How to do a Castor Oil Pack for detox

By Nadene Neale | | Heal with Dr. Neale

The castor bean, also known as the Palma Christi due to its shape and healing properties, is known principally as a strong laxative if taken internally. However, a more gentle use for the castor oil is in the form of a pack placed externally on the abdomen.

The oil is absorbed into lymphatic circulation providing a soothing, cleansing, and nutritive treatment which aids the body’s detoxification and elimination functions, enhances liver metabolism, balances the immune system, and improves lymphatic circulation. The castor oil pack may become one of the most valuable components of your treatment plan. You can read this blog here to learn another type of detox plans and options.


The castor oil pack can be used for numerous symptoms and disease states.

It can be used for:

  • almost all digestive disorders (such as irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, liver diseases, and gallstones)
  • male and female pelvic complaints (such as uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, premenstrual syndrome, and conditions of the prostate)
  • conditions related to hormonal imbalance (such as infertility and menstrual disorders)
  • almost all inflammatory conditions
  • stress management
  • general detoxification (colds, immune boosting, etc.)


The castor oil pack may be modified and used during pregnancy and malignancy by eliminating the application of heat to the abdomen. Some patients notice an increase in blood flow when applying heat to the abdomen during menstruation and choose to do their packs without heat as well.

What You Need:

  • Organic castor oil
  • White cotton flannel (large enough to cover your abdomen)
  • Old towel or plastic wrap
  • Hot water bottle or heating pad (optional)

What to Do:

  1. Drizzle approximately 1/4 cup of castor oil onto the flannel, and then fold it in half to saturate it.
    Note: During the first several weeks you will have to apply a tablespoon of oil about every 3-4 days. Eventually the pack will be saturated enough that reapplication of oil should only be needed every couple of weeks. The pack should not be dripping with oil. As an example, it should have just enough oil to make a slight oil mark on furniture as if you were going to polish it.
  2. Lie on your back and place the saturated flannel onto your abdomen.
  3. Cover the flannel with an old towel or plastic wrap, as castor oil can stain other fabrics.
  4. Place a hot water bottle or heating pad over the castor oil pack to aid the penetration of oil into the skin.
  5. Relax for 45-60 minutes for the most powerful treatment results. This is an excellent time to practice visualization or meditation, do deep breathing exercises, listen to classical music or sleep. Some people wear the pack all night long, using an ace bandage to keep it in place.
  6. Afterwards, you can remove the oil with warm water and soap in the shower or you can allow any remaining oil to absorb into your skin.
  7. Store the pack in a large zip lock bag. Reuse it many times, adding more oil as needed to keep the pack saturated. Replace the pack after it begins to change color (usually many months). Do not wash the flannel.
  8. For maximum effectiveness it is necessary to apply the pack as often as possible. Try using the pack for at least 4 consecutive days per week. Patients who use the pack daily will receive the most beneficial effects.