Sunday, July 4, 2010

Castor Oil - Topical Uses

Castor Oil is one of my favourite things. Its like my Naturopathic duct tape - fixes everything...well, almost.

Castor oil has many beneficial properties when used topically. Castor Oil is anti-inflammatory, it improves movement of the lymphatic system, supports detoxification by the liver and stimulates white blood cell production.

Castor oil can be used on the skin to reduce swelling from any cause and can decrease the redness of eczema, rashes and acne. It can also be used over stiff and sore joints to reduce inflammation, decrease pain and improve mobility.

Traditionally, Naturopathic Doctors recommend castor oil packs to be done over the abdomen.  In addition to the above benefits, this can also soothe an irritated digestive system, reduce menstrual cramping and support liver function.

To do a castor oil pack.:
1. Take a piece of flannel (or cotton) cloth that measures approximately the size of the abdomen.
2. Soak it in castor oil. The cloth should be saturated but not dripping with oil.
3. Place the cloth over the skin, covering the entire abdomen.
4. Placing a hot water bottle or heating pad over the cloth will aid the absorption of oil into the skin.
5. Relax with the cloth in place for 30-45 min.
6. Remove the cloth and place in a storage container for re-use. The skin should feel moisturized and not oily or greasy.
7. Do castor oil packs daily for maximum benefit. Add castor oil to cloth every couple of days, or as needed.

Castor oil is a potent laxative and should only be taken orally as directed by a physcian.
Check with your Naturopathic Doctor if you are pregnant or have been diagnosed with abdominal cancer. In these instances, heat should not be used.

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