Vitality Blog

Castor Oil Packs (COPs)

Prevention Advice Provided by Vancouver Chiropractor and Team

The castor bean (Oleum ricini), is known principally as a cathartic (strong laxative). A gentler use is in the form of a pack placed over the abdomen, usually with heat applied. The oil is absorbed into the lymphatic circulation to provide a soothing, cleansing, and nutritive treatment, which stimulates immune function and tonifies internal organs.

The COP has many applications and has been used in specific cases such as uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts that are non-malignant. Other conditions that respond well include: headaches, liver congestion, constipation, diarrhea, intestinal disorders, gallbladder inflammation, conditions of poor elimination, night time urinary frequency, and joint inflammation. Most important, COPs are extremely useful in general detoxification.

It is to be used with caution in pregnancy or during menstruation as it may cause additional bleeding.

Materials needed
• castor oil
• flannel or cotton cloth that is large enough to cover abdomen
• heat source (hot water bottle, heating pad)
• old towel

How to administer a COP
1. fold cloth into 2 – 3 thickness to fit over entire abdomen
2. Drizzle castor oil onto the cloth. I recommend poking a hole in the aluminum cover of the bottle rather than removing it completely. Note: the pack should not be dripping with oil, it should have just enough oil to make a slight mark on furniture as if you were going to polish it….however, do not test this as the oil will stain furniture, clothing etc. (therefore you might want to lay a towel under you before you begin your pack.)
3. Lie on your back with your feet elevated. Place the cloth over your entire abdomen, cover with towel and apply heat.
4. Leave pack on for 45 – 60 minutes. This is an excellent time to take for yourself. Practice meditation, deep breathing, or whatever relaxes you. Do not watch television or read anything that is stimulating as this is a time for relaxation.
5. Store the pack in a zip lock bag and reuse until the cloth is saturated (then throw it out and start again.)
6. For maximum effectiveness it is important to apply the pack as often as possible and on consecutive days. Try for at least 4 consecutive says per week.

Have a great day,
The Vitality Team

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