Castor Oil

How to Do a Castor Oil Pack

Castor oil packs are easy to do at home. They can be messy, but with proper preparation you can minimize that.

You can also purchase a castor oil kit rather than separately buying all of the items below. S


NOTE: I highly recommend carefully prepping the area where you’ll be doing the castor oil pack to prevent mess. Try using an old shower curtain, covered with a sheet under you to make sure nothing stains. I don’t often have to wash the sheet, and I just fold and store it in the bathroom cabinet for the next use.

How to Use a Castor Oil Pack

  1. Cut a large piece of cotton flannel and fold into thirds to make three layers. My original piece was 20 inches by 10 inches and when folded it was roughly 7 inches by 10 inches. Yours could be larger or smaller, depending on where you are planning to place it.

  2. Thoroughly soak (but not completely saturate) the flannel in castor oil. The easiest way I found to do this was to carefully fold the flannel and place in a quart-size mason jar. I then added castor oil about a tablespoon at a time (every 20 minutes or so) to give it time to saturate. I also gently shook the jar between adding more oil so that the oil could reach all parts of the cloth. Ideally, this should be done the day before to give it time to evenly soak. I save the jar since this is where I keep the flannel between uses (it can be used about 30 times).

  3. Carefully remove and unfold the castor oil-soaked cloth.

  4. While lying on an old towel or sheet, place the cloth on the desired body part.

  5. Cover with the wrap-around pack or cotton flannel, and place the heating pack on top of this. You could also use a plastic grocery bag to prevent oil from getting on the heating pad. A hot water bottle, electric heating pad, or rice heating pad can be used, but hot water bottles and rice packs may need to be reheated several times.

  6. Lie on back with feet elevated (I typically lie on the floor and rest my feet on the couch) and relax for 30-60 minutes.

  7. Use this time to practice deep breathing, read a book, meditate, or pray (or whatever you find relaxing).

  8. After the desired time, remove the pack and return the flannel to the glass container. Store in the fridge.

  9. Use a natural soap or a mix of baking soda and water to remove any castor oil left on the skin.

  10. Relax and rest. Make sure to drink enough water and stay hydrated after doing this to support detox.

Where to Buy a Castor Oil Kit

You can buy castor oil kits complete with cotton flannel, and a non-messy wrap-around pack that removes the need for plastic wrap.

Other Ways to Use Castor Oil

Castor oil is handy to have around the house for other uses as well. It is rich in fatty acids and it contains antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that can benefit the body in many ways. Use castor oil externally to:

  • Apply to acne, dry skin, rashes, boils, age spots, and warts to improve complexion and boost moisture

  • Treat toenail fungus

  • Soothe a sprain, injury, or sore joints

  • Apply to areas of back pain

  • To cleanse and soothe abdomen when having digestive or reproductive trouble

For best results, apply castor oil packs for 60-90 minutes as soon as trouble starts. Do this about 3 times a week for a 3 week period. Consult with a doctor to rule out more serious causes.

This article was medically reviewed by Madiha Saeed, MD, a board certified family physician. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.