Castor Oil heat packs have been recommended by Edgar Cayce since the early 1900′s for complaints as diverse as fatty tumours, bee stings, arthritis, childbirth, allergies, alcoholism, sprains & strains, ear infections, colds & flu, injuries, cysts, baldness, back pain, tonsilitis, removing warts and healing wounds.
Of particular interest to women with PCOS, is it’s apparent link to dissolving ovarian cysts when used regularly.
The castor bean (ricinus communis) has a long history as a cathartic, purgative or strong laxative when taken internally.
Castor beans (actually seeds) have been found in tombs in Ancient Egypt from as far back as 4000 BC where they were used as a fuel for lamps and also as a purgative.
Herodotus and other Greek travelers have noted the use of castor seed oil for lighting, body ointments, and improving hair growth and texture.
Cleopatra is reputed to have used it to brighten the whites of her eyes.
Castor bean oil has been used in India since 2000 BC. Ayurvedic medicine uses castor oil to treat arthritis.
The oil contains undecylenic acid which is a powerful antifungal agent (only for use on the skin due to it’s internal toxicity).
In the modern food industry, castor oil is used in food additives, flavourings, candy (e.g., chocolate), as a mould inhibitor, and in packaging.
Edgar Cayce recommends castor oil packs to improve the assimilation of nutrients from food, improve elimination of wastes and increase circulation, especially in relation to the lymphatic system.
Raw castor beans or oil are quite toxic when taken internally – just one bean if eaten would be enough to kill a human being.
Castor oil appears to have a unique ability to sink transdermally (through the skin) due to it’s high molecular weight, to relax smooth muscle. This simple mechanical action has a beneficial influence on all hollow organs, specifically the blood and lymph vessels, the uterus, fallopian tubes, bowels, gall bladder, and even the liver (which is not technically hollow but rather filled with venous lakes).
A castor oil pack is placed on the skin to increase circulation and to promote elimination and healing of the tissues and organs underneath the pack.
It is often used to stimulate the liver, relieve pain, increase lymphatic circulation, reduce inflammation, improve digestion, as a treatment for headaches, liver disorders, constipation and intestinal disorders, gallbladder inflammation and gallstones.
It is also of specific use in treating uterine fibroids and non-cancerous ovarian cysts as well as relieving ovarian pain, inflammation and help the healing process after a cyst has ruptured.
Castor oil heat packs increases the efficiency of circulation through the pelvic region in general and good circulation is required for supportive nutrients to be delivered to the cells, and for waste products and inflammatory factors to be removed. If a castor oil pack is placed over your liver area, it will help your liver to do its work more efficiently, including the metabolism of your hormones.
It is recommended not to use a heated castor oil pack for uterine growths, cancerous tumors or ulcers or if you are pregnant, breast feeding, menstruating or over the top of broken skin.
You can use either cotton or wool between you and the heat pack and you can also either saturate the cotton/wool or rub a generous amount of the oil directly onto your stomach. If you choose to saturate the flannel, make sure it is not so saturated that it drips as this will not help you but rather make the process extremely messy. Make sure you have some plastic between the heat and your flannel so the oil doesn’t go everywhere and you may want to put an old towel over the top and tucked in around your sides to protect your sheets/clothes.
Put some sort of heating pad over the top, either a hot water bottle or one of those instant/reusable sodium acetate packs for a gentle, penetrating warmth. I prefer not to use an electric heating pad for a couple of reasons. Firstly, you may fall asleep with it on and it may overheat or malfunction and secondly, electromagnetic fields such as those produced by electric blankets and warming pads are generally regarded as being detrimental to your health.
Rest for at least 30 minutes. It may be convenient to do it just as you are going to bed so you can stay there once you are all nice and relaxed.
You might want to keep one of those ziplock plastic sandwich bags or an icecream container beside the bed to dump anything oily into throughout the night when you decide to take the pack off, until you want to deal with it the next morning.
You can use the pack over and over until it starts to smell from oxidisation. It is best to store your packs in a sealed container or ziplock bag in the refrigerator between use so the oil doesn’t oxidise. Just make sure you warm them up before reusing them … you want to soothe and relaxe your muscles not shock them with icy cold oil! You can warm it up by sitting it on top of a heat pack for a few minutes before applying it to yourself, or just leaving it out to come up to room temperature for a few hours.
To be effective, a castor oil pack must be used at least 3 times a week, and the more frequently you can use it, the better your results will be. A commonly recommended regime is 4 nights on and 3 nights off.
Re-usable sodium acetate heat packs: http://www.amazingsuperhealth.com.au/health-packs.html