Here are some simple guidelines when it comes to castor oil packs. There are practitioners who go much deeper into castor oil and who have written plenty of books (if you want to dive deep into this) and who have lots of best practices and guidelines to follow. In my practice I have found that these rules can hold people back from actually using the castor oil pack. So these are some general guidelines I think about when it comes to using it.
External castor oil is a great way to help the body soften scar tissue (I have heard people refer to it as scar tissues’ enemy, because it’s so effective at softening tissues) and detox the body. Some of the reasons why people have historically used castor oil are:
- To help the body improve liver function
- To help the body improve gallbladder function
- To help the body improve intestinal function
- To help the body improve gynecological functions
- To help the body improve acute and chronic lung conditions
- To help the body with certain types of pain
How to use a castor oil pack:
- Apply a layer of oil to the area (don’t be afraid to be generous)
- Cover the oil with an old cloth (a lot of people like flannel but an old hand towel or pillow case will work)
- Apply heat (hot water bottles or a heating pad) over the old cloth and castor oil
- After you are done lots of people recommend throwing out the cloth that you used and using a fresh one or sterilizing it to the best of your ability (the thought being there are toxins on the linen). Others will do a layer of plastic wrap and then the towel over that and then the heating component. They will throw out the plastic and wash the towel.
Ideally you would do this for an hour everyday for a week and then take a few days break until the body comes back into balance. The general thought on this is that the greater the frequency of application the faster the body will come into balance. But always judge for yourself. Sometimes if the body is eliminating a lot of toxins it’s better to go slower (think every other day or every two days). This all depends on how your body reacts to things. Remember you always know your body best.
Castor oil can stain so be aware and only use linens that you are okay if they get stained.
Castor oil packs in general are not recommended during pregnancy or menstruation. It’s rare since this is a gentle process, but some people can have a slight rash the first couple days of application. Often people will use a baking soda mixture to help soothe the skin. However this could potentially be from the heat source as well.
This is a wonderful thing to do when you are relaxing watching TV or reading!
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*Disclaimer* None of these statements have been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. This article is meant solely for educational purposes. Please consult a qualified healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.