WHAT IS A CASTOR OIL PACK?
A castor oil pack is a topical application of castor oil. A piece of wool flannel is saturated in castor oil and applied to the abdomen with a heating pad (a hot water bottle can be substituted).
Castor oil packs are recommended to improve circulation and elimination. This topical application of castor oil can reduce inflammation, treat sprains, strains and bruising. It is also used after surgery to reduce adhesion formation in the area of the wound once it is closed. A castor oil pack is applied to the liver region of the abdomen during a cleanse or when a person has inflammation or hepatitis.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR CASTOR OIL PACKS
To Make the Pack
• Get a piece of unbleached and non-dyed flannel. The size you want for use is about 12 x 18 inches.
• Lie down somewhere comfortable on your back
• Pour enough castor oil on your belly to rub it around completely.
• Rub clockwise – this goes in the direction of your colon and promotes peristalsis.
• Wear a tee-shirt you don’t mind to get stained. Wear over the flannel.
• Apply a hot water bottle or heating pad over the flannel.
• After each use, your flannel pack will become saturated with oil. This means you can use less on your skin.
• You can use the pack over and over again.
• When you’re not using it, you can store it in a plastic bag (can store in refrigerator).
Where To Place The Pack
This will depend on what the problem is. In general, it should be on the right side of the body, extending from a little above the bottom of the sternum (breastbone) to about 4 inches below the navel. It should go from the navel around the body on the right side as far to the side as you can get it. Basically, cover as much of your right side as you can.
Using The Pack
Use the pack in the evening, as you are resting before bed. Lie on a towel (that you will use only for castor oil packs, because the oil is almost impossible to wash out completely).
It may be beneficial to heat the pack before placing it on yourself. One way to do this is by placing the pack on top of the heating pad and turn the pad on high. Let it warm up for a few minutes.
Have the heating pad control within easy reach of your hand, because you may need to adjust it so the pack is not too hot or too cold. It should be very warm, but not so hot that it burns you. Be careful! If you’re not sure how hot is safe, start with a slightly warm session and work up to a warmer one.
Keep the pack on for 30 minutes to 1 ½ hours. Have a paper towel handy to wipe the oil off yourself when you get up, and be careful not to get any on the bed.
Make up a solution of baking soda in warm water (2 teaspoons to a quart), and use paper towels or a sponge with the baking soda solution to clean off the castor oil. You might also want to take a shower with soap after that.
Or just wear your old tee-shirt and let the oil moisturize while you sleep!