Castor Oil

Castor Oil is extracted from castor seeds (Ricinus Communis). It is a very pale yellow liquid that has a thick, sticky feel. Castor oil is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant oil which has been used for centuries for its therapeutic and medicinal benefits. It is believed that most of castor oil’s healing abilities are derived from its high concentration of unsaturated fatty acids especially ricinoleic acid. Although it has a strong and rather unpleasant taste, castor oil is used in cosmetics, soaps, textiles, medicines, massage oils and many other everyday products.

Benefits of Castor Oil

Castor oil has been used both internally and externally for thousands of years. Castor oil has been shown to increase circulation and promote elimination and healing of tissues and organs underneath the skin. It is particularly effective in being absorbed into lymph circulation which can improve digestion, immune function (increases mobility and effectiveness of white blood cells) and reduce swelling in injured muscles, joints and extremities. It has also been specifically used in cases of menstrual irregularities, uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts.

Other Conditions Which Respond Well Include:

  • headaches
  • liver disorders
  • constipation
  • intestinal disorders
  • gallbladder inflammation or stones
  • conditions with poor elimination
  • night time urinary frequency
  • arthritis and inflamed joints

DBM Protocol – Adjunct Treatment – Castor Oil Pack

Materials Needed:

  • Castor Oil (can be found at any health food store)
  • Flannel or cotton cloth large enough to cover the affected area
  • Plastic large enough to cover the flannel cloth (Saran Wrap works well)
  • Heating pad with a low setting or a hot water bottle


  • Fold the flannel to a size that fits over the affected area.
  • Pour a small quantity of the castor oil into a glass dish or pan. Soak the flannel with the castor oil (you want it to be saturated but not dripping).
  • Lie down somewhere comfortable and place the castor oil soaked flannel over the affected area.
  • Cover the flannel with a piece of plastic to prevent staining of clothes or furniture and place the heating pad/hot water bottle on top.
  • Leave the pack in place for 45-60 minutes. Use this time to relax (practice visualization, meditation, or relaxing breathing)
  • When finished store the pack in an airtight storage container or zip-lock bag.
  • You can re-use the pack several times adding more oil only when necessary. Replace the pack with it begins to change colour.

For maximum effectiveness, it is necessary to apply the pack as often as possible. Those who use the pack daily will receive the most beneficial effects.

Direct Application

The easiest way to use castor oil is to massage it onto the body on the problem spot, along the spinal cord, the abdomen, or following the lymph drainage pattern (above breast line to pubic line and around each side of body). For superficial problems, direct topical application without the use of a heating pad is typically sufficient.

  • Alternatively, put castor oil directly on the skin or area of concern. Cover it and leave it on overnight (take heat away after allotted time). Cover with old clothing/towels as the oil stains clothing and sheets.
  • Dip a cotton ball into castor oil and apply it onto the affected skin in the morning and at night.
  • Alternatively, for larger skin areas, soak an appropriately large piece of unbleached cotton cloth in castor oil and wrap the affected area overnight.
  • If the area is very small, soak a Band-Aid in castor oil and cover the infected skin overnight.
  • To clean off any oil residue, wash off with soap and water.

Side Effects

Castor oil is normally safe if used in moderation. However, pregnant and lactating women and people with intestinal blockage, acute inflammatory intestinal disease, appendicitis or abdominal pain should not take castor oil without their doctor’s approval.

DBM COMMENTPrecautions must be taken when recommended to the oil internally.  Instructions on the packaging should be adhered to.  Internal ingestion of castor oil may result in diarrhea, nausea and/or vomiting, abdominal pain or cramping.  Internal use is NOT a usual practice of DBM – so be guided by your Healthcare Practitioner.

Castor oil has been shown to

  • increase circulation and promote elimination and healing to tissues and organs under the skin.
  • it is absorbed into lymph circulation, which can improve digestion, immune function, and reduce swelling in injured joints and extremities.
  • Castor oil packs have been shown to increase white blood cell count when used for 4 consecutive days.

For in-depth instructions on how to make a Castor Oil Pack – see Castor Oil Packs