The Amazing Health Benefits of Castor Oil Packs

I have been using castor oil packs to speed up my body’s natural healing process, reduce or eliminate pain, moisturize and heal my skin, remove a cyst from my body, as well as help my family with injuries, aches and pains. I have not only read many case studies of the benefits others have experienced using this amazing natural remedy, I now have several years of my own experience using it for myself and my family to earn castor oil packs a firm and often-used spot in my natural healing tool kit. Organic castor oil packs are one of my go-to remedies. I find them simple to use and very inexpensive. I will explain what castor oil is, how I’ve used it and how I make castor oil packs.

What is Castor Oil​?

Castor oil is extracted from castor beans and is nearly 90% ricinoleic acid, an unsaturated hydroxy fatty acid. It is a thick, very viscous oil that has a light scent. Castor oil packs have been shown to boost the lymph system, enhancing the functioning of the immune system. One mechanism for doing this is by increasing T-11 cells and overall lymphocytes. (One function of T-cells is the identification and elimination of viruses, fungi, bacteria and cancer cells). Note: I do not use castor oil internally, only external packs. Note 2: I use affiliate links below that provide my family with a small commission should you click on my link and complete a purchase. The links I include are to the actual products I use.

Castor Oil Healing Stories

Eldest Son’s Stubbed Toe
While leaping over a chair one day, my eldest son stubbed his big toe pretty badly. I sat him down and assessed the situation. Not broken, thank goodness, but, swollen and painful. I got out an organic cotton round and my bottle of castor oil from the fridge. I covered one side of the cotton round with castor oil and wrapped his big toe in it, holding it in place with some medical tape. He liked the coolness of the oil, and found it soothing. Our family was heading “down the hill” that day (we live on a glorious mountain) and he kept it on all day, even while walking a bit. By the end of the day, even with some walking about, his toe felt much better.

Youngest Son’s Baseball Injury
My youngest son eats, breathes and dreams baseball….since he could talk. My son is a pitcher in baseball. One day during practice, one of the best hitters on the team asked him to please throw him an easy pitch that he could whack out to the wall. My son obliged. The hitter slammed into the ball beautifully and with great force, and the ball sailed with lightening speed...right into my son’s leg. Ouch is an understatement.

He’s a tough kid and didn’t let on just how much pain he was in. By the time we reached our home he had quite a bit of swelling and was experiencing trouble walking. I helped him into the house, sat him down with a bowl of soup, and started treating his leg. First, I gently rubbed on organic lavender essential oil for the pain. I left that alone for about 15 minutes. Next, to increase circulation to the area, I gently rubbed on organic peppermint oil using organic olive oil as my carrier oil. None of this bothered him, in fact, he started to relax and said it didn’t hurt as much.

After letting the peppermint work for another 15 minutes or so, he took a warm shower (sitting on our shower bench most of the time as it was hard for him to stand up for any length). He liked the warmth on his leg. After his shower I helped him onto the top of my bed and wrapped his injury in Wool Flannel, layered 3 times and soaked in organic castor oil. I covered this pack with plastic to help contain the oil (and protect my quilt!) and put a heating pad over it. We don’t watch much TV in our home, but, on this occasion, I let him watch a (you guessed it) baseball game while the pack worked its magic. He left it on for about 1-2 hours and rested.

A family friend stopped by. My son was able to get up and walk downstairs to see him, with very little pain, and, he could walk by himself. By late the next morning he had developed a nasty bruise the size of my palm at the injury site. His pain was greatly lessened, and, now, it was time to treat the bruising. I sliced a thick round of organic onion and placed it directly onto his bruise. I kept the onion in place with a bandage. He did complain a bit about the smell, but, after I explained it would greatly alleviate or completely remove his bruising, he happily wore the slice on his leg for approximately 2 hours. (That day, if my youngest son was approaching, we could all tell by the scent of onion.) After removing the onion, we could see that his bruise was nearly healed. I love onions. No further treatment was necessary. He got a good night sleep and was able to fully participate in his next baseball practice only 2 days after injury. Working with God’s design of our amazing bodies and helping them heal is so glorious!

Lump in Left Breast
I had been experiencing a dull ache in my left breast off and on for several weeks. Even with self-exams, I found nothing. The ache would leave, then, a few days later, if I moved a certain way, I would feel it again. One evening, using a deeper self exam, I found a lump. Approximately the size of the top half of my pointer finger. I took a deep breath, calmed myself, prayed, and asked God and myself what the next right step would be here (after all, I study many, many natural and immune boosting remedies and foods). Within a second of saying my prayer “castor oil” popped into my head. I had recently re-read the chapter on Castor Oil Packs in one of my favorite books “Be Your Own Doctor” (you can find that book here). I got my special cotton pad with straps attached that I had purchased previously to easily use to wrap my lower back or abdomen, and soaked it in my organic castor oil (I always go for organic and in a glass bottle). I then strapped it over my shoulder and across my back, keeping the castor oil pack over the area where I had discovered the lump and was having some pain. I placed my electric heating pad over the pack and slept with it on (it has a nice auto-shutoff feature). The following morning I could barely feel any pain or the lump. I did the same procedure the next night. The morning after the second night I had no more pain and could not find the lump at all. Moving forward I repeat this procedure every few months as a preventative measure.

Hip Pain
A few years ago I began experiencing hip aches and pains on the same side of my body as an old snow skiing injury to my knee. (Coincidence?) I am an active homeschooling mother of 5. I am on my feet quite a bit and seem to always be moving. I also love walking around our beautful lake and hiking in my amazing forest on my beautiful mountain. Hip pain is not an option. I intuitively knew it was not due to a lack of exercise. Perhaps I needed to incorporate a different kind of exercise? I hadn't started using castor oil as I do now and the recurring pain was driving me crazy and impacting my active lifestyle. I began doing extra stretches at home, a little here, a little there. No help. The thought that I may have to look into doing something I DON'T do, go to a Rockefeller-trained doctor's office, popped into my head. The fact that that could even enter my mind jolted me into new action.

I found a stretch class in my local community offered by a physical therapist. I started attending. This was a gift from God. After my first one-hour stretch class, I noticed significant improvement in my hip pain. After my second class (these classes are offered once a week), I didn't have the pain anymore. No more pain...from something so simple. No radiation, no drugs, no invasive procedures, no doctor visits. Just deep, long, focused stretching once a week. I was elated!! A calm, relaxing, focused class that I not only enjoyed, but removed my pain with? Amazing.

A big cross country family road trip to Virginia was coming up (several of my children are in a fifes and drums corps and we perform in Colonial Willimasburg) and I was the main driver so my husband could work while we were on the road. After day one of 8 hours of driving, my hip was a mess! The pain was back. I would do little stretches at our roadside stops, but, it didn't help much. Thank goodness that by this time I had become aware of castor oil packs for pain and had brought the supplies with me...hidden deep in my suitcase...buried under 5 little suitcases decorated with stickers, backpacks, pool toys and our water filtering equipment :).

I homeschool my children, and, every day, every trip, every adventure is an opportunity to learn new things WITH them, to learn FROM them, and to TEACH them new things. We don't bolt across the country, we meander and adventure. After enjoying a few days in one of my favorite areas, the Flagstaff, Williams, Grand Canyon area of Arizona, it was time to hit the road again. This time, I prepared a fully saturated castor oil pack in advance, complete with a few drops of organic peppermint oil. I was ready to test this out. Would it actually help with pain like I had read it would? This was a big jump day. We were crossing half of Arizona, all of New Mexico and half of the Texas panhandle. That was one serious drive with a TON of sitting. I strapped my pack over my left hip, front and back, wore comfy pants that I didn't mind getting some oil on, and drove! and drove and drove! I did NOT have any pain that entire mega drive, and, as long as I put my pack on for driving/sitting days, I had no pain the entire trip there and back! If I hadn't experienced it myself, I don't know that I would have believed it. (I got my matrix Bachelor of Science degrees in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry with a Master's in IT, I've had some programming to un-do). This truly increased my love of using castor oil for pain and healing. What a gift to participate in that entire trip pain-free.

Today I continue with my stretch class most every week. No hip pain. If I do happen to go too long between classes, or, have an event where I am sitting too long, I apply a castor oil pack, usually with a heating pad on top. I can get pain relief in approximately 20-30 minutes.

How I Make Castor Oil Packs

Pack with Straps Attached
The castor oil wrap with straps that I use on my abdomen, liver area, lower back and across the chest has a barrier on one side, making covering that side with plastic or something to prevent the oil from leaking onto my clothing or sheets unnecessary. For this type of pack I slowly pour the castor oil onto the cotton side of the pack and periodically fold that side onto itself to spread the oil throughout the entire pack. I then apply the pack where needed. I usually do a minimum of 2 hours of treatment. When done for that day, I fold up my pack, place it in a glass container with a lid, and place it in my refrigerator. I will typically use a pack for a month, then wash it out for new use.

Wool Pack with No Straps Attached
The castor oil pack comprised of layers of flannel wool that I use requires that I use something to hold it in place as it has no straps. To accomplish this I use organic cotton bandages (like the kind you can use to wrap a sprained ankle). I have both a 6 inch wide bandage and a 4 inch wide bandage depending on the area. I am not a fan of plastic and prefer to find an organic option whenever possible. The bandages I use, so far, have never allowed the oil to leak through onto my clothing of sheets, eliminating the need for me to cover the outward facing side of the pack with plastic.

Organic Cotton Rounds (for small areas)
For a very small area, like a sprained toe or finger, I use organic cotton rounds. I will take one cotton round, slowly pour castor oil onto it, let it sit for a few minutes to soak in, then wrap it onto my finger. (I will often sprinkle organic cayenne pepper or a drop of organic peppermint oil to further increase circulation to the area). I hold these in place with medical tape or a bandage.

Common Sense Note: The high level of personal responsibility and common sense used by an individual speaks well of the one using it. I am not you, your advisor, your doctor, your naturopath or your decision-maker. I am sharing my own thoughts and choices and stories, the personal journey and choices of myself and my family. You and only you are responsible for your own choices, research and path.

Additional Castor Oil Pack Resources

I always have organic castor oil (in glass bottles, not plastic) on hand. This is one of my favorites: Organic Castor Oil I Use

There are several Organic Castor Oil Options to choose from.

I often use castor oil packs on my liver to aid in detoxification and on my lower back to alleviate pain when I experience pain in that region. The easiest pack I have ever used for the abdominal and back areas is this Organic Castor Oil Pack Wrap.

This Wool Flannel Castor Oil Pack is my main go-to. I have one for each family member. They are soft, large enough for our purposes and hold a great amount of castor oil.

I have been using my massive wool flannel pack on my neck to cleanse my thyroid and help with any swollen lymph nodes. It is a bit cumbersome. I will be switching to this organic Castor Oil Pack For Neck and Thyroid.

One of my favorite and most referenced books "Be Your Own Doctor An Informative Guide to Herbal Home Health Care" has an entire chapter on castor oil, along with many other chapters on herbals and real life stories of healing.