Castor Oil Packs: A Powerful Healer

By Dr. Nicole Pierce, The Vervain Collective

Castor Oil Pack

The castor bean (Oleum ricini), also known as Palma Christi due to its shape and healing properties, is known principally as a cathartic (strong laxative) when taken internally. However this healing oil can be used in many different, more gentle ways: as an emollient and skin softener, a soothing massage oil for muscles and joints, and as a castor oil pack on the abdomen to address gastrointestinal and menstrual discomforts. They have also traditionally been used to alleviate symptoms of and even shrink cysts: on the breasts for fibrocystic conditions and over the uterus for PCOS. These packs have also traditionally been used to support assimilation, elimination, and circulation, especially of the lymphatic system.

*Castor Oil Packs are to be used with caution in pregnancy or during menstruation as they may provoke excessive bleeding.

Materials Needed:
Castor oil (hexane-free)
Cotton, flannel, or wool cloth (for soaking)
Wrap-around fleece or flannel (for covering)
You can purchase Vervain’s COP kit here: includes Castor oil + cloth + felt wrap-around all in a convenient jar with instructions!
Hot water bottle or heating pad
Old sheet, blanket, and/or towel
Pillows, blanket, comfy robe
Baking soda

Castor Oil Pack How-To:
1. Thoroughly soak (but not completely saturate) the cloth in castor oil:
-Add castor oil a couple of tablespoons at a time (every 20 minutes or so) to give it time to evenly soak.
-Shake the jar between adding more oil so that the oil could reach all parts of the cloth.
-The first few times you use it, it may seem like there is too much oil present. However, be patient and usually after several applications, the flannel will have soaked up just the right amount of oil.
-The oil-soaked flannel can be used about 30 times.
2. Lay the blanket, old sheet, or old towel out on the surface you will be lying on. This will prevent STAINING (be advised that castor oil stains and you will not be able to get it out! Don’t use any materials you really care about).
3. Carefully remove and unfold the castor oil-soaked cloth.
4. Place the cloth on the desired body part.
5. Cover with the wrap-around pack, and place a heating pack on top.
6. Lie on back with feet elevated and relax for 30-60 minutes.
-Use this time to practice deep breathing, read a book, meditate, or just relax.
7. After the desired time, remove the pack and return the cloth to the glass container to store in the fridge.
8. Use a natural soap or a mix of baking soda and water to remove any castor oil left on the skin.
9. Repeat 3-4 times/week (or daily if your schedule allows!)


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