Have you been in the search for a way to boost your overall health in a natural, non-invasive manner? Studies have shown that castor oil and castor oil packs have been used as a way to naturally reduce inflammation, support hormonal imbalances, decrease anxiety, and improve antioxidant status (among many other things). But despite the great health benefits, are there any restrictions for who can use them, and are there any side effects associated with them? Continue reading to learn more about the health benefits of castor oil packs and how to use them.

Benefits of Castor Oil Packs

Functional health is an integral part of our daily lives. It impacts our mood, energy, and stress levels, which have a strong correlation to other components of our lives, such as health, relationships, work, and more. By maintaining our functional health, we are able to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses, which is where castor oil packs come into play. There are numerous benefits associated with castor oil packs, which include:

  • Helping with deep sleep and relaxation
  • Decreasing anxiety and depression
  • Balancing your mood by stimulating dopamine (our “feel good” neurotransmitter) and oxytocin (the love and attachment hormone)
  • Calming the nervous system
  • Improving antioxidant status
  • Decreasing inflammation
  • Reducing cramping in menstrual flow
  • Supporting hormonal imbalances
  • Aiding in scar tissue reduction
  • Improving digestion, absorption and bowel movements
  • Supporting hormonal problems such as estrogen dominance, PCOS, menopause, PMS, PMDD, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, fertility issues ovarian cysts, fibroids, and fibrocystic breasts

It’s also safe, easy, and effective for children!

Possible Side Effects

In rare cases, you can become fatigued when using castor oil packs because the body is already compromised and sluggish, and may not be accustomed in trying to rebalance itself. Another rare case that may result from the use of castor oil packs is the occurrence of a skin rash (if this occurs, it is suggested to stop using the pack and your rash should subside within 24 hours). As with all other medical treatments, it’s important to take precautions and ask for professional medical advice to reduce the risk of potential side effects.

If you’re pregnant, DO NOT use castor oil packs. Consult your healthcare provider after you give birth to learn more about when the best time would be to safely start using castor oil packs.

How to Use Your Castor Oil Pack

There is a simple 4-step process that should be followed when using castor oil packs:

  1. Compress the soft side up.
  2. Use organic castor oil in a glass bottle.
  3. Pour 2 tablespoons in a straight line down the middle of the pack (avoid seams when putting the oil on the pack).
  4. Place over the area of the body you wish to treat.

Purchase your castor oil pack here.

Recommended Amount of Use and Common Placement of Castor Oil Pack

Castor oil packs should be used both day and night. Ideally, they should be worn for at least an hour if applied during the day, or all night if applied right before you go to sleep. The most common placement of the pack is on the liver, underneath the rib cage. This area covers many of the digestive organs, including the stomach, pancreas, small and large intestines, adrenals, kidneys, and the many lymph nodes in this area. In fact, castor oil packs can be used locally for treatments such as ovarian cysts, fibroid, and joint pain of all types. One bonus component about these oil packs is that the placement can be alternated from liver to other areas of concern as well, from inflamed or strained joints or muscles to your lower abdomen for menstrual pain.

Care Instructions

When using a castor oil pack, here are a few things to keep in mind in order to get the maximum benefits. Generally speaking, you don’t need to wash the oil packs if the oils are kept in the middle of the pack when in use and the oil doesn’t get into the seams. However, you may need to wash the oil packs when the oil gets into the seams; when this occurs, it’s important to soak the oil packs overnight in a mixture of hot water, baking soda, and natural dish soap (all simple ingredients you can find at home). In the morning, hand-wash the packs with hot water and dish soap and wring out well. Get an old towel and lay the outer layer of the pack against it. Roll the pack up in a towel, blotting out oil until there is minimal oil residual. Alternatively, you can put the oil pack in the dishwater, secure straps, and run the dishwasher with a natural dishwashing soap. You want to make sure to roll the pack in a towel to blot and press out any residue. Since the towel is soaked, you should hang it to dry naturally. Avoid putting it in the washing machine because it will ruin the pack. It is recommended to replace the castor oil pack every three months so that it maintains quality assurance.

For other health and wellness content, check out these other blogs:

Toxic Burdens: What They Are and How to Avoid Them
Why Should You Work with a Functional Dietitian?
Self-Love and Detox Tips for When You’re Feeling Burnt Out
7 Ways to Improve Sleep Hygiene