How to Use Castor Oil Packs to Help You Detox

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castor oil packs, How to Use Castor Oil Packs to Help You Detox

castor oil packs, How to Use Castor Oil Packs to Help You Detox

How Castor Oil Packs Help You Detox

Castor oil has been around for centuries, dating back to its use in Egypt over 3,500 years ago. (2) Castor oil packs have the ability to promote the circulation of blood around an organ, around an area of the body, and increase the flow of fluids through the lymphatic system.

Castor oil effectively supports the body’s natural detoxification abilities. Traditionally used in alternative medical practices such as Ayurvedic therapy, research regarding the effects of castor oil remains limited due to lack of funding for clinical testing. However, the use of castor oil remains widespread. Anecdotal evidence suggests that castor oil packs are a trick of the health trade that has not been forgotten and with good reasoning.

Today, many medical experts around the world recommend individuals use castor oil packs to help detoxify their bodies.

castor oil packs, How to Use Castor Oil Packs to Help You Detox

What Is Castor Oil?

Also known as Ricinus Communis, castor seed oil is created from pressing the seeds of the plant to be used for a variety of conventional purposes. Castor oil is made up of phytochemicals including:

  1. Undecylenic acid
  2. Rincinoleic acid

Composing 90% of the chemical structure of castor oil, rincinoleic acid is a fatty acid believed to be the responsible mechanism by which castor oil exhibits numerous health properties. Ricinoleic acid is released in the intestines and has been found to bind with receptors that line the intestinal tract and the smooth-muscle cells in the uterus therefore promoting natural healing abilities. (2, 4)

castor oil packs, How to Use Castor Oil Packs to Help You Detox

Safety Concerns When Consumed Orally

Castor oil is considered safe by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Joint Food and Agriculture Organization Expert Committee on Food Additives which is also made up with members of the World Health Organization. (1)

Although generally recognized as safe and found in high concentrations in some cosmetics such as lipstick, toxic effects have been associated when castor oil is consumed. Therefore, is not recommended to be taken orally. (1)

Given the lack of support for the research of castor oil packs in clinical trials, physicians remain unaware of the physiological effects that castor oil has on the human body. Limited studies and tales of midwifery have reported symptoms of ingesting castor oil to include nausea, cramps, and loss of fluid and electrolytes (2).

Castor oil is broken down by your small intestine into ricinoleic acid, which acts as an irritant to your intestinal lining.  This effect is what gives castor oil the ability to reverse constipation—but it’s also the reason that some people report digestive discomfort, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal side effects.

However, it can be effective for alleviating constipation, and is used by some midwives to help induce labor.  If you take castor oil internally to relieve constipation, begin with 1 tsp in the morning and see if you get the relief you need.  If not, you can try 2 tsps. the following morning.

This should be totally safe, but if you notice increasing pain or digestive discomfort then back off.

castor oil packs, How to Use Castor Oil Packs to Help You Detox

Therapeutic Uses of Castor Oil Packs

Castor oil packs involve the application of externally administering castor oil to the skin’s surface so that it can slowly be absorbed. Castor oil packs have many potential therapeutic uses including the ability to treat the following conditions: (1, 3, 4, 5, 6)

  • Skin conditions such as fungal infections, rashes, acne, warts, callouses, eczema, allergies, and other inflammatory skin problems
  • Parasitic infection such as ringworm
  • Dry eye
  • Liver disorders including cirrhosis
  • Headaches
  • Appendicitis
  • Gallbladder inflammation
  • Epilepsy
  • Arthritis
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Intestinal problems such as constipation
  • Induce labor
  • Cancer

castor oil packs, How to Use Castor Oil Packs to Help You Detox

Castor Oil Promotes Lymphatic Drainage

Castor oil exhibits anti-cancer properties by promoting the lymphatic system to remove the buildup of debris and toxins in the body. When the lymphatic system is not functioning properly, liquid can accumulate within the network of tubes responsible for filtering bacteria and become stagnant. One study found that injecting rats with castor oil helped to suppress tumors which developed as the result of liver damage. (1)

Other research has found that when oil is absorbed through the skin, not only is there an increase in both lymphatic drainage and blood circulation, but there is also an increase in lymphocyte production. Lymphocytes are critical to the immune system because they signal a call for aid when the body is under attack from foreign substances. (4)

For these reasons, castor oil packs may be an alternative therapy that can boost the immunity of individuals with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus infection) or AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome). It may also be possible that castor oil can have health benefits when simply massaged onto the skin.

castor oil packs, How to Use Castor Oil Packs to Help You Detox

Promotes Healthy Digestion & Elimination

Castor oil is popularly known in folklore as a potent cathartic which stimulates the complete release of substances from the gastrointestinal tract and ultimately causes defecation. (3) Castor oil packs however may have the same therapeutic properties when applied to the skin following absorption.

Applying castor oil packs to the abdominal region can help you achieve regular bowel movements as well as experience an increase in energy. As a result, scientists also speculate that this laxative effect, which simultaneously removes infectious agents from the lining of the gut, may also alleviate symptoms of depression. (4)

Elderly patients participated in a study in which they were administered castor oil packs for therapeutic care. Eighty percent of these individuals sought relief from symptoms of constipation for over ten years and were observed to have immediate improvements following less than 3 days of treatment. (5)

castor oil packs, How to Use Castor Oil Packs to Help You Detox

Supports Natural Detoxification

As a result of the ability of castor oil packs to promote lymphatic drainage and both digestion and elimination, castor oil packs ultimately aid the body to naturally detoxify. Understanding the clues your body is signaling to you is necessary to help you understand how effectively your body is currently able to promote detoxification.

castor oil packs, How to Use Castor Oil Packs to Help You Detox

Liver’s Vital Importance to Detoxification

The liver serves vital functions in the body and is absolutely essential for the process of detoxification. As you have already read, a weakened lymphatic system increases the buildup of debris, toxins, and pathogenic bacteria; weakens organs; and increases the risk for cancer.

For example, consider the liver to serve the same function as the garbage disposal in your kitchen. The liver helps circulate fluid in the body and transforms toxins into a substance in which then can be:

  1. Dissolved
  2. Flushed down the bile ducts
  3. Relocated into the small intestine
  4. Eliminated from the body as stool

This is why noting a chalky white appearance in your stool can indicate to you that your liver is functioning poorly. Bile is produced by the liver when toxins are being eliminated and it is also what gives stool its brown appearance.

Applying castor oil packs to the skin’s surface near your liver can assist in the detoxification of toxins from the body promoting optimal gastrointestinal health and reducing your risks of cancer as a consequence of stagnant toxic waste within the lymphatic system.

castor oil packs, How to Use Castor Oil Packs to Help You Detox

Purchase Castor Oil Packs

Purchasing a high quality castor oil is required to receive the optimal healing benefits. There are a few recommendations to follow when purchasing castor oil to ensure you are receiving the highest therapeutic grade castor oil available. The following is a list of labels that you should look for when buying castor oil:

  • “cold pressed”
  • “without hexane”
  • “100% Pesticide Free” or “Organic”
  • “non-hybridized”
  • “Free of preservatives and additives”
  • “non-solvent extracted” or “unrefined”
  • “non-deodorized”

castor oil packs, How to Use Castor Oil Packs to Help You Detox

Where to Purchase Castor Oil Materials

Whether you are seeking to purchase the whole kit to create a castor oil pack or you only aim to buy the castor oil itself, a few recommended products follow to help you begin your search for a high quality product.

By far my favorite castor oil pack is from Queen of Thrones because Dr. Marisol is an expert in castor oil therapy and she has made it much easier to use by including the castor oil pack in with the organic castor oil in a glass jar. This is the one I use at home.

It is important to get organic castor oil in a glass jar because pesticide residue contained in the castor oil and the plastic residue (phalates) from the bottle can be absorbed through the skin.

castor oil packs, How to Use Castor Oil Packs to Help You Detox

Castor Oil Pack Instructions:

Before applying a castor oil pack to the skin’s surface, test for skin sensitivity. Rub a small amount of castor oil directly onto a limited area of skin to determine if a reaction develops.

Another recommendation for use is to avoid using electric heat pads without an automatic shut off following a period of time. Many individuals provide testimonials of falling asleep with ease during castor oil pack treatments.  If you choose to get the pieces separately (as opposed to the Queen of Thrones castor oil pack) then here are instructions on how to do them correctly.

You will see that it can be a lot of work and that is why I believe the Queen of Thrones pack makes it much easier to do as it provides the flannel with ties on it so you don’t need to wrap yourself in plastic!

castor oil packs, How to Use Castor Oil Packs to Help You Detox

When to Avoid the Use of Castor Oil Packs

The use of castor oil packs is not recommended if you are experiencing the following circumstances:

Women who are Pregnant: Limited research is available regarding how castor oil may induce labor. Some research suggests that the ricinoleic acid contained in castor oil may signal a response from the lining of the uterus. Therefore, castor oil is not recommended for women who are pregnant unless recommended by a doctor to stimulate labor. (2)

Women Experiencing Heavy a Menstrual Flow: Women experiencing heavy menstrual bleeding should also avoid the use of castor oil packs during menstruation. Otherwise, castor oil packs may possibly help to ease cramping and regulate a women’s menstrual cycle.

Individuals with Gastrointestinal Problems: The ricinoleic acid has been found to interact with the lining of the gastrointestinal tract and can exacerbate conditions for individuals with certain gastrointestinal complications. Individuals experiencing ulcers, diverticulitis, hemorrhoids, and colitis should avoid castor oil packs unless otherwise recommended by a doctor.  Other gastrointestinal issues such as gas, bloating, cramping and constipation all typically respond very well to the use of castor oil packs and they are highly recommended.

Individuals with Extreme Skin Sensitivities: Castor oil packs should also not be used by individuals with chronic skin conditions with heightened skin sensitivities. These individuals are at an increased risk of developing a reaction from the topical application of castor oil packs. (1)

castor oil packs, How to Use Castor Oil Packs to Help You Detox

Summary of Castor Oil Packs

Castor oil packs have been said by many to relieve their symptoms of constipation, remove ovarian cysts, treat skin problems, and are used as a remedy for inflammation resulting from joint and muscle pain. What symptoms do you have that castor oil packs can help you heal from?

Until alternative medical remedies such that as castor oil packs receives greater support and funding for scientific research, the potential uses for its powerful healing abilities remain only anecdotal evidence. If you are seeking a treatment to help your body naturally detoxify and help you achieve optimal health, give castor oil packs a try and share your story.

castor oil packs, How to Use Castor Oil Packs to Help You Detox

Sources for this Article Include:

1. Final Report on the Safety Assessment of Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Glyceryl Ricinoleate, Glyceryl Ricinoleate SE, Ricinoleic Acid, Potassium Ricinoleate, Sodium Ricinoleate, Zinc Ricinoleate, Cetyl Ricinoleate, Ethyl Ricinoleate, Glycol Ricinoleate, Isopropyl Ricinoleate, Methyl Ricinoleate, and Octyldodecyl Ricinoleate. International Journal of Toxiciology. May 2007;26:31-77. DOI: 1080/10915810701663150
2. Tunaru S, et al. Castor oil induces laxation and uterus contraction via ricinoleic acid activating prostaglandin EP3 receptors. PNAS 2012;109(23):9179-9184. DOI: 1073/pnas.1201627109
3. Kelly AJ, et al. Castor oil, bath and/or enema for cervical priming and induction of labour. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2001;(2):CD003099. PMID: 11406076
4. Circle of Life: Amazing Castor Oil: Ancient Remedy, Modern Healer Link Here
5. Arslan GG, and Eser I. An examination of the effect of castor oil packs on constipation in the elderly. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2011 Feb;17(1):58-62. PMID: 21168117
6. Edgar Cayce’s Association for Research and Enlightenment Link Here
7. The Weston A. Price Foundation: Support for the Liver: Link Here
Other Sources Include:
Banyan Botanicals Ayurvedic Herbs Link Here
Amazon: Castor Oil Pure Organic Cold Pressed Virgin 16 oz Link Here
Amazon: Heritage Store Organic Castor Oil, 16 oz Link Here
Radiant Life: Premier Castor Oil Link Here
Amazon: Heritage Store Castor Oil Pack Kit Link Here
Hawaii Naturopathic Retreat: Ancient Remedy, Modern Healer Link Here

castor oil packs, How to Use Castor Oil Packs to Help You Detox

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Dr. Jockers

Dr David Jockers is passionate about seeing people reach their health potential in mind, body and spirit. He is the host of the popular “Dr Jockers Functional Nutrition” podcast and the author of the best-selling books, “The Keto Metabolic Breakthrough” and “The Fasting Transformation.”


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    1. Hey Kristie, YEs, This effect can result. As mentioned above, castor oil packs can stimulate digestion and have been shown in studies to relieve symptoms of constipation. Be sure to speak with your practitioner if you have any health problems that need to be addressed.

      1. This happened to me as well. Is it okay to continue using them if you get diarrhea? If it’s just detox, I’m okay with that. I just don’t want to do something harmful.

        1. Yes this may happen when the body is getting rid of sluggish bile. However, if it continues for more than 2 days I would try not doing the castor oil pack and see if it goes away. Sometimes if too much of the castor oil gets into your system it can flush you out.

  1. Do you have any information about taking undecylenic acid internally? It seems to really help some people but it might cause severe problems also. Any light you can shed on this for someone considering taking it but fearful of burning their insides? Thanks in advance.

  2. Dr Jockers, Do You approve of Castor Oil mixed with Coconut Oil, massaged into the Hair, to promote hair growth/repair/stimulation?

  3. How do you know if castor oil packs are working/

    Are there toxins released with this process.And if there is will there be side effects like being tired etc?

  4. What time of the day is the ideal time to do a liver detox? Would it be more beneficial to do the detox in the morning or in the evening?

    1. I think it is great to do the castor oil pack in the evening (before bed or even where it to bed) and drink warm lemon water to get your liver moving in the morning.

  5. Hello Dr. Jockers,

    Thanks so much for your comprehensive info and instructions on Organic Castor Oil

    -Regarding Dr. Cayce’s comment to not use heat during “an active infection”; does that
    refer to, for example, applying the castor oil topically to an unhealed skin cut?
    Versus, what about an active systemic infection(s)?
    -Regarding castor oil, 2 drops, is that per eye? Any long-term caveat for using in the eyes?
    -Regarding not using the castor oil pack during your listed gastrointestinal problems;
    what about using the oil pack when experiencing gut dysbiosis?

    Thank you very much.

    1. Yes the pack can help for gut dysbiosis and is commonly used for that. For active infections, heat can amplify the inflammatory process. A small skin cut should be fine though.

      I would do 1 drop per eye. Should be fine to use long-term for the eyes but if you notice it causing more burning for some reason that I would avoid.

  6. I have Meldonium Gland Dysfunction, would castor oil drops ease this condition? I currently have to use hot packs 2x daily on my eyes, plus eye gel at night & moisturising drops during the day. Thankyou

  7. I have Sjogren’s and Hashimoto thyroiditis. Now I have cirrhosis of the liver. I feel my autoimmune is now attacking my liver. I noticed in the reading about both of these condition effect the liver. I am unable to get answering from my doctors. I feel I have autoimmune problem with my liver. Will castor pack help with cirrhosis? I don’t drink alcohol.

  8. I still do not have my sense of smell back 100% fighting a virus back in August. I’ve been supplementing with a few things, but somebody I was talking to the other day told me to buy a good quality castor oil, and with a Q-tip to put a little bit up my nose twice a day. That’s why I’m here I figured I would read a little bit about castor oil before I actually did that… Margaret

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