The human body can develop various types of cysts in different body parts. Some of these cysts go away independently, while some require treatment and management to heal appropriately. Many people prefer natural remedies instead of medicines and surgical procedures to shrink minor cysts.

Amongst the natural extracts, castor oil has been lauded for centuries to reduce the inflammation and pain associated with cysts. It is due to the oil's anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties and the ability to stimulate blood and lymph flow, for the cysts may develop due to lymphatic congestion.

But, since the oil is thick and sticky, its regular application to mitigate cyst symptoms can be challenging. So its more convenient form, called the castor oil pack, is the best to shrink cysts and is easy to use. However, certain limitations and specifications are linked to each treatment, whether natural or conventional. So it's essential to know all about castor oil packs for cysts, e.g., “How long does it take for actor oil packs to shrink cysts?” and “How do you use castor oil packs to shrink cysts?”

What Are Cysts, and Why Do They Form?

Cysts are pouch-like sacs that appear within the body tissues in different sizes. They may be filled with fluids, pus, blood, tissue, hair, bone, or foreign objects appearing in or on the body. They can form anywhere in the body, such as ovaries, breasts, pancreas, skin, buttocks, knees, mouth, face, etc. Moreover, cysts are not painful unless pressed upon and are non-cancerous (benign).

Cysts usually form as a result of some infection, chronic inflammation, or blockage of ducts. Also, genetics and inheritance of diseases play a significant role in the development of cysts. Nevertheless, the exact cause depends on the type of cysts and where they form.

Common Types of Cysts

Common types of Cysts are:

  • Epidermoid cysts (these are filled with keratin protein and form due to the blockade of hair follicles)
  • Sebaceous cysts (these are filled with sebum and form within sebaceous glands)
  • Breast cysts (benign ones are filled with fluid and form with breast glands)
  • Pilonidal cysts (filled with fluid or pus and form in the cleft at the top of the buttocks)
  • Ganglion cysts (gel-filled lumps form along the tendons or joints)
  • Ovarian cysts (filled with fluid, form when the follicles don't open to release the egg)
  • Baker cysts (fluid-filled sacs at the back of knees)
  • Pilar cysts (protein-filled, skin-colored bumps on the scalp)
  • Perineural cysts (fluid-filled sacs on the spine)
  • Mucous cysts (fluid-filled lumps inside the mouth)

How Can I Shrink My Cysts Naturally?

So, now that you know the various types of cysts, remember that not all cysts need to be removed. You must also not pop them at home, or they will become infected. So, always consult your healthcare provider if your cysts are bothering you aesthetically, causing pain, increasing in size, or getting severely infected. Nevertheless, some cysts usually go away independently, or you may require specific home remedies to mitigate the associated symptoms.

Among many home cures, a warm compress is the most common, convenient, effective, and inexpensive way to reduce inflammation associated with cysts. The mechanism behind the working of warm compresses involves heat that liquefies the consistency of thick fluid filled within the cysts. This helps to drain the lymph easily, which in turn reduces the swelling and pain of cysts.

Tea tree oil also has incredible antiseptic properties that work great for infected cysts such as cystic acne and sebaceous cysts. This essential oil must be diluted with a carrier oil of choice before application. Fresh aloe vera gel is another great option to cure cysts at home. Aloe vera's anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties are incredibly soothing to the affected site. Moreover, some research also shows that witch hazel can significantly reduce the symptoms associated with cysts due to its astringent and anti-inflammatory properties.

One of the most incredible plant extracts known for stimulating lymph and blood circulation is castor oil. Castor oil, also known as The Hand of Christ, is an ancient remedy to kill bacteria that causes acne and cysts. Nevertheless, some dermatological studies claim that castor oil is comedogenic, which is why it may aggravate acne instead of clearing it. Per several naturopaths' claims, the oil also effectively cures ovarian, pancreatic, and breast cysts. Since the oil alone is thick and challenging to apply, castor oil packs are an excellent alternative for easy and mess-free application.

Castor Oil Packs for Ovarian Cysts

Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that appear inside or on the ovaries. Two common types of these cysts are follicular cysts and corpus luteum cysts. The two differ in how and when they form. Follicular cysts form when the follicles fail to break open and release the egg. As a result, the fluid remains enclosed in the follicle and forms a cyst. Similarly, when the follicle releases an egg and turns into corpus luteum, sometimes due to hormonal changes, the corpus luteum grows a cyst with it and releases progesterone hormone.

These ovarian cysts do not cause symptoms except pain, which only occurs when the cysts become large, bleed, break open, become twisted, or interfere with the ovarian blood supply. Moreover, rarely, when the ovarian cysts become extra large and filled with pus, they may cause abdominal bloating, swelling, and severe pelvic pain. Imaging tests such as CT scan, MRI, and Doppler study may be done to confirm the presence of ovarian cysts. Moreover, blood tests to indicate normal hormonal levels also provide a clue of the presence of such cysts.

Castor oil packs are made of cotton or wool flannel and folded into multiple layers to ease maximum absorption of the oil. These packs are pretty easy to make at home. However, ready-to-use castor oil packs are available online and in local markets. So you can quickly grab a pack, soak it with oil, and apply it on your abdomen over the ovaries. Use these packs regularly to see the noticeable results. But the question is, ‘How do castor oil packs shrink cysts?’

Explaining How Castor Oil Packs Work to Dissolve Ovarian Cysts

Though there's limited scientific evidence to explain the working of this natural cure, the following are some claims of naturopaths that logically explain the mechanism of action of castor oil packs to shrink cysts.

Anti-inflammatory Properties

Castor oil (Ricinus oil) in the packs contains ricinoleic acid, its principal constituent. Ricinoleic acid has incredible anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe inflammation, i.e., swelling, redness, and pain in the pelvic region due to the presence of ovarian cysts.


Castor oil stimulates blood and lymphatic circulation, accelerating metabolism, detoxification,  and waste removal. As a result, the packs aid in relieving lymphatic congestion or the accumulation of fluids that may favor cyst development and growth.

Stress Management

Oil massages and castor oil packs can reduce stress. Since stress can disrupt normal hormonal levels, an imbalance in these reproductive hormones can disturb the menstrual cycle and increase the incidence of ovarian cyst formation. So, regular application of these packs can help mitigate the symptoms and manage the condition.


How Long Does It Take For Castor Oil Packs to Shrink Cysts?

It all depends on how your body responds to the therapy. Also, the type, number, and severity of cysts determine the time they may take to heal completely. In some individuals, the cysts dissolve independently. However, some cysts may take weeks or months to shrink and eradicate—still, a few cures only with the surgical procedure or radiation therapy. You can apply castor oil packs about 4-5 times per week safely, with each session of about 30-60 minutes for the best results.

How Do You Use Castor Oil Packs to Shrink Ovarian Cysts?

  • Firstly, grab all your supplies, such as The Goodbye Company's extra virgin castor oil, a large bowl, an old towel, an old bedsheet, plastic wrap, and a heating pad.
  • Saturate your ready-made or DIY-made packs with castor oil taken in a bowl.
  • Slightly wring the pack to avoid it from drizzling.
  • Lie on a surface and protect that with an old towel or a bedsheet. This is to avoid dribblings on your furniture.
  • Now, place your saturated castor oil packs on the lower right and left quadrants of the abdomen where your right and left ovaries lie.
  • Wrap these packs in plastic or cling film all the way around your abdomen.
  • Then, place a heating pad or a warm compress to provide adequate warmth and facilitate oil absorption.
  • Leave the packs for 30-60 minutes and repeat this session 4-5 times weekly. Nevertheless, you can adjust the application frequency according to body response and menstrual cycle (for it is advisable to skip the cycle's ovulation days and luteal phase). Moreover, discontinue use if you get pregnant or experience any allergic reaction.

Precautions & Side Effects

Topical application of castor oil is generally safe. However, some are allergic to ricinoleic acid (the principal constituent of castor oil) and experience a mild to severe rash or an allergic skin reaction. Overuse may also cause bloating, abdominal cramping, or rarely diarrhea. Also, you must prevent using castor oil or castor oil packs if you are actively trying to conceive or pregnant to avoid uterine contractions that may result in miscarriage or premature birth.  


How often to use castor oil packs for ovarian cysts?

You can place your castor oil packs for ovarian cysts about 4-5 times weekly. Application for each session of around 30-60 minutes is generally safe with a heating pad.

How to use castor oil packs for pancreatic cysts?

You must always consult your healthcare provider about using such home remedies to treat pancreatic cysts. However, if the condition is mild or requires no conventional treatment, you can apply a castor oil pack on the upper left quadrant of your abdomen. It is where your pancreas lies, so this pack provides a calming and anti-inflammatory effect, which may help shrink the cysts.

What is the fastest way to get rid of the cysts?

Medicines and invasive treatment choices like injections and surgeries help get rid of the cysts immediately and in the fastest way. Nevertheless, if the cysts are fewer and the condition is mild, natural ways, such as castor oil packs, are preferable. But remember, natural remedies take time to work and give prominent results.


Castor oil packs are packed with the richness of castor oil, which is a magical cure to heal all minor to major health problems and aesthetic concerns. Though limited clinical data supports the claim that castor oil packs can shrink cysts, several naturopaths recommend them as the safest natural remedy to mitigate the associated symptoms. All you need is to know how to use these packs appropriately, how they work, and how long to use them to shrink cysts. Take note of the above brief information and make the most of it.

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