Greetings! I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas! Here are a few pictures from our holiday...
....my cool nightlight! If I collected anything, I think it would be night lights!
Unfortunately, our family was suffering from a stomach flu this past week. My husband and I used to love going to the gym together, and we just recently decided to start taking our girls to the daycare to renew the habit. Well, it would seem that cold and flu season is NOT the time to do such a thing. My oldest, Jade, brought home a terrible stomach flu that my other daughter, Natalie, my husband, and I all caught, so it was kind of a low-key Christmas for us. Luckily, we're all feeling better and able to consider eating without experiencing a gag reflex.
This all brings me to today's post....the incredible, edible castor oil! There was a time when moms would give their children a daily dose of castor oil to ward off things like constipation, acne, and cold or flu. It is actually an incredible immune system booster, and has been shown to be effective in preventing the growth of numerous types of viruses, bacteria, yeasts, and molds.
Luckily, the benefits can also be reaped by applying it as a pack to the abdomen area! Because I tend to suffer from pain in the liver area, I often place the pack there (upper right abdomen), but you can also place it over the stomach, intestines, or thymus, depending on what's bothering you.
Here's how to make and use a castor oil pack:
- Place a heating pad on a flat surface and turn the setting to high.
- Lay a large plastic bag on top of the heating pad.
- Saturate two or three 12-inch squares of flannel in about 1/2 cup of cold-pressed castor oil. Place them on top of the bag.
- Wrap yourself in a large bath towel to keep oil from getting on your bedding, then place the entire pack against your body with the oil-soaked flannel next to your skin.
- Relax for an hour with the heating pad at the highest temperature you can tolerate.
- When you remove the pad, massage the remaining oil into your skin or clean it off with a quart of warm water mixed with two tablespoons of baking soda. To reuse the flannel, keep it in a plastic container in the refrigerator. Let it warm up before you use it again, and refresh it with one to two tablespoons of fresh castor oil.
I often feel immediately more energized! I also notice that my skin is more hydrated, but that may just be me.
The packs are not the only thing I use castor oil for. Below is a small list of things I've found it helpful for:
- Hair growth. I often put it on my eyelashes and eyebrows at night to help with growth and fullness, and I definitely notice a big difference when I do this!
- Puffy eyes/dark circles. The fatty chains of castor oil are made up almost entirely of ricinoleic acid, which modern medicine recognizes as a powerful anti-inflammatory , so I put a little under my eyes to combat 'under eye bags'.
- Chapped heels. It runs in my family to get severely dry, chapped feet, so I will rub it on my feet, cover them with socks, and wake up to much softer skin!
- Hair shine. I sometimes rub it into my scalp at night to aid with hair growth. By the same token, it acts as a kind of conditioner....just be sure to wash it out in the morning, unless you dig the oily look.
- All-purpose moisturizer. It's great for dry skin, but it doesn't absorb very well. It actually has properties of drawing out toxins, which is why it's used as a pack.
Other ailments I haven't personally tried include:
- Rubbing the oil on the abdomen/intestines or taking it internally for constipation.
- Brushing the teeth with it for gum irritation/cavities.
- Placing the pack on the head for migraines.
- Placing the pack on joints/muscles for pain.
- Rubbed into the arches of the feet before bed, it helps insomnia and enhances dreams.
The famous Edgar Cayce was a leading advocate for the packs and claimed that they had a mysterious and profound calming effect on the body.
More valuable information can be found here: http://www.edgarcayce.org/are/holistic_health/data/thcast1.html, and if you're in the mood for a good book, read The Oil That Heals by William A. McGarey, M.D., (Virginia Beach: A.R.E. Press, 1993).
I hope this was helpful for some of you!
Have you ever tried castor oil? If so, what do you use it for?
Shared with: Make Your Own Monday