Latin: Ricinus communis
WHAT IT DOES: Externally, castor oil stimulates lymph drainage. Internally, it is a laxative.
RATING: Yellow, due to specific limitations in usage
SAFETY ISSUES: Castor oil is bitter and slightly sweet in taste. There are no known safety issues for external use. However, do not use for internal purposes with intestinal obstruction. Do not use internally for more than 10 days consecutively. Warning: Do not ingest seeds–they are poisonous.
• Oil–internal laxative use: ingest one to two tablespoons at bedtime
• Oil–external use: soak cotton or flannel pads in the oil and apply
as a moist pack for one-half to one hour, using a heating pad to stimulate absorption. Castor oil is used externally to stimulate movement and elimination in the lymphatic system, and internally as a laxative. I never use castor oil internally as a laxative for more than one or two days per month due to its potency and bad taste. However, like other laxatives, it can be used to cleanse the bowels in cases of chronic or acute skin eruptions. Following the Ayurvedic tradition, short-term use of a potent laxative like castor oil is recommended if the patient suffers from heart disease, severe hypertension (to quickly reduce elevated blood pressure), or chronic fever.
Dr. William McGarey tells us in his book Edgar Cayce and the Palma Christi that a Dr. Arthur Schoch treated ten cases of severe skin eruption successfully with a few doses of castor oil. One patient reported to me that she could get pimples to disappear quickly by applying a single drop of castor oil to them a few times a day.
At our clinic, we use castor oil primarily as an external preparation, as packs placed over swollen glands, cancers, cysts, hard swellings, and other abnormal growths. The oil seems to stimulate the lymphatic system to draw away poisons. We usually place the packs over the lymph glands near the shoulders, groin, upper back and neck, over the abdomen or liver, or over the kidneys. I remember in particular a woman with chronically swollen lymph glands in the neck who had seen several doctors to no avail. Castor oil packs rid her of the problem in two weeks.