Skip to content

Castor Oil: 5 Benefits to Using this Ancient Remedy

Castor Oil 5 Benefits

Castor oil has been around for centuries. The Egyptians first used it about 3500 years ago to combat dry eyes. The oil is still used by some ophthalmologists today to relieve symptoms associated with dry eye disease. However, I wouldn’t recommend you pour pure castor oil on your eyes after a night of binge-watching Netflix.

Nevertheless, castor oil does have a list of other benefits that make it a must to include in your routine. Here’s a list of 5 of the best uses and benefits of castor oil to wrap into your routine.

What is Castor Oil?

Castor oil is made by pressing castor seeds from the ricinus communis plant. Castor is rich in ricinoleic acid. Ricinoleic acid makes up 90% of the oil and this has been linked to the oils numerous benefits.

Castor Oil Packs

Many experience the side effects associated with using castor when it’s ingested. That said, the oil also has a horrible taste and can cause nausea and even vomiting, which is reason enough to avoid using it internally. However, there’s no need to ingest it. Castor oil provides most of its benefits when you apply the oil topically through castor oil packs.

How To Make a Castor Oil Pack

To begin, you’ll need organic wool flannel, hexane free castor oil and a hot water bottle.

It is preferred to use a hot water bottle as opposed to an electric heating pad. Castor works best with damp heat. You can either apply the castor to the wool flannel or you can apply the oil directly on the affected area. To produce the best results, leave the pack on the treated area for 30 minutes to 2 hours maximum. On a busy day, I’ll just do about 20 minutes, and I can feel better in just that short amount of time – make it work for you!

Castor oil is messy and can stain. I wouldn’t use these packs while lying on your fanciest Egyptian cotton sheets and neither would the Egyptians! So, be sure to place something between you and your precious furniture or sheets – an old towel, sheet or curtain should do, and don’t forget to wear old clothes!

The Amazing Benefits of Castor Oil

Strengthens Your Immune System and Detoxification

The ricinoleic acid in castor targets the lymphatic system, helping your body produce or increase production of lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are the body’s natural disease fighter. They help drain your body of any toxins and proteins that have built up over time. Ridding the body of this accumulated waste in the blood can help improve your immune system.

Using castor oil packs over the liver is a time honored tradition. Many schools of traditional medicine have used castor to help support optimized liver function, to improve detoxification and to reduce inflammation in the liver. I often recommend that patients do a castor pack 1-2 times/week (or more!) to help support their liver if they’re dealing with mental health concerns, hormonal imbalance, detoxification issues or actual liver organ issues, like fatty liver. Note that this is in addition to other supports for liver health, not as a stand-alone treatment. Castor is great, but it’s not that powerful!

Improves Circulation

When your body increases production of lymphocytes and rids itself of toxins, the result is a boost in circulation. Thus, when your blood starts flowing as it should, you’ll get more oxygen to vital organs, more oxygen in cells and a reduced toxin load in your blood.

Reduces Inflammation and Pain

Castor oil packs have also been used to reduce inflammation caused by autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis or as an accompaniment to other treatment. Since the oil has detoxing properties, it works at reducing the load of white blood cells that are attacking tissue, which reduces the inflammation.

I often recommend using castor packs for help with menstrual cramps. Put the castor pack and hot water bottle right over your uterus and relax for 20-30 minutes. It’s pretty darn amazing at reducing inflammation, pain and cramping!

Thickens Hair

Used as an all-natural hair elixir, castor oil is also said to be a wonder oil if you’re in the market for thicker, longer hair. According to many of its biggest supporters, the oil can help thicken hair and even spurs on hair growth. The only scientific evidence, however, is that castor can change the appearance of hair, making it noticeably glossy. Apply it sparingly and rinse out thoroughly to avoid getting greasy, stringy or matted hair.

An Alternative to Face Wash

Use castor oil as a replacement for products laden with chemicals – endocrine system disruptors and parabens disguised as face wash anyone?

You can use castor to remove makeup by applying a small amount to a cotton swab and gently wiping your face with it. It’s also an effective natural cleanser to cleanse your face of dirt and impurities. To use it as a cleanser, you’ll need to use the oil cleansing method – a method recommended if you want baby soft skin without the oily residue.


Although, castor oil is relatively safe to use, some experts say not use to do castor packs  if you’re chestfeeding or breastfeeding because you’ll release toxins into your breast/chest-milk – you get to make your own decision on that one! If you’re pregnant, please consult your midwife or other healthcare professional before using a castor oil pack.

I would also caution against using the oil internally as it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps, amongst other side effects. In addition, some people are allergic to castor oil. Therefore it’s best to do a patch test before using the packs on your skin – safety first, my love!

Some important notes!

I get a lot of emails and comments asking if Castor Oil will help with XYZ condition, and the answer is always that there is no set answer. The only way to see if topical Castor Oil can be supportive with your health condition is to try it (after talking to and getting the okay of your health care team, of course).

The next most common question is “how long will it take for the Castor Oil to work on XYZ condition?” and the answer is the same as above – this is not a hard-and-fast thing, it’s a gorgeous, amazing folk remedy. The only way to know how long it will take to feel an improvement from topical Castor Oil is to use it and see how it goes.

All the best of health and wellness to you!

– Victoria

I hope you found this information helpful! I am currently focused on helping women to optimize their wellness through life coaching, and no longer provide Functional Medicine consultations with lab work, supplements, etc. Instead, I help women to regulate their nervous systems and manage their thinking and mindset, which is vital root cause medicine. You can learn more about this approach by listening to these episodes: polyvagal theory, leaky gut, and the nervous system.
To learn more about how we can work together, please see
Please do not email to ask if I can see you as a patient, and instead use the directory at to find a Functional Medicine provider who is doing laboratory-based clinic work.
Thank you!


  1. Kana Overman on September 27, 2019 at 11:58 am

    What is the oil cleansing method referred to if wanting to use as a facial cleanser?
    You mention using a pack for menustral cramps but also say do not use if pregnant, nursing or menustrating. I am confused on that issue. Please help!
    Also, is it imperative to drink lots of water as when doing other cleansi,vs? I ask because I am wanting to help an autistic granddaughter but she doesn’t drink much water at all.
    Thank you for your help!!!

    • Victoria Albina on September 29, 2019 at 12:22 pm

      Hi Kana,

      1. Oil cleansing: put a thin coat of coconut, castor or other noncomedogenic oil on your face, then warm up a towel with some warm water and gently steam it off! So easy 🙂

      2. Pregnant people should not have menstrual cramps… and yes, castor oil packs are great topically for cramps before and during menses.

      3. It’s always vital to drink lots of good filtered water. I recommend a Berkley Water Filter:

      This is the water filter I use, and I use 2 black carbon filters with 2 white fluoride filters, and I also use their shower filter from the Accessories page (because vanity and hair and new-found gargling-in-shower habit… and also because who wants to shower in a cloud of chlorine gas?!)

      Note that while the Berkey is available on Amazon and other big-box online retailers, I recommend ONLY buying from an authorized Berkey-dealer, such as the one I’ve linked to here. I want to make sure you’ve getting the real-deal filters.

      I also like supporting a family-owned independent business (for the same price as Amazon, so why not?) and the customer service at Big Berkey is fantastic (I have no financial interest in this company, I just like supporting small business)

      Thanks for your comments!

      • Andrene on January 8, 2020 at 3:19 am

        How do I use castor oil pack to help with fibroids. How long will it take to see results
        How often do I have to use it. Are you familiar with Annie’s Wild Yam cream?

        • Victoria Albina on January 10, 2020 at 3:00 pm

          Hi Andrene!

          You can use castor oil packs daily is you’d like as outlined in the article. There is no way to know how long (or if) it will help you with your health concerns – every one of us is individual and will have the results we have 🙂

          I am very familiar with wild yam cream as a progesterone-like treatment for low-progesterone/high-estrogen states. In the case of fibroids, I would make sure you’re working closely with a functional medicine provider for your care.

          Best! Victoria

        • Rhonda Craig on January 13, 2020 at 7:58 pm

          Hi Victoria,
          Will the castor oil pack help heal my torn distal biceps tendon. I just started it today. If so about how long will it take?
          Rhonda Craig
          Enid Oklahoma

          • Victoria Albina on January 21, 2020 at 11:47 am

            Hi Rhonda,

            No one can tell you how long it will take to help – each of us is a magnificent individual! Try it out and see how it feels – that’s the only way to know how long it will take for it to help you



    • MDavis on January 13, 2020 at 12:51 pm

      What is “chest-feeding”?

      • Victoria Albina on January 21, 2020 at 11:49 am

        I’ll hop in here – chest-feeding is a more gender-inclusive way to talk about lactation, recognizing that not everyone who lactates uses the word “breasts” to talk about their lactating anatomy. For example transgender men and gender-non-binary people who give birth and lactate may prefer the term “chest” instead of “breast”.

        Hope that helps!

        – Victoria

        • Charlethea Drains on August 1, 2020 at 5:47 pm

          Can I put the oil pack on with my sweet belt and go walking?

          • Victoria Albina on August 2, 2020 at 9:37 am

            Hi Charlethea,

            While you CAN do that, I can only imagine what a sticky mess that would be – castor oil is oil – it’s thick and drippy so… I wouldn’t want it dripping all over me under a belt! There is also something lovely about not multitasking this – about lying down and just letting the castor oil do it’s work while allowing yourself to rest.

            Be well!


  2. AURELIA OANA on October 6, 2019 at 10:09 am

    I’ve read on a site “global healing center”, a certain dr. there praises the castor oil packs for cleansing the lungs of toxins, what do you think? have you ever used the method in such circumstances? Thank you!

    • Victoria Albina on October 6, 2019 at 2:02 pm

      Hi Aurelia, I’m not familiar with that practice and I’m not sure how one would use castor oil for the lungs other than a topical pack, as castor shouldn’t be taken internally… the lungs are pretty adept at cleaning themselves out by initiating a coughing reflex. Not sure what castor would do there, but I suppose a topical pack is unlikely to be harmful. Hope that helps! – Victoria

      • Aurelia Oana on October 6, 2019 at 2:24 pm

        Thank You for your quick reply! IT is awesome! Yes, it’s pièces of cloth dipped in oil and put on the chest to cleanse the toxic substances from the lungs, several times, for around an hour each time.

        • Victoria Albina on October 6, 2019 at 2:29 pm

          My pleasure, and I hope it’s useful for you!

    • Jaime on August 28, 2020 at 10:11 pm

      Hi, look into using the herb mullein to cleanse the lungs. Do your own research to be sure it is right for you or see an herbalist. ❤️

  3. Yoda on October 22, 2019 at 4:14 pm


    What should the temperature of the water inside the water bottle be ?

    • Victoria Albina on October 30, 2019 at 2:03 pm

      As warm as feels good on your body!

      Best! Victoria

  4. Danielle on October 24, 2019 at 8:40 pm

    Why can’t you use the castor pack if you are menustrating ?

    • Victoria Albina on October 30, 2019 at 2:03 pm

      Hi Danielle,

      I can’t see any reason why you couldn’t use castor packs when menstruating – it’s the time I find them the most helpful, in fact! 🙂

      • Ali Miller on December 8, 2019 at 10:15 am

        Hello great job your response is quick and direct . I have a question though, I heard castor oil cure cataract; is it true????
        I am looking forward to hearing from you.

        AL Miller (Dec 08/19)

        • Victoria Albina on December 9, 2019 at 3:13 pm

          Hi Ali,

          I don’t know of any evidence that shows that castor oil can cure cataracts – it’s usually something that requires surgery. Id recommend you talk options through with your eye doctor.



  5. Michelle Lear on November 14, 2019 at 7:20 pm

    How were you able to resolve your issues with SIBO? I’ve been taking pain medicine for years resulting in chaotic GI issues. I recently learned about SIBO and seems to have all the symptoms.

    • Julie on December 5, 2019 at 9:53 pm

      Many different brands of castor oil. I am confused on which one to get. I prefer organic and I know it should be hexanne free, cold pressed and unrefined. But there are many. I want a good brand for detoxing, circulation, overall health. Please advise.

      • Victoria Albina on December 6, 2019 at 11:42 am

        Hi Julie,

        I use this one – it meets our smart specifications.



  6. Dina on November 15, 2019 at 1:27 am

    Why isn’t it ok to do castor oil packs while breastfeeding?

    • Victoria Albina on November 18, 2019 at 2:43 pm

      Hi Dina! Edited to add that castor oil packs, like saunas and other detox supports, can dump a lot of toxins from the lactating person’s body into their milk, which then gets passed along to baby. It’s a personal decision, I would wait until I was done feeding my kiddo to resume my castor oil packs, but would keep using it to clean my face, for example. Hope that helps!

      • Bobbie Love on April 28, 2020 at 2:16 pm

        How does it help with weight loss?.

        • Victoria Albina on April 29, 2020 at 9:10 am

          Hi Bobbie, Gosh, I never claimed it did and haven’t heard of it being used for weight loss, so I can’t help you there! 🙂

          Best, Victoria

  7. Ruth on December 24, 2019 at 7:12 pm

    In Dr. Crook’s book on the Yeast syndrome he mentions castor oil packs. I used Nystatin to make drops to clear out my sinus. It worked. But then a lot of mucus appeared and needs to be cleansed out. I assume the Nystatin uncovered a load of mucus from years of Sinus. Now I need to get rid of the Mucus
    which has a rough cough. Am trying to do everything to get rid of Yeast overflow.

    Any ideas? Any help to avoid more toxins. Thank you, Ruth

    • Victoria Albina on December 26, 2019 at 1:46 pm

      Hi Ruth, I would recommend that you work one-on-one with a skilled and experienced Functional Medicine Provider to get comprehensive care.

      Best! Victoria

  8. Ella on December 30, 2019 at 7:14 am

    Hi! I am wondering what is the best time of day to use the castle oil pack / should it be on an empty stomach / any other things to note?


    • Victoria Albina on December 30, 2019 at 8:41 am

      Hi Ella,

      Use it any time of day, and I don’t believe it matters if you have an empty stomach or not – try it both ways and see what feels more supportive for you 🙂

      Best! Victoria

  9. Crystal Hall on December 31, 2019 at 7:43 pm

    I am so happy to have found your website. How do you make the oil packs? The last time my dear 84 year old husband went to the hospital they used so many drugs that he got drug induced liver issues and his bilirubin got to 9 instead of 2.5, the normal number. He has had 6 UTI’s and pneumonia in his right lower lung from what they designated as aspiration. Now, he is on Cipro for the most recent UTI and his entire colon is impacted. I am his wife of almost 62 years, come Mar. 1, 2020 and sole Care Giver, which is my honor. So, I remember my other and grandmother giving me Castor Oil as a child and a friend just reminded me about it again, just today. Needless to say, not only does his liver worry me, but being impacted is so bad. He is, also supposed to have Vascular Dementia, but it is undefined, etc., and the story goes on from the physicians I have dealt with here in this part of Calif. So, any information would be, so deeply, appreciated that might aid me to continue to care for his needs. Most sincerely, Crystal

    • Victoria Albina on January 4, 2020 at 10:02 am

      Hi Crystal, thanks for reaching out. I’m so sorry you and your husband are dealing with so many health issues.

      As outlined in the article, you put the castor oil on a piece of cotton or flannel and put it over the liver or abdomen with a hot water bottle over the pack, and rest with it there for about 20 minutes.

      All the best to you!

      xo, Victoria

  10. Sam on January 14, 2020 at 2:34 am

    Hi I’m suffering from gert and I was told castor oil can help with acid reflux can I use it or it will make the situation worse your assistance is highly appreciated

    • Victoria Albina on January 21, 2020 at 11:47 am

      Hi Sam,

      I don’t see how topical castor oil could worsen GERD (but Im also not sure how it could help…). Talk with your health care provider and decide together if you want to try it out to see if it’s helpful for you.


  11. Beth on January 18, 2020 at 10:48 am

    Do you have to use a hot water bottle on top? My functional medicine NP said to warm up the castor oil in a pan, put in the cloth and then put in place. Just want to be sure I’m doing correctly

    • Victoria Albina on January 21, 2020 at 11:46 am

      Hi Beth! There is no “have to” here – I recommend using a hot water bottle. I would prefer to gently warm the oil with a hot water bottle vs risking over heating it in a pan.
      Do what works best for you.

      Best, Victoria

  12. Daniel S Jorgensen on January 28, 2020 at 12:29 am

    Can using castor oil compresses topically daily have any side effects?

    • Victoria Albina on January 28, 2020 at 1:23 pm

      Hi Daniel,

      Not that I know of. Of course, please consult your personal licensed healthcare providers before starting any wellness practice, particularly if you’re concerned about a possible side effect.



  13. Mila on April 10, 2020 at 8:49 pm

    Hi Victoria,could you ,please tell me if it’s safe to use eye drops from castor oil in glaucoma case .Also is it damaging liver?

    • Victoria Albina on April 11, 2020 at 10:33 am

      Hi Mila,

      I can’t give that kind of specific medical advice on a blog, and glaucoma is not an area of expertise for me, so I would have your speak with your eye doctor about that.

      I’m not sure what the second part of your question is asking. If you’re wondering if topical castor oil is damaging to the liver, the consensus is no – it can be supportive.

      All the best!


  14. Bobbie Love on April 29, 2020 at 7:54 pm

    Can I use black castor Olil instead. Will it help with weight loss.

  15. Sue on December 3, 2020 at 3:45 pm

    Chest-feeding? ?

    • Victoria Albina on December 4, 2020 at 9:17 am

      Hi Sue,

      Chest-feeding is the more inclusive, loving term to replace “breast-feeding” as a way to honor that not all humans who give birth or feed a baby from their own body are women or call their mammary glands “breasts.”

      Chest is more inclusive and thus, the language I use because why not be more kind and accessible when possible (and it’s always possible!).

      All the best!


  16. Michela on December 4, 2020 at 4:44 pm


    I’m wondering if I can do two packs in one day; once on the back of my neck and once on the front. Is that too much?

    • Victoria Albina on December 10, 2020 at 4:59 pm

      Hi Michela,

      No one but you knows what is “too much” for you and your body. I have never heard of any adverse events from using topical castor oil twice/day, but of course don’t know what is right for you. I generally recommend people try these low risk interventions out to see what’s right for them 🙂



Victoria Albina Breathwork Meditation Facilitator

Hello hello my love.

I'm so glad you're here to download your free meditations to help you connect inward to calm and soothe your perfect mind, body and spirit.

These tools will bring you more awareness of your own inner workings, so you can break free of codependency and live life with intention, freedom and self-love.


Please take a moment to go check your email inbox, spam and social folders.
Whitelist or drag-drop an email from me into the "primary" folder so you don't miss a thing!.

Victoria Albina Breathwork Meditation Facilitator

Hello hello my love.

I'm so glad you're here to download your free meditations to help you connect inward to calm and soothe your perfect mind, body and spirit.

These tools will bring you more awareness of your own inner workings, so you can break free of codependency and live life with intention, freedom and self-love.


Please take a moment to go check your email inbox, spam and social folders.
Whitelist or drag-drop an email from me into the "primary" folder so you don't miss a thing!.