Heal Yourself at Home

Castor Oil - Healing Therapies

Castor Oil - “Palm of Christ

Introduction to Castor Oil

The use of castor oil (CO) in rubs and packs provides a remedy with amazing healing properties - Therapeutic castor oil is cold-pressed from the small, thick round seeds of the tropical castor bean plant (Ricinus Communis L., Euphorbiaceae). The oil comprises 60% of the seed and is rich with ricinolein, a glyceride of ricinoleic acid.

What's in a name? - CO was known to the Greeks as Kiki and to the Romans as "Palma Christi" (the leaves of the castor bean plant were thought to resemble the palm of Christ –indeed, this name beautifully reflects the inherent healing power of this unique oil). Beginning in the 17th century, CO was taken internally for its effect as an "irritant" or "stimulant" to cleanse the digestive tract, however, its ingestion is no longer recommended.

Castor oil is applied externally - In the early 20th century, Edgar Cayce recommended castor oil packs as an external application over the right side of the abdomen for a variety of conditions. CO packs are used successfully to help increase eliminations, stimulate the liver and gallbladder, and to alleviate various kinds of abdominal complaints, headaches, inflammatory conditions, pains, muscle damage, skin eruptions and lesions.

Ricin (not ricinoleic acid) is a deadly toxin – Ricin is an alkaloid, protein toxin that is also extracted from the castor bean. Ricin is more poisonous than cobra venom, even in minute quantities about the size of a grain of salt. Ricin gets inside body cells and by preventing them from making needed proteins, causes the cells to die.

Ricin is released if castor beans are chewed and swallowed, and is also toxic when inhaled or injected. Ricin can be made from the waste “mash”left over from processing castor beans into oil. A modified form of ricin has been used experimentally in medicine to selectively kill cancer cells. In some reports ricin has possibly been used as a warfare agent in the 1980s in Iraq and more recently by terrorist organizations.

Constituents and Active Ingredient of Castor Oil (CO)

CO has minor components of oleic and linoleic acids, but close to 90% of its fatty acids are Ricinoleic Acid (RA) - rare in the plant kingdom, and believed to be responsible for CO's remarkable healing abilities. RA has been shown to prevent growth of numerous species of viruses, bacteria, yeasts and molds.

RA (C18H34O3) is a monounsaturated fatty acid produced in CO by hydroxylation of oleic acid. It is an omega-9 (C=C double bond in w9 position), 18-carbon fatty acid having a hydroxyl functional group at the 12th carbon, a very uncommon property for a biological fatty acid. This functional group causes RA (and therefore castor oil) to be unusually polar, and also allows chemical derivatives not practical with other biological oils.

Polar molecules include ammonia and glucose and are generally able to dissolve in water due to the polar nature of water –“like dissolves like”. Polar molecules have slightly positive and slightly negatively charged ends(Non-polar compounds include fats, oil and petrol).

Castor Oil is Used as a Rub or Castor Oil Pack

How to Apply a Castor Oil Pack - The typical application recommended by Cayce is that of a hot abdominal pack placed over the right side of the abdomen, covering the liver, upper small intestines, cecum, and ascending colon.

–    Use only cold pressed, hexane-free Castor Oil

–   Use only pure undyed woolen or cotton flannel (about 1 ft. sq.) for the packs.

–   Use a hot water bottle for heat source - heating pads emanate unnatural frequencies.

–   Use the packs 1 to 2 hours daily - for best results, apply for at least 3 consecutive days.

–    Castor oil should NOT be taken internally and should NOT be applied to broken skin

1.Place a wool or cotton flannel in a container and soak it in 1/4 Cup castor oil - so that it is saturated, but not dripping.

2.Fold a pack 3-4 layers thick over the affected body part or the abdomen. Protect clothing and bedding - Oil can be removed with a solution of 2Tbsp. of baking soda to 1 quart water.

3.Cover with a clean, plain plastic bag or piece of cling wrap (larger than pack).

4.Place a hot water bottle (Not a heating pad –electrical frequency could interfere with healing frequencies of castor oil) over the pack and rest for 1-2 hours with the pack in place.

5.After removing the pack, massage the oil remaining on the skin into the body and if desired, cleanse the area with a dilute solution of water and baking soda.

6. Store the pack in a covered container or plastic bag in the refrigerator - thus ensuring that you will NOT absorb harmful, RANCID Oils into your Body, which would UNDERMINE your efforts. A pack may be reused 25-30 times, adding 1-2 Tbsps. oil before each use.

Suggested Schedule to Decongest the Lymph System - The following suggested schedule will rejuvenate the adrenal glands, which in turn will enhance the function of the thymus gland, revitalizing the entire body:

2 days a week over the liver/abdomen area to the right of your naval

2 days a week over the spleen area (bottom of left rib cage)

3 days a week over the Thymus gland (just above the heart)

Do the treatments daily for the first 4 weeks, after which, do the treatments every other day, such that each of the three target areas -- liver, thymus and spleen,is treated once per week.

A castor oil pack can also be placed directly on problem areas of the body - Use CO pack until problem is healed:

–   For skin conditions - simply wrap the affected area in a castor oil soaked cloth each night, or if the area is small enough, use a castor oil soaked Band-Aid.

Tip: For persistent infections and finger and toenails that have discolored and hardened, soak the area for 10 to 20 minutes in Epsom salts prior to applying the castor oil, to speed up the healing process.

–   Over the Liver - CO packs are often recommended as part of a liver detoxifying program.

–   Over the Chest – for lung/bronchial infections

–    Inflamed, Swollen, AchingJoints or Muscles .

–   The abdomen - to relieve constipation and other digestive disorders.

–   The lower abdomen - in cases of menstrual irregularities and uterine and ovarian cysts.

–   Callouses, moles, ingrown toenails, warts -Cayce recommends applying “castor paste”on these problem areas. “Castor paste”is made by mixing about 1/8 tsp. of baking soda with 3 to 4 drops of castor oil in the palm, then massage into the affected area.

Uses of Castor Oil Packs and Rubs








Obstructions /Constipation / Crohn's Disease / Colitis




Anti-fungal (yeast, mold) / Anti-bacterial / Anti-viral


Athletes Foot


May add thyme, eucalyptus, or pine essential oil to thin mucus


Upper Respiratory Infections

Involving sinuses, tonsils, inner ear





Affected site


Chronic Fluid Retention

Bursitis / swollen joints

Varicose veins

Affected site


Nerve Inflammations

Nerve inflammations E.g. sciatica, shingles / Parkinson's disease

Multiple sclerosis / Migraine headaches / Cerebral palsy



In children



Lower Back Pain

Affected site


Pain /Strains


Immune system booster

Improves Thymus gland function


Swollen lymph nodes / Lymphatic Congestion / conditions related to poor lymph drainage; Increases lymphatic circulation.


disease /stones /Liver cirrhosis /Hepatitis /Enlargement /Congestion


Disease / stones



Excessive bleeding

Lower abdomen

Breasts: Lactation /


Increases milk flow, Sore/ inflamed nipples, Mammary gland inflammation.

Lumpy/Painful breasts in fibrocystic disease of the breast

Breasts (no need to wash off)

Umbilical cord

Healing in a newborn

Ovarian Cysts

Dissolves ovarian cysts



Avert threatened abortions ,Initiate / progress labor

Bladder /Vaginal



"What skin problems castor oil won't help aren't worth talking about"



Acne /Abscesses / Boils/ Skin eruptions / Lesions

Chronic Pruritus



Non-cancerous, wart-like skin growths

Cysts (E.g. Ganglion cysts), Warts, Moles, “Liver”spots.

Massage problem area at least 3 times / day to remove

Hair Restoral

1 part Castor oil to 10 parts grain alcohol (e.g. vodka)


Protect and moisturize


Conjunctiva of the eye

Reduces irritation

Eyelashes /eyebrows

Stimulates long thick, growth, esp. for those with scanty lashes


~ Stressed / Compromised Immune System

E.g. AIDS or other conditions that stress or compromise the immune system very often benefit from CO packs - AIDS patients who have added CO packs (usually for 1 hour a day) to their treatment regimen have had very positive results. Within 2 weeks, it was not uncommon for them to see increases in their WBC, RBC, and platelet counts, and hematocrit readings.

* Women's Problems

Excessive Bleeding - in The Edgar Cayce "Handbook for Health through Drugless Therapy", the late Dr. Harold J. Reilly, who worked with the information provided in the Cayce readings for 45 years, recalls the case of a woman who had been suffering from excessive bleeding of the uterus for 13 years. By the time she came to see Dr. Reilly, her problem was threatening to disrupt her career as an opera singer, as well as her ability to function normally in her personal life as a wife and mother. She consulted four leading gynecologists, who had all recommended some kind of surgery, from a simple D&C to a total hysterectomy. Dr. Reilly put her on a regimen that began with colonic irrigations and castor oil packs four nights on, three nights off. The woman later reported that "after the first two nights of the castor oil packs ... the spotting stopped, and this was remarkable, because it was just after my menstrual period, and usually that went on and on. By the end of the week, I sang in a concert and felt fine."

Varicose veins - In her popular book “Take Charge of Your Body”, Canadian physician Dr. Carolyn DeMarco recommends the application of castor oil packs at night for the relief of pain and swelling associated with varicose veins.

Fibrocystic Disease of the Breast (FDB) - In a 1994 article in Health Naturally magazine, Dr. DeMarco writes about the recommendation of American gynecologist Dr. Christine Northrup to apply castor oil packs to the lumpy, painful breasts of women who suffer from FDB.

Labor Initiation and Progression - Susun Weed, author of the book "Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year", says that in traditional midwifery, castor oil is used internally and externally to stimulate the uterus, soften the cervix, and help initiate labor. She also suggests rubbing castor oil on the belly and covering with a warm towel if the cervix is ripe and labor seems near. Some midwives rub castor oil on the feet to help labor along.

It is beneficial to also drink a combination of olive oil and lemon juice to further stimulate lymphatic flow and liver activity

Olive Oil / Lemon Juice Drink

Made by blending the following ingredients:

1 whole lemon, (pulp, rind, seeds and all)

1½Cups distilled water

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

4 rounded Tbsps. frozen orange juice concentrate

This blend is then strained through a wire strainer to remove the pulp.

The remaining liquid is divided in four equal portions of approximately 1/4 cup each and a portion is consumed with each of the three daily meals and before bedtime.

–    In addition to stimulating lymphatic flow, the drink increases the flow of bile from the liver and gallbladder - which, in turn, enhances one's ability to digest essential fatty acids through the Peyer's patches in the small intestine. It is not uncommon for AIDS patients to experience weight gain and a reversal of a long list of complaints often associated with fatty acid deficiencies.

How does Castor Oil work?

Castor oil is no doubt a God-given substance provided for our benefit, but its healing mechanism is still not well understood.

Two separate studies found that abdominal CO packs significantly increases lymphocyte production - compared to those using placebo packs.Lymphocytes are the disease-fighting cells produced by your immune system. Lymphocytes are located mainly in the thymus gland, spleen, and lymph nodes, as well as the tiny patches of lymphatic tissue that line the small intestine, called Peyer's patches.

One double-blind study, described by Harvey Grady in a report entitled Immunomodulation through Castor Oil Packs published in a recent issue of the Journal of Naturopathic Medicine, examined lymphocyte values of 36 healthy subjects before and after topical CO application. This study identified CO as an anti-toxin, which has impact on the lymphatic system, and thus enhancing immunological function. The study found that CO pack therapy of a minimal 2 hour duration produced a significant increase in the number of T-11 cells, that increased over a 7 hour period, then returned to normal during the 24-hours following treatment, with a concurrent increase in the number of total lymphocytes. This T-11 cell increase represents a general boost in the body's specific defense status, since 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.

The Oil That Heals: A Physician's Successes With Castor Oil Treatments by William A., M.D. McGarey

Possible Peyers Patches Connection - Edgar Cayce suggests that CO packs strengthen the Peyer's Patches, which he associated with longevity and maintenance of good health. According to Cayce, when a SUBSTANCE produced by the Peyers Patches reaches the autonomous and the cerebrospinal nervous system via the blood stream, it facilitates electrical contact between them. Thus Cayce is inferring that to an extent, the health of the ENTIRE NERVOUS SYSTEM is maintained through the SUBSTANCE produced by the Peyer's Patches when they are in good health.

Related to body's lymphatic system – castor oil benefits are at least partly due to its ability to drain the lymph.

Healing frequency – castor oil is the only significant natural source of ricinoleic acid. This unique fatty acid has a vibrational frequency, believed to promote healing in body cells. The special bonding in RA may possibly work to attract, store and resonate with sun energy, much the same way as flax seed does.

Osteoporosis Testimony

“One time when my mother had fractured her back due to severe osteoporosis, she was prescribed very strong painkillers, during her ten day stay in the hospital. I remembered the information I had read in Edgar Cayce and the Palma Christi by William A. McGarey. So on her return home; I proceeded, with her permission, to very gently apply castor oil packs to her back.

After the very first application she no longer required the painkillers and after using the packs for three consecutive days per week for several weeks, we then changed to a maintenance program of once a week. This kept her spine more flexible and supple. In fact she actually looked forward to her castor oil day and found it extremely relaxing.

Castor Oil is Used in Cosmetics, Lotions, Soap

CO used as a Thickener and Emulsifier - acts as a water dispersant to help oil-based ingredients mix into water-based ingredients.

Humectant - soothing and emollient (seals in moisture)

Boosts lather in handcrafted soaps

Provides incredible slip