The castor oil pack has gained popularity amongst health enthusiasts online for it’s detoxifying properties. Not only can it draw toxins from being consumed, but from the areas on which a pack is placed. Content creators, via social media and more specifically TikTok, have shared their experiences via testimonials of success. Some report back with cleared skin, others with relieved pain and more than anything else, cleared bowels.

Here’s a breakdown of what they are, how to create them and what to expect after using a castor oil pack. 

What Is a Castor Oil Pack?

In order to create a pack, you’ll need castor oil, a cloth, a plastic wrap and a hot water bottle. It is recommended that you do not use an electric blanket or microwave as it can start to smoke. Once you have your supplies, you’ll want to test the castor oil on a small area of your skin. If your skin does not react, lay the cloth on top of the plastic wrap and drench it in castor oil. Some sources say start off with a couple tablespoons, but it really depends on the size of the area that you’re packing. Leave the pack on no longer than one hour. 

While the FDA has approved the use of castor oil solely for minimal consumption to target temporary constipation, it’s believed that castor oil (on the skin) has additional detoxifying properties. Not only can it soothe external skin issues like sunburn, bug bites or allergic rashes, it’s also been used for cramps, liver or gallbladder disorders, congestion and gynecological conditions. Doctors recommend that packs never be placed on open wounds and that women who are breastfeeding avoid use of this technique. Use of the technique beyond an hour is also not recommended. 

How To Know It’s Working

Castor oil packing is a trendy home remedy that’s been embraced in non-Western cultures for centuries. However, castor oil itself is a universal product down to being a main ingredient in today’s beauty products. It’s been known to clear acne and blemishes so expect to achieve that baby face after using it over time. Beyond its moisturizing quality, consistent use has also alleviated muscle pain, abdominal pain and constipation (from the outside in).

As an anti-inflammatory, it’s helped folks to restore areas of swelling and limited mobility throughout their bodies. The irritation and/or pain has been said to be cleared anywhere from days to weeks. Scientific research still limits castor oil to being a tablespoon-fed diuretic of sorts. However, personal anecdotes have proven an expanded capacity. 

Side Effects To Be On The Lookout For

On the other hand, if you react to the spot test administered at the start of the process, then chances are, you’re allergic. You may experience itching, swelling or a rash after which would confirm that this technique isn’t for you. If overconsumed in an effort to relieve constipation, users could experience nausea, abdominal cramping and dizziness amongst other side effects. 

Overuse of castor oil packs can cause similar reactions including, but not limited to shortness of breath and chest pain. While its benefits range from clearing skin and alleviating pain to minimizing cramping and relieving constipation, introduction of the technique to your routine is recommended after consulting with your doctor. Whenever you do decide to get started, we wish you a safe and effective journey now that you know what to expect after the castor oil pack.