We get it, you’re sick of hearing about detox this, cleanse that. The truth is that your liver is exceptionally good at doing its job: breaking down harmful substances (like alcohol and drugs) in your blood and removing them from your body. Yet, in this day and age, our bodies are burdened with more environmental toxins than ever before, even if we strive to live as healthily as possible. This is why loving on your liver can give this hardworking organ a fighting chance at processing chemicals and can offer deeper restorative care for lingering health issues that may be attributable to a sluggish liver. For instance, hormonal imbalances, skin conditions or digestive issues are all deeply connected to your liver’s ability to properly detox through phase one and two detoxification pathways. 

Much of castor oil’s potency is thanks to one active ingredient: ricinoleic acid. This monounsaturated fatty acid makes up 90% of the total fatty acid content of castor oil and is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. So how do these fatty acids actually reach your liver? When castor oil is applied to the skin over your liver, it is absorbed transdermally which stimulates your lymphatic system, boosts your liver function, and reduces inflammation. By giving your liver a bit of a break with castor oil packs, it’s able to focus on other essential functions like healing and making antioxidants. 

What You’ll Need:

  • Castor oil (ideally cold-pressed)
  • Large flannel cloth (about 12’x27”)
  • Towel or rag of some kind that you don’t mind getting oil on
  • Heating pad or hot water bottle

How to Make a Castor Oil Pack:

  1. Fold your flannel cloth into thirds to make 3 layers
  2. Put your cloth in a bowl and pour a few tablespoons over the top, soaking the flannel
  3. Ring out any excess oil and place the cloth over your abdomen
  4. Cover with a dry towel or rag
  5. Place your hot water bottle or heating pad on top and just chill for 30-45 min

When to Use a Castor Oil Pack:

If you’re struggling with any sluggishness (like constipation or lymph stagnation) castor oil packs are your best friend. You can start by using them nightly for a week or two and then taper down to a few times a week once your symptoms start to improve. Just remember that, like most things, they work best when they’re done consistently! Also, you’ll want to avoid using castor oil packs during your period but they can be incredibly supportive during the week leading up to your period to reduce pms and cramping.

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