The castor bean plant, Ricinus communis,
is a "native of tropical Africa cultivated in several varieties for the
oil found in its leaves and for its bold foliage." (Alber and Alber)
The "stalked leaves consist of usually eight radiating,
pointed leaflets with slightly serrated edges and prominent central veins.
Many varieties are green, but some are reddish brown." (Cooper and Johnson)
The flowers are green and inconspicuous, but pink or red in the pigmented
varieties. Many stamens are near the base and branching pistils are near
the top of the flower. The soft-spined fruits containing attractively mottled
seeds are distinctive features of the plant.
Castor beans are pressed to extract castor oil
which is used for medicinal purposes. Ricin (a toxic substance present
in the plant) does not partition into the oil because it is water-soluble,
therefore, castor oil does not contain ricin, provided that no cross-contamination
occurred during its production.
Although it is native to the Ethiopian region
of tropical east Africa, the castor bean or castor plant (Ricinus communis)
has become naturalized in tropical and warm temperate regions throughout
the world, and is becoming an increasingly abundant weed in the southwestern
United States. Castor plants are very common along stream banks, river
beds, bottom lands, and just about any hot area where the soil is well
drained and with sufficient nutrients and moisture to sustain the vigorous
growth. Although the seeds or beans are extremely poisonous, they are the
source of numerous economically important products and are one of earliest
commercial products. Castor beans have been found in ancient Egyptian tombs
dating back to 4000 B.C., and the oil was used thousands of years ago in
wick lamps for lighting. To many people the castor plant is just an overgrown,
undesirable weed, and yet it produces one of nature's finest natural oils.
The seeds from the castor bean plant, Ricinus
communis, are poisonous
to people, animals and insects. One of the main toxic proteins is "ricin",
named by Stillmark in 1888 when he tested the beans extract on red blood
cells and saw them agglutinate. Now we know that the agglutination was
due to another toxin that was also present, called RCA (Ricinus communis
agglutinin). Ricin is a potent cytotoxin but a weak hemagglutinin, whereas
RCA is a weak cytotoxin and a powerful hemagglutinin.
Poisoning by ingestion of the castor bean is due
to ricin, not RCA, because RCA does not penetrate the intestinal wall,
and does not affect red blood cells unless given intravenously. If RCA
is injected into the blood, it will cause the red blood cells to agglutinate
and burst by hemolysis.
Perhaps just one milligram of ricin can kill an
It is advisable to keep children away from the
castor bean plant or necklaces made with its seeds. In fact don't even
have them in or around a house with small children. If they ingest the
leaves or swallow the seeds, they may get poisoned. The highly toxic seeds
beaded into necklaces, cause skin irritation at the contact point.
If the seed is swallowed without chewing, and
there is no damage to the seed coat, it will most likely pass harmlessly
through the digestive tract. However, if it is chewed or broken and then
swallowed, the ricin toxin will be absorbed by the intestines.
It is said that just one seed can kill a child.
Children are more sensitive than adults to fluid loss due to vomiting and
diarrhea, and can quickly become severely dehydrated and die.
Castor bean plants in a garden should not be
allowed to flower and seed. A good practice is to "nip it in the bud".
Symptoms of Deficiency or Need:
Problems: cholecystitis (inflammation of the
gall bladder), poor elimination, epilepsy, various liver conditions such
as cirrhosis and torpid liver, scleroderma, headaches, appendicitis, arthritis,
incoordination between assminilations and elimination, colitis, intestinal
disorders such as stricture and colon impaction, incoordination between
nervous systems, neuritis, and toxemia.
The part of the plant that is used medicinally
is the oil extracted from the beans. The rest of the plant is poisonous.
Edgar Cayce endorsed abdominal castor oil packs
as a home remedy for all types of problems involving lymph flow, such as
inflammation, congestion, constipation, liver, kidney, and pelvic disorders.
Preliminary studies on castor oil packs done at
the George Washington School of Medicine indicate that they improve immune
Applied to the lower abdomen, at least three
times per week for sixty minutes each time to improve blood flow. This
regimen should be followed for at least three months and then can be tapered
to once a week. Packs should not be used while you are bleeding heavily.
Where can you get it?
Buy the oil from your local pharmacy.
Given the toxicity of the plant to insects, animals
and humans, probably it is best to buy the oil and not take a chance on
Instructions for Castor Oil Packs
Edgar Cayce On Castor Oil Packs
Improved technique for Cayce Castor packs
Castor packs and Carcinoma Tumor
Cayce Herbal - Remedies
for Castor Oil Packs
to the lower abdomen, at least three times per week for sixty minutes each
time to improve blood flow. This regimen should be followed for at least
three months and then can be tapered to once a week. Packs should not be
used while you are bleeding heavily. They are made by saturating wool or
cotton flannel, folded four-ply, with cold-pressed castor oil (cloth should
not be dripping). The oil and flannel can be purchased at a health food
store or directly from the company that makes them.
oil-saturated flannel is then placed directly on the skin of the lower
abdomen and covered with a piece of plastic, such as a plastic bag. Heat,
in the form of a hot water bottle or heating pad , is then applied over
the pack. A blanket or towel can be placed over the heat source to keep
everything in place.
heat source is best. A hot water bottle known as a Fomentek bag is OK.
The patient reclines with this on her lower abdomen for sixty minutes.
A supplement to this is that during this treatment you pay attention to
thoughts, images, and feelings that arise and make note of them in a journal.
Preliminary studies on castor oil packs done at the George Washington School
of Medicine indicate that they improve immune system functioning. The flannel
can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator and used over again.
Add extra castor oil as needed.
the treatment, you can clean your skin with a solution of two teaspoons
of baking soda dissolved in one quart of water.
Cayce on Castor Oil Packs
most frequent use of castor oil is in castor oil packs. The packs are recommended
for: cholecystitis (inflammation of the gall bladder), poor elimination,
epilepsy, various liver conditions such as cirrhosis and torpid liver,
scleroderma, headaches, appendicitis, arthritis, incoordination between
assminilations and elimination, colitis, intestinal disorders such as stricture
and colon impaction, incoordination between nervous systems, neuritis,
the Oil; dipping two, three to four layers of flannel in same, wring out
and apply directly to the body. Well that dry heat be kept over same during
the period of an hour or the like when the Packs are on the body. Bathe
off the body afterwards, of course, with a weak soda solution, to cleanse
the body from the acidity and from the natural secretions that arise from
same." [Reading #1034-1]
well to put oil paper or cloth over the Packs, for we should have great
quantities of the Oil. Do not make them TOO hot, but so as to at least
drive them into the body. It is well to put these on and then apply external
heat; as the electric pad or salt bags or the like. DRY heat, though, rather
than wet heat." [Reading #1312-3]
suggested use of the castor oil pack varied from: several hours at a time,
until relief is obtained; to continued use according to a cycle, such as
three days of use alternated with four days off.
following reading excerpts give further information on the function of
the castor oil packs:
effect of these oil packs is to enliven, through the activity of the absorption
through the perspiratory system, the activities in such natures and measures
as to produce a greater quantity (than at present) and a superficial activity
of the lymph circulation; hence setting up drainages to such measures that
the poisons will be eliminated from the system..." [Reading #631-4]
there may be the use of hot Castor Oil Packs that may assist in so dissolving
the gravel in the gall duct and the gall bladder that it might be drained
osteopathically, after a long series. This would require a much longer
period but would be a much safer manner." [Reading #3160-1]
EVERY condition that is of true epileptic nature there will be found a
cold spot or area between the lacteal duct and the caecum. Over this area
every other day, in the afternoon when the body rests from its physical
exercise in the open, apply Castor Oil packs, for a period of at least
TWO times every other day... We will break up this tendency for the lymph
ducts, in the ducts of the lacteals and in the caecum and colon (ascending
here), that tendency for contraction and for the activities that help to
bring on the conditions that produce incoordination to the nerve forces
of the body." [Reading #567-4]
for warts and moles
were a few cases in which castor oil was recommended for internal dosage
although other readings strongly cautioned against it.
the majority of cases castor oil was recommended to be used in a great
variety of external uses: A mixture of castor oil and baking soda applied
on callouses on the feet, moles, ingrown toenails and warts.
a paste of baking soda with Castor Oil. Mix together and apply of evenings.
Just the proportions so it makes almost a GUM; not as dough but more as
gum, see? A pinch between the fingers with three to four drops in the palm
of the hand, and this worked together and then placed on - bound on. It
may make for irritation after the second or third application, but leave
it off for one evening and then apply the next - and it will be disappearing!"
oil was also recommended to be massaged on callouses, cancer (skin and
breast), cysts, bunions, moles, tumors and warts.
Cayce Readings © 1971 Edgar Cayce Fdtn
technique for Cayce Castor packs
have "improved" on cayce's use of castor packs by using ginger with
with great success... have used it for kidney stones, gallstones
conditions, not necessary for simple acute stones which respond
well to potato water), for various liver problems such as congestion,
jaundice, even cirrhosis... of course for these "heavier"
this was only part of the protocol which was worked out with
rub the castor oil over the upper abdominal area, after creating a
of the ginger root slices... we soak a cotton cloth in the
place it as hot as the patient can take it over the castor
area, cover this with a thick cotton towel, wrap a blanket around
all to keep the heat in... sometimes even use a hot water bottle
the towel and the blanket... keep it on for about an hour... the
feels "chemical-burning-like-sensations in the livers as the
begin... this disappears rather quickly (in minutes) and then the
chronic cases have to do this twice a day for a few days, then
to once a day, then a few times a week, then once a week... and the
and gallbladder and kidneys all get strong and after a few months
treatments are required, no stones are produced...
packs and Carcinoma Tumor
personally know of a woman who had a renal clear cell carcinoma tumor on
kidney. She had it surgically removed the first time with homeopathic
care. About a year later a cat scan showed that the tumor had
to regrow. She was deeply depressed so I suggested she try the
oil pack as recommended by Cayce along with a "Prayer for Healing"
the Cayce readings. "Anything to avoid surgery, again." she replied.
followed the directions and two months later she reported that the cat
could not find any evidence of a tumor and of course the doctors were
the time she was wearing the pack she learned to make it a time of
During that meditation time she realized that she needed to
and change her lifestyle. Today, many years later, she is still
and in good health.