castor oil packs
The castor seed, is a known cathartic, or strong laxative. You may have heard of it being taken internally for labor induction through this mechanism (to stimulate contractions). However, in this application, the castor oil is applied topically to the abdominal area (liver, spleen, intestines) and is absorbed through the skin to the lympathic system.
It is beneficial for headaches, constipation, non-cancerous cysts, joint inflammation, liver and intestinal stress, gallbladder inflammation. Castor oil packs are not to be used in pregnancy, lactation, heavy menstrual flow, or presence of internal bleeding. As with any natural protocols, it's important to discuss with your health care team whether they are appropriate for you.
1. Castor oil is messy and can stain clothing; be careful!
2. Fold cloth several times to make about 6" x 10". Pour approximately 1-2 tablespoons of castor oil on to cloth. It should be soaked but not dripping.
3. Wrap castor oil pack in plastic wrap or old towel. Set heating pad on top for about 5 minutes, or until warm -- but not hot!
4. Once warm, apply the pad to the location of your liver (the right side of your abdomen, just under the ribcage).
5. Place plastic wrap or old towel on top to keep it from touching anything else. Layer warming pad on top.
6. Leave pack on for 30-60 minutes. This is a great time to practice some breathing exercises!
7. Remove castor oil pack, massaging oil into the skin. You can wash away residual castor oil from skin with warm water and 1 tablespoon of baking soda.
8. Place cloth in a glass container (or large ziplock bag) and store in refrigerator. Cloth can be reused 4-6 times, adding castor oil with each use, as necessary, to keep it saturated.
For maximum benefits, apply the castor oil packs as often as possible. Start with 3-4 consecutive days per week for 4-6 weeks.