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How To: Making Castor Oil Packs

Castor oil packs are something that I regularly recommend to people for a variety of health issues. Castor oil is derived from the Castor bean (Ricinus communis) and has a long medicinal history dating back to ancient Egypt. Castor oil packs are wonderfully healing, and one of my favorite self-care practices.

The oil is anti-inflammatory for the skin, and as our skin is an organ capable of absorbing whatever we rub in it, the castor oil permeates the skin and has an anti-inflammatory and mild stimulatory effect when a castor oil pack is applied.

Castor oil packs are incredibly effective at easing painful, irritated, swollen parts of the body. They can help dissolve cysts, fibroids, swollen nodules, an inflamed bladder, sore achy swollen joints, back pain, back spasms, sciatica, and joint stiffness. They work by bringing heat, circulation, and the anti inflammatory agents of castor to a local area to facilitate the body to heal.

Here’s what you’ll need to make/apply your pack (and remember, castor oils stains, so be sure to wear old clothes, and/or lie on an old towel):


  • A soft, clean, thick material like flannel, wool, or cotton

  • Castor oil

  • A glass bowl or glass jar that you can pour the castor oil in over your flannel

  • A hot water bottle or heating pad

  • A plastic bag or plastic wrap large enough to cover the flannel

  • A large towel


  • Place your flannel material in the glass bowl and pour enough castor oil over it to soak it (make sure it's saturated, but it doesn't need to be dripping in oil)

  • Place your saturated flannel over the affected area of your body.

  • Cover the pack with plastic.

  • Place the heating pad or hot water bottle over the pack and let it sit for at least 30minutes.

  • When you are finished, remove the pack and clean the area with water and a bit of baking soda

  • You can keep the pack in a plastic bag in a cool place or the refrigerator. Just add another tablespoon of castor oil for the next session. Packs can be re-used 2-4 times.

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