What's my most prescribed treatment? My patients already know that Castor Oil Packs (COPs) are mandatory for nearly everyone that seeks my care.
Many of you may be familiar with the use of castor oil internally as a remedy for constipation or late-term pregnancy. For the record, I do not recommend the use of castor oil internally. But used topically, castor oil is a great detoxifying agent for the lymphatics and digestive system!
When applied to the skin, castor oil is easily absorbed (remember, the skin acts as a super-sponge). It works by increasing circulation and recruiting White Blood Cells (the immune system's army) to the area. Elimination is stimulated and thus tissue and healing occurs.
Most common uses are over the entire abdomen with a focus over the liver (right upper quadrant of abdomen, just over last few ribs and above the belly button). I prescribe COPs to patients with hormonal or cholesterol imbalances, any digestive complaints, fatigue, poor elimination, or a toxic lifestyle. Other uses would be for headaches, most skin conditions, inflammation anywhere in the body, or over joints for arthritis or injuries (to name a few).
1. Buy a bottle of castor oil ($3-6)
2. Wear an old t-shirt (it stains)
3. Sit down and relax.
4. Grab a piece of flannel fabric and work a tablespoon of castor oil into it.
5. Cover your entire abdomen with the soaked flannel (from hip bones up to where ribs meet at breastbone). Alternatively, you can massage a teaspoon of oil directly over your abdomen.
6. You can then cover the oil or fabric with seran wrap decrease mess, or just let down your old t-shirt.
7. Apply a heat source (hot water bottle, heating pad) over abdomen for at least 20-30 min.
8. Wipe off or leave on overnight!
9. Repeat every day. If you can't get to it every day, try for at least 3 days in a row.
Be well! Please contact Dr. Birr at Origins Natural Medicine if you have any questions!
Dr. Alicia McCubbins is a naturopathic physician who strives to educate, motivate and inspire. Please feel free to share your thoughts or questions so that we may collectively grow through knowledge.