March 12, 2014

I often recommend castor oil packs to my clients.  It’s a nice way to slow down, bring warmth and energy to a specific area of the body, and do some meditation or visualization. Some people claim that castor oil breaks up blockages. There doesn’t appear to be a lot of evidence in support of this idea, and even so it’s cheap, it’s easy and it certainly doesn’t hurt (unless you burn yourself!).

When to use a Castor Oil Pack

I use castor oil packs topically over the pelvic area with the idea that increased heat = increased blood flow, which may help heal or energize the area. I find it helpful for clients with stagnation in the pelvis, whether that be from hemorrhoids, uterine prolapse, fibroids, endometriosis, PCOS, etc.

How to Use a Castor Oil Pack

I use this recipe all the time, and thought some of you might find it useful as well.

Be sure to have clients test this on a small patch of skin first, as some clients are sensitive to castor oil!!


  • Castor Oil
  • Soft cloth big enough to cover low abdomen
  • Hot water bottle/heating pad
  • Wax paper
  • Towel


Gently warm 1-2 tbsp castor oil in a skillet. Do not let it boil. Remove from heat, add 2-3 drops of essential oil if desired (lavender, frankincense, or myrrh are lovely) and soak up the oil mixture with your piece of cloth. Check the temperature first (cool until you can tolerate it on your skin) and place the oil-soaked cloth over your low abdomen. Cover the cloth with a piece of wax paper, and cover that with a towel and then put a hot water bottle or heating pad over the towel. Leave the pack on for at least 20 minutes. Some people like to wrap it on & leave it overnight. The cloth should be saturated but not dripping heavily or super-messy. Use less oil if necessary.


  • A Nalgene bottle filled with boiling/really hot water works well as a hot water bottle.
  • Purchase castor oil at your local health food store or in most regular pharmacies (in Health & Beauty Section, usually).
  • For your “soft cloth”, flannel is an excellent choice. You may also use an old t-shirt, a bandana, etc.
  • If you are trying to conceive, only use the castor oil pack between menses and ovulation. Do not use the pack after ovulation!
  • Consider incorporating meditation/visualization or at the very least rest while you are wearing your pack! Play some soft music and take a break for a few minutes.


Here is a link to my Castor Oil Pack Instructions handout. Feel free to use this with your clients if you find it helpful!


About Camille Freeman, LDN, RH (she/her)

Hi there! I'm a clinical herbalist and licensed nutritionist specializing in fertility and menstrual health. I run the Monday Mentoring community of practice and also offer continuing education programs for highly-trained herbalists and nutritionists (Check out this year's Deep Dive!). I'm also a professor in the Department of Nutrition at the Maryland University of Integrative Health, where I teach physiology, pathophysiology, and mindful eating.

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