Oil from the castor bean (Ricinus communis or Palma Christi) has long been used as a health tonic; you may remember having to take a teaspoon of it before school every morning. Most commonly known as a laxative, did you know that it also has positive effects on the nervous system, immune system, digestion, liver & hormone function, and supports a good night’s sleep… when you apply it topically to your belly?!
Next time you are feeling the onset of a cold/flu, experiencing bloating due to indigestion or looking for a restful night of sleep, try using a castor oil pack:
Castor Oil Pack
You will need: a bottle of castor oil (available at most healthfood stores and pharmacies); a piece of clean flannel to cover your abdomen; heat source (ie. hot water bottle, heating pad, etc.); piece of soft plastic (ie. food wrap or plastic bag); old towel; 20-30minutes of quiet time.
Procedure: drizzle castor oil on to one side of the flannel ...apply flannel to abdomen, oil side down ...cover with plastic ...cover with heat source ...rest for 20-30 minutes ...remove ...wipe abdomen with old towel to prevent oil from staining bed linens. Fold and store flannel for next treatment.
*Castor oil packs are contraindicated for people with abdominal tumours, lymphatic cancers and during pregnancy.
The topical application of castor oil has also been used to treat a variety of skin disorders, joint & muscle pains and local infections.
Recommended reading: The Oil That Heals: A Physician’s Successes With Castor Oil Treatments, William McGarey, MD
Ask your healthcare provider about how you can personally utilize castor oil for your wellness needs.