The castor bean has been well known as a cathartic, or strong laxative. However, it is no longer recommended as a laxative, due to its toxic effects if taken internally.
Castor bean oil has been used externally for centuries as a natural therapy. The Edgar Cayce Readings inform us that castor oil packs are to be used to improve assimilation, elimination and circulation, especially of the lymphatic system.
Castor oil appears to have a unique ability to sink transdermally (through the skin) to relax smooth muscle. This simple mechanical action has a beneficial influence on all hollow organs, specifically the blood and lymph vessels, the uterus, fallopian tubes, bowels, gall bladder, and even the liver (which is not hollow but is filled with venous lakes).
A castor oil pack is placed on the skin to increase circulation and to promote elimination and healing of the tissues and organs underneath the skin. It is often used to stimulate the liver, relieve pain, increase lymphatic circulation, reduce inflammation, and improve digestion.
Castor oil packs have many applications, and are specific in cases of uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts that are not cancerous. Packs also relieve ovarian pain or help with healing after a ruptured ovarian cyst. Other conditions that respond to castor oil packs include headaches, liver disorders, constipation, intestinal disorders, gallbladder inflammation or stones, and conditions with poor elimination.
Castor oil application increases the efficiency of circulation through your pelvis in general. Good circulation is required for supportive nutrients to be delivered to the cells, and for waste products and inflammatory factors to be removed. If a castor oil pack is placed over your liver area, it will help your liver to do its work more efficiently, including the metabolism of your hormones.
Do not use a heated castor oil pack for uterine growths, cancer tumors, or ulcers. Don't use if you are pregnant, breast feeding, or menstruating. Don't apply over broken skin.
1. Fold flannel into three thicknesses to fit over your whole abdomen.
2. Cut a piece of plastic 1-2 inches larger than flannel.
3. Saturate the flannel with gently heated oil, but not so much that it is drippy. Fold it over and squeeze until it is oozing. Unfold.
4. Place plastic and old towel over flannel to prevent staining of surface you will be lying on.
5. Lie down, placing flannel over abdomen, putting fitted plastic over the flannel.
6. Now wrap the towel under you, around your torso and pin with safety pins.
7. Place a heating pad (low heat) or hot water bottle on top of the towel.
8. Rest for 30-60 minutes. Use visualization, meditation, or just sleep. A good time to use castor oil packs is just before bedtime.
9. When finished, it's best if you don't get up and walk around and be busy (except to go to the bathroom). Try to stay still and relaxed.
If you are doing your pack at bedtime, have a zip-lock baggie next to your bed, and a towel to remove any excess oil and protect your bed sheets. Fold the oily pack up and put it into the baggie, then drop it to the floor till morning. In the morning, put it in the refrigerator.
If you are not using the pack at bedtime, you can get up and wash the treated area with solution of 3 tablespoons of baking soda to 1 quart of water to remove the oil. Put the pack into the refrigerator.
11. Store the pack in the covered container or baggie in the refrigerator. Remove it from the refrigerator 1-3 hours before you plan to use it, so that it is at room temperature when you are ready to use it.
12. Each pack may be used repeatedly. When it starts to smell stale, make a new pack.
To be effective, a castor oil pack must be used at least 3 times a week, although 5 times a week is better. In cases of long-term chronic pain, it works best to commit to a 6 week treatment period using a castor oil pack 5 times per week, then as needed for episodes of pain.
It's wise to consult with a naturopathic physician for the best frequency of treatment for your specific health problem.
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