What is Castor Oil?
Castor Oil is a very pale yellow liquid that is extracted from castor seeds (Ricinus Communis). It is an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant oil which has been used for centuries for its therapeutic and medicinal benefits. It is believed that most of castor oil's benefits are derived from its high concentration of unsaturated fatty acids. Although it has a strong and rather unpleasant taste, castor oil is used in cosmetics, soaps, textiles, medicines, massage oils and many other everyday products.
Castor Oil Packs; HOW TO
When used externally on the skin, castor oil has been shown to have many health benefits. It will increase circulation, stimulate the immune system, improve elimination and healing to tissues and organs, improve digestion, stimulate liver function, and reduce swelling in injured joints and extremities.
What you need:
- Castor Oil
- White (undyed) cotton flannel cloth, large enough to cover the desired area
- Plastic wrap (or plastic bag), large enough to cover the flannel cloth
- Hot water bottle or heating pad
- Container with a lid for storage
- Place the flannel in the container
- Pour the castor oil over the cloth until it is well saturated but not dripping
- Place soaked cloth over desired area (usually over abdomen, including over the liver)
- Cover with plastic
- Place the hot water bottle or heating pad over the plastic
- Suggest covering with a towel or old blanket to help insulate the heat
- Sit back and relax while the pack is in place : 30-45 minutes
- Remove the pack and, if necessary, cleanse area with water or with water and baking soda.
- Store flannel in the container in the fridge
- The same cloth may be reused up to 20-30 times It is best to do castor oil packs in a series of three to five days and then stop for several days. This cycle can be repeated as often as required.
* Castor oil should not be taken internally, applied to broken skin or used over the abdomen during pregnancy or menstruation. *
Where to Place the Pack
The pack's placement depends on the issue being addressed. For general use (and in epilepsy), it should be placed over the liver on the right side of the body, extending, top to bottom, from about the sternum (breastbone) to about 4 inches below the navel or to the groin or pubic bone. From left to right, it extends at least from the navel, around the body as far as it will go, covering as much of the right side as possible. A larger pack, consisting of a king-size heating pad (12" x 24") and matching sized flannel, will cover the liver and abdominal area more easily and is highly recommended.
Using the Pack
If possible, use the pack in the evening, when you are best able to rest. This is an ideal time to pray, meditate, read spiritually uplifting material, or listen to relaxing music. Decide where in your home you will be doing the pack. Set it up so you will be comfortable, with a pillow under your head and another under your knees. Oil always drips from the pack so it is important to protect bedding, cushions, or pillows (some people prefer to use the pack undressed in order to avoid soiling their clothes).
Here are the steps for a mess-free pack:
Place the large piece of plastic over the area where you will be laying.
Place an old sheet over the plastic.
Take the second piece of the 13-gallon trash bag and position it across the sheet, under your lower back and beneath the area of your abdomen.
Lie down on your back on the plastic bag.
Place the saturated pack on your abdomen, with the oiled flannel against your skin and the plastic-covered heating pad on top.
Adjust the heating pad control to the warmest setting you can tolerate comfortably. It should be very warm ("as hot as the body can stand"), but not so hot it burns you.
And please note that it's easy to fall asleep with the pack in place so if you find that happening, be doubly careful of the temperature setting on your heating pad and lower it if necessary. With a sleeping child, you might want to shut it off completely and allow body heat to keep it warm.
Keep the pack on for at least 1 to 1½ hours; this is one treatment where more may be better. It can even be used overnight. Abdominal binders/supports (available from a medical supply store) or a wide bodybuilder's midriff support with Velcro fasteners are useful in holding a pack in place if you wish to sleep with the pack. A large bath towel, folded lengthwise, placed around the entire torso and fastened with safety pins, can also be used.
When You Are Finished
Turn off the heating pad and put it aside. Take-off the pack with the trash bag and fold it in on itself and store it in a leak-proof container. Wipe off excess oil (keep paper towels near). Cleanse the skin with a solution containing a pint of warm water and a teaspoon of baking soda. Now is the best time for an abdominal and spinal massage if you are using the packs as a remedy for epilepsy.
Persistence and consistency are called for with many chronic conditions. Use the pack for 3 days in a row. Then take a break for 4 days, and then repeat. This is a typical series of castor oil packs but other variations were given, too (4 days on with 3 days off, or 5 days on with 2 days off, every other day, etc.).
The flannel pack can be used repeatedly and be kept in the refrigerator between usages, although this is usually not necessary as castor oil is very resistant to spoilage even at room temperature. Replace the pack only if it smells rancid or discolors from toxins being released from the body.
If despite all precautions, oil gets on the bedding or clothing, launder with an extra amount of your usual detergent and a couple of cups of baking soda.