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How to Use Castor Oil for Eczema Relief

By Dr. Amy Duong (bio below)

Today, I want to explain the benefits and use of castor oil packs as an eczema treatment.  First, a little bit about what makes castor oil so special. Castor oil is made from the plant Ricinus communis (castor bean) and has been used historically for many reasons – most commonly internally as a laxative and externally for pain and inflammation.  The active component in castor oil is considered to be ricinoleic acid and has been proven to reduce inflammation and exhibit analgesic (pain-relieving) effects in studies like this one.

As a naturopathic doctor specializing in skin conditions, such as eczema, there are a couple of organs in the body that are key players that I focus my attention towards, which I have outlined below:

  • Digestive tract: making sure that food allergies, yeast overgrowth, and beneficial bacteria are sufficient for proper assimilation and elimination of food.
  • Lymphatic system:  making sure the lymphatic system has proper circulation for a healthy immune system and removing the cellular waste in your body.  Check out my previous post about ways to move the lymphatic system: 4 Tips to Drain the Lymphatic System and Take Out the Body’s Trash.
  • Liver: proper detoxification of the liver is very important to clean the bloodstream and address environmental toxins such as drugs, hormones, food additives, and other allergens.

With the use of castor oil topically, I can address all of these organs and systemically help to reduce inflammation, encourage proper digestion especially for patients having constipation, support the detoxification of the liver and move the lymphatic system.  This, in turn, improves the outcome of any treatment recommendations I have for patients with eczema and promote clear, beautiful skin.

As with many things, it’s important to be diligent and regular with the use of castor oil packs to experience its benefits.  I recommend patients use the castor oil packs consecutively for 3 days in a row, and then take a break for compliance; though regular use everyday would be a great practice as well.  In addition to the benefits of castor oil for the body’s organs, perhaps equally important is the relaxation that one experiences from lying down and doing castor oil packs.  In the region of our abdomen where the castor oil is applied are nerves, our immune system, and lymph system.  Thus, the castor oil packs with the added heat I recommend, offers a calming effect, which allows the body to rest, de-stress, and focus on healing.

How to Make Castor Oil Packs

Supplies Required:

1. Flannel or wool cloth, such as this one.

Image from

2. External healing source – such as a heating pad or hot water bottle.

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3. Castor oil from a good source, like this one.

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4. Old clothes or small towel that you don’t care to spoil from the castor oil because the oil will stain clothing and bedding.


  1. Fold the flannel or wool cloth into 2 layers to cover the recommended body area – I recommend the entire abdomen from the sternum to the above the hip bones.
  2. Soak the flannel or wool cloth pack in castor oil, which can be done in a glass container and place the pack over the skin of the area of body to be treated. Or, you can apply the castor oil directly onto the skin and place the flannel/wool pack over the oiled-up skin.
  3. Place sheet of plastic, towel, or old clothes over pack to prevent oil from ruining your other clothes.
  4. Place the heat from the heating pad or hot water bottle on top to allow the skin to absorb the oil.  Please remember not to fall asleep with the heating pad on.
  5. Treatment should continue for about 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  6. To complete treatment, remove the castor oil pack and cleanse your skin with a solution of baking soda and water (1 teaspoon baking soda to 1 pint of water) or just a gentle eczema soap.
  7. The pack can be stored in the refrigerator in a glass container.  It can be reused 20-25 times, after which it should be washed or dry-cleaned.

Caution: Do not use castor oil packs during pregnancy, over areas of active bleeding (wounds, ulcers, menses) or on patients with bleeding disorders.

I hope you give Castor Oil Packs a try for eczema relief.  It has been a great addition to my protocols for reducing pain, inflammation, digestive concerns and promoting a healthy body for healthy skin.

amy duong becomes a naturopath after her struggles with eczema

Bio: Dr. Amy Duong completed her Naturopathic Doctorate at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona, where she also trained in Acupuncture. She offers general naturopathic care with a special focus on skin disorders including eczema, acne and psoriasis as well as anxiety, depression and digestive concerns. Currently, Dr. Duong is based in Connecticut where she sees many lovely patients of all ages with common skin conditions and other medical concerns in her naturopathic medical practice.

Please visit Dr. Amy Duong’s website for more information and to work with her through phone or Skype consultations.  Dr. Amy’s patients come from around the world and it’s her passion to help everyone on their path to clear skin. Stay in touch through Instragram or check out her informative YouTube videos.

Click Here for a FREE 15 Minute Consultation with Dr. Amy Duong

26 Comments Post a comment
  1. Hi doctor, is it safe to leave castor oil on the skin overnight? My 6 years old son has eczema his face is very dry turns white and skin falling in his bed, wounds on the side of the knees and on legs


    October 7, 2016
  2. Montel Hawkins #

    I love this and want to try this out ASAP. It’ll be easier to follow if you had a step by step video… Please message me back on this matter


    September 11, 2016
    • I’m so sorry – we don’t have a video – but maybe you could find one on youtube?


      September 19, 2016
  3. Hi there. Can I apply castor oil on my 3 year old daughter’s arms and eyelid and leave it on over night for her eczema? Thank you!


    August 25, 2016
  4. Hi, I would like to try castor oil on my 3yo daughter who has had ezcema on and off since she’s a baby. but I don’t think she’ll sit still for that much time, and I usually shower her instead of bath. Can I apply castor oil on her tummy and massage with my palm to warm? do I have to rinse it? can I wipe it off with a wet towel since the skin will absorb the rest of the oil?

    Thank you!


    April 27, 2016
    • Dr. Amy Duong #

      Hi there! Yes, you can apply the castor oil and have your daughter soak in the warm water. No need to massage her tummy. You can rinse it off after 15-20 minutes either with some soap and water or a mixture of baking soda and water. Good luck!


      May 2, 2016
  5. Kel #

    Hi. Im experiencing some reactions like itching, redness and some rashes after applying castor oil pack. Any recommendations on how to treat this? Thanks.


    April 6, 2016
    • Dr. Amy Duong #

      Hi Kel! You may be sensitive to castor oil, giving you a hyperactive reaction. I would stop using it perhaps address the redness, itching and rashes with an elimination diet or figure out the underlying cause of your concern. Feel free to contact me directly from my website,


      April 6, 2016
  6. rtang #

    I thought you would put the Castro oil on the area where you’d have eczema, but it seems the purpose of the Castro oil on the abdomum to aid in digestive track so the body can ride of toxins? Thank you.


    February 21, 2016
    • Yes, that’s correct.


      March 10, 2016
  7. Katrina #

    My son is 1 1/2 years old, with bad eczema, and I know he wouldn’t sit still for me to put a castor oil pack on him for 30 minutes. Is there another way I can use it on him? Thanks!


    February 17, 2016
    • Hi Katrina – Can you put some castor oil on his abdomen while he is taking a warm bath? It is very thick and won’t run off if applied before the bath. Then rinse the castor oil off with some baking soda and water when the bath is over? Give that a try.


      March 11, 2016
  8. Durga #

    Can castor oil help to burn belly fat if done 3 time week how long will it typically take?


    January 28, 2016
    • Hi there – I don’t believe belly fat can be reduced anyway but from diet and exercise. From what I understand, sugar is the biggest thing to blame for belly fat – which is in alcohol, which is where the term “beer belly” came from. If you want to reduce belly fat, cut way back on all sugars, except for fresh fruit.


      February 1, 2016
  9. May #

    Can I try this on my 8 year son? He has been batteling with mild to moderate eczema/ skin hives since he was an infant. I have personally used the castor pack on myself and love the effects of it.


    January 25, 2016
    • Yes, castor oils backs are safe for children. I hope it works well for you!


      February 1, 2016
  10. Mobin Neda #

    Could you please tell me if I can use the Castor oil packs on the face of my 16 years old daughter who suffer from the face eczema


    December 6, 2015
    • Amy Duong #

      Hi Mobin,

      You could see if the castor oil helps moisturize or relieve itchiness on the face as long as it doesn’t cause more sensitivity and itchiness for your daughter. Castor oil packs in particular are meant to be done on the abdomen from under the sternum to below the belly button to help the immune system and digestive system in reducing inflammation throughout the body. I hope this helps you and feel free to call for a 15 min free consultation.

      Dr. Duong


      December 15, 2015
  11. Joan #

    Can you use the pack overnight


    December 1, 2015
    • Hi Joan – a maximum of one hour is what is recommended. Overnight would be too intense I’m afraid.


      December 2, 2015
  12. This is an interesting alternative to typical eczema treatments. I will have to try this out!


    June 2, 2015
    • I’m so happy to introduce you to something new to try! I hope you see results!


      June 5, 2015
  13. I have used castor oil packs recently to relieve inflammation and pain from ovarian cysts. It worked much better than I expected. Thank you for explaining why, I was struggling to find this information.


    May 28, 2015
    • That’s great! So glad the castor oil packs provided relief for you. Isn’t it so interesting how they work?

      Liked by 1 person

      June 5, 2015
  14. I’ve tried a lot for eczema but not this. I will have to give it a go! Thanks for sharing.


    May 28, 2015
    • Wonderful! So glad you’ve found something new to try. Good luck!


      May 28, 2015

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