Detoxification Techniques

Wellbeing with Nutrition
Nurturing the Mind and Body

History of Castor Oil

Castor oil is derived from pressing the seeds of the castor plant. The first documented use of castor oil is from an ancient Egyptian document, Ebers Papyrus (1550 B.C.) In this document castor oil was placed directly in the eyes to relieve and protect the eyes from irritation. 

Castor oil has also been a traditional remedy to relieve constipation and to induce labour. It has also been used topically on the skin and in the form of an external compress to treat wounds, infections and to relieve pain.

Benefits of Castor Oil

Castor oil has a unique profile, 85-95% of castor oil consists of ricinoleic acid. This fatty acid has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. Castor oil stimulates the movement of blood and lymph. It boosts immunity by stimulating a rise in T-cells, reduces inflammation and promotes healing.

What is Castor Oil Packing?

Castor oil packing is a valuable technique for supporting any area of the body, which is struggling with toxicity, pain or inflammation. Castor oil is applied to a pad and laid directly to the skin. In this way castor oil enters the body via the skin. 

When Should a Castor Oil Pack be Used?

  1. Castor oil packing is particularly useful to treat an area of the body where there is pain, stiffness, inflammation or any skin irritation/wounds. 
  2. This technique is also recommended to help support detoxification primarily by packing the liver and elimination organs like the colon, kidneys etc

How To Do A General Castor Oil Pack

Here is a step-by-step guide for using a castor oil pack to relieve pain, inflammation or skin irritations.

  1. Take a piece of unbleached flannel/felt or a soft cotton fabric and fold it so you have at least 2-4 layers of thickness. 
    The folded cloth should be large enough to cover the area to be treated.
  2. Soak the folded cloth in castor oil.
  3. Press out excess oil and place on the affected area.
  4. Cover the pack with a plastic wrap.
  5. Place a hot water bottle or heating pad over the pack (optional)
  6. Leave it on for at least a couple of hours or overnight if you prefer.
  7. Keep the oil pad in a plastic bag and store in the fridge. 
    You can use it many more times, just add a bit more oil each time you use it

This process may be repeated daily for positive results.

Castor Oil Packing For Detoxification

Castor oil packing may be used as part of a detoxification programme. Before treating any specific part of the body, the liver should always be treated first as it is the main organ of detoxification.

How To Castor Oil Pack the Liver

You will need:

  • Castor oil
  • A piece of unbleached cotton or woollen flannel/felt (roughly 1 metre squared)
  • A thin plastic sheet or piece of cling film about 30 by 30 cm
  • A hot water bottle or heating pad

How to Apply a Castor oil pack to the Liver

Wear some old clothes whilst doing this technique

  1. Fold the cloth into 2 layers and then 2 again resulting in 4 layers of thicknesses
  2. When folded, the cloth should measure about 25 by 25cm. This size is needed for abdominal application. 
  3. Place the plastic sheet on a flat surface
  4. Lie folded cloth on top of the plastic sheet
  5. Pour enough castor oil to cover the cloth well so that it is saturated but not dripping
  6. Lie down, place oily cloth onto the liver area (below right rib) keeping plastic sheet on the outside
  7. Place the hot water bottle over the plastic sheet and relax for around 1 hour

After the liver has been packed the above process may be repeated to pack any specific areas of discomfort. It is not necessary to apply heat when castor oil packing other body areas but you can if you want to.

The frequency of castor oil packing depends on the situation but it should not be done for more than 5 consecutive days in a week. A suggested routine could be castor oil packing for 3 consecutive days in each week for 3 weeks followed by a week off.

If you have high blood pressure or are pregnant avoid this technique altogether.

Re-using the Same Castor Oil Pack

Each cotton flannel pack may be used many times. Just add a little more castor oil before re-using. Between usages, the pack may be kept in a plastic container or bag and refrigerated but bring it to room temperature before using.

With each use, the pack gradually absorbs toxins. Therefore, discard the pack when it becomes discoloured or smells rancid and make a new one. It is not recommended to try to wash out the pack for re-use.

What are the Effects?

On completion of this technique there is usually the feeling of deep relaxation and soothing, Pain and spasms usually subside.

It is beneficial to follow a castor oil pack of any part of the body with an alkalising skin compress which will help to draw toxicity out through the skin.