How to Properly Use Castor Oil Packs
Applying castor oil over the abdomen is one of the most ancient and effective therapies for digestive disorders and consequently immune system dysfunction since most of the immune “system” actually resides in the abdominal area. This therapy takes commitment, but your efforts are well worth it. (Read the article on Castor Oil Packs under the Educational Articles page on this site for more information.) I have recommended castor oil packs to literally every single patient over the last nearly decade I have been seeing patients, and have seen the most amazing results. In my experience, no natural supplements (other than homeopathic remedies), can be a match to this amazing healing oil.
HOW DOES THE CASTOR OIL WORK?
Castor oil is absorbed into the body through the skin. Once under the skin, it helps with lymphatic flow. Lymph is a fluid in the body, similar to blood, except that the blood is moved by the beating of the heart. The lymph is moved only by physical activity (and a few natural therapies such as the application of castor oil onto the body). The lymphatic system is in charge of removing toxins from the body. Therefore, improved lymph flow would translate to enhanced detoxification, and consequently healing of the organ systems/tissues it comes in contact with. Applying the castor oil onto the abdomen directly helps with the healing of the digestive tract and the liver. In naturopathy, we believe the health of your digestive system is the main key to optimal health. Therefore, naturopaths (and even practitioners of other systems of medicine including Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, Unani medicine, etc.) highly recommend the use of this oil on the abdomen. Even if the patient does not suffer from any clear signs/symptoms of digestive distress, its still recommended to take on this therapy as a means of improving overall detoxification in the body, leading to relief of symptoms elsewhere in the body (including the kidneys, head, extremities, etc.), and ultimately optimal health throughout the entire body. You can apply this oil practically on any part of the body that is suffering from imbalance. For example, you can apply it over painful joints to reduce inflammation and pain. It can often significantly speed up the healing time in injured tissues.
WHAT IS THE MAIN CONTRAINDICATION, AND CAN YOU OR SHOULD YOU USE HEAT WITH IT?
The main contraindication for the use of castor oil is over the uterus during pregnancy. Often, people apply heat over the abdomen during application of castor oil packs. This practice is helpful, but not necessary. Note that heat should not be applied over any part of the body that is suffering from cancer since heat can cause metastasis. Also note that the use of an electric heating pad over the abdomen should ideally be avoided since the electromagnetic waves from this device may interfere with your health (and specifically with your “constitutional” homeopathic remedy). If you’d like to apply heat over the abdomen (which can make the whole experience more enjoyable and even more effective), you can use a non-electric method instead, such as a rice bag that you can heat up in the microwave.
As of March of 2013, I have decided to gather videos of patients to offer testimonials to patients who are new to this therapy. May these testimonials encourage you to take on this unusual, messy, but most effective therapy! I will be adding more videos to this page as time permits.
I often tell my patients that if I was stranded on an island, and I could only have 3 medicines, castor oil would definitely be on that list!
Fibromyalgia and Castor Oil Packs
I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia over 20 years ago. My symptoms became increasingly worse over the years. I had flu-like body aches around the clock, and Tylenol was my best friend; it helped me to get out of bed and through each day.
I started seeing Dr. Sharif in mid 2006 (it is now January, 2007), I had never heard of a castor oil pack and had no expectations-only a willingness to try ANYTHING to end my day to day agony.
Using a castor oil pack seems to be an old-fashioned treatment, but there must be a lot of wisdom behind using it, because it has given me a new lease on life. After a couple of days, I noticed there were no more body aches, I didn’t need to take Tylenol anymore, and my skin began to lose its decidedly yellow hue. I can only think that my liver
must be really happy! I found that I was sleeping better and was on my way to having much more energy. I am very grateful because I can now participate much more fully in life.
I know it’s not magic, but it works; and that’s good enough for me.