Castor Oil: Immune Booster

Written by Dr. David G. Williams, Alternatives (v6 n1), July 1995


Castor Oil… a rapid solution for constipation. After 20-plus years of a swollen, painful abdomen, I went on Hulda Clark’s protocols and used a castor oil heat pack on my abdomen for intestinal adhesions. It took a few months (using the pack at least 4 nights a week), but the results were nothing short of miraculous to me. I’m out of pain, tummy not quite flat (working on it), but my muscles are responding for the first time since I became ill in 1980 with Celiac and fibromyalgia. The pack also works in the short run for tummy aches, if you’ve eaten something that disagrees with your system. Castor oil rocks, oops, I mean gets rid of rocks! Elissa Kleeman

I can remember my dad telling me about his mother’s devotion to castor oil when he was growing up. At the first sign of illness in one child, she would immediately give all the children an oral dose of castor oil. There’s no doubt it provided a rapid solution for constipation and it must have stimulated his memory too, because he never forgot the taste and effect of castor oil! Castor oil is a unique substance, which folk healers worldwide have used to treat a wide variety of health conditions. Its effectiveness may be due in part, to its unusual chemical composition. Castor oil is a triglyceride of fatty acids (almost 90 percent of its fatty acid content consists of ricinoleic acid) and, to my knowledge, ricinoleic acid is not found in any substance other than castor oil.

The high concentration of this unusual, unsaturated fatty acid is thought to be responsible for castor oil’s remarkable healing abilities. Ricinoleic acid is effective in preventing the growth of numerous species of viruses, bacteria, yeasts, and molds. (J Am Oil Chem Soc 61;37:323-325) This would explain its high degree of success in topical use for such ailments as ringworm, keraloses, skin inflammation, abrasions, fungal-infected finger and toenails, acne, and chronic pruritus (itching). The treatment for these conditions is to wrap the affected area each night in a cloth soaked with castor oil.

Castor Oil Packs

The most effective use of castor oil is castor oil packs or poultices (see “How to Make a Castor Oil Pack,” this page), which increase topical absorption. When used properly, castor oil packs improve the function of the thymus gland and other immune system functions. Patients who used abdominal castor oil packs had significant increases in the production of lymphocytes compared with patients using placebo packs. Lymphocytes are the disease-fighting cells of the immune system, which are produced and housed mainly in lymphatic tissue, including the thymus gland, spleen, lymph nodes, and the lymphatic tissue lining the small intestine (called Peyer’s patches).

Several problems occur when lymph drainage slows and fluid accumulates around the cells. First, individual cells are forced further away from the capillaries. Second, the amount of oxygen and nourishment the cells receive decreases. Under exertion or stress, some cells may die. Meanwhile, cells are forced to exist in their own waste and toxic byproducts. This can lead to the degeneration and destruction of organs. For example, poor lymphatic drainage of the heart can lead to heart tissue damage and possible heart failure. When castor oil is absorbed through the skin, several positive events take place.

  • The lymphocyte count of the blood increases.
  • Lymph flow improves throughout the body, speeding the removal of cellular-related toxins and reducing swollen lymph nodes.
  • As toxicity is reduced and health improves, the pH of the saliva becomes less acidic, and the Peyer’s patches in the small intestine become more efficient at fat absorption, which is essential for the formation of hormones and other components necessary for growth and repair.
  • There is a general overall improvement in organ function and a lessening of fatigue and depression.

The bottom line is that the removal of cellular waste products is essential for the continued health of the entire body. In the face of any health problem, make an effort to improve the function of the lymphatic system using the topical application of castor oil, oil packs, massage, and the other protocols I discussed earlier in this report.

Additional Benefits of Castor Oil

Nowhere is it more evident that conditions stressing or compromising the immune system will often benefit from castor oil packs than when dealing with AIDS. I’ve talked with AIDS patients who have added castor oil packs (usually for one hour daily) to their treatment regimen with very positive results. It’s not uncommon for them to see increases in white and red blood cell counts, platelet counts, and hematocrit readings within two weeks of starting castor oil packs.

Other lymph system-related conditions that respond to castor oil packs include:

  • Chronic fluid retention accompanied by swollen joints and pain
  • Appendicitis
  • Hyperactivity
  • Arthritis
  • Bowel impaction or adhesions
  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Bladder and vaginal infections
  • Colon problems
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Menstrual-related congestion
  • Migraine headaches
  • Liver problems
  • Cerebral palsy

Centuries ago, the castor bean plant was referred to as the “Palms Christe” because the shape of the plant’s leaves was thought to resemble the palm of Christ. The name may be a very accurate description. You’ll be more than satisfied when you experience the amazing results that can be achieved with the simple oil of the castor bean. Any oil you consume or apply to your skin needs to be of the highest quality, including castor oil. Check your local health food store for Cold-pressed castor oil.

How to Make Castor Oil Packs

  • Use only cold pressed castor oil.
  • Use 1/4 cup of castor oil per treatment.
  • Use only pure white woolen or cotton flannel for the packs.
  • Always use castor oil over a clean flannel cloth. Do not add cold castor oil to a flannel that is soaked in castor oil used in the previous treatment.
  • Use the packs with the heat pad 2 days a week over the abdomen area to the right of your naval, 2 days a week over the spleen area (bottom of left rib cage), and 3 days a week over the Thymus gland (just above the heart). Use the packs one hour to 1 1/2 hrs. daily. Do the treatments daily for the first 4 weeks, after which, do the treatments every other day, once over the three target areas – liver, thymus and spleen.

How to Apply the Castor Oil Packs

  • Place a heating pad (Sunbeam – sold in drug stores) which is about 14″ by 16″ on a table.
  • Cut a piece of plastic from a heavy gauge garbage bag about 14 inches by 16 inches and place it on top of the heating pad.
  • Fold the wool or cotton flannel so it is two layers thick and measures 12″ by 13.” Place it on top of the plastic sheet which is on the heating pad.
  • The first time you use castor oil, pour about 3/4 cup of cold pressed castor oil on the flannel and spread evenly until the flannel is completely saturated.
  • Turn the heating pad on high for 5 minutes.
  • Pick up the heating pad with the plastic sheet and flannel soaked in castor oil and use both thumbs to hold it together and place against your abdomen area, spleen area or the upper part of your chest where the Thymus gland is located.
  • In order to hold everything in place, wrap a large bath towel around your body on top of the heating pad. Use 2 or 3 large pins to hold it snug against your body. Reduce heat if it feels too warm. After one hour or even longer, remove the heat pad and the flannel which will stick to the plastic sheet. Massage the warm castor oil into your body. Use a dry hand towel and massage the remaining castor oil into the skin. Wait 5 minutes, then take a bath or shower if desired.
  • When you are done with the treatment, wash the flannel in 2 quarts of warm water with 1/4 cup of baking soda added. Then rinse the flannel well before you use it next time.


Author: Dr. David G. Williams