Ancient Remedy, Modern Healer

Castor oil pack is a procedure widely used in Naturopathic Medicine. At Hawaii Naturopathic Retreat Center we use castor oil by mouth for the purpose of liver and bowel detoxification and castor oil packs for liver detoxification and a vast array of conditions.

The castor oil pack:

  • enhances the immune system,
  • stimulates liver detoxification pathways and
  • induces relaxation

Edgar Cayce popularized the use of castor oil in the 1940′s and ’50′s, especially in the form of castor oil packs.

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Castor oil, how does it work? What is it good for?

Castor oil was called the Palma Christi or the “Hand of Christ”. It is known to be effective for many diverse types of pain, liver and gallbladder stimulation and cleansing/detox, digestive problems, lacerations, skin disorders such as eczema or psoriasis, menopause symptoms, to boost the immune system, as an emollient and skin softener and much more. Today, many health care practitioners are discovering the benefits of using real, therapeutic quality castor oil. Castor oil is truly one of the earth’s most versatile healing gifts, and so simple to use.

Castor oil appears to work by drawing blood circulation and enhanced biological energy to the area where it is applied, and then drawing lodged toxins out of the body. Many practitioners often use castor oil as an important adjunct to a comprehensive treatment plan for an individual. It is important to eradicate the root cause of an illness, not only to clear the symptoms of a disorder. Castor oil has proven very valuable in helping to detoxify the body at deeper levels, thus eliminating the root causes.

The effectiveness of castor oil may be due in part to its unusual chemical composition. Castor oil is a triglyceride of fatty acids. Almost 90% of its fatty acid content consists of ricinoleic acid. Such a high concentration of this unusual unsaturated fatty acid may be responsible for castor oil’s remarkable healing abilities. Research has shown ricinoleic acid to be effective in preventing the growth of numerous species of viruses, bacteria, yeasts and molds. Due to the many beneficial aspects of this fatty acid component, castor oil can be applied topically to treat a wide variety of health complaints.

Using castor oil topically has shown to be successful in clearing stubborn skin ailments such as ringworm, keratoses, and skin inflammation. Generally, for these conditions, the affected area is simply wrapped in cotton cloth soaked with castor oil for one night or a few nights in a row until the area heals. In Russia, castor oil is added to health products to restore hair growth and luster, to help resolve constipation, and to soothe eye irritations.

Much of the popularity of castor oil, especially the use of an external castor oil pack, can be attributed to the late healing psychic, Edgar Cayce, who liberally recommended the use of castor oil for many people who came to him requesting help for many types of health conditions. Cayce was especially fond of recommending castor oil as an abdominal pack, where several layers of cotton are saturated with castor oil and then placed against the skin, after which heat is applied for about ½ to one hour. The results were so astounding that castor oil packs are still very popular today. Cayce recommended the use of castor oil packs in hundreds of readings to improve the body’s eliminations, lymphatic circulation and assimilation of nutrients.

By using castor oil packs, the flow of lymph is increased throughout the body. This helps to speed the removal of toxins surrounding the cells and to reduce the size of swollen lymph nodes. The end result is a pronounced, systemic improvement in organ function with a general lessening of fatigue and depression.

Dr. William McGary, a medical doctor in Phoenix, Arizona, who extensively studied Cayce’s medical recommendations, showed that his own patients using castor oil packs had significant increases in the production of lymphocytes as compared to those using placebo packs. In his book, The Oil That Heals, Dr. McGary recounts many seemingly miraculous cases where castor oil packs were the key therapy used to help his patients overcome many different types of disorders in a very short time.

Beware of the source of castor oil. Unfortunately, much castor oil currently available is derived from castor oil beans that have been cultivated with pesticides or poorly grown, thus having few or no healing properties, and which have been solvent-extracted or deodorized, which damages healing phytonutrients and imparts residual toxic solvent contaminations.

The best castor oil comes from the ancient land of its original discovery and use: India. The non-hybrid castor beans are still grown by traditional herbal masters in the dense, central forests of India in fertile, luxurious soil and pure air. The castor oil is cold pressed, without hexane, and is 100% pesticide-free. The castor oil we use is organic and is guaranteed to contain the full range of highly active, undamaged healing phytonutrients, including ricinoleic acid, undecylenic acid, and much more.

The castor oil pack is very healing to the liver and large intestine. It also stimulates the hatching of parasitic eggs that may be depositing into the abdominal cavity. The bugs are then killed by the Parastat and Paracidin in the coffee enema.

Conditions, which have been responsive to castor oil applications, include:

  • Skin keratosis
  • Ringworm
  • Fungal and bacterial infections
  • Wounds
  • Abdominal stretch marks (prevention)
  • Bursitis
  • Sebaceous cysts
  • Warts
  • ‘Liver’ or age spots
  • Muscle strains
  • Ligament sprains
  • Itching
  • Chronic fluid retention with swollen joints and pain
  • Arthritis
  • Upper respiratory infections involving the sinuses, tonsils and inner ear
  • Colon problems involving inflammation
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Boils
  • Liver cirrhosis, hepatitis, enlargement or congestion
  • Menstrual-related congestion
  • Appendicitis
  • Hyperactivity
  • Constipation, bowel impaction or adhesions
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Bladder and vaginal infections

We routinely prescribe Castor oil packs applied to the abdomen to improve liver function and the immune system. Castor oil packs assist in detoxification and are specific for digestion enhancement. Other conditions that respond well include: headaches (decreases frequency), liver disorders, constipation, intestinal disorders, in cases of uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts that are non-malignant, gallbladder inflammation or stones, conditions with poor elimination, nighttime urinary frequency and inflamed joints.

The castor bean (Oleum ricini), also known as Palma Christi due to its shape and healing properties, is also used internally as a h2 laxative. A gentler use is in the form of a pack placed over the abdomen, usually with heat applied. The oil is absorbed into the lymphatic circulation to provide a soothing, cleansing, and nutritive treatment. Castor oil does not have a laxative effect when used topically. It is not to be used during pregnancy, over bleeding areas, or during menstruation.

Seeds from the Castor Bean Plant

Castor Oil

Instructions for Castor Oil Pack

Supplies Needed:

  • Castor oil
  • Plastic wrap or sheet of plastic, wool or cotton flannel (cut large enough to cover entire treatment area when folded into thirds)
  • Hot water bottle
  • Old bath towel
  • Old t-shirt


  1. Fold flannel three sheets thick so it is still large enough to fit over your entire upper abdomen and liver.
  2. Soak flannel with the room temperature oil so that it is completely saturated.
  3. Recline on your back, with your feet elevated (use of a pillow under your knees and feet works well), placing flannel pack directly onto your abdomen, cover with a small sheet of plastic and place a hot water bottle on top of the plastic.
  4. Cover everything with an old towel to insulate the heat. Take caution not to get the oil on whatever you are laying on, as it can stain. If necessary, cover that surface with something to protect it.
  5. Leave pack on for 45 to 60 minutes. This is an excellent time to practice visualization, meditation or relaxation breathing. (This involves placing one hand on your diaphragm and the other on your lower abdomen. As you breathe in, allow your lower abdomen to fill first, eventually filling your whole lung, but DON’T STRAIN. With each breath out practice relaxing your jaw and shoulders. As you practice more, relax all muscles in your body). Alternatively you may just go to sleep. Some people will wear the pack all night using an ace bandage to hold it in place.
  6. After finishing, to remove the oil from your skin wash with a solution of 2 tablespoons of baking soda to 1 quart water, or just soap and water. If used in the middle of the night, you can just wipe with an old towel. Be sure to use the same towel, and wash that towel by itself, as the castor oil can make other clothes smell if washed together.
  7. Store the pack in a large zip-lock bag, or plastic container, leaving it by your bed. Reuse the pack several times, adding more oil as needed to keep the pack saturated. Replace the pack after it begins to change color.
  8. For maximum effectiveness, it is necessary to apply the pack as often as possible. Try for at least four consecutive days per week for one month. Patients who use the pack daily will receive the most beneficial effects.

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