Curious About What To Expect After Castor Oil Packs?

Castor oil has a wealth of benefits – helping your lashes grow, good for your hair and skin- but it goes much deeper. In fact, castor oil can be amazing and beneficial for your whole body! It’s amazing treatment for PMS, Cramps, Detox and Inflammation. When you use a castor oil pack, you can expect an immediate feeling of zen and relaxation. This is a supportive and easy way to give your body much-needed healing.

Castor oil packs are recommended by naturopaths, Ayurvedic and other holistic health practitioners for many disorders like:

  • irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as Crohn’s and colitis
  • constipation
  • a weakened immune system
  • gastritis
  • GERD
  • stress
  • anxiety
  • general detoxification
  • hormonal dysregulation
  • infertility
  • cancer
  • and basically any condition other than pregnancy

Castor Oil Pack applied in office to patient's abdomen

Castor oil has been used in medicine historically throughout the world! There’s mention of it in ancient Ayurvedic, Chinese, and Egyptian texts, heck, even Jesus Christ used it as an anointing oil.

Castor oil packs are one of the easiest and most economical ways to improve your health. It sets the foundation of healing making all your other health practices and efforts more successful and efficient.


What is Castor Oil, How To Use It, And What To Expect After Castor Oil Packs

What is Castor Oil?

Castor oil is produced by cold pressing ripe seeds from the castor plant. The ripe seeds contain essential fatty acids (ricinoleic acid being a main active ingredient) and is anti-inflammatory, increases blood flow, and improves lymphatic movement therefore supporting detoxification. Historically castor oil has been used orally to help transform constipation but my experience has been largely in using it topically. The following blog will discuss the castor oil packs topical use and not oral use.


Who can castor oil packs help?

Not to sound cliché but just about everyone.

Girl joyfully sitting on bed warm mug in handIf you’re looking to...

  • Improve PCOS and Endometriosis Symptoms
  • Reduce PMS/Period Cramps
  • Alleviate Constipation
  • Reduce Inflammation
  • Improve Digestion
  • Increase Immunity
  • Help with Nausea
  • Destress
  • Detox

Then you should be packin’!

What To Expect After Castor Oil Pack?

In a 2011 study conducted in 2 nursing homes, they examined the effects of castor oil packs on elderly patients with chronic constipation. Those who used the packs saw a notable decrease in symptoms of constipation, without any of the uncomfortable side effects of traditional laxatives, such as cramping or inability to hold stools.

PERSONAL TESTIMONIAL: After 2 months of consistent castor pack use, my super gnarly endo cramps went from their usual 8/10 to a 2/10. I was able to function without getting random gut punches by a velociraptor’s claw every 20 minutes. So, what to expect after castor oil pack? Relief!

If you’re in search of an easy, inexpensive way to improve your health, you should definitely give Castor Packs a try. They’re virtually side-effect free, super relaxing and can accelerate your healing!


How does the ‘pack’ work?

castor oil pack being applied, fabric on abdomenIn general — an ample amount of castor oil is applied to the abdomen or on a piece of cloth (organic, unbleached wool or cotton flannel) which is then externally placed on the body, such as over the liver, intestines, breasts or even joints and muscles. Many people like to add heat for added benefit.

At Flora Fauna, we do the work for you so you can rest and relax with the nourishing needles and calming castor pack for 40 minutes under the heat lamp (+$35) or you can do “just the pack” as a standalone treatment without the acupuncture ($45).

When applied topically to the abdomen, the castor oil is absorbed through the skin into the tissues below. Applying heat helps to open up the pores, dilate the blood vessels and absorb the castor oil in deeper layers.Applying fabric to oil on abdomen

Castor oil can penetrate through the stratum corneum, the upper layer of the skin, unlike many other oils. In order to have a deep, systemic effect, the castor oil must permeate into the dermis to reach the blood vessels and lymphatic connections, which allows the flow of castor oil into the visceral or organs of the body.

This is why just putting castor oil on your abdomen alone doesn’t work. It needs the compression to keep in the body’s natural warmth, open up the pores and allow for greater and deeper absorption. With out a ‘pack’, castor oil will not penetrate as deeply and would act much more like a simple skin moisturizer instead of providing the body-wide benefits we’re boasting in this blog.

What to expect after Castor Oil Pack Within Your Lymphatic System

Castor oil increases lymphocyte production and the circulation of the lymphatic system.

The lymphatic system is like the waste management system of the body. Toxins, bacteria, heavy metals, dead cells and other debris are collected from all over the body by the lymphatic system before being brought to the liver for filtering and then out the colon for elimination.

The castor oil packs help increase blood and lymph flow around these organs and help the body improve it’s detox and waste management.

Can you imagine what would happen if the garbage truck drivers went on strike for week? When our lymphatic system gets backed up, waste and toxins accumulate, leading to a weakened immune system, irregular or incomplete bowel movements, food sensitivities, inflammation and eventually illness. When things get stagnant, disease occurs. What to expect after castor oil pack for your lymphatic system? Detoxification and cleansing, important steps to holistic health.

Parasympathetic Response To Castor Oil Pack

Castor packs have a relaxing effect on the nervous system and help to stimulate a parasympathetic (rest and digest) response. The first time I put it on I immediately experienced a sensation that was somewhat foreign at the time: Relaxation. I was so sympathetic-dominant that I had no idea how to relax or what ‘relaxation’ felt like it my body. It feels like someone is giving you a warm, cozy hug or mom just kissed your booboo to make it better.

Our goal with acupuncture and many self-care treatments is to get our body out of the fight-or-flight that we so often operate in our busy, jam packed lives and into a state of rest where our bodies feel safe to heal and repair. Castor packs are just another tool in our tool belt to do so.

Applying Your Castor Oil Pack – DIY or in the Office?

Fabric and oil applied to patient's abdomenMany people do castor oil packs at home… and we highly encourage it! To see the best results you’ll do the packs at home daily or weekly for best results.

Doing it in the office is a great way to see how it’s done and learn tips and tricks to make the DIY process much more smooth and mess-free.

It’s also a really nice treat to bask under the heat lamps in a quiet, peaceful room with no distractions, kids, or phone to disrupt our zen.

We recommend using them at least a few times a week if you feel inflamed or backed up or to focus on doing them daily the week before your period if you have PMS, cramps, etc. It’s one of those things you can’t really OVERDO so the more you can do it the better. It’s often suggested to avoid it during your period. From what I’ve observed, this is to ensure there is not too much blood loss from a heavier flow. Proceed with your own caution and wisdom of your own body.


DIY OPTION 1: Old School

Woman applying castor oil at home, laying on white couch in workout clothesDoing it the OG way, you can purchase organic cotton flannel for about $12 online (get organic + unbleached to avoid leaching of dyes/chemicals) to DIY at home.

  1. You apply the castor oil to the flannel and then put it on your abdomen covering the liver, intestines, or over the uterus/ovaries, based on where your areas of concern are.

2. Next, you’ll wrap your abdomen with plastic wrap to prevent mess and help it stay on (castor oil is very sticky and hard to remove). Be sure to lay down a towel or sheet underneath you when applying and to wear an old shirt or something you don’t care about on top of it.

3. Leave it on for an hour and when it’s time to take it off, you can use soap or a little water and baking soda for easier removal. (I just get in the shower and use Dr Bronner’s soap to get most of it off). You can fold up your flannel and put it in a woven or plastic bag to reuse. Toss it once it becomes too saturated or visibly dirty!


DIY OPTION 2: Mess-Less

There are now some companies that make castor oil packs in a convenient wrap to more easily incorporate this beneficial tool into your daily routine. The packs have straps with buttons to wrap around your body and keep the pack in place while you go about your business. The cloth is double-sided with the interior side that touches your skin being a soft, organic cotton and the outer side is made of a liquid resistant material to help protect your clothes and keep the oil in the pack.

Pre-made castor oil pack secured in place on left side of abdomenWith these types of packs I recommend putting the oil on your skin first and then placing the cloth on top to avoid over-saturating the pack. While they are able to be washed it can be a messy process.

If you are only applying the goldilocks-style “right” amount of oil (not too much but not too little), you won’t need to wash it for approx 8 uses. After about 3 months of consistent use I recommend putting the ‘ol pack to rest and purchasing a new one.

We personally use LuLu Naturals at home as well as sell them in the office for you to ‘Keep Calm and Castor Pack On’ yourself at home.


A few important things to note

  • Choose organic, unrefined castor oil that comes in a dark, glass bottle (not plastic) and organic, unbleached cotton. We’re trying to get those toxins OUT of you so it’s best to use non-toxic tools.
  • Pregnant women should not use castor oil packs unless trying to induce labor (which is outside the scope of this post).
  • Do not use castor oil packs if you have a copper IUD.
  • Castor oil packs can be done daily and consistency is key if you want to see if you want to see results!
  • What to expect after castor oil pack? Sometimes you may experience relaxation and immediate relief but over the long term is when you really start to see the difference! Consistency is key!

Don’t want to deal with the mess or still not sure how it works?

Come see us at Flora Fauna Wellness! It’s a super relaxing treatment and gives acupuncture treatments a super-boost. It’s easy-peasy to book online.

Book a Castor Oil Pack At Flora Fauna Wellness Today!

Practitioner standing and patient laying down consulting

Let us know if you have questions about castor oil packs!