What is Castor Oil?
Castor Oil is a vegetable oil made from a bean or seed from the Ricinus communis plant. It is one of those things that comes up often for “grandma’s good ol’ remedies”. Mostly I have heard of using it to ease extreme constipation, induce pregnancy, and shine up your dry hair. If you ask me do not ingest. It has extraordinary healing benefits, but also very poisonous if manufactured improperly. While yes it is a drink to poop and to induce labour, use it as a “worst case scenario I have to poo some time this month or my life is falling apart, and leave the baby out of it.”. Routine ingestion can lead to Ricin Poisoning. As well low quality Castor Oil can be internally toxic in even the smallest doses.
What does it do topically?
But this article is not about poop, my favorite topic. Castor Oil used on skin and hair it is ohhh so nice, and often used as a moisturizing ingredient in all natural beauty products. This was very evident after I put it on my face during a particularly terrible attack of sinusitis this October. Whenever you have inflammation and/or an infection causing pressure, edema, or swelling a castor oil pack can save the day. Castor oil applied to the skin, stimulates the lymphatic system and boost immune function on that area. Most of what I found about Castor Oil packs is in it’s use to cleanse the Liver. Or to heal cysts. I couldn’t find anything about how to do this on your sinuses but the science seemed to apply here and I was desperate.
“Lymphatic congestion is a major factor leading to inflammation and disease. This is where castor oil comes in. When castor oil is absorbed through your skin (according to Cayce and McGarey), your lymphocyte count increases. Increased lymphocytes speed up the removal of toxins from your tissues, which promotes healing.” – Mercola
Based on limited scientific study, and countless antidotal testimony, combined with ancient medical texts… It gets the lymphatic circulation moving to promote busting through blockages, and infections allowing the problems to drain from the affected areas, processed out by Liver and removed through the colon. AKA swelling cyst, compacted mucus, puss infection, clogged up fat; castor oil applied topically will melt the trouble away and the liver and colon turn it into poopy. Ok maybe it is a little bit about the poopy. 4e
I once used it to drain a serious infection from my boyfriends leg. He came home with a swollen knee, bright red, and hot to the touch. There was no infected wound, or entry site of possible poisonous bite. He refused to go to the hospital as I watched it continue to fill with fluid. The heat was intense. We decided that we needed a drawing salve, but it was late and we didn’t have any laying around. I had heard about castor oil for use on cysts, and it’s lymph stimulating powers. We tried it.
It immediately took away the pain. He is a difficult patient, and very sensitive about textures and smells. Castor Oil has a very mild inoffensive smell, and is applied via a soaked rag, picky patient approved. He kinda sat for 45 mins, often roaming the house with the heating pad cord dragging behind him, followed by the cat attacking the cord. All in all it was on for and hr with maybe 30 mins of good heat. Then we went to bed. By morning his knee was back to normal. Like magic.
So how would it work on my face? How to I even start?
First test a little oil on the inside of your wrist and wait and hour to see if your skin is sensitive to the castor oil. You don’t want to find this out after it is all over your face. Castor oil is easily found in most drug stores and online.
When I got sick with compacted mucus and swelling in my face I got to thinking. Could I castor un-pack my sinuses?
How To Castor Pack Your Face or Wherever.
- Castor Oil,
- Old Cotton or Flannel Rags,
- plastic zip lock baggie,
- Plastic Wrap,
- Old Towel,
- Heating Pad, or hot water bottle
- Diffuser with Eucalyptus Oil (optional).
- nice music (optional)
- black tea bags (optional)
- chill spot – crucial
- Cut rags to fit the area you want to do the pack. Place in plastic bag, and pour castor oil over them. Close the bag and squish everything up to get the rags nice and covered. I have just the basic cheap castor oil here and it worked with no skin irritation.
- Wash your hands and face. Set up the area where you are going to lie down. During your face pack try to take a nap or meditate while sitting propped up. Go the extra mile with a diffuser blowing eucalyptus, tea tree, and/or lavender oil to help continue to dry and open up the sinus passages. For bonus healing points put wet black tea bags over your eyes. This adds a nice antioxidant boost, and will take swelling out of your eyes. You want to get this all set up with clean hands as the oil will stain.
- Place the rags over the area you want to treat. A friend to help is a wonderful thing. DO NOT put the castor oil over your mouth, nostrils, or eyes. Just don’t do it. There is very little information out there about it’s safety in these areas, don’t make yourself a test monkey.
- Wrap your head with plastic wrap to press the rags onto your face, keep the oil from drying out, and keeps the process clean. This both shows your friends that you are crazy, and keeps the oil soaked rags in place with out staining your heating pad. Be careful to leave your nose and mouth out of the plastic wrap or you will suffocate. Duh.
- Turn the heating pad onto a comfortable heat. Warm enough to feel it, but not hot enough to burn you. Place the heating pad, or hot water bottle over the rags and plastic.
- Wrap the whole area with a towel. This keeps the heat in and holds the heating pad in place. Set your timer and try to nap for 45 – 60 mins.
- Once you are done, you can put the rags back in the baggie for a later use. Toss the plastic. Turn off the heating pad. Then get a nice hot shower.
This is best done before bed. Follow up with a neti pot party in the shower and good chicken broth or your favorite herbal tea. Go to bed and sleep in. Wake up refreshed. 🙂
Be safe, Have Fun,