What Is A Castor Oil Pack & Why Do It?
Written by: Victoria Williams R.H.N.
Victoria Williams R.H.N.
Victoria is Head of Operations at Queen of the Thrones®. Victoria obtained a Pre-Health Science Certificate with Honours from Georgian College, which ignited her passion for natural wellness and nutrition.
Medically reviewed by: Melanie Swackhammer B.A.
Est. reading time: 7 minutes.
Your Complete Guide On How To Do A Castor Oil Pack
Are you wondering what to expect after using the Castor Oil Pack for Liver?
Or, are you curious to know more about the Queen of the Thrones® Castor Oil Pack before you add it to your daily self-care routine?
Is this you? This blog discusses everything you need to know about Castor Oil and Castor Oil Packs and how the two work together to support both your liver and overall wellness.
So, what is a Castor Oil Pack?
Castor Oil Packs are an ancient self-care practice and foundation of naturopathic and functional medicine popularized in the early 1900s by Edgar Cayce.
This traditional natural wellness practice involves applying Castor Oil to a cotton compress and wearing it on the body (typically over the liver) to support liver detox, deeper sleep, less stress, better bowel movements, and more.
The Castor Oil Pack lost its appeal because of its messy and time-consuming nature and difficulty accessing quality organic materials. Makes sense, agreed?”
So, we made this practice easy for the 21st century with the Queen of the Thrones® Castor Oil Pack for Liver, a tried and true modernized Castor Oil Pack that’s heatless, less-mess, and easy to use.
Would you love to know 3 vital body functions you can support with Queen of the Thrones® Castor Oil Packs?
Well, we have an Infographic for you that explains the 3 key benefits of Castor Oil Packs, loved and recommended by wellness practitioners.
Many people assume that you need to wear your Liver Pack right on your liver to get the benefits. Is this you too?
However, this is not the case. Anatomically, the liver is located near the top of your right ribcage under the right breast. It would be a little difficult to wear your pack there, agreed?
The ideal placement for your Castor Oil Pack is your liver area, over top of the dermatomes connected to your liver.
You see, the anti-inflammatory component of Castor Oil called ricinoleic acid1 permeates the epidermis because of its molecular weight, this is where your circulatory and lymphatic vessels lie. And when placed over your liver area, these Packs activate the somatic and visceral reflexes (response to a stimulus) supporting the activity of internal detox and cleansing organs like the liver, kidney, gut, gallbladder, and more.
So, this is why it’s ideal to wear the Pack over your liver area, below your ribs on the right side of your body. This covers your T5-T12 dermatomes which support the gallbladder, liver, diaphragm, stomach, pancreas, spleen, kidneys, small intestine, appendix, adrenals, uterus and colon.
How to use your Castor Oil Liver Pack?
It’s as easy as following the two-step process so you can support your body from the outside in.
Step One: Apply 1 tbsp of Organic Castor Oil to the soft organic cotton flannel side of your Pack.
*Always add your Organic Castor Oil to the middle of the pack to help keep the oil from the seams, as the Pack is not 100% impermeable.
Step Two: Place the soft cotton flannel side of your Castor Oil Pack over your liver area (under your right rib cage) and tie it in place with the soft, stretchy, adjustable straps.
*Remember: Castor Oil WILL STAIN clothing & bed sheets so take extra care when preparing your Pack. Of course, you can always wear an old t-shirt over your Pack just in case.
With regular practice, you will train your body to respond better to stress. Amazing, agreed?
And the best part…
You can wear your Pack for one hour before bed, and even better, wear your Pack overnight to help you cleanse while you sleep.
You see, your body naturally cleanses when you’re sleeping. So, by wearing your Castor Oil Liver Pack overnight you’re supporting natural liver detoxification, lymphatic drainage2, and colon cleansing3,14
How do Castor Oil Packs support your liver?
Here’s how it works…
Mechanical: The compression of your Castor Oil Pack placed over the liver (slightly covering the lower free ribs under your right rib cage), combined with the movement of your breathing muscles, serves like a pump to your lymphatic system, encouraging lymphatic drainage2. Amazing, agreed?
Neurological: When placed on specific dermatomes, this activates the somatic visceral reflexes triggering the activity of internal detox and cleansing organs like the liver, kidney, gut, gallbladder, and more.
A combination of both mechanical and neurological: The Queen of the Thrones® Castor Oil Pack stimulates the body’s skin receptors that stimulate the natural oxytocin5 feedback loop activating the vagus nerve, shifting the body into the ‘rest and digest’ state where liver detox is optimized.
This gentle compression of the Castor Oil Pack stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system6,7,8. Amazing, right?
You can learn more about the 3 vital body functions you can support with Castor Oil Packs in your FREE infographic.
What are the key benefits of Castor Oil Liver Packs?
First, let’s look at the most important function of your Castor Oil Pack, which is to help…
1. Balance inflammation
Did you know that inflammation is part of your body’s process of fighting against things that harm it (like infections) in an attempt to heal and protect itself?
So, when something damages your cells, your body releases chemicals that trigger an inflammatory response from your immune system10. It’s a natural process, but inflammation is often out of control in today’s modern world.
When you are inflamed, your body is acidic. However, the enzymes in your body don’t function properly in an acidic environment, as they require an alkaline environment11.
Inflammation is like fire, and what does a firefighter do to put out a fire? They put water on it. Central abdominal bloating and weight gain are often caused because our body sends water to the site of inflammation to ‘put out the fire’. Makes sense, agreed?
So, since Castor Oil contains ricinoleic acid, a natural anti-inflammatory1-4, it may support the natural reduction of water retention and swelling.
Castor Oil also supports detox by helping to…
2. Preserve glutathione status
Well, glutathione is the master detoxification agent of the body12. But, unfortunately, it can quickly be depleted mainly because of chronic diseases, including autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
Studies on rats have shown that Castor Oil is supportive of preserving glutathione levels13. You see, glutathione is an antioxidant that pulls toxins out of your body, and that’s why we get depleted so quickly.
Castor Oil also supports the elimination of waste from your body by…
3. Help move your bowels
lOne of the major processes of your body is your bowel movements. If you can’t eliminate (a.k.a go to the bathroom), you self-intoxicate.
Remember those anti-inflammatory prostaglandins that Castor Oil mimics? Well, these are the same ones that attach to the receptors of smooth muscle14 in the body, namely your gut and uterus.
So, this physical smooth muscle function moves things out of the body, and your Castor Oil Liver Pack helps stimulate it3,14 so you can go to the bathroom naturally and rid yourself of feeling backed up. Sounds wonderful, agreed?
Lastly, Castor Oil aids in maintaining your general wellness by helping your body…
4. Microbiome balance
Biofilm is a big bad barrier that bad bacteria can produce in the microbiome. It keeps the bad bugs in and the good bugs out. Unfortunately, this causes severe stress on the body, inhibiting cleansing and detoxification.
Castor Oil is one of the only natural substances that can breakdown biofilm15,16,17, allowing your body to maintain a balanced ecology (environment).
In combination with a good diet, adequate fluid intake (water/tea), flow (urine, poop) mindset, and exercise, Castor Oil Packs are one of the cornerstones to supporting your bowels.
All in all, starting with your tried and true Queen of the Thrones® Castor Oil Pack for Liver, you will be able to support…
- Gentle liver detox
- Colon cleansing3,14
- Lymphatic drainage2
However, not all Castor Oil Packs are made equal.
Your checklist for good quality Castor Oil (like Queen of the Thrones®):
- 100% pure
- Extra virgin
- Bottled in amber glass
Your checklist for a good quality Castor Oil Pack (like Queen of the Thrones®):
- Organic cotton, wool, or linen touching the skin
- No synthetic blends or chemically treated materials touching the skin (i.e., velour, bamboo)
- No uncomfortable belts, buttons, or velcro
Try it for yourself to see!
You can also learn more about the best practices for your Castor Oil Pack with your FREE infographic. Would you love that?
1. Why do I have to replace it after two months of regular use?
The traditional way of doing Castor Oil Packs was to use the SAME compress over and over and over. This was okay, before the industrial revolution when our environment wasn’t as toxic.
We now know that the increasing environmental toxicity impacts wellness. This is why it’s important to add fresh oil every time and replace your pack every 2 months for ease of use, comfort, and sanitation.
2. Why can’t I just drink Castor Oil or rub it on my skin?
Castor Oil orally is a stimulant laxative that causes cramping and makes you poop. Simply rubbing it on your skin and wearing a T-shirt overtop only gives you about 50% of the benefits. You need the pack to help move your body into a relaxed state via gentle compression to support liver detox, lymphatic drainage, and colon cleansing.
3. Why can’t I use organic bamboo or any old cloth?
ONLY use organic cotton, wool or linen! Other materials like ‘organic’ bamboo are highly processed with chemicals. Old clothing may be made with harmful dyes, bleach, and flame retardants that you don’t want to absorb into your body.
4. What if I’m on medications, hormone replacement therapy, birth control pills, IUDs, or supplements?
Castor Oil Packs are safely combined with any medication and supplement and may even help them work better. There are no known contraindications or interactions with medication, and they are safe to use with hormone replacements, TTC medicines, birth control pills, and IUDs.
5. Isn’t it messy?
That’s why we created this LESS-mess pack. It’s not entirely messless, but LESS messy than a DIY pack. Castor Oil does stain, so always wear an old T-shirt.
6. Don’t I have to add heat?
Extra heat isn’t necessary because it’s engineered to hold in your body heat naturally.
Are you a practitioner, health coach or wellness influencer? If you’re interested in recommending our easy-to-use tools and practically applying them in your health and wellness professional practice, in clinic, or online with the people you serve, you can join now!
Click here for references
1. Vieira C et al. .Effect of ricinoleic acid in acute and subchronic experimental models of inflammation. Mediators Inflamm. 2000;9(5):223-8 PMID: 11200362”
2. Moore JE Jr, Bertram CD. Lymphatic System Flows. Annu Rev Fluid Mech. 2018 Jan;50:459-482. doi: 10.1146/annurev-fluid-122316-045259. PMID: 29713107; PMCID: PMC5922450.
3. Arslan GG, Eşer I. An examination of the effect of castor oil packs on constipation in the elderly. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2011 Feb;17(1):58-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2010.04.004. Epub 2010 May 18. PMID: 21168117
4. Boddu SH1, Alsaab H2, Umar S3, Bonam SP2, Gupta H2, Ahmed S3. Anti-inflammatory effects of a novel ricinoleic acid poloxamer gel system for transdermal delivery. Int J Pharm. 2015 Feb 1;479(1):207-11. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2014.12.051. Epub 2014 Dec 24.
5. Walker SC1, Trotter PD2, Swaney WT2, Marshall A3, Mcglone FP4. C-tactile afferents: Cutaneous mediators of oxytocin release during affiliative tactile interactions? Neuropeptides. 2017 Aug;64:27-38. doi: 10.1016/j.npep.2017.01.001. Epub 2017 Jan 19. PMID: 28162847.
6. Rolls ET et all. Representations of pleasant and painful touch in the human orbitofrontal and cingulate cortices. Cereb Cortex. 2003 Mar;13(3):308-17. PMID: 12571120.
7. Francis S, Rolls ET, Bowtell R, McGlone F, O’Doherty J, Browning A, Clare S, Smith E. The representation of pleasant touch in the brain and its relationship with taste and olfactory areas. Neuroreport. 1999 Feb 25;10(3):453-9. PMID: 10208571.
8. Löken LS, Wessberg J, Morrison I, McGlone F, Olausson H. Coding of pleasant touch by unmyelinated afferents in humans. Nat Neurosci. 2009 May;12(5):547-8. Epub 2009 Apr 12. PMID: 19363489.
10. Chen L, Deng H, Cui H, Fang J, Zuo Z, Deng J, Li Y, Wang X, Zhao L. Inflammatory responses and inflammation-associated diseases in organs. Oncotarget. 2017 Dec 14;9(6):7204-7218. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.23208. PMID: 29467962; PMCID: PMC5805548.
11. Hopkins E, Sanvictores T, Sharma S. Physiology, Acid Base Balance. [Updated 2022 Sep 12]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-.
12. Silvagno F, Vernone A, Pescarmona GP. The Role of Glutathione in Protecting against the Severe Inflammatory Response Triggered by COVID-19. Antioxidants (Basel). 2020 Jul 16;9(7):624. doi: 10.3390/antiox9070624. PMID: 32708578; PMCID: PMC7402141.
13. Holm T, Brøgger-Jensen MR, Johnson L, Kessel L.Glutathione preservation during storage of rat lenses in optisol-GS and castor oil. PLoS One. 2013 Nov 19;8(11):e79620. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079620. eCollection 2013. PMID: 24260265
14. Sorin Tunaru,a Till F. Althoff,a Rolf M. Nüsing,b Martin Diener,c and Stefan Offermannsa,d,1 Castor oil induces laxation and uterus contraction via ricinoleic acid activating prostaglandin EP3 receptors. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Jun 5; 109(23): 9179–9184. Published online 2012 May 21. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1201627109 PMID: 22615395
15. Andrade IM1, Andrade KM2, Pisani MX1, Silva-Lovato CH1, de Souza RF1, Paranhos Hde F1.Trial of an experimental castor oil solution for cleaning dentures. Braz Dent J. 2014 Jan-Feb;25(1):43-7.
16. Badaró MM, Salles MM, Leite VMF, Arruda CNF, Oliveira VC, Nascimento CD, Souza RF, Paranhos HFO, Silva-Lovato CH. Clinical trial for evaluation of Ricinus communis and sodium hypochlorite as denture cleanser.J Appl Oral Sci. 2017 May-Jun; 25(3):324-334.
17. Salles MM, Badaró MM, Arruda CN, Leite VM, Silva CH, Watanabe E, Oliveira Vde C, Paranhos Hde F. Antimicrobial activity of complete denture cleanser solutions based on sodium hypochlorite and Ricinus communis – a randomized clinical study.J Appl Oral Sci. 2015 Nov-Dec; 23(6):637-42.
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