4. A hot water bottle (refrain from electric heating pads due to EMF’s)
5. 1 large old towel
Optional materials for cleaning up:
1. Paper towels
2. Washcloth or sponge
Method to Make a Castor Oil Pack
1. Prepare the flannel cloths by cutting them into the desired size.
2. Cut the 13-gallon trash bag into 2 pieces by cutting along the edges that seal the bag. One of the pieces will be used to protect the heating pad from getting oily when you pour the castor oil over the flannel.
3. First, lay an old towel on the surface that you are going to lay on when doing your castor oil pack. Then place the other large plastic piece over it.
4. Pour approximately 4 to 6 tablespoons of castor oil directly on your skin where you want to do the treatment. The area should be wet but not dripping with oil. Then immediately cover the oil with the cotton flannel cloths.
6. The saturated cloth can then be covered with the plastic sheet on top of it. Your plastic sheet should cover the entire exterior of your soaked flannel and prevent any oil from coming in contact with your clothing or anything around it (castor oil is very messy and almost impossible to remove).
7. Next, place your hot water bottle over the plastic. The heat is needed to promote absorption and it also helps your body relax.
8. If desired or needed, you can place a bath towel over the top of the water bottle to help retain the heat for a longer period of time.
A word of caution though with regards to the application of heat. If you are dealing with conditions such as appendicitis, diabetes or if you are pregnant (assuming you have the clearance from your doctor to use castor oil during your pregnancy), do not apply castor oil pack with heat.
Where to Apply the Pack
This depends on what you are using the oil pack for. For liver detox, for example, you would place the oil pack over the liver area, directly under your right breast, extending from top to bottom, from about the sternum (breastbone) to about 4 inches below your navel or to your groin or your pubic bone. For joint pains, for example, fold the flannel to the desired size and place it over the sore areas for relief.
When to Use the Packs
I personally prefer to apply the pack in the evening when I am able to kick back and rest. Place yourself in a comfortable area and position before application so that you can relax and rest while the castor oil pack does its wonderful things. Make sure you have an old towel or waterproof sheet to lay down on so that any oil drips will not damage your furniture.
How to Apply the Packs
Since there is liquid oil involved, the best position to apply the castor oil pack is laying down. Place the pack on the affected area or area of concern, against your skin and then place the hot water bottle on top to keep the oil pack warm. Make the hot water to the warmest heat you can tolerate comfortably. Your hot water bottle should start to cool down within the hour so it is fine if you fall asleep while doing this treatment.
Keep the oil pack on for at least 60 to 90 minutes. It can also be used overnight if you prefer. If you would like to use it overnight, find something that will be able to help hold the pack in place such as wrapping it with your body with a large bath towel and secure it with safety pins. In this situation, this is another good reason to use a hot water bottle over an electric heating pad, so you don’t need to worry about turning off the heating pad should you fall asleep.
After you are done, cleanse your skin with a washcloth and a small amount of soap. Washing the area helps clear any acidic waste materials that may have been released from your body.
How Often Should I Do a Castor Oil Pack
In general, castor oil packs can be used in the same area for about 2 to 4 times per week.
If you are new to using castor oil packs, you might want to give yourself more break days in between applications to allow your body time to adjust to a new natural remedy. This is especially recommended if you know that your body is more sensitive to cleansing and detoxification remedies.
Castor oil packs are generally very safe to use and side effects are very rare. However, if you notice rashes after use, simply temporarily decrease the frequency or length of application time.
It is also recommended that you do not reuse any castor oil pack more than 5 times since, during the course of each session, the pack would have absorbed waste products. Discard each pack in the garbage after completing 4 treatments. Do not attempt to wash the cotton flannel or any other materials in your washer as it will cause a serious oil residue in your washer and anything else it is washed with.
Castor oil packs are extremely health beneficial and one of those natural remedies that you can easily do in the comfort of your own home.
• Benefits of Castor Oil Packs on Gut Health
• Castor oil is great for your hair and skin as well. Read Castor Oil – Your Skin and Hair Buddy
Need to work with a Functional Nutritionist?
If you are considering using castor oil packs for an existing health condition or improving your overall health, please feel free to CONTACT ME. I can help you assess if this is the right treatment for you and provide you with the guidance you need to better your health.
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