If you’re looking for a topical way to support the health of your liver and lymphatic system, consider castor oil. The thick, pale yellow oil, extracted from the seed of the castor bean plant, is native to India and has been used in topical medicinal applications around the world, including Egypt, Japan, China, and India. Today, castor oil is still used by holistic physicians, as well as in commercial products such as cosmetics, soaps, textiles, and massage oils.
Castor oil’s healing abilities are derived from its high concentration of unsaturated fatty acids, especially ricinoleic acid. It works by way of absorption through the skin and into lymphatic circulation where it stimulates flow of lymph fluid and helps draw out waste products from the cells of the body. This enhances the body’s natural detoxification process, while supporting immune system function. Critical Information: Don’t use the seed itself — it can be deadly and is never used medicinally. Also, ingesting castor oil can cause serious health issues including severe diarrhea.
Always use castor oil topically. A pack is an excellent approach and there are many ways to prepare one. Some methods are more suitable than others for particular needs. For example, for some health conditions, the pack is used with heat; for others, without heat. Castor oil packs are not recommended for women who are pregnant and should not be used by anyone who has recently undergone surgery. Before following random instructions found on the Internet for making a castor oil pack, consult with your natural health practitioner to determine which method is best for your health needs.
- Fasullo, Craig. (N.D.) “Liver Detox & Castor Oil.” Posted at Livestrong.com Accessed 30 Sept 2017: http://www.livestrong.com/article/496828-castor-oil-nutrition/
- Pizzorno, Joseph E. (2013). Textbook of Natural Medicine. St. Louis, MO Elsevier.
- Grady, H. “Immunomodulation through Castor Oil Packs.” Jl of Naturopathic Medicine (1998) 7:1, 84 – 89. Print.
- Cayce, E. The Oil that Heals, a physician’s successes with castor oil treatments. (1993)A.R.E. Press. http://www.curezone.org/upload/PDF/Edgar_Cayce_The_Oil_That_Heals.pdf
- Thornehill Naturopathic. “Castor Oil Packs.” Accessed Oct 1 2017: http://www.thornhillnaturopathic.ca/patienthandouts/TNHCCastorOilTN2011.pdf