What Is the Castor Bean Plant?
The healing powers of this plant have been long told from Africa to Greece, India to China, and all over the Americas.
Most of the modern techniques of using castor oil are credited to Edgar Cayce, who used castor oil to treat over 50 illness.
I had know about some of its merits before, but when I studied with Rainforest Herbalist Rosita Arvigo, she shared about this plant from her heart and spirit. The Castor Bean Plant is so powerful it deserves heaps of respect and caution when using it. The fresh plant is especially dangerous because the seeds are poisonous. Only highly qualified herbalists should use the fresh plant. Its laxative and purging qualities are so strong it isn't to be taken lightly.
After learning from Rosita Arvigo, I went on to practice at the Kaua'i Center for Holistic Medicine & Research. There was a strong Ayruvedic influence here. We used castor oil packs as a treatment on many patients.
In this post, you will learn how to safely use Castor Oil, which is extracted from the bean of the plant.
How Does Castor Oil Work?
Castor Oil is well know for its influence on the lymphatic & nervous systems. Because it is used topically, it works through the skin. This method allows it to reduce inflammation, pain, and swelling. It's so useful on the abdomen because of how it increases digestive abilities and improves liver activity.
What's all the hype?
Rich in ricinoleic acid, which only exists in castor oil, research has revealed that it increases lymphocyte production as well as overall activity of T-cell lymphocytes, which originate from bone marrow and the thymus gland. What does this mean in layman's terms? Because the castor oil increases lymphocyte production, it strengthens the immune system; thus giving the body the ability to kill viruses, fungi, and bacteria.
How Do You Use Castor Oil Safely?
2. Take a small piece of wool, flannel, or cotton and saturating it in castor oil. You can add multiple pieces of the fabric to increase the impact.
3. Place it on the area of concern for healing. To prevent staining and keep the heat in, you can use a piece of saran wrap on top of the castor oil fabric.
4. Place a hot water bottle or heating pad on top of the saran wrap to keep it heated. If you find that the hot water bottle is falling off, simply place a towel on top of the bottle. You can keep the pack on for up to one hour.
* It's very important to use this treatment as a healing time for yourself. Don't talk to anyone or use technology. Just lay and breath.
*Meditating on the feelings in your body. It's a good time to pray and ask for clarity around what is concerning you. The spirit of the plant will aid in this process. Be open to receiving insights about your healing.
Tips for Using Castor Oil Packs
- If you aren't using an external source with the treatment, you can keep the castor oil on for longer, even overnight, and up to 48 hours.
- If you want to re-use your fabric simply store it sealed in the refrigerator.
- To wash it off your skin, you can use a baking soda mixture (1 tsp B.S. to 1 pint of water).
- If you get a rash from the oil, which is rare, simply wash off the oil after the treatment.
- Depending on your condition, you can use castor oil packs 3 or 4 days a week. Be sure to take breaks from it though. Talk to your health consultant for further advice on frequency of use.
When To Use Castor Oil Packs Topically:
"Wherever there is congestion, decreased blood flow and need for healing, castor oil can be an effective treatment option."
- increasing lymphatic flow and drainage
- treating cysts, fibroids, and even tumors
- adhesions post surgeries and other scar tissue
- abrasions, wounds and punctures
- bursitis and vertebral discomfort including whiplash
- pain, swelling, and inflammation (due to inadequate lymphatic drainage)
- congestion of digestive organs, but not for more severe gas or intestinal conditions. (I don't use it internally ever. It's way too strong; there are other more gentle approaches.)
- arthritis and other joint pain
- before the onset of menses, but not during heavy bleeding