Wellness Advice

Treating Arthritis with Castor oil: A time tested remedy

Castor oil is extracted from the castor seed, Ricinus communis which is indigenous to India.  Used traditionally as a gastrointestinal stimulant to treat constipation*, it has also been proven effective in treating arthritis pain and inflammation.  Its unique composition consist of over 90% ricinoleic acid, which is gives it anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.

There are a variety of ways you can incorporate castor oil to your natural pain management routine:

Castor Oil Pack

Probably the most safe and effective way to use castor oil, creating a castor oil pack and applying it 45-60 mins, 4-7 times a week can decrease pain and inflammation associated with arthritis.

1. Take a piece of cotton fleece and fold it into a square, creating 4 layers of fabric.

2. Soak your cotton fleece in good quality castor oil that can be purchased easily and inexpensively at  your health food store.

3. Place the oil soaked fabric on achy joints or muscles and cover with plastic wrap.

4. Take a hot water bottle or heating pad over the castor oil pack and let sit for 45 mins.

Ginger and Castor Oil Drink

In severe arthritis dissolve a pinch of ginger powder in a glass of hot water.  Let cool and sir in 1-2 tablespoons of castor oil (checking the label to make sure the brand you have can be ingested).  Do this once a day, before bedtime.

Do not take for more than 30 days without consulting a health care practitioner.

Castor oil can be ingested, but as I mentioned above it has gastrointestinal effects, therefore, do not use if you suffer from any gastrointestinal disorders, including but not limited to intestinal blockage, appendicitis or abdominal pain.  Overdosage of castor oil may result in diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and cramping.  

The FDA approves Castor oil in the dosage of 0.7mg/kg which averages to 1-2 tablespoons for an adult.** You may wish to start with a low dose, for example, 1 teaspoon, and increase to 1-2 tablespoons as needed.

* http://www.greenmedinfo.com/article/castor-oil-safe-and-effective-treatment-patients-wtih-osteoarthritis

** http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18080873


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