How to Use Castor Oil for Eczema Relief

By Dr. Amy Duong (bio below)

Today, I want to explain the benefits and use of castor oil packs as an eczema treatment.  First, a little bit about what makes castor oil so special. Castor oil is made from the plant Ricinus communis (castor bean) and has been used historically for many reasons – most commonly internally as a laxative and externally for pain and inflammation.  The active component in castor oil is considered to be ricinoleic acid and has been proven to reduce inflammation and exhibit analgesic (pain-relieving) effects in studies like this one.

As a naturopathic doctor specializing in skin conditions, such as eczema, there are a couple of organs in the body that are key players that I focus my attention towards, which I have outlined below:

  • Digestive tract: making sure that food allergies, yeast overgrowth, and beneficial bacteria are sufficient for proper assimilation and elimination of food.
  • Lymphatic system:  making sure the lymphatic system has proper circulation for a healthy immune system and removing the cellular waste in your body.  Check out my previous post about ways to move the lymphatic system: 4 Tips to Drain the Lymphatic System and Take Out the Body’s Trash.
  • Liver: proper detoxification of the liver is very important to clean the bloodstream and address environmental toxins such as drugs, hormones, food additives, and other allergens.

With the use of castor oil topically, I can address all of these organs and systemically help to reduce inflammation, encourage proper digestion especially for patients having constipation, support the detoxification of the liver and move the lymphatic system.  This, in turn, improves the outcome of any treatment recommendations I have for patients with eczema and promote clear, beautiful skin.

As with many things, it’s important to be diligent and regular with the use of castor oil packs to experience its benefits.  I recommend patients use the castor oil packs consecutively for 3 days in a row, and then take a break for compliance; though regular use everyday would be a great practice as well.  In addition to the benefits of castor oil for the body’s organs, perhaps equally important is the relaxation that one experiences from lying down and doing castor oil packs.  In the region of our abdomen where the castor oil is applied are nerves, our immune system, and lymph system.  Thus, the castor oil packs with the added heat I recommend, offers a calming effect, which allows the body to rest, de-stress, and focus on healing.

How to Make Castor Oil Packs

Supplies Required:

1. Flannel or wool cloth, such as this one.

Image from Amazon.com

2. External healing source – such as a heating pad or hot water bottle.

Image from Amazon.com

3. Castor oil from a good source, like this one.

Image from Amazon.com

4. Old clothes or small towel that you don’t care to spoil from the castor oil because the oil will stain clothing and bedding.

Steps:

  1. Fold the flannel or wool cloth into 2 layers to cover the recommended body area – I recommend the entire abdomen from the sternum to the above the hip bones.
  2. Soak the flannel or wool cloth pack in castor oil, which can be done in a glass container and place the pack over the skin of the area of body to be treated. Or, you can apply the castor oil directly onto the skin and place the flannel/wool pack over the oiled-up skin.
  3. Place sheet of plastic, towel, or old clothes over pack to prevent oil from ruining your other clothes.
  4. Place the heat from the heating pad or hot water bottle on top to allow the skin to absorb the oil.  Please remember not to fall asleep with the heating pad on.
  5. Treatment should continue for about 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  6. To complete treatment, remove the castor oil pack and cleanse your skin with a solution of baking soda and water (1 teaspoon baking soda to 1 pint of water) or just a gentle eczema soap.
  7. The pack can be stored in the refrigerator in a glass container.  It can be reused 20-25 times, after which it should be washed or dry-cleaned.

Caution: Do not use castor oil packs during pregnancy, over areas of active bleeding (wounds, ulcers, menses) or on patients with bleeding disorders.

I hope you give Castor Oil Packs a try for eczema relief.  It has been a great addition to my protocols for reducing pain, inflammation, digestive concerns and promoting a healthy body for healthy skin.

amy duong becomes a naturopath after her struggles with eczema

Bio: Dr. Amy Duong completed her Naturopathic Doctorate at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona, where she also trained in Acupuncture. She offers general naturopathic care with a special focus on skin disorders including eczema, acne and psoriasis as well as anxiety, depression and digestive concerns. Currently, Dr. Duong is based in Connecticut where she sees many lovely patients of all ages with common skin conditions and other medical concerns in her naturopathic medical practice.

Please visit Dr. Amy Duong’s website for more information and to work with her through phone or Skype consultations.  Dr. Amy’s patients come from around the world and it’s her passion to help everyone on their path to clear skin. Stay in touch through Instragram or check out her informative YouTube videos.

Click Here for a FREE 15 Minute Consultation with Dr. Amy Duong

FROM: Eczema

40 Comments

  1. Camilleta on May 28, 2015 at 11:06 am

    I’ve tried a lot for eczema but not this. I will have to give it a go! Thanks for sharing.

    • Jennifer Roberge on May 28, 2015 at 11:32 am

      Wonderful! So glad you’ve found something new to try. Good luck!

  2. Auntie Jems on May 28, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    I have used castor oil packs recently to relieve inflammation and pain from ovarian cysts. It worked much better than I expected. Thank you for explaining why, I was struggling to find this information.

    • Jennifer Roberge on June 5, 2015 at 2:11 pm

      That’s great! So glad the castor oil packs provided relief for you. Isn’t it so interesting how they work?

  3. Latha - Columbus Allergists on June 2, 2015 at 10:30 am

    This is an interesting alternative to typical eczema treatments. I will have to try this out!

    • Jennifer Roberge on June 5, 2015 at 2:09 pm

      I’m so happy to introduce you to something new to try! I hope you see results!

      • Nelly on August 17, 2018 at 3:46 am

        Please,can you explain to me very well on how to use castor oil on my ezema face.

        Thank you.

  4. Joan on December 1, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    Can you use the pack overnight

    • Jennifer Roberge on December 2, 2015 at 11:53 am

      Hi Joan – a maximum of one hour is what is recommended. Overnight would be too intense I’m afraid.

  5. Mobin Neda on December 6, 2015 at 1:54 am

    Could you please tell me if I can use the Castor oil packs on the face of my 16 years old daughter who suffer from the face eczema

    • Amy Duong on December 15, 2015 at 10:23 am

      Hi Mobin,

      You could see if the castor oil helps moisturize or relieve itchiness on the face as long as it doesn’t cause more sensitivity and itchiness for your daughter. Castor oil packs in particular are meant to be done on the abdomen from under the sternum to below the belly button to help the immune system and digestive system in reducing inflammation throughout the body. I hope this helps you and feel free to call for a 15 min free consultation.

      Dr. Duong

  6. May on January 25, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    Can I try this on my 8 year son? He has been batteling with mild to moderate eczema/ skin hives since he was an infant. I have personally used the castor pack on myself and love the effects of it.

    • Jennifer Roberge on February 1, 2016 at 8:44 am

      Yes, castor oils backs are safe for children. I hope it works well for you!

  7. Durga on January 28, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    Can castor oil help to burn belly fat if done 3 time week how long will it typically take?

    • Jennifer Roberge on February 1, 2016 at 8:43 am

      Hi there – I don’t believe belly fat can be reduced anyway but from diet and exercise. From what I understand, sugar is the biggest thing to blame for belly fat – which is in alcohol, which is where the term “beer belly” came from. If you want to reduce belly fat, cut way back on all sugars, except for fresh fruit.

  8. Katrina on February 17, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    My son is 1 1/2 years old, with bad eczema, and I know he wouldn’t sit still for me to put a castor oil pack on him for 30 minutes. Is there another way I can use it on him? Thanks!

    • Jennifer Roberge on March 11, 2016 at 12:46 pm

      Hi Katrina – Can you put some castor oil on his abdomen while he is taking a warm bath? It is very thick and won’t run off if applied before the bath. Then rinse the castor oil off with some baking soda and water when the bath is over? Give that a try.

  9. rtang on February 21, 2016 at 12:34 am

    I thought you would put the Castro oil on the area where you’d have eczema, but it seems the purpose of the Castro oil on the abdomum to aid in digestive track so the body can ride of toxins? Thank you.

  10. Kel on April 6, 2016 at 11:13 am

    Hi. Im experiencing some reactions like itching, redness and some rashes after applying castor oil pack. Any recommendations on how to treat this? Thanks.

    • Dr. Amy Duong on April 6, 2016 at 4:22 pm

      Hi Kel! You may be sensitive to castor oil, giving you a hyperactive reaction. I would stop using it perhaps address the redness, itching and rashes with an elimination diet or figure out the underlying cause of your concern. Feel free to contact me directly from my website, http://www.naturalskindr.com

  11. lifamily on April 27, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    Hi, I would like to try castor oil on my 3yo daughter who has had ezcema on and off since she’s a baby. but I don’t think she’ll sit still for that much time, and I usually shower her instead of bath. Can I apply castor oil on her tummy and massage with my palm to warm? do I have to rinse it? can I wipe it off with a wet towel since the skin will absorb the rest of the oil?

    Thank you!

    • Dr. Amy Duong on May 2, 2016 at 3:43 pm

      Hi there! Yes, you can apply the castor oil and have your daughter soak in the warm water. No need to massage her tummy. You can rinse it off after 15-20 minutes either with some soap and water or a mixture of baking soda and water. Good luck!

  12. peanutandnectar on August 25, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    Hi there. Can I apply castor oil on my 3 year old daughter’s arms and eyelid and leave it on over night for her eczema? Thank you!

  13. Montel Hawkins on September 11, 2016 at 4:39 am

    I love this and want to try this out ASAP. It’ll be easier to follow if you had a step by step video… Please message me back on this matter

    • Jennifer Roberge on September 19, 2016 at 11:35 am

      I’m so sorry – we don’t have a video – but maybe you could find one on youtube?

  14. Lauriane on October 7, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    Hi doctor, is it safe to leave castor oil on the skin overnight? My 6 years old son has eczema his face is very dry turns white and skin falling in his bed, wounds on the side of the knees and on legs

    • Dr. Duong on May 11, 2017 at 2:06 pm

      Hi Lauriane,

      Yes, you can leave castor oil overnight. Do not leave your heating source on overnight – remember to turn it off before falling asleep.

  15. MLou on April 29, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    What is the difference between reg castor oil and Jamcian Black Castor oil. Can both oils be used in the same way?

    • Dr. Duong on May 11, 2017 at 2:07 pm

      Regular castor oil (organic, cold pressed if possible) is different than Jamacian Black Castor oil in that it doesn’t have the ash to make the dark color in the Jamacian black castor oil. I would use the regular castor oil as the other is used typically more for supporting hair growth.

  16. Malaria Rodriguez on May 10, 2017 at 10:31 pm

    Hello, my 17yrs old has eczema on his foot . I ordered this organic Castro oil from the amazon. It’s supposed to be for the dry skin. Did I get the right one? How do I apply it to his foot? How long and how many times a day?

    • Dr. Duong on May 11, 2017 at 2:09 pm

      You don’t need to put the castor oil in the eczema – this may be irritating and cause more itchiness depending on how sensitive the eczema is to topical ointments. The castor oil in this post is used more for liver cleansing and is used on the abdomen to help the liver detoxify.

  17. Kareah on July 21, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    Can i apply castor oil directly to the affected area?

    • Jennifer Roberge on July 31, 2017 at 3:40 pm

      Hi Kareah – It’s not recommended as a topical eczema treatment. Dr. Amy recommends it more to soothe the liver which when congested can trigger eczema. So packs should be applied as she indicated in the post.

  18. Gorgia Senrose on December 9, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    How many times a day should i put the castor oil pack for my aczema?

  19. Zhora on April 21, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    Can I use castor oil to treat seborrheic dermatitis of the eyelids?

  20. Nelly on August 17, 2018 at 3:53 am

    How to use castor oil on fibroid, and can it have effect on ulcer patient when applying.

  21. Ola on September 4, 2018 at 1:38 am

    can i use this on a one year old baby with very dry, itchy skin, please?

  22. Mommy B on November 7, 2018 at 8:53 am

    My son has really bad eczema around his eyes.. can I use this for him? We have tried just about everything.. but since it’s around his eyes it seems to be even harder..

    • Jennifer Roberge on November 7, 2018 at 9:56 am

      Hi there – I wouldn’t recommend using castor oil around his eyes as it would be near impossible to wash out if it got in his eye. Please check out this post for eye and eyelid eczema.

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