A castor oil pack is a modernized version of an ancient remedy prized for its miraculous healing benefits for ages. It is an application tool or pack meant to absorb and apply castor oil to your body without mess, which is the second reason these packs are so hyped over the internet. The first is the magical benefits of castor oil from head to toe.

Castor oil is a pale-yellow, thick, sticky elixir obtained from the ripe castor beans of the Ricinus plant. Owing to its origin, castor oil is also known as Ricinus oil, composed of several triglycerides, omega fatty acids, tocopherols, and proteins.

Amongst them, the major active principle of castor oil is ricinoleic acid in about 89-92% concentration—a fatty acid and a combination of an unsaturated omega-9 fatty acid and a hydroxy acid. This ricinoleic acid is a potent anti-inflammatory, analgesic, laxative, antioxidant, humectant, and emollient. All these therapeutic properties collectively make castor oil a magical potion for several indications, notably;

  • Constipation
  • Detoxification
  • Acne and skin health
  • Wound healing
  • Arthritis
  • Labor

What is a Castor Oil Pack?

A castor oil pack is a kind of hot/cold compress made with cotton flannel and polyester. The cotton fabric lines the inside of the pack to absorb the oil, and polyester forms the exterior to prevent heat loss. This breathable and functional pack is meant to pour, absorb, and apply castor oil to different body areas, such as the abdomen (including areas where the stomach, kidneys, liver, pancreas, and gallbladder lie), knees, wrists, neck, pelvic area, chest, and lower abdomen.

How Do Castor Oil Packs Work?

Castor oil packs do work by retaining warmth inside them and using that heat to promote oil penetration into the skin. Enhanced castor oil absorption allows its active principals and components to exert their actions and give excellent results. The oil comprises the following chemical components.


Chemical Component


Mechanism of Action

Ricinoleic acid (about 89-92%)

Anti-inflammatory and Analgesic

Inhibition of EP3 receptors, adenyl cyclase, and cycloxygenase enzymes, and desensitization of TRPV1 receptors reduce the synthesis of prostaglandins, thereby reducing inflammation and pain. Some scientific evidence also suggests that ricinoleic acid interacts with cannabinoid receptors C1 and C2 to modulate pain and inflammation.




Stimulation of EP3 receptors in the intestinal walls increases intracellular levels of cAMP, leading to smooth muscle contractions. Some reports also suggest that ricinoleic acid reduces water and sodium absorption, making the stools softer and easier to vacate.  


Ricinoleic acid retains moisture and makes the skin super hydrated and subtle.

Omega 3 fatty acids


It inhibits proinflammatory cytokines and reduces inflammation. Also, it supports cardiovascular health and skin integrity.


Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticarcinogenic

Scavenge free radicals and reduce oxidative stress. Also, it inhibits pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Vitamin E (Tocopherols)

Antioxidant, immune support, skin protection

It neutralizes free radicals and protects body cells from oxidative stress. It also acts as a moisturizer and hydrating agent, improving the skin barrier.

Amino acids

Building blocks of proteins

Promotes tissue repair and wound healing and supports glutathione production.



Competes with dietary cholesterol for absorption in the small intestines and reduces blood cholesterol levels.


How to Use Castor Oil Packs?

Gather the following supplies and follow the step-by-step guide to use castor oil packs properly.

Materials Required:

  • Cold-pressed extra-virgin castor oil (BPA, GMOs, and parabens-free)
  • Castor oil pack
  • Heating pad
  • Old towel
  • Tablespoon


  • Wear your comfortable and old pyjamas and lie down in a comfy place such as a couch or bed.
  • Wash your hands and unwrap your Goodbye Company castor oil pack. Pour one tablespoon of The Goodbye Company extra-virgin castor oil on your pack, but avoid the edges to prevent the mess.
  • Place your COP on the affected area of your body or where you want to get the desired results.
  • Put a heating pad over your COP and let it sit for 30-60 minutes. You may remove the heating pad anytime the heat exceeds your tolerable level. Relax, meditate, or do yoga for added calmness for this duration.
  • Remove the pack and wipe your skin with a hot towel. Then, store the pack in an airtight container and put it in the refrigerator.
  • Repeat this session 3-4 times a week and continue for 2-3 months. You can alter the frequency and duration of castor oil pack sessions according to your body's response and needs.
  • Nevertheless, do a patch test before using castor oil directly on your bare skin. Some people are allergic to castor oil, which is an irritant by nature and may cause a severe allergic reaction. Moreover, natural remedies take longer to bring the desired results, so use them religiously, as consistency is the key.

What to Expect After Castor Oil Pack Use?

Here's what you can expect after applying the castor oil pack.

For Constipation


Castor oil is an FDA-approved remedy for constipation. You can use it in the form of castor oil packs for easy and mess-free application. Apply a castor oil pack on your lower abdomen for 30-60 minutes thrice or four times a week.


You’ll notice an initial improvement in your bowel movements after 1-2 weeks. Sometimes, you may experience mild cramping in your lower abdomen due to stimulation of intestinal smooth muscle contractions. Nevertheless, visible enhancement of bowels occurs after 3-4 weeks of consistent use.

You may then alter the duration and frequency of application according to the outcomes; for instance, if you have frequent bowels, you should reduce the number of times you apply castor oil packs per week. This is because overdosage of castor oil may cause diarrhoea due to the excessive release of water in the stools and bowel contractions. On the other hand, if you still feel constipated, continue using regularly for two weeks, then shift again to 3-4 times a week.

For Detoxification


For detoxification, place your castor oil pack on the upper right quadrant of your abdomen, where your liver lies. Relax and meditate with the pack for almost half an hour, and repeat this session 3-4 times weekly.


After several such sessions, you may expect a general weight loss (due to extra fat burning and toxins removal), revitalized skin, better sleep, and less stress. Since the process removes toxins and aids in removing unwanted wastes, you may also experience changes in bowel movements and urine color. Some people feel lazy and tired after initial sessions of liver detoxification; this may be due to the utilization of their body's energy in removing toxins. However, after a few weeks of application, you may feel energized and revitalized.

For Labor


Castor oil packs are typically contraindicated in pregnant women due to their nature of inducing false uterine contractions, which may lead to premature labor and associated risks. However, the remedy is usually recommended for women in post-term labor- those who exceed 42 weeks of pregnancy. This is to stimulate the smooth muscles of the uterus to contract, thereby bringing false labor and facilitating childbirth.


You may experience cramping in your lower abdomen after using castor oil packs regularly near the end of your gestation period. This cramping will act as false labor to aid in delivering the baby. Discontinue using the pack once you deliver the baby and placenta. You may then continue using this remedy after a few weeks of menstruation as a natural way to lose weight or detoxify your body. Since bleeding after delivery is heavy and full of clots, you must avoid those initial days to prevent menstrual cramping and diarrhoea.

Also Read: How Much Castor Oil Should I Take For Labor? Traditional Strategy To Induce Childbirth

For Skin Health


To treat acne, fade scars, and hyperpigmentation, or to make your skin glow naturally, regularly use castor oil packs and place them on your belly area thrice weekly for 2-3 months. In Ayurveda, the belly button is considered the torso of the body, channelling blood vessels and nerves to all body parts. You can apply castor oil diluted with facial oils to your face or skin with affected areas. However, exercise care and caution since overdoing castor oil may clog your pores despite its low comedogenic score and may worsen your breakout.


Castor oil is an excellent humectant, emollient, moisturizer, antioxidant, and hydrating agent. When you use COP religiously, you will notice more glowing and healthy-looking skin. Your hyperpigmentation, scars, wrinkles, freckles, and dark spots will also fade after 2-3 months of consistent use due to the oil's antioxidant nature, which helps fight free radicals and prevent the appearance of ageing signs. However, do a patch test before using castor oil on your face, as it may cause rash or irritation due to its irritant properties.

Also Read: How to Use Castor Oil on the Face?

For Healing Wounds


Until appropriately healed, you can apply a castor oil pack twice daily to your superficial wound to aid healing and prevent infections.


Castor oil is also an excellent antiseptic despite its potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. The principal active ingredient of castor oil, ‘ricinoleic acid,’ can fight against bacterial and fungal attacks and prevent infection and abscesses. The oil also promotes blood circulation in the area and aids in supplying nutrition and oxygen to the injured body cells. Enhanced lymphatic circulation also helps gather more immune cells at the injury site, facilitating wound healing.

Moreover, castor oil aids in rejuvenating damaged skin cells and effectively hides scars within a month or two. However, remember that this remedy is only suggested for minor superficial wounds. This is because castor oil may increase bleeding, which is a dangerous sign in case of deep wounds and cuts.

For Arthritis


Apply castor oil packs regularly or every other day to your affected joint areas, such as your knees, elbows, wrists, and ankles. Since arthritis is not a curable but manageable disorder, you may be required to put these regularly for an indefinite period.


Due to castor oil's potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, you will notice a visible reduction of inflammation and pain in your affected joints. You can move more freely without hearing crackles in the joints because castor oil is also a natural lubricant. To get such results at their best, you must put a heating pad over your castor oil pack to enhance the penetration of this magical potion into deep body tissues. Apply religiously for sustained effects.

Also Read: Do Castor Oil Packs Work for Arthritis?


What do you do after using a castor oil pack?

Remove the pack and wipe your skin with a hot towel to help remove the sticky oil residues. Later, you can also take a warm shower. Don't forget to store your castor oil pack in a sealed plastic bag so you can reuse it multiple times. Moreover, keep yourself hydrated so your body can easily remove toxins via sweating or urination.

What are the symptoms of castor oil pack detox?

Usually, people don't feel the symptoms of castor oil detox; however, if your body is overburdened with toxins and wastes or is sensitive, you may feel any of the following detox symptoms.

  • Nausea
  • Laziness or Malaise
  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Increased urination
  • Urine color changes (may be more dark)
  • Diarrhea or Constipation
  • Skin reactions

Why do you feel tired after the castor oil pack application?

I can explain my answer by two mechanisms:

Mechanism 1:

Castor oil packs help promote blood and lymphatic circulation in your body, which facilitates detoxification. Detoxification is a process whereby your body utilizes energy and eliminates toxins. This loss of energy may cause you to feel tired or lazy.

Mechanism 2:

Castor oil packs also help your body reduce cortisol (stress hormone) levels. As a result, your body feels more relaxed, which promotes better sleep.

Nevertheless, since individual responses to castor oil packs vary greatly, some people feel lazy after the application, while others get energized. That lazy feeling is, in fact, a state of relaxation and calmness.

Do castor oil packs balance hormones?

There is limited scientific evidence to demonstrate whether castor oil packs balance hormones. Also, there is no well-stated mechanism of action for castor oil packs in regulating hormone levels. Nevertheless, alternative medicine systems claim the effectiveness of castor oil packs in healing the human body from head to toe. Naturopaths say castor oil helps accelerate blood circulation, promotes liver detoxification, drains lymph and relaxes the body. These processes collectively aid in regulating hormone levels.


Castor oil packs can lead to several beneficial outcomes, such as reducing stress, weight management, relaxation, detoxification, improved skin and hair health, and constipation relief. You may also experience detox symptoms like fatigue, mood changes, and headaches. To prevent these, you need to hydrate yourself and rest properly. Nevertheless, since individual responses vary greatly, some people feel more energized after using castor oil packs rather than feeling lazy and tired. Scroll above to know what to expect after each castor oil pack use.

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