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  • Writer's pictureSabrina Granniss, IBCLC

Castor Oil Compresses

Updated: Dec 28, 2019

I love being able to have safe and effective home remedies that are easy to use and solve a variety of ailments my kids (and husband) come down with. When I work with parents and babies as a lactation consultant (IBCLC), I feel it is important to empower them to be able to do the same. As our families grow I want parents to be able to have solutions for the bumps, bruises and all the things that come up and in a way that is healing and helpful to the body, doing no harm.

Castor oil compresses have been used for a very long time. The oil of the castor seed is dated back to 1550 BCE. Although the seed itself is poisonous, the oil of the seed is used for many health benefits.

Castor oil compresses are used to reduce inflammation by reducing the load of white blood cells attacking tissue and therefore reducing inflammation. Castor oil compresses can be used for many issues for breastfeeding parents and their babies.

For breastfeeding and babies:

plugged ducts


baby is not stooling many times a day

For the rest of the family:

cramps anywhere in the body


muscle soreness

How to do a castor oil compress:

Cut a piece of cotton flannel to a size big enough to cover the area you will be using it on. Soak the cotton flannel cloth in castor oil. You want the cloth to be saturated, but not dripping. Apply the cloth to the affected area. Cover the cloth and a little extra area with plastic wrap to help hold it in place. This will also help keep the oil more contained. Castor oil is quite messy and will stain, so do not wear your favorite shirt while doing castor oil compresses. Next, put a heating pad or hot water bottle over the castor oil pack. The heat will feel nice and is helpful in reducing the inflammation. Leave the castor oil pack on for 15 minutes for babies and 20 minutes for older children and adults. After you are done with the pack, wash your skin with warm soapy water.

Castor oil pack storage:

After you have used your castor oil pack, put the cotton flannel cloth in a glass storage container or sealed plastic bag for use next time. There is no need to wash your cloth. The next time you need to use your castor oil cloth for a pack, add more castor oil to your cotton flannel cloth again making sure it is saturated but not dripping and repeat the above instructions on how to do a castor oil compress.

Enjoy the benefits of your castor oil pack!


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1 Comment

Mar 25

Thank you Sabrina


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