When I attended the Florida School of Massage in 1989, our hydrotherapy teacher instructed us in offering a castor oil pack for the abdomen. Over the years, I have offered it to many people dealing with abdominal or menstrual pain and/or digestive complaints – with great success.
I wondered if there might be equal benefits in using castor oil in reflexology sessions and was pleasantly surprised to learn there might even be more!
Let’s start with what castor oil is and the qualities of the chemicals that make up the oil:
What Is Castor Oil?
Castor oil is pressed from the seeds of the Ricinus communis plant – the castor plant. It’s commonly from Africa and India, and in Hindi is known as Arandi.
- The oil is very high in ricinoleic acid, which makes it a good anti-bacterial.
- It is rich in fatty acids, so it’s a great moisturizer.
- Because of its high Omega-9 content, castor oil can reinforce the skin’s protective hydrolipidic film and provide a robust external barrier to bacteria.
- Castor oil boosts immunity when applied topically by increasing T11 cells.
- It is anti-fungal, which makes it an excellent oil to use on the feet.
- It’s anti-inflammatory and reduces joint pain from arthritis.
- And it’s marvelous for skin wounds.
Adding Castor to a Reflexology Session
Apply castor oil to one foot and wrap. Apply heat source. Reflex the other foot, then apply castor oil and the heat source to the foot you just worked and reflex the first foot.
If you’ve never used castor oil before, be prepared for a much higher viscosity than most oils you might use. Warm your hands first to help disperse the oil.
Sleep with Castor
Before going to bed, massage your feet with castor oil mixed with just a drop or two of Lavender or Ylang ylang essential oil. Really work the oil into your feet, especially in dry, calloused areas. Put on a pair of thick socks and go to bed.
Either of those essential oils will aid in a very relaxing sleep; your feet will be hydrated and feel amazing in the morning. For best results, do once a week.
Purchasing Castor Oil
Insist on a castor oil that has not been heavily processed. Highly processed oils will appear almost clear. A natural, nutrient-filled castor oil is golden in color. Oils devoid of nutrition offer no benefits.