Castor Oil Packs: Everything You Need to Know and How to Make Them

Feb 15, 2020

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Last updated on April 4th, 2023 at 12:21 pm

Castor oil packs are my favorite gentle detoxification practices, and bonus points for being super economical.  In fact, castor oil packs were the first healing modality incorporated into my initial healing protocol, and I saw great success.

You might wonder how castor oil packs work and help the body.

Lymphatic congestion is a huge factor that leads to inflammation and disease.  In brief, the immune system’s disease-fighting cells are called lymphocytes.  They are produced and stored mainly in the lymphatic tissue.  Lymphatic tubules collect the waste from your tissues and then transport them to your blood for elimination.

When your lymphatic system is not performing correctly, all the waste and toxins in the body will build up and make you sick.  This is where the castor oil comes in.  Lymphocyte count increases when the skin absorbs castor oil.  Increased lymphocytes are said to speed up the removal of toxins from the tissues, promoting healing.  Another study in the Journal of Naturopathic Medicine found that castor oil, applied topically, increased immunological function.


The benefits of castor oil packs are helpful for many common health concerns

  • liver disorders
  • ovarian cysts
  • constipation
  • thyroid cysts and nodules
  • non-cancerous uterine fibroids
  • intestinal disorders
  • inflamed joints
  • lymphatic drainage
  • gallbladder inflammation or stones
  • conditions with poor elimination
  • headaches and migraines
  • cysts in the breast tissue
  • general liver detoxification
  • lung infections

Here are some examples of castor oil  benefits

  • helps with relaxation and feeling good
  • reduces inflammation and pain
  • increases glutathione (a master antioxidant) production in the liver
  • supports gentle liver detoxification
  • help ease constipation by consistently placing it over the abdomen
  • daily castor oil packs over the liver can help increase T4 to T3 conversion
  • promotes healthy gut microbes by busting biofilms
  • helps shrink cysts or nodules
  • reduces the frequency and intensity of migraines
  • decongests lymph nodes

Castor oil packs are easy to make and require only a few supplies.  You will use the supplies for many months, so don’t worry about replacing anything soon.

Benefits of castor oil packs

Castor oil pack supplies

Fullscript sometimes carry cheaper castor oil pack bundles (especially with my added discounts.) If you have the extra money, I recently discovered a castor oil pack kit that requires nothing but castor oil and a pack you can tie around your middle and go about your business.  It is less messy, and you don’t need a warm water bottle because the material from the pack interacts with the heat from your body to create warmth.

How to make a castor oil pack

Please note castor oil stains everything, so be mindful.

1.  Carefully fill up the hot water bottle with boiling water.

2.  Lay the large towel over the bed or couch.

3.  Set all the items (flannel, hot water bottle, towels, and beeswax wrap) next to the bed or couch or wherever you want to lie down.

4.  Apply a generous amount of castor oil over your liver or area of concern.

5.  Lie down and place the flannel on the area of concern: I usually do my liver.

6.  If using the beeswax wrap, lay it over the flannel.

7.  Place the hot water bottle over the castor oil pack on the beeswax wrap or an old hand towel.

8.  Lie down for 45 minutes to 2 hours – I love reading, watching a show, or napping.

9.  Remove and wipe down the area with the old hand towel.

10. Repeat 3-4 times a week.

In the past, the recommendation was not to use castor oil packs during your cycle – the concern was that the castor oil pack would make you bleed more.  It is, however, no longer the case.  Regardless of the castor oil pack, you will bleed the amount of blood you will bleed.  The castor oil pack may, however, speed up your bleeding cycle.  Use your own discretion.

Please Note: Castor oil packs are not for everyone.  Do not use castor oil packs when pregnant, breastfeeding, or with an IUD.  

Another note on castor oil packs

If you get any rash while using a castor oil pack, it can be a sign that the liver is congested and need a gentle detox.  This is where I recommend using the castor oil pack over the liver for 3-4 weeks.  After this period, try it again over the area of concern.


Disclaimer: This post is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and is for educational purposes only.


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  1. Dana says:

    I love your site! I am wondering why you can’t use a castor oil pack if you have an IUD?

    • Chantal Cook says:

      Hi Dana,

      Thank you so much! To answer your question, the castor oil pack could cause the IUD to dislodge or release excess copper into the system.

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