Detox Routines: How castor oil can detox the liver

Ricinus communis, castor oil plant 

Ricinus communis, castor oil plant 


Castor oil is derived from pressing the seeds of the castor plant, Ricinus communis. It is a mix of several fatty acids. Approx 90% is the fatty acid, ricinoleic acid, believed to be responsible for the many health benefits of castor oil.

The uses of castor oil vary widely including using it for hair growth, as a skin moisturiser, treating acne, alleviating aches, pains and constipation, healing infections and more. In this post I’m going to share how to use castor oil packs to assist with liver function.


How can castor oil help the liver?

By applying castor oil directly to the skin, the ricinoleic acid and other healing fatty acids are able to absorb directly into the liver. This:

  • Promotes circulation of blood; and

  • Stimulates lymphatic drainage.

Both help to stimulate liver function and therefore support the detoxification process.


What do you need?

  • High quality castor oil - I use the brand Home Health which is cold pressed and contains no additives. Note: this product is for external use only.

  • Cotton / wool flannel or paper towel - I use paper towels as they are disposable, no mess

  • Heat pack or hot water bottle

  • Plastic bag or plastic wrap to protect the heat pack/bottle

  • Old top, preferably tight and stretchy


How do you apply it?

  1. Heat the heat pack in the microwave (approx 1.5-2 mins depending on size) or fill water bottle with boiling water. Place either inside a plastic bag.

  2. Pour approx 2tbl castor oil onto the paper towel (2 sheets doubled over) and place this directly on your skin over your liver (right side of the abdomen, under right rib cage). Cover with 2 more sheets of paper towel.

  3. Place the plastic bag containing the heat pack on top of the paper towel and hold in place with your tight top.

  4. Keep on as long as you want, recommended 30-60mins.

Tip: It is easier to lie down so the pack doesn’t move, however, if you are like me and want to multitask, put a robe on over the top and tie it just under the pack to keep it in its place.

How often?

Applying it to the skin can be done daily, however, I usually do it 4-5 times per week. Using castor oil externally has minimal risks, however, if you do notice any rash or adverse side effects, always stop and consult the advice of a professional.

How to boost the detox effect?

As the liver converts the fat soluble toxins to water soluble, you can help encourage the body to eliminate the toxins through bodily fluids. For example you can:

  • Drink plenty of water whilst doing caster pack to eliminate toxins through urine

  • Have a hot epsom salt bath after caster pack to eliminate toxins through sweat

  • Jump in an infrared sauna after caster pack to eliminate toxins through sweat


If your liver is feeling congested or your whole body is feeling toxic, I encourage you to try out the castor oil liver pack. When I apply the packs to my liver, I will often hear my liver “gurgle”  - a sign that it is stimulating the liver and moving through the toxins. I also find that my urine after a liver pack has a slight toxic smell to it. This smell is similar to that after a detox bath or juice cleanse or Vitamin C intravenous.


Interested in other ways I support my liver? Check out my blog post.