I’ve recently been researching Castor oil packs. Many holistic practitioners recommend them, and they have some intriguing uses. Castor oil comes from the Castor bean. It’s use was popularized by early new-ager, psychic and medical intuitive, Edgar Cayce. You might find wikipedia’s entry on him of interest: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgar_Cayce .
From the point of view of Chinese Medicine, Castor oil seems to have the ability to move Qi, Blood and Phelgm (congealed fluids). This is seen by the claims to dissolve tumors and nodules and to improve Liver function, including treating cirrhosis.
Uses include bursitis/arthritis/joint pain, improving digestion/constipation, treating the liver/gallbladder, including cirrhosis and hepatitis, reducing menstrual cramping and dissolving tumours and nodules. I’ve seen claims of improving sleep/insomnia and relaxing facial wrinkles. You can find Castor oil in the health and body section of a natural food store. You might try a drug store, some may carry it. Do not ingest Castor oil as it is toxic. Do not use over open sores/wounds. Do not use with heavy bleeding (including menstrual).
For insomnia, put a drop on each eyelid before retiring, and then do my insomnia meditation described in an earlier post, 4/09.
For the face, put a few drops of Castor oil on the face at night to soften skin, relax wrinkles and reduce swelling and blemishes. Pay particular attention to problematic areas.
The following link gives a long list of personal testimonials of people’s experiences with using Castor oil packs. There’s a wide variety of intriguing uses presented here:
Usually Castor oil is administered as a Castor oil pack. I’ve include the instructions for making a Castor oil pack below (taken from earthclinic.com). For most conditions, do Castor oil packs 4x/week for one hour duration.
* Three layers of undyed wool or cotton flannel large enough to cover the affected area
* Castor oil
* Plastic wrap cut 1-2″ larger than the flannel (can be cut from a plastic bag)
* Hot water bottle
* Container with lid
* Old clothes and sheets. Castor oil will stain clothing and bedding.
Place the flannel in the container. Soak it in Castor oil so that it is saturated, but not dripping. Place the pack over the affected body part. Cover with plastic. Place the hot water bottle over the pack. Leave it on for 45-60 minutes. Rest while the pack is in place. After removing the pack, cleanse the area with a dilute solution of water and baking soda. Store the pack in the covered container in the refrigerator. Each pack may be reused up to 25-30 times.
I am interested in learning about your experience with Castor oil, positive or negative. Please send me your feedback about this. KB