Better sleep? Better digestion? Reduced pain and inflammation? Amy says “yes,” and more.
It is rare for me to find a product that is “life-changing,” but I found one quite by accident last year when I used a Queen of the Thrones Castor Oil Pack for the first time. I learned about the brand from an interview with the inventor Dr. Marisol Teijeiro, a naturopathic doctor practicing in Canada. I’ve tried to use castor oil packs in the past, but always gave up because they were messy and uncomfortable: scratchy from the flannel, drippy from the oil, and itchy from the saran wrap that you use to hold it on. Queen of the Thrones solves all these problems. I was impressed with how soft and comfortable the pack is – the inner layer is made from organic cotton sherpa and the outer layer of non-toxic, solvent-free polyurethane. The elastic nylon strap ties on, and stays on, even when you are moving.
That first night, I poured 2 Tbsp of castor oil onto the pack, blotting to keep the oil in the center. I tied it below my rib cage on my right (over the liver), tucked my pajama top into my pajama bottom over the pack, to ensure it stayed in place, and went to bed. Incredibly, I slept through the night for the FIRST time in YEARS! I felt like a NEW woman with tons of energy!
I was hooked. And it prompted me to do a little research. According to Dr. Marisol, “the Pack engages your body’s natural restorative mechanisms and helps shift you from a stressed state to the ‘rest and digest’ state so you can promote liver detox, lymphatic drainage and colon cleansing.” No wonder I was sleeping so soundly!
I have since shared this product with a few hundred people. Does everyone have the same sleeping-through-the-night experience? No, of course not. But it is the #1 thing people report to me. Even I don’t have that experience every night, BUT even when I don’t, I easily fall back to sleep and wake feeling rested. It has become part of my bedtime routine, like my non-negotiable cup of herbal tea and brushing my teeth. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, our bodies natural cleansing cycle begins at 11pm and this is why it is so beneficial to wear the pack overnight.
However, there are many benefits beyond a longer, deeper sleep. Bottom line, castor oil packs promote healing in the body. They reduce inflammation and promote lymphatic drainage in an area, resulting in detoxification. I often supercharge the pack with a drop of lemon essential oil, and then and add a hot water bottle over the pack. The combination of the oils and heat drive the oils deeper into the body to perform their therapeutic magic. Adding heat is not necessary with this product, however, because the pack naturally holds in your body’s own heat. (Editor’s note: castor oil drops are central to Debra’s legendary Dry Eye Protocol. We always have copies of her info sheet, and it has helped hundreds of people so far).
Not everyone wants to wear the pack to sleep, and that’s ok, but I love the efficiency of this practice and I visualize my liver detoxing while I sleep. Dr. Marisol recommends wearing it for 45-60 minutes over the liver daily to experience a benefit, and ideally to relax while you do it.
The other experience that hooked me on castor oil packs was resolution of a painful Baker’s cyst. A Baker’s cyst is a fluid-filled growth behind the knee. It’s non-cancerous and not life-threatening. But it hurt, and more, it was really interfering with my life. I knew that castor oil packs reduced inflammation, and figured I would try. The pain was persistent, so if nothing else, I welcomed an opportunity to sit down for 45-60 minutes with my leg up, castor oil pack wrapped around the area, perched on a hot water bottle. I felt a reduction in the pain after that first pack! I did it 4-5 nights per week for a few weeks and the Baker’s cyst resolved itself. I now recommend castor oil for any type of injury with inflammation. It can be used over joints and injuries, bone spurs, and cysts. The best thing about these packs is that they can be used on pretty much any problem area including shoulders, breast, low back, hip and abdomen. They can safely combined with any medication or supplement.
It also comes in handy if I have a late night or a heavy meal; the pack helps with digestion and promotes relaxation. It’s not a laxative, like taking castor oil orally, but it may relieve constipation and encourage regular bowel movements. Over the past year or so it has become a useful tool in my Wellness Toolbox to not only assist with cleansing and detoxification, but so much more, and I honestly cannot imagine living without it.
What is castor oil? Castor oil is derived from the seeds of the castor bean. Castor Oil is extremely rich in anti-inflammatory ricinoleic acid, which easily permeates through the first layer of the skin and into the dermis where the blood and lymphatic vessels live. We recommend organic, hexane-free oil, and sell it in amber glass, which is preferable.
In summary, castor oil packs have been around for centuries, but Dr. Marisol invented this one because she was tired of traditional messy packs that were discouraging for her patients to use. She has used and recommended it in clinical practice since 2007. Although this pack is not ‘mess-free,’ if you keep the oil in the center of the pack, it is most definitely less messy!
How to make your Castor Oil pack last? The Packs do have a lifespan of 2-3 months if you are using them nightly. They recommend washing by hand, but I wash mine every 2-3 weeks in the top rack of the dishwasher to extend the life to about 3 months. If you use the Pack for 2 months, the cost is .75 per night. You are worth it!
I honestly could go and on about how wonderful castor oil packs are, I am only scratching the surface here. Queen of the Thrones has an awesome website, tons of You Tube videos, and an active Instagram page with lots of tips and tricks! I highly recommend checking out these resources. Please note, castor oil packs can be worn by most everyone including children. Except for pregnant women because castor oil may induce labor when taken in high doses by mouth, and even though it’s highly unlikely to do that when applied to the skin, we just like being safe!