Health Benefits & Side Effects Of Castor Oil Packs

Are you tired of conventional remedies that just don’t cut it? Well, it’s time to cast aside your doubts and dive into the world of castor oil packs! These magical little wonders have been quietly revolutionizing the health and wellness scene, offering a natural solution to pain relief, detoxification, and relaxation. So what are the best castor oil brands? How do you properly make a castor oil pack? Are they worth the hype?

Keep reading to learn more!

Castor Oil Packs

Note: This article contains affiliate links, meaning In On Around will make a small commission at no additional cost to you. This helps us maintain the site. As always, we value full transparency & only work with brands we love and trust.

Author: In On Around Founder & CEO, Catherine Power.


  • Look for organic, 100% pure, cold-pressed, and hexane-free castor oil in a glass bottle. 
  • Best Castor Oil Brand = Heritage
  • Best Castor Oil Pack Fabric = Queen of Thrones (Discount code: inonaround10)

Table of Contents

What Are Castor Oil Packs?

Castor oil packs are a simple yet powerful therapeutic technique that involves using a cloth soaked in castor oil and applying it to the skin. The oil is derived from the seeds of the castor plant (Ricinus communis) and has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. The plant, which is native to Africa, India, and the Mediterranean, is commonly known as “Palma Christi” aka “the hand of Christ.”

Castor oil packs have become a popular natural remedy in the alternative health/holistic health space!

The heated packs are typically placed over specific areas of the body to promote healing and provide relief from various ailments. It’s applied EXTERNALLY, not internally (although some people do use castor oil internally for other purposes). When applied, the warmth of the pack helps the oil penetrate deep into the skin, allowing its beneficial compounds, such as ricinoleic acid, to work their magic.

From reducing pain and inflammation to aiding in detoxification and improving circulation, castor oil packs have gained popularity as a natural remedy with a wide range of potential benefits.

Important distinction: castor oil doesn’t contain ricin (a toxic compound), but castor BEANS do. [1, 2]

How To Prepare A Castor Oil Pack

To make a castor oil pack, you’ll need a few key ingredients. Follow these easy steps:

  1. Start by obtaining high-quality, organic castor oil, which can be found at health stores or online.
  2. Next, prepare a piece of soft, clean cloth such as organic flannel or organic cotton.
  3. Fold the cloth into a size large enough to cover the targeted area of your body.
  4. Thoroughly saturate the cloth with warm castor oil, ensuring it’s evenly absorbed (you can also place some oil directly on your skin).
  5. Place the oil-soaked cloth directly on the desired body area, such as over your liver or joints, and secure it in place with a wrap or a towel.
  6. Leave the pack on for about 45 minutes to one hour, allowing the oil to penetrate the skin and work its wonders. It’s best if the oil is kept warm, so you can use a low-EMF heating pack OR use it while in the sauna for optimal effectiveness.
  7. Gently wipe and rinse it off.
  8. Handwash your cloth (which is what I prefer – although many people just store it unwashed in a glass jar). Store your castor oil pack in a glass-sealed container in a cool, dark place for future use. Avoid plastic containers.


Looking for an at-home sauna option to use with your castor oil packs? Here are the best ones! Learn more about saunas here: Sauna Health Benefits & Who Should Not Use A Sauna

Tips When Using A Castor Oil Pack

Don’t forget about these best practices!

  • Be consistent with your castor oil pack routine to maximize its benefits.
  • If you experience any adverse reactions or have concerns, consult a healthcare professional.
  • Consider using a heating pad or hot water bottle to enhance the warmth and therapeutic benefits.
  • The oil can stain, so be careful to avoid your clothing. It can drip if not properly wrapped!
  • You may have to work your way up over time. If you start experiencing uncomfortable detox symptoms, stop the castor oil pack and clean up.
  • Be careful of burns from a heating pad – it can get very hot!

Avoid castor oil packs around open wounds, scratches, cuts, rashes, scabs, or irritated skin.

  • NEVER heat up a castor oil pack in the microwave. It can light on fire.
  • It’s best to do a skin test with castor oil before doing a full castor oil pack. Rub a few drops of the oil on your skin and leave it for about 24 hours. Do you have a skin reaction? If yes, avoid castor oil packs.
  • Especially if you’re in the sauna, it’s best to lay on an old towel or blanket to add a protective barrier.
  • If you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking certain medications, do NOT use a castor oil pack. Speak to your doctor first before using it on children.
  • Some people will use castor oil internally, but I don’t recommend this for the average person. It can have laxative effects and some people do not tolerate it very well. [3] Stick to external use!

How Often Can You Use A Castor Oil Pack?

The frequency of castor oil pack applications depends on your specific needs and tolerance. Generally, it is recommended to start with a few applications per week and gradually increase the frequency as tolerated. However, as always, talk to your healthcare provider. Definitely AVOID it if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding!

Potential Health Benefits Of Castor Oil Packs

Castor oil is rich in ricinoleic acid, which has analgesic properties (meaning it can alleviate pain and inflammation). This is a compound that’s not found in many other plants – it helps to make castor oil very special! It’s also rich in fatty acids, amino acids, terpenoids, flavonoids, and more.

There are many potential health benefits of castor oil packs, such as: [4, 5]

1 - Pain Relief

Castor oil packs can help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation in various areas of the body, such as joints, muscles, and menstrual cramps. [6, 7] If you suffer from joint pain or muscle soreness, it can potentially help. Give it a try!

2 - Detoxification

By stimulating the lymphatic system, castor oil packs aid in detoxification by promoting the removal of toxins and waste products from the body. [8] When applied to the skin over the abdomen, the castor oil pack can also improve digestion and support the liver, further aiding in the detoxification process.

3 - Reduction Of Inflammation

Castor oil packs can help reduce inflammation by increasing blood flow to the affected area, which can promote the delivery of oxygen and nutrients while removing waste products. Additionally, castor oil contains ricinoleic acid, a compound known for its anti-inflammatory properties, which can further contribute to the reduction of inflammation when applied topically. [9]

4 - Skin & Hair Health

Castor oil has moisturizing properties and may help improve the appearance of the skin, reduce dryness, and promote healing of certain skin conditions. Many people will apply castor oil directly onto their skin or health to improve moisture.

Castor Oil Pack Benefits

5 - Digestive Health Support

Castor oil packs applied to the abdominal area can help improve digestion, relieve constipation, and support liver health. [10, 11]

6 - Immune System Support

The lymphatic stimulation from castor oil packs can enhance immune system function, supporting overall immune health. [12] We could all use some extra support for our immune system!

7 - Increased Blood Circulation

The application of castor oil packs can improve blood circulation, which is beneficial for promoting healing, reducing swelling, and supporting overall cardiovascular health.

8 - Stress Reduction

The warmth and soothing properties of castor oil packs can help induce relaxation, relieve tension, and promote a sense of calm. Use the time for yourself! Since you’ll have oil wrapped around you, it can be a great time to slow down, meditate, read a book, or relax. Kick your feet up!

9 - Scar Tissue Reduction

Some anecdotal evidence suggests that castor oil packs may help soften and reduce the appearance of scar tissue.

Keep in mind that everyone can react to castor oil packs differently. YOU know your body the best. Always talk to your doctor first, especially if you have underlying health issues or if you’re on medication.

Some people may also use castor oil to help induce labor, however, this can be risky since it can also have laxative effects, which can lead to dehydration. [13]

Castor oil packs are generally safe when done correctly.

Do Castor Oil Packs Help The Lymphatic System?

Yes, castor oil packs can be beneficial for the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system plays a crucial role in immune function and detoxification by carrying waste products and toxins away from tissues.

Castor oil packs stimulate the lymphatic system, helping to improve lymphatic circulation and enhance the removal of toxins from the body. The application of warm castor oil packs on specific areas, such as the abdomen or lymph node regions, can promote lymphatic flow and drainage.

This can have a positive impact on overall health, immune function, blood circulation, and the body’s ability to eliminate toxins effectively. Additionally, the anti-inflammatory properties of castor oil may further support lymphatic system health.

Castor oil packs can be anti-inflammatory!

How Else Can You Support Your Lymphatic System?

Castor Oil Packs

Potential Side Effects Of Castor Oil Packs

There are a couple of safety precautions you should take into consideration. As always, it’s best to consult with your healthcare provider before using castor oil packs.

1 - Skin Irritation & Sensitivity

(This is the most common side effect)

Some individuals may experience skin irritation or allergic reactions to castor oil. It is recommended to perform a patch test on a small area of skin before applying the pack to a larger area.

Some individuals may have sensitive skin that reacts negatively to the warmth or components of castor oil packs. If you notice any skin sensitivity, redness, or discomfort, discontinue use and consult a healthcare professional.

2 - Digestive Discomfort

Ingesting castor oil orally can cause digestive discomfort, including nausea, cramping, and diarrhea. However, when using castor oil packs externally, the risk of experiencing digestive side effects is minimal.

3 - Increased Menstrual Flow

Women who are menstruating should exercise caution when using castor oil packs on the abdominal area, as it may lead to increased menstrual flow. If you have heavy menstrual bleeding, it’s advisable to avoid applying castor oil packs during your period.

4 - Dehydration

Castor oil packs may have a slight dehydrating effect on the body. It is essential to stay well-hydrated by drinking enough water throughout the day when using castor oil packs.

Side effects are rare, but with any detoxification practice, use caution and do your due diligence.

What You'll Need For A Castor Oil Pack

When shopping for castor oil, look for:

  • Organic
  • 100% pure
  • Cold-pressed
  • Packaged in a glass bottle (NOT plastic)
  • Hexane-free

You will also need:

  • Unbleached, dye-free (ideally organic) cotton or wool flannel
  • A wrap-around pack
  • A sauna, hot water bottle, or heating pad
  • Glass container with lid
  • Clothes that you don’t mind potentially staining
  • Old towels

Best Castor Oil Brands

Here are some great brands!

Best Castor Oil Options:

Better Castor Oil Options:

  • Queen of the Thrones – they also offer a great castor oil compress kit with a wrap and flannel. Check them out! – [Update January 2024: they have changed their formula to be “expeller-pressed” instead of cold-pressed. While they used to be our #1 recommended product, they now fall into the “better” category, not “best.”]


If you’re looking for castor oil for lashes and brows, these are great options:

Final Thoughts - Castor Oil Packs

Castor oil packs are natural, accessible, and a great alternative therapy. Their ability to reduce inflammation, aid in detoxification, alleviate menstrual cramps, and potentially improve sleep makes them a versatile tool to promote healing.

However, it’s important to note that individual experiences may vary, and it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating castor oil packs into your routine. With proper use and guidance, castor oil packs can be a valuable addition to your self-care regimen, supporting your journey toward a healthier life! Give it a try!

Pin this “Do Castor Oil Packs Help You Detox?” pic on Pinterest for future reference!

Castor Oil Pack Detox

Have you tried a castor oil pack?

Let me know your thoughts and key takeaways in the comments below!

You can watch our web story here.


Want to read more? Check out my other articles here!

Other references on Castor Oil Packs: The Organic Cure, Timeless Essential Oils, Heritage Store, Love Your Body Well, Healthline, Fitnessista, True Harmony Wellness, Dr. Axe, Inspire Mobile PT, The Skimm, Wellness Mama, FDA, Rhythm And Ritual

Copyright In On Around LLC 2023 ©. The statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the FDA (U.S. Food & Drug Administration). They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information provided by this website should not be used as individual medical advice and you should always consult your doctor for individual recommendations and treatment. The information contained in this site is provided on an “as is” basis. Related to this site, there are no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness, or timeliness. In On Around LLC assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this site.

Frequently Asked Questions - Castor Oil Pack

Click on the below FAQs to learn more about high-quality castor oil, castor oil pack supplies, cleansing, applying castor oil packs, and more.

Some signs that a castor oil pack may be working include a sense of relaxation, reduced pain or inflammation in the targeted area, improved digestion, or better sleep quality. It’s important to note that results may not be immediate and can vary from person to person.

To promote liver health using a castor oil pack, you typically place the pack on the right side of the abdomen, over the liver area. The liver is located on the right side of the body, just below the rib cage.

Potential side effects of castor oil packs may include skin irritation, allergic reactions, or gastrointestinal discomfort.


Castor oil packs are generally applied externally and do not have a direct impact on medications taken orally or internally. However, it’s important to note that everyone’s body and medication regimen are unique, so there is a possibility of interactions or effects specific to individual circumstances. If you are taking medications, especially orally, it is advisable to consult with your healthcare professional before using castor oil packs.

About Catherine Power

Catherine Power is the Founder and CEO of In On Around. She is a Harvard-educated Ingredient Safety and Environmental Toxins expert. Catherine has a background in Food Science, Personal Care Quality, and Regulatory Compliance.

Leave a Reply

Please Rate

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

in on around logo
Welcome to In On Around®️

In On Around is your one-stop shop for the latest holistic health, non-toxic living, and clean beauty information. Learn to take control of what goes in, on, and around your body. Check out our natural living blog posts!

Browse by Category
Shop Pact Today.