Castor Oil: An Ancient Remedy for Inflammation and Pain

What is castor oil? Castor oil has been used for over 4000 years as a remedy. It’s a vegetable oil made from castor beans with special properties that make it useful to have in your household. It contains a fatty acid, called ricinoleic acid, which has anti-inflammatory properties to treat inflammation and joint pain. It also contains amino acids, flavonoids, and other useful compounds for healing.  As such, it has been added to medicines, ointments, and skincare products.


  • Moisturizer-Suggest that this is not used alone as a body moisturized given it is so viscous. It can be applied to a small area. It is contained in many skincare products.
  • Laxative-It is a useful temporary laxative, works quickly, but can cause severe diarrhea. It works by the fatty acid-binding to receptors on the smooth muscle cells of your intestinal walls, caused the muscles to contract.
  • Pain reliever– It is particularly useful for reducing inflammation that causes arthritis pain as well as back pain. Apply directly to skin over arthritic joints to relieve pain
  • Wound healing-Stimulates tissue growth and acts as a humectant to protect a wound during healing to keep it moist. Added to may ointments and healing creams. It helps to prevent scarring.
  • Detoxification-Using castor oil packs with a heat source can stimulate lymph and liver function.  Some people find that they sleep better, have more energy, and skin conditions improve with regular use. Placing a castor oil pack (see below) on the right side of the abdomen can help support the liver and over the whole abdomen can help the digestive system.


  • Ingestion for constipation: Check with your provider, especially if you are ill or taking medication. Take on an empty stomach, preferably when you first wake up. Read the label to determine the appropriate dosage or refer to your provider’s instructions. Mixing in a glass of cold juice makes it more palatable (because it tastes bad) and easier to swallow. Do not use long term to manage constipation. It is also available in capsules.
  • Topical Application:
    • It’s viscous, quite messy, and stains, so be careful to apply it so as to not spill on clothing.
    • Castor oil packs: Cover the surface of the counter where you will be doing the preparation to reduce clean up issues. Using cotton or wool cloth folded in several layers, you can make a pad. Then, pour enough castor oil to soak into the pad. Place the pad onto the desired location and cover it with plastic wrap. Keep the pack on for at least one hour. The treatment is even more effective with a heat pad or pack over the top of the pack. Take care that the heat source is not too warm so as to avoid burning the skin, given that the oil and plastic wrap will transfer and retain the heat.
  • Avoid if you are pregnant. Internal ingestion may cause contractions (although scientific evidence is lacking).
  • Consult your physician prior to use, especially if you are very ill.
  • Observe for allergic reactions and discontinue use.

Disclaimer Statement: This blog is for informational purposes and is not intended to diagnose or recommend therapies/supplements. Peace x Piece Wellness, LLC is not a substitution for medical advice or your medical professional. The views and websites expressed by Peace x Piece Wellness, LLC have not been evaluated or endorsed by a medical professional, the FDA or any other private or public entity. You should not use the information in this blog for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem. If using any of the information made available from Peace x Piece Wellness, LLC, without obtaining medical advice from your health professional, you do so at your own risk. 

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  • Reply
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    September 2, 2021 at 3:51 pm

    […] constipation try a castor oil pack.  These can get messy, but there are some products that are less messy and provide more […]

  • Reply
    Jerry Cunningham
    July 23, 2023 at 7:57 am

    Can the castor oil pack be used for shingles?

  • Reply
    Genie Stansbury
    August 22, 2023 at 6:06 pm

    What should I look for in choosing a castor oil product?

    • Reply
      Leslie Parran
      August 22, 2023 at 6:07 pm

      Hi Genie. I would definitely go with an organic castor oil.

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