Heal Yourself by Laying Down with Castor Oil Packs


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Castor oil packs is an ancient healing technique that is incredibly easy and simple to do at home. Edgar Cayce, also known as the father of holistic medicine, brought castor oil packs back to modern holistic/alternative medicine. Check out one of his books, The Edgar Cayce Handbook for Health Through Drugless Therapies to learn more.   Castor oil comes from the plant Ricinus communes, and centuries ago the plant was referred to as “Palma Christe” because the leaves were said to resemble the hand of Christ.  People revered the plant for it’s healing abilities.

I have heard about castor oil packs for years, but when I attended my Mayan Massage course earlier this year the idea got brought back into the foreground of my mind as a way to heal my uterus, ovaries and digestive organs.

Castor oil packs are healing and detoxifying in general. They can help:

  • heal digestion and increase elimination
  • stimulate the liver and help detox
  • relieve pain, especially menstrual and uterine pain
  • reduce inflammation
  • increase lymphatic flow (your lymph system is like the trash pick up system of your body, it flushes out the trash and toxins but can be sluggish and slow due to diet and overall health)

They are great to use if you have cysts, the flu, a virus or cold, ulcers, infertility or menstrual issues, and in general want to do a detox.  Since they are VERY detoxifying so you cannot do them if you are pregnant or nursing.

Doing a castor oil pack is easy but does take some logistical planning, as castor can be very messy and does not wash out.

You will need a hemp or wool flannel (it will be soaked in castor oil and reused for several months and then you just throw it away), castor oil, an old towel and a heating pad. 

To get set up, you want to put on old PJs, in case you get any castor oil on them, and put an old towel down on your bed in case any drips onto your sheets.  Some people will put plastic down and around the the pack, but with the heat, you are heating up plastic and then those plastic chemicals would leach into your body, and totally defeat the purpose of a castor oil pack.

Then you will want to soak your flannel in castor oil.  Don’t just dribble in it on, you need to actually soak the flannel in the oil.

Put the soaked flannel on your stomach, more on your liver if you want a general immune boost and detox or lower on your uterus and colon if you want help with female organs and digestion.

Then put an old towel over the top, then your heating pad over the towel.  Then lay down for at least 30 minutes, if not a full hour and let the castor oil pack do its work. When you are done, drink a big glass of water to help your body flush out the toxins.

Afterwards, store your flannel in a glass jar and reuse the flannel without washing it.  Same with the towels, you can wash them but the oil never really comes out well, so just store them in a plastic bag and reuse them over and over for a bit before discarding.

As far as how often you want to do a castor oil pack, if you’re in the middle of a health issue, you can do a pack for three days in a row, then three days off, for three straight weeks.  Then you can use a pack whenever you are feeling a bit run down or in need of a little detox or immune boost.

Have you ever tried castor oil packs?

And P.S.  if you are local to south florida or are willing to travel, please make an appointment to see me!  I have been a massage therapist and healer for 14 years and now I am an Arvigo Mayan Abdominal Therapy Practitioner as well.  I also do Skype sessions and can teach you self-care/self healing things you can do on your own, if you can’t find a practitioner in your area.


About the Author

Hiya! I'm Stephanie. Mama and Baby Love is all about helping mothers on their own personal health and healing journey and enjoying life along the way. You can learn more about me and what I'm all about. Sign up for my newsletter for more tips, info and inspiration!

Comments

  1. I am totally going to try this!!

  2. Why do you have a ad for Velveeta on top?

    • Oh girl, don’t get me started! Those my Glam Ad Network ads. I have filtered out all of the processed foods ads in my contract and STILL they get in. As soon as I notice one, I message them and have it taken down but there is often a long lag time.
      By the end of the month, I am hoping to be making enough from my cookbook to not need the income from the ads to run my website. Fingers crossed. Also, just fyi, I have long had a disclaimer saying that I don’t support those food ads, but that I am doing the best I can and those ads pay for the cost of running this website.

  3. Just want to make sure since I’m new with nursing, even in a health issue I shouldn’t try this? I just gave birth to a 10 pound 10oz baby and of course ran into issues during labor. Since I’m not completely healed my midwife wants to want to do exams. Basically my uterus is falling out :/ any suggestions?

    • Yes, wait on the castor oil till you are done nursing. BUT you can go see a Mayan Massage practioner right now and they will be able to give you a manual treatment to get your uterus back in place. Click the link above where I talk about Mayan Massage and if you go to the website of the organization of where I was trained you can click around to find a practioner in your area.

  4. Elisabeth says:

    Is this safe post c-section delivery?

  5. I’m going to try it! Thanks for telling us about it!

  6. Steph Herrick says:

    Love castor oil packs! I have been using them in conjunction with Epsom salt baths since I started getting Mayan abdominal massage treatments and they are helping a lot with swelling and pain. I was cautioned not to use the castor oil packs during menstruation though because it can cause heavier bleeding. I’ve used the packs on a spasm in my neck that was causing me blinding pain – a little while with the castor oil pack and some heat and it was almost completely gone!

  7. Would these be good for sinus problems?

    • I would think so. I think it would be hard to do a pack on your actual sinuses, so maybe do one on your forehead? Going grain and dairy free for a bit till you heal your allergies, would probably help out your sinuses if you haven’t already.

  8. This is so exciting! We always put a little caster oil on bumps and bruises, and it takes the swelling WAY down, if not all!
    Can’t wait to try after pregnancy and nursing!!

  9. Your blog is AWWWW-SOME! I found you googling “how many egg yolks can I give my baby?” (or something along those lines!). I LOVED your smoothie/raw egg yolk post LOL. I even had my husband read it…your man sounds JUST like mine. I even asked my hubby if he thought it sounded like something he’d do and he totally agreed. ;)
    My quest started when I was looking for natural remedies for our 8 month old’s tummy issues. Constipation…UGH! I eventually came to “Sarah The Healthy Home Economist” who had a post on it…I read another-than another-”____”. Getting crunchier and crunchier by the minute. Anyway, this post about Castor Oil is among the few dozen hidden gems of tummy remedies I have stumbled upon. I have yet to find “THE CURE” as he’s become super crafty at holding it when he’s gotta go…little stinker! We got off on the wrong foot when his pediatrician scared me into him NEEDING the iron from the rice/oatmeal cereal that I didn’t want to feed him. He’s been associating it with pain ever since. GRRR! Next up: homemade chicken stock, for the gelatin. I will be adding the Castor Oil to the list after I research more for the 1/2 pints. THANKS! <3

    • Thanks! So glad to have you here! Have you tried probiotics yet for your little guy? If you haven’t checked out Wellness Mama yet, her website is a wealth of information too. She has this great recipe for fruit snack gummies that are made with real gelatin and probiotics.

  10. Heather says:

    Couple questions…just had hysterectomy two weeks ago which has resulted in several large hematomas sitting in my bladder..the pain from this results in me feeling with every fiber if my being that I would give birth naturally to a 10lb baby before I would urinate at this moment…do you think the packs would help now and later even though I have had the hysterectomy, they didn’t take my ovaries

    Also my thyroid levels are within range but just barely would this help them and if so where would I place it?

    • Yes, this would help that for sure. Also try to find a Mayan Massage practioner in your area. There are many other possible health issues from having your uterus removed, like bladder prolapse and sacral back pain to name a few. And all of that can be elievated and helped with Mayan Massage.

      As for thyroid stuff, I would read a book called the Mood Cure and/or the Diet Cure. They both go into thyroid issues and how food/diet plays a role and is a really easy fix with a few diet changes and amino acid supplements.

  11. Do you think castor oil packs would work for males? My 23 years old son has “cystic acne” on face, chest and back and recently started treatment with acutane (last resort – ugh)… I am so concerned as that is such a harsh drug.

    Thank You

    p/s I love your blog Stephanie!

    • Oh yes, it would work for all humans, and you know what, it would probably be great for sick dogs and cats too. If you could get them to lay still!

    • I took accutane. It wrecked my digestive system. :( Try garlic! I’ve read that eating it fresh daily will take care of even the worst acne.

  12. Alfrieda AND says:

    This really sounds like what we used to do when I was a kid and before. However, we had other remedies to use that help detox the body. Castor oil was always on the shopping list, and keeping a flannel cloth in the house.

  13. I’ve only found out about castor oil packs a few days ago and I’m scheduled to start my menstrual cycle in a few days, could I start now our should I wait until it’s over and if then, when because I’m not sure when I ovulate?

    • You are not supposed to do it when you are bleeding. So the recommendation of three weeks on and one week off, is for the off week to be on your period.

  14. stephanie says:

    I was wondering if you had any thoughts or experiences in applying castor-oil packs for fibroids in a uterus. My mother is post-menopausal, but the fibroid she has is still growing. We were wondering if castor oil may aid in shrinking. Any information or advice you (or anyone) has is appreciated. We enjoy your blog very much.

  15. I am wondering if castor oil packs can cause your period to start early? If you are not supposed to use the castor packs when on your period, how can they help with menstrual cramps? Also, I am curious why one should not use castor oil packs for cancerous cysts?
    Thanks so much! :-))

    • It could, especially if you are not regular, it will help you back on a regular cycle, and it could cause you to bleed out some old backed period blood that is not associated with this cycle. It helps cramps, because it helps to heal and restore your uterus before your period starts to make your period better. Not sure about the cancerous cysts. I will ask and get back to you.

  16. Rebekah Meyer says:

    I love castor oil packs!!! I especially love using them to aid lymph drainage. Just a note of caution though….I made the mistake of using a pack over my liver in the evening while lying on my bed….well, I fell asleep, and it ended up being there ALL NIGHT! I woke up to the worst pain i’ve ever experienced. My liver felt like it was on fire; muscles were weak and everything hurt, and I ended up with 48 hrs of indescribable gastric distress of all sorts that took me 2 full weeks to fully recover from. The only answer I can come up with is that my liver just dumped a heap of toxins into my gut to be flushed out, and my system was unable to handle it. I had no idea how powerful the packs would be!!! I look forward to use them again here soon, but i’ll be sure to stick to the 1/2-1hr lol.
    PS. I also love including some essential oils to the castor oil before putting it on the flannel (look up which oils are best for your specific complaint:)

    • Interesting!! Yes, they are powerful having them on just for a half hour or hour, so I can’t even imagine how much you detoxed all night! Well, I bet you felt better after everything got out of your system!!

  17. i’ve been bleeding for the last 3 months. would it help to stop the bleed? tq

  18. I was not menstruating for 2 months but did have the pms. During this, I was shifting home, and that completely drained out my energy, then I started spotting for 3 days. And I started to bleed a little on the fourth and the following days I was bleeding with lots of huge clots I’ve never seen in my life. Looks like lump of flesh. Since then, I’ve been bleeding on and of with a gap of one or two days.

    When I tire my body physically in the day time, then later in the evening I start to bleed. The days I’m exhausted I bleed more and some days less blood with more clots. All this time of bleeding I never had any abdominal pain. But last few days I started to have stomach cramps and back pain and for the last 2 days I’m bleeding again and it looks like my regular menstruation cycle. It’s so frustrating. Went to hospital, they did ultrasound, uterus was normal and they prescribed birth control pills. Since I’m not a fan of pharmaceutical products, I put aside those pills and trying on some Chinese herbs and thought of castor oil pack too.

    Thanks for replying.

    • Try to find a Mayan Massage practitioner in your area too and get a full treatment. They will help you for sure. Hope you feel better soon.

    • Hi, Ash! I am not a doctor, but I have had PCOS for years, officially diagnosed in 2008. I can already hear many women scolding me for saying this but please PLEASE try to avoid taking birth control for your abnormal uterine bleeding. I’m not saying you have PCOS, but I always encourage women I know or meet to be screened for it because any imbalance of your hormones can wreak havoc on your entire body. When I was diagnosed, the only thing any medical doctor (and I saw several OB/GYNs) wanted to do for me was put me on birth control. It was poison for me. Made all of my symptoms much, much worse and wasn’t a viable solution for a twenty something wanting to start a family. Although I cannot confirmany findings myself, I hear whispers that young women with PCOS are facing infertility after being prescribed birth control. A devastating miscarriage and many years of not conceiving have me fearful that there is breadth to the whispers.

      I am currently facing similar symptoms to yours, and fortunately have an OB/GYN who believes in treating as holistically as possible. Unfortunately, my ultrasound did show an abnormally thick and heterogeneous endometrium, so next step is biopsy. I am so happy and hopeful having found this blog. After years of stumping medical doctors, I wholly realize that the key to my personal health lies in rich nutrients born from the earth, strength from within, and seeking a network of healers and nurturers….not some fabricated-by-man pill. Good luck to you and happy healing!!

  19. In have a small cyst on my face, how would info a pack there? Obviously a hot water bottle is too big..any suggestions?

  20. my brother has been suffering the lymph genettis, he went for a sonar last week, they found that his lymph is septic. i was wondering if i can use the pack for lymph drainage and how do i use it

  21. Hello! Ive struggled with infertility and have just completed 3 weeks of castor oil packs. Ultrasound showed cysts and endometrial polyps. My doctor recommended surgery but im hoping the castor oil eill eork and i can avoid surgery. Since starting the castor oil i started my period 9 days early which i read above may be commo. My question is… should i wait any amount of time before trying to conceive or is it safe to try after 3 weeks of castor oil. Should i stop the oil packs when trying to conceive? Thank you. Do you recommend acupuncture for infertility issues?

    • If you are actively trying to concieve, stop the oil packs once you ovulate. So every cycle you try, just do them up to ovulation and then stop. But in general is best to stop all detox things 3 to 6 months before trying to concieve, since detoxing is hard on your liver and pregnancy is hard on your liver…so you kind of need to give your body a little break in between.

  22. Hi, I simply applied a descent amount of castor oil on my lower abdomen followed with a hot bottle covered with towel for 40 mins, for uterine health and healing as I had a c-section for ectopic pregnancy and then another surgery for hydrosalpinx. I had read that castor oil helps in healing and removes scar tissues if formed.it also helps improving uterine health overall. But my question is can this lead to bleeding post 2 days of applying pack, I would like to mention I started the oil a week bfr my normal period date, but I got my period early and with less bleeding. Please advise if it is normal or the pack should be applied on specific cycle dates.
    Can it trigger period before time?

    • It can. Because the bleeding in an of itself is a kind of detox. It’s a release and downward energy (same kind of energy when you are doing a detox and trying to get things out of your body). So you body could have been stimulated to release some stagnant, old blood. Was the blood red or more brown?

      • Thanks for the reply. The bleeding was as usual but started watery and then back to normal but lasted only for 2 days and the it was off and on kind, I mean v less.

  23. Also we are planning ivf in coming months so is it ok to use the pack? …To improve uterine health..?

    • Oh yes, it is fine. But you want to stop the packs at ovulation and ride out the rest of the cycle. Then if you don’t get pregnant, you can start them back up again for the first half of the cycle.

      • Thanks! But just for better understanding, u meant aftr ovulation I can start the pack heading towards period? And stop once period start and then start once bleeding stops and can apply pre ovulation time and then can continue post ovulation? I just want to tell you that may go for ivf in March with FET. Fresh cycle failed late last year. I wish to improve my uterine health overall. Can u suggest a few tips on this!
        Thanks!

        • No, you can do the packs from end of period to ovulation-the first half of cycle. You stop at ovulation, because you don’t want to do packs if you are pregnant. Then if you get your period (and you are not pregnant) you can do them again for the next cycle, but the first half only. I would read all the uterus posts I have here and you may also want to check out my From Maiden To Mother eCourse. It’s for women who are trying to concieve, are pregnant or newly post partum.

  24. Can a small castor oil pack be used in fading and healing dark marks on the face and other types of scars on the face? and this includes old ones too.

  25. I started on the castor oil pack about two weeks ago everyday. I has menstrual cramps and used the pack in the morning and felt so much relief. Why can’t I use it during menses? My menstrual pains is so severe. I had to take pain killers this afternoon. I would rather use the packs than the pain killers. Let me know your view please.

    • Not sure of the technical reason not to do on your period, just know that is the week you are suppossed to give your body a break. Probably just an energetic thing, your body is working hard to shed the lining and release toxins, so it just needs a break for a few days. ;)

  26. Rhonda Wheeler says:

    Hi Stephanie!

    Do you think using another oil would work such as coconut or olive oil? I am curious, as far as cysts are concerned, does the caster oil packs shrink them or gets rid of the cysts?

    thanks Rhonda

    • It needs to be castor oil. Coconut oil does also pull toxins but not as effectively as castor. It will both shrink them and get rid of the cysts…especially if combined with a mayan massage treatment. :)

  27. Michele says:

    Hello! I have been trying to conceive for a few years now. We went through injections with timed intercourse two months with no success. We are takng a break for a few months before trying iui in the summer. I am hopeful that during our break I am doing all kinds of research on how to ovulate naturally so we can conceive on our own. I do not ovulate and I am curious as to how costor.oil packs aide in ovulation?

    • Check out my other posts on uterus and pelvis health. If the circulation is poor in your pelvis and pelvic organs, the area can get toxic and congested. Castor oil packs are a tool to help detox and cleanse the area, which aids in fertility. You really should get a mayan abdominal therapy treatment too, it is very important part of the healing infertility puzzle. What area are you live in?

  28. I would really love to use this ASAP as I am 4 weeks post emergency C section. I don’t plan to stop breast feeding for several years. How much of a risk is there for breast milk? Could I do a little now?

    • No, you really can’t do castor oil packs while breastfeeding. You can however start doing Mayan Abdominal Therapy and other therapies in a few weeks. What are you trying to heal?

  29. Rosie allan says:

    Hi, I wanted to try the packs.. Waiting for my period to finish to start this, I have unexplained fertility and been trying for 5 years. I have heavy period cramps and bleeding. I wanted to know the first time I try the packs the following period will it tend to be much heavier? Due to go Away and didn’t want to be suffering then.

    Thanks!

    • It can create more blood the next period after doing the packs, because the shedding of the lining and blood cells and celluar debris are the body’s way of cleansing, regular stuff and toxic stuff. But in general, after some time of doing self care your periods will get better and less heavy bleeding. If you have fertility stuff going on, for sure find a practitioner in your area to work with you, or come see me in South Florida!

  30. Hi! I was diagnosed with a small fibroid and ovarian cyst. Was put on bcp for this. I tried castor oil this morning and I am cramping and spotting bright blood. Is this normal? Is my body detoxing? Thanks so much!

    • Yes, depending on the amount. Hemoraging, is obvs not ok, but spotting is totally normal. As the castor oil breaks down and heals the fibroid and cyst, it’s gotta get out of your body somehow. If you have some healing movement happening, I highly recommend finding an Arvigo practitioner in your area to get the abdominal massage. It will help pass, clear and detox everything in your pelvis area. Hope you feel better soon!

  31. rabelani says:

    hi am using castor oil pack for blocked fallopian tubes. now its about week two and am using it in the morning and evening. how wil I know if it working for me.now m experiencing abdominal pain on my lower left ab
    domen. .Please help

    • That’s a little too much. It’s very detoxifying, you need to give your body time to rest and heal after detox. You should really only do it 3 to 4 times a week for three weeks and then give your body a week off (your period week). You also should get the Mayan Abdominal Therapy work done. Castor oil can only do so much and is really a supplement healing modality to the bodywork treatment. Look up one in your area, and if you are in South Florida, come see me!

  32. Hello :) I am eighteen years old and have suffered from extreme irregularity every since I first got my period. I am now over two years without my period. Do you think this could help me? I’m sick of pills and such and would love to heal my body naturally. I’m desperate here and any advice would be amazing and highly appreciated!

    • Yes, this could help. But no period for two years is very serious. Sounds you are deficient in lots of nutrients and fats to make your hormones work properly. If you are not getting much animal fat and protein, add them back into your diet. It’s a huge misconception that low fat will keep you skinny, if you are avoiding fat and animal protein to be skinny. I would also look for an Arvigo Mayan Abdomoinal Therapy practitioner in your area. If you are in South Florida, come see me! Hope you are feeling better soon.

  33. Marianne says:

    Can you use a castor oil pack with a copper IUD? I just got it put in place and am having issues with cramps every day. I have used the castor oil pack in the past between cycles for bad menstrual pain, but am afraid it might encourage the IUD to fall out.

    • So sorry for the delay, I wanted to double check before I responded. Yes, castor oil packs are fine to do with copper IUD. You do want to make sure to massage your pelvic area gently though, if you do that part too. You can preforate and hurt your uterus my massaging it with an IUD in it.

  34. I have aggressive Rheumatoid Arthritis and can not get it under control. If it recommended for three weeks use and three off how would I get my elbow, two knees and fingers treated? Is it three weeks for each area or just the liver ?
    Can I sleep with knee packs or oil in gloves (for the fingers)? The RA is attacking the tissues which puts pressure on tendons and ligaments limiting my movements. Is there anyway this can help sinus inflamation or reduce the need for the cpap machine? I have already removed wheat and dairy, and limit my sugar.

    • Your best bet for elbows, fingers and knees is a castor oil salve. Way less messy. Also rubbing castor oil on those areas and soaking in a bath would be a good option too. And yes, rubbing CO on your face, around eyes and nose is amazing for sinus inflamation. Have you tried taking Protandim? It is a supplement I take and it has had great results with people who have RA. Lots of love to you as you heal.

  35. How would you do this for a baby? My 10 month old suffers from chronic fevers and inflammation with no known cause. We are both on a very anti-inflammatory diet with several supplements, chiropractic work, NAET, all kinds of things, yet she continues to have low-grade fevers daily. Bloodwork is normal except for elevated inflammatory markers when fevers are higher. I have some suspicion that there is some kind of smoldering infection or even a leaking cyst somewhere. (She has a large birthmark at the nape of her neck, and sometimes this can occur alongside a spinal cyst.) Just a theory, but I would like to test it via some gentle detoxing. Do you think this is safe? How would you go about it?

    • From what I understand you can’t do castor oil packs on a baby, its way too detoxifying. Have you been to a homeopath yet? Can you get a medical test done to see about any cysts? Always go with your gut if you have a guess about something, def check it out. Let me do some research and I will get back to you.

      • Actually, this is something that I would need a ton more information to really be able to help. Setting up a Skype session with me is the best option. I am doing half off sessions for the month of may in honor of Mothers Day.

  36. Hi Stephanie

    I am doing the castor oil pack with fertility massage to aid with conceiving as I have blocked fallopian tubes. I have noticed however after every castor oil pack session when I do the massage I can feel lots of soft lumps under my skin on my abdomen wherever I have had the castor oil pack, is this normal and what are these lumps? They disappear after doing the massage…

    • Good for you! They could be anything, lymph nodes getting full, or toxins/scar tissues being flushed out. I will double check with my mentor, but that sounds normal and your body is going good work flushing everything out.

    • Ok, I was right, but glad I double checked. They are just lymph filling up. Which is all good news, your body is doing great. Keep up the good self care work!

  37. Jennifer L. says:

    I’ve been having a bit of spotting before my period. My daughter is nearly 2.5 and still nursing. Castor oil packs are still a no, even with bigger nurslings? Do they really cause that much of a detox?

    • Technically yes, but you can decide for yourself. I was still nursing when I started castor oil packs, but only about a tablespoon of milk a day was being taken out, so I didn’t really worry about it.

  38. veronica says:

    Hi Stephanie,
    Doctors say, that maybe I have adenomiosys, because they see some tissue in my uterus.. I have the results until August, to be honest I’m afraid, but I’ve been searching for the castor oil, and now I’m using it. Do you think that this tissue will go away, I don’t have any pain, and this month my period was normal, no spotting or cramps,but is been only four days, that I have use the castor oil. Should I keep using the oil, or should I wait, until they say, I do have Adenomyosis?

    • Keep using the castor oil. And either schedule an appointment with me so I can teach you the self massage or even better find a practitioner in your area and get the treatment. You need the actual massag technique combined with the castor oil to really break down the tissue, but it is totally possible!

  39. Hi Stephaine,
    I have endometriosis and I am not ovulating. I have been using castor oil pack from 2 months, stopping 1 week before and during menstruation. After using castor oil packs, I have been experiencing heavy bleeding for 2-3 days with clotting and cramps and my periods are regular (they were regular prior to packs as well). I was wondering if this heavy bleeding is a stop signal from my body that the pack is not good forme or is that a good sign, showing that it is resolving my endometriosis problem by shedding the extra lining.

    • Oh no, that is a great sign. Your body is sheding for sure, good work!! Remember it’s not just extra lining, but whatever else celluar debris that your are detoxing from your abdomen. Have you gotten a Mayan Therapy treatment yet? You should be adding in herbal tinctures and self care massage to your healing routine. If there is not one in your area, you can set up a Skype session with me and I can walk you through what else you can be doing.

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