One of the more compelling health benefits, if true, is castor oil’s support of your immune system. And this healing property does not require you ingest the oil, but only apply it externally.
The benefits of castor oil packs were popularized by the late psychic healer Edgar Cayce, and then later researched by primary care physician William McGarey of Phoenix, Arizona, a follower of Cayce’s work and the author of The Oil That Heals. McGarey reported that, when used properly, castor oil packs improve the function of your thymus gland and other components of your immune system. More specifically, he found in two separate studies that patients using abdominal castor oil packs had significant increases in lymphocyte production compared to placebo packs.
Lymphocytes are your immune system’s disease-fighting cells and are produced and stored mainly in your lymphatic tissuexvii(thymus gland, spleen, and lymph nodes). Hundreds of miles of lymphatic tubules allow waste to be collected from your tissues and transported to your blood for elimination, a process referred to as lymphatic drainage. When your lymphatic system is not working properly, waste and toxins can build up and make you sick.
Lymphatic congestion is a major factor leading to inflammation and disease.
This is where castor oil comes in. When castor oil is absorbed through your skin (according to Cayce and McGarey), your lymphocyte count increases. Increased lymphocytes speed up the removal of toxins from your tissues, which promotes healing.
In addition, castor oil packs have been touted as an effective treatment for a number of maladies. Dr. Julie Hara explains in Greenster: Naturopathically, castor oil is used to decrease inflammation and to help the liver to function optimally. It increases circulation of blood and lymph, enhances the immune system, improves elimination of toxic substances, and promotes the healing of tissues. Due to these effects, it can be used to decrease pain, improve digestion, and help in the treatment of many conditions including uterine fibroids, non-malignant ovarian cysts, headaches, migraines, constipation, intestinal disorders, and gallbladder and liver conditions.
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