Dr. Pamela Smith, ND 

Dr. Pam has a family practice at The Nest Family Wellness Centre which offers naturopathic and midwifery care. She combines science-based natural medicine with conventional medical therapeutics. Learn more about Dr. Pam and the services offered by her clinic here, or book an appointment at www.drpamelasmith.com.

Check out the latest Ask Dr Pam Q&A and posts by topic below as well as her health and wellness posts.

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How to make a Castor Oil Pack


Castor oil relieves inflammation and pain. It heals lesions and adhesions from surgery, increases circulation of lymph fluid - benefiting the immune system and improves nervous system function. Castor oil can be used for a variety of conditions, including: 

  1. Liver and gall bladder cleansing

  2. Inflammation, pain or infection (internal or enclosed in the skin)

  3. Breast infection, plugged milk ducts

  4. Peptic ulcers

  5. Maldigestion, colitis

  6. Arthritis

  7. Chest colds, chronic lung conditions

  8. Low immunity

It can provide much needed relief from cramps, constipation and muscle spasms. For more about treating and preventing PMS, read this post

Place small amount of castor oil on skin and wait 15 minutes to see if any reaction occurs, if not continue with the procedures below.



1.   Fold the flannel or wool to a ½ inch thickness. 

2.  Dampen the cloth and pour castor oil on it until the cloth is saturated.

3.  Optional: Heat the oil-soaked cloth in the oven on a low temperature until it’s as warm as you can stand it against your skin.

4.  Otherwise, place the cloth over the area to be treated – if you’re treating the liver or abdomen, cover your belly from just below the nipples to the top of your pubic hair. 

5.  Cover the castor oil-soaked cloth with another cloth or plastic bag to prevent soiling of your clothes or sheets, castor oil will stain!

6.  Place hot water bottle or heating pad on top. The pack may remain in place for hours, but the minimum recommended treatment time is 60 minutes. 

7.  After treatment, you can either rub the oil into your skin and leave it on, or you can wipe it off. If needed, you can dip a cloth in a baking soda and water solution to remove the oil. Use 1 tsp baking soda in 8 oz of water.

8.  You can store the cloth in a glass container in the refrigerator for weeks to months. 

Alternatively: rub castor oil onto abdomen then have a warm bath – the warm water will repel the oil into the tissue.


In acute situations, application 1-3 times daily is usually recommended. For chronic conditions, use the pack 1-3 times weekly. Consult with your healthcare provider prior to use.

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