Whether you are overcoming constipation or need to break the cycle of waking up at “liver time” (2-3am) every night, castor oil packs are for you!

Castor oil has been used in traditional medicine since ancient Egyptian times. Castor oil is derived from the castor bean and is used topically for detoxification of the liver and constipation relief. Today I’ll share how to do a castor oil pack on the GAPS Diet™ to get these benefits.

Castor oil packs are made by soaking a piece of flannel or thin cotton (like a flour sack-type towel) in castor oil and placing it on the skin. The flannel is covered with a sheet of plastic or a towel you don’t mind getting oil-stained, and then a hot water bottle is placed over it to help the oil penetrate into your body.

Castor oil is very thick and will stain fabric, so keep it away from the nice things and make sure your cloth isn’t dripping with the oil. You can also spread the oil directly on your skin and cover with the cloth, instead of saturating it, which may keep things cleaner.

Use castor oil packs for:

  • Constipation relief: trace your colon from the lower right hip bone, up the right side, across the top of your stomach, and down the left side to the left hip bone.
  • Detoxification: on the right side of your abdomen, over your liver.

To Make a Castor Oil Pack You Need:

  • Three layers of organic wool or cotton flannel, or cotton towel. Make sure this is big enough to cover the whole area you’re placing it on.
  • Castor oil
  • An old towel or thin blanket larger than your price of flannel – the oil will seep through fabric so use this to catch any excess from staining other things.
  • Hot water bottle.
  • Old clothes and sheets – especially for a squirmy little one. Castor oil will stain clothing and bedding, so take this extra precaution if needed.
  • A container with a lid. You’ll use this to soak the flannel, and to store the pack in afterwards, because it can be reused.

To Use:

  1. Place the flannel in the container. Soak it in castor oil so that it’s saturated, but not dripping.
  2. Place the pack over the body part you’re working on.
  3. Cover with an old towel.
  4. Place the hot water bottle on top. Leave it on for 45-60 minutes and rest while the pack is in place.
  5. After you remove the pack, wash your skin with water and a little bit of baking soda to remove the oil.
  6. Store the pack in the covered container in the refrigerator. Each pack may be reused up to 25-30 times.
  7. Repeat this 3 nights in a row, then take 3 nights off, 3 nights on…and so on.

Castor oil packs work well for babies and children too, so use this as a non-invasive remedy for constipation.

If you prefer to purchase a ready-made kit with supplies, check out this Etsy listing. They make a belted version that secures with Velcro. I purchased a similar one years ago and it’s been very convenient!


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