Castor oil packs are one of my favourite ways to gently detox my body. I personally use them on my liver, but I’ve seen them used on kidneys, thyroid and other areas of the body to promote detoxing.
I was first introduced to using a castor oil pack by my naturopath earlier this year, as my liver was struggling to detox effectively, so every time I had my vitamin C powder, I’d feel nauseous and have to lie down for a few hours until the feeling passed (apparently this is a sign of an unhealthy liver).
I’ve used castor oil many times in the past, for DIYs and beauty products I’ve made such as my daily oil cleanser, which has improved my skin tenfold.
To support my body as much as possible after discovering I had a genetically weak liver, I started making castor oil packs!
The idea is to lightly coat a piece of cloth in some castor oil and place that on the skin for at least one hour along with a heat source to stimulate lymph and liver function.
NOTE: Even for external use, I recommend consulting with your doctor or naturopath before using this natural remedy to make sure it’s okay to use on your body. Do not use if pregnant or if you have a serious medical condition. Before using any new product or oil, test a little on a small section of skin before using it on a larger area of the body.
Health Benefits of Using a Castor Oil Pack
Placing the castor oil pack on certain areas of the body can produce different benefits:
- Placing the pack on the right side of the abdomen is thought to help support the liver and digestive system.
- Placed on the lower back may help to support the kidneys.
- When placed on the lower abdomen it may help with menstrual cramps.
While there aren’t any conclusive studies on the external use of castor oil packs, according to Wellness Mama:
Before we get started in learning how to make this DIY castor oil pack – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my email newsletter at the bottom of the page to keep up to date on the latest recipes, DIYs, gardening and health tips I share!!
DIY Castor Oil Pack
While this castor oil pack is super easy to DIY, you can also buy a complete castor oil kit online or in store. Castor oil does stain, so wear old clothes when applying the pack.
- High-quality organic castor oil (that’s hexane-free)
- Unbleached and dye-free wool or cotton flannel (I bought some secondhand pillow cases from my local op shop as the fabric is thin enough to use)
- Hot water bottle or heating pad
- Glass container with lid, for storing oil-soaked fabric between uses (I use a quart-size mason jar)
- Lie the fabric out on the bench and add the castor oil onto it – about 2-3 tablespoons – then place the castor oil soaked fabric onto a baking tray, and place the tray in the oven set at 180°C (350°F) for 3 minutes or so, just to warm up the fabric and allow the oil to spread and soak through.
- Carefully remove from the oven, and allow the cloth to cool slightly before placing on the body.
- While lying on an old towel or sheet, place the warmed cloth on the desired body part, with the castor oil side facing down to your skin. NOTE: Be careful not to burn yourself. Wait until the cloth has cooled enough that it sits warmly on your skin without being too hot.
- Place the water bottle on top of this to keep the oil warm against the skin, and stimulate lymph and liver function.
- Lie on your back with your feet elevated (I typically lie on the bed and rest my feet on the wall) and relax for 1 hour.
- Once finished, remove the pack and return the cloth to the glass container to store. Keep in the fridge. Can use up to 30 times.
- Use a natural soap to remove any castor oil left on the skin. Rest up and relax. Ensure you drink plenty of water and stay hydrated after doing this to support detoxing.
As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor before trying or using any new products. I am not a doctor. All opinions expressed are my own personal thoughts and feelings of the products mentioned. Check with your doctor or health practitioner if you are uncertain about trying out any of the products, recipes or tips mentioned in this post.
Have you used castor oil before? What did you use it for? Share in the comments below.
Lots of love,
Wells, Katie. (Updated: May 22, 2020). How to Make & Use Castor Oil Packs. Wellness Mama. Retrieved from https://wellnessmama.com/35671/castor-oil-packs/
Iftikhar, Noreen, MD. (December 17, 2019). How to Make and Use Castor Oil Packs. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/castor-oil-pack
Vitt, Carrie, NTP. (May 25, 2018). How to Make and Use Castor Oil Packs. Deliciously Organic. Retrieved from https://deliciouslyorganic.net/castor-oil-packs-detox/
Nystul, Jill. (January 8, 2015). How To Make A Castor Oil Pack – All The Benefits Without The Nasty Taste!. One Good Thing. Retrieved from https://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/make-castor-oil-pack-benefits-without-nasty-taste/