Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Castor Oil Pack FUN!

Feelin' toxic? Constipation, diarrhea, gas, any bowel discomfort? Hormone imbalances? Sore joints? Too much junk food and beer watching the Blazers beat the Spurs?

Do you have 20 minutes in a day where you are sitting down? If not, do you sleep?
Well, if yes, there is time for a little self-pampering AND self-healing.

"Castor Oil Packs" are a tool we groovy naturopathic students and doctors recommend nearly everyone to do, not just those with digestive complaints. Castor oil, that being an oil from the castor bean, is a detoxifying ally. Tradition has it that it was once used as a laxative (though I wouldn't recommend it). Castor oil also has marvelous, gentle effects externally!

When applied to the skin, castor oil is easily absorbed (remember, the skin is the super-sponge). It works by increasing circulation and recruiting White Blood Cells (the immune system's army) to the area. Elimination is stimulated and thus tissue and organ healing occurs.

Most common uses are over the liver (right upper quadrant of abdomen, just over last few ribs and above the belly button) or over the entire abdomen. Those who would benefit from COPs on the liver would be those with hormonal or cholesterol imbalances, any digestive complaints, fatigue, poor elimination, or a toxic lifestyle.

Other uses would be for headaches, some skin conditions, inflammation anywhere in the body, or over joints for arthritis or injuries (to name a few).

  1. Buy a bottle of castor oil ($3-6)
  2. Throw on an old t-shirt
  3. Sit down, relax however you normally do. Or if you don't (which is dumb), jump into bed.
  4. Take a piece of flannel and soak it up with some castor oil. Place it on the area you wish to treat. OR just rub it directly on the area. If you choose to use it on your abdomen, make sure you massage it in in a clockwise fashion (along the colon route of digestion).
  5. Cover the flannel or skin with seran wrap if you like. This oil WILL STAIN, hence the old t-shirt advice. Then cover with an old t-shirt.
  6. To enhance its effects, apply a source of heat, be it a heating pad or hot water bottle for 20-30 min.
  7. Sit there. Enjoy your time for detoxification. So easy! If you like, you can leave the oil on overnight.
  8. Do this every night if you can. I strive for 2-3 times a week for liver health and prevention. The liver is the under-rated, under-estimated life-line affecting SO, SO many functions of the body. So keep it happy.

1 comment:

  1. I did a big liver cleanse earlier this year and loved the castor oil pack. this is a good reminder to do it again. my liver is crabby with me right now and my adrenals are a little exhausted; some nice restorative detoxification is in order. i think i'm going to rustle up my castor oil right now...