1. flannel material, preferably wool (an old flannel shirt may also be used)
2. plastic wrap or wax paper
3. large plastic bag
4. electric heating pad
5. castor oil
6. 2 bath towels
Directions to make your pack:
1. Find a place where you have a large amount of table space, usually your kitchen counter or table.
2. Next spread out either plastic wrap or wax paper on the counter or table surface. This is to keep your table from getting greasy when you pour the oil. It also makes cleanup easier.
3. Take your flannel material and spread it out on the plastic or wax paper so it’s a single thickness.
4. Then, get your castor oil and begin pouring it all over the flannel material, spreading it with your fingers. Get it saturated, but not dripping.
5. Next, fold the flannel material, saturated in oil, into three or four layers thick. You can make it into the shape you need depending on what you plan to use it for. For example, if you plan to use it on your foot or knee, you can fold it several times so it’s small enough to cover your foot or knee, about 6″ x 8″. However, if you plan to use it over your abdomen, you’ll want to fold it so it’s a little larger, about 10″ x 12″.
Great, now your pack is made. Next, I’ll tell you how to set things up to apply your pack.
Applying the pack:
1. First you want to heat your pack. Personally, I don’t like heating my pack in a microwave; I’m a little superstitious and afraid the microwaves will affect the oil in a negative way, so I use an oven. In the winter months, I use my big oven; in the summer, I use my toaster oven. Put your pack in a shallow baking dish and heat it for 8 to 10 minutes at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). It’s best to set a timer so you don’t over heat it.
2. While your pack is heating, get out your bath towels. I like to use 2 just in case some of the oil drips through. Decide where you want to do your pack. I do mine either on the sofa or in bed, often while reading or watching TV. Place the towels in the area where you’ll be lying. If using the pack on your abdomen, the towel will go under your back. Likewise, if you’re using the pack on your knee, the towels will go under your knee. The towels have two purposes. One is to keep your furniture from getting greasy. The other is to wrap the top towel over the pack, once it’s placed.
3. Next, have your heating pad plugged in so it will reach where you’re lying; put in on a low or medium heat setting. Also, have your plastic bag ready. You can use a plastic shopping bag or a small, clean, garbage bag.
4. When the timer goes off and your castor oil pack is heated, remove it from the oven. I pick mine up quickly by the edges and drop it on a large dinner plate. You can also use tongs or a spatula to pick it up. You may need to wait a minute or two before putting it on if it’s too hot.
5. Bring the pack over to where you plan to relax. Pick up the castor oil pack and place it on your abdomen or desired area. Then, take your plastic bag and lie this flat over the pack. The main purpose of your plastic bag is to keep your heating pad from getting oily. Then, put your heating pad on top of the bag. Lastly, take the top towel and pull it over you so it covers the castor oil pack. It helps keep you and the pack warm.
6. Turn the heating pad up to a temperature that is comfortable, but not too hot. Keep the pack on for 45 minutes to an hour, or as is comfortable. Do this at least three to four times a week. If you have an open wound you’re trying to heal, it’s probably best to place the pack beside the wound, rather than directly on it.
Get a small saucepan or bowl. Sit it in your kitchen sink and fill it with about 2 – 3 cups of hot water. Add about a tablespoon of baking soda. Then, get a wash cloth and use this soda-water to cleanse the oil from your abdomen or other area. I often set this up while I’m waiting for my castor oil pack to get hot. I don’t measure it, just sprinkle a little baking soda in the bottom of a pot and get out my wash cloth. Put the hot water in later or it will get cold while you’re doing your pack. After doing a pack several times, you’ll get into a routine. I find that doing a pack in the evening before going to bed, helps me sleep.
Don’t forget to take one teaspoon of olive oil after you’re finished.
Best wishes to you in your healing!