Castor Oil

The “Castor Oil Pack,” one of the most detoxifying and internally invigorating treatments I know, is a hydrotherapy treatment given to us by the great Edgar Casey.   While he was not a Naturopath, per se, we have co-opted this treatment as our own.

Over the course of a treatment, castor oil is absorbed through the skin, into the lymph system where it has a minor irritating effect. The lymphatic system (think of it as the garbage disposal of the body), and the liver (the major organ of detoxification) are stimulated by the effect of the castor oil. This treatment can be so effective in stimulating detoxification that some people report feeling flu-like symptoms after doing this for the first time. However, this is seen as a good thing, because it is a sign that toxins are being moved out of the liver and excreted. It is also very effective for constipation and to stimulate the bowels.

The castor oil pack has many applications and is used in many conditions including uterine fibroids, non-malignant ovarian cysts, headaches, migraines, constipation, intestinal disorders, gallbladder and liver conditions.


  • Flannel cloth (cotton or wool - 20-40 inches by 24-48 inches)
  • Plastic wrap (clear kitchen wrap or plastic bag without ink)
  • Glass dish (square 9 x 9 inch Pyrex or similar container)
  • Bath towel
  • Hot water bottle or heating pad
  • Two safety pins
  • Six ounces of castor oil


  1. Choose a container in which to store and heat your castor oil pack.
  2. Pour oil onto flannel until it is well moistened.
  3. Heat flannel/oil in glass dish in oven or microwave to a comfortable temperature.
  4. Lie down placing flannel directly on skin over the treatment area.
  5. Place plastic wrap that is 1-2 inches larger than flannel on all sides over flannel to prevent staining of clothes or bedding.
  6. Wrap the towel around body over the flannel and plastic and pin. If using heat, apply hot water bottle or heating pad (on medium setting) over the treatment area.
  7. Rest for 30 min to 4 hours. You may sleep, use visualization, or meditation at this time.
  8. You may replace the flannel pack in the glass container and store in refrigerator. This flannel and oil may be used for weeks.
  9. To cut the oil, wash skin or towel in a solution of 3 tablespoons baking soda/quart of water.

Do not use heat with uterine growths, bleeding, pregnancy, ulcers or while menstruating. Do not fall asleep while using an electric heating pad. This can be repeated up to seven times per week.

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