Castor Oil Packs - What They Are and Why You Need One

In this post today, we're going to be talking about castor oil packs.

Since my family and I started working on improving our health, we've done different alternative or natural remedies that I never thought we would do.

One of them is castor oil packs.

bottle of castor oil

Aren't Castor Oil Packs Weird?

I remember the days when I thought chiropractors were bizarre.

NEVER did I think I would be taking probiotics, going gluten-free, going sugar-free (oh man, did I eat a lot of sugar!), take stomach acid, try homeopathy, consider acupuncture.....yes, this is the world that I live in now.

And truly, if I hadn't moved into this world of alternative care, I truly believe that I would be seriously handicapped or possibly even dead.

Anyhow, back to the castor oil pack.

Until recently, I had only heard about castor oil as something that kids would struggle to get down at the urging of mothers.

Then later, when looking for natural hair-loss remedies, I read that castor oil was a great thing to apply to your scalp.

NOT true.  Just take my word for it -- it's terrible.  I could barely get it out of my hair and basically lost MORE hair just in the attempt to remove the goo from my hair.

While I was under the care of the practitioner who wrote this post on thyroid health, the idea of castor oil packs for liver health came up.

And I'm glad it did.

These days we are constantly bombarded with toxins.  From the air we breathe, to the water we drink, to our contaminated food, to what we put on our bodies (from heavy metals in cosmetics to artificial fragrances in personal and home care products), to general heavy metal toxicity, we are just living in a toxic soup.

Your liver has a huge job to do to filter out so many toxins, so it's crucial that you do what you can to support the liver so it can keep doing its job.

There are many ways to do that, and some of them taste good (like my Nourishing Coffee Substitute), but the castor oil pack is a great thing to do.

Our Experiences with Castor Oil Packs

My Results

As I mentioned, I first started using castor oil packs when under the care of the author of this post on thyroid health. Whenever I used them, I felt "less clogged" the next day, more relaxed, and my eyes seemed to be less puffy.

Also, I noticed that if I started having a breakout of acne on my face, if I used the castor oil pack at night, the next morning the pimples would be somewhat or significantly reduced.

My Son's Results

We know that my son has detox issues. He had Asperger's, which is a form of autism. He's tested with a double mutation of the MTHFR gene (more on that later) and there's a lot of evidence from lab work that he struggles in this area. The first time I used a castor oil pack on my son, he itched under the pad. I watched him carefully thinking he might have an allergy to the castor oil, but then when we removed the pad, interestingly he had broken out in what appeared to be hives on the opposite side of his abdomen!

It was as if his body was pushing things out, away from the castor oil pack.

Since then, he hasn't reacted that way, but has been noticeably more calm following the castor oil packs. We are currently interviewing other practitioners to work with him and have been told that the packs are a great addition to his natural care.

bottle of castor oil on table

Castor Oil Pack Benefits

When used correctly, castor oil packs are said to support the liver by increasing it's capability to detoxify.  Castor oil's lipid structure goes easily through the skin, stimulating a healthy flow of lymph fluid. It can also have anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing effects. (Source)

Additionally, they are thought to support uterine and ovarian health as well as improve lymphatic circulation and reduce inflammation.

This study, though small, showed

a "significant" temporary increase in the number of T-11 cells that increased over a 7 hour period following treatment and then returned to normal levels within 24 hours later.

"The T-11 cell increase represents a general boost in the body's specific defense status. Lymphocytes actively defend the health of the body by forming antibodies against pathogens and their toxins. T-cell lymphocytes originate from bone marrow and the thymus gland as small lymphocytes that identify and kill viruses, fungi, bacteria, and cancer cells. T-11 cell lymphocytes supply a fundamental antibody capability to keep the specific defense system strong."  (Source)

Castor Oil Packs for Thyroid

A reader asked me about whether or not castor oil packs can be used for thyroid health. I actually have read about people using these for thyroid issues and finding them to be successful, but I don't know if it's true or not.

Important Notes


While lying down for an hour during the pack treatment would certainly be a very relaxing thing, typically that isn't an option for me (or for many busy people) -- and try getting your kid to lie down for an hour.  So this heating pad, or something similar, is very handy as you can keep the pack in place while you go about your daily routine. Plus it doubles as a cold pack.

Add Lemon

Lemon essential oil is supposed to be very supportive for the liver, so adding it to the castor oil could be of help.

Keeping it Clean (sort of)

Castor oil is messy and its stains can be very hard to remove, so make sure to wear something you don't care about.  Depending on the weather, I either put on one of my husband's icky old T-shirts or sweatshirts and an old old pair of shorts or sweat pants (buy a pair secondhand if you don't have any handy), and I'm set.

Don't Be Cheap

Do not purchase cheap castor oil. Some of it is processed with chemicals or in other ways that leave a less than desirable resulting product including possible contamination with toxins.

For information on why I chose the essential oils company that I recommend, read Which Essential Oils Company is "Best"? or skip to the end of the series here.

How Often Should You Use Castor Oil Packs?

Most people recommend using castor oil packs about 3 times a week to start for best results.

However, there are lots of different recommendations depending on why you are using them.

One site that I saw recommends 4 consecutive days for 4-6 weeks.

Who Should Not Use Castor Oil Packs

There is mixed information out there about this as well, but some say that those who should not use castor oil packs include pregnant women, those with cancerous fibroids, ovarian tumors or breast tumors, unless under the supervision of a physician,  and those with IUDs.

Additionally, castor oils packs should not be used over areas of active bleeding (wounds, ulcers, during menstruation), in cases of suspected appendicitis, or in patients with bleeding disorders. People with skin sensitivities and those with chemical sensitivities have also been mentioned as those who should exercise caution.

I know the whole castor oil packs thing sounds a little weird, but with all of the toxins we're exposed to, your liver sure can use all the help it can get. Trying to do whatever you can to improve liver health is certainly a good idea..  As with all things, please consult with your physician to see if castor oil packs are right for you.

bottle of castor oil on table

How to Make a Castor Oil Pack

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  • Moisten flannel or cotton with castor oil.  (Add 1-2 drops of lemon essential oil to the castor oil, blending well, if desired.)
  • Place moistened flannel pad or cloth on right side of abdomen, just below rib cage.
  • Cover the pad with plastic wrap and wrap around entire abdomen for stability.
  • Heat the heating pad according to manufacturer directions and place on top of cloth.
  • If using a pad that is in a securable cover, secure cover.  Otherwise, lie down.
  • Keep cloth in place for 1 hour.
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Have you ever used a castor oil pack?
What did you use it for?

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  1. I want to try the castrol oil pack. I want it to go on the liver. I have pancreatic cancer. How can I get yours or do I make my own? Let me know.
    I don't see any recent posts. Why is that?

  2. I've heard about them for years, tried them a few times, but didn't keep at it cause of how much of a pain it was to wrap myself in plastic wrap and all that. Also I had an itchy rash on my back after the last time I used the brand you show a few months back, so stopped. However, a few weeks ago I found a article on them again, with a video and it was the queen of thrones talking about them. She said you should always use oil that is in a glass jar, as the plastic jar will leach chemicals out into the oil...which isn't good as then those chemicals go down into your body with the oil...she also sells a nicer pack that you don't have to use plastic wrap or heat with, so I splurged and bought it and her oil (although there is at least one brand on amazon that you can buy that looks to be a good one like hers)...but the packs, are a game changer! She talked about wearing them every night, all night...I'm not quite there yet as I started out a little slow...since I had that rash that one time, but think I'll be doing it most nights starting tonight, if all goes well! So nice not to have to use the plastic wrap...not near as hot that way! I have to wonder if I had the rash because of using the oil in the plastic bottle or not, cause so far I haven't, using her oil. Hopefully I don't, and it really starts helping me, I've been trying to clean out my liver for several years now, but it's a slow process, and I'm hoping this will help the herbs I'm taking work better.

    1. So sorry for the long delay in responding. Very interesting about the rashes..are you not getting them any longer? I know that there are better plastics than others but yes it would be great to be done with them altogether if possible.

      Thanks much for reading!

  3. I believe the recommendation was after about 10 uses, based on the fact that the materials that this particular company uses for the pack are specially chosen to be non-toxic to use with the castor oil.
    But less toxic materials break down faster with use/ washes. When you make your own pack, people will use a plastic grocery bag or whatnot to provide a barrier between their oil and their clothing. Apparently the oil can leach toxins from the bag, or a plastic bottle if the oil is stored in one, and pass those toxins to you.

    Having said that, I have probably used my pack at least 25-30 times, and washed it by hand once (directions included in the pack).

    The oil has leaked through a little on my pajamas as the pack gets more saturated, but I wear old shirts and pajama pants and wash those pajamas and underwear separately. It's worth it to me.

    I can't buy packs all the time either. I get it. But the benefits of using the castor pack are amazing!