Step-by-Step Guide to Using Castor Oil Packs for Abdominal Discomfort and Gallbladder Support

An overview of what you'll need to get started on castor oil packs in a simple step-by-step guide.  

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Castor Oil in glass bottle

Once upon a time, after the birth of my middle son, I was struggling majorly with abdominal pain, from gallbladder and digestive issues that took months and months for doctors to figure out, which meant I had to pave my own way in terms of finding remedies. Castor oil packs were one of the main supports I used during this time.

My symptoms were everywhere - starting as lower and middle back pain, to pain on the middle to upper right side of my body, inability to eat anything more than a sweet potato, severe bloating that looked like I was about 20 weeks pregnant, and regular nausea, indigestion, and vomiting. 

Later I would learn this was a combination of like 11 different bacteria and parasites PLUS gallstones, but not before I discovered castor oil packs and they became my BFF. 

amber bottle

At some point in my journey to figure out what was wrong with my gut, I came across the suggestion of trying castor oil packs for all things abdominal and potentially helping alleviate the pain and bloating I was experiencing. 

They worked SO well that I would do them as often as possible, for as long as possible. There was even a period of time when I did them every single night for two hours. 

This blog from Wellness Mama is what helped guide me the most and gives more info on benefits, risks, etc. I'm not going to go over all that here, and rather, just explain how I did them and how they helped me! Castor oil has all sorts of benefits and castor oil packs have many uses.

I used castor oil packs on the right side of my abdomen to support digestive function and to support my gallbladder. 

Big Disclaimer: Consult a doctor to see if this is right for you. I am not a doctor. I am a random lady on the internet. 

castor seeds
Castor Seeds

What you'll need before you start:
(Affiliate links below)

  • Castor Oil 

  • A piece of flannel large enough to cover the desired area. I used the one linked here. You can also get flannel from the thrift store and cut to size.

  • Two old towels that you don't mind ruining with castor oil

  • Plastic wrap

  • Heating Pad - I used one like this

  • Storage container - plastic bag or container to keep your pack in the fridge

Make Your Castor Oil Pack:

  1. Lay down one of your towels where you will be resting

  2. Plug in heating pad and place it nearby

  3. Lay down a piece or two of plastic wrap and place your flannel on top. You want the plastic wrap to be bigger than the flannel as you will be placing this on your body and placing the wrap on top.

  4. Saturate your flannel with castor oil. I just squeeze it on top the flannel until it's soaked through. You're not going light here, you want the flannel to be nice and well soaked, but not dripping. Fully covered and absord. 

  5. When saturated, lift the flannel/castor oil pack up from under the plastic wrap and place directly on your skin face down. Plastic wrap should be facing out. 

  6. Place your second towel on top of this, holding the castor oil pack in place

  7. Head to your resting spot and lay down on the towel

  8. Put heating pad OVER the castor oil pack on top of the towel & chill for 30-60 min. I would do this for 1-2 hours sometimes, night after night, becuase I found it so relaxing, so soothing, and so helpful to what I was experiencing. 

  9. When done, get up, clean yourself off, fold up castor oil pack nicely, and place it in a storage container or bag in the fridge if you want to reuse it. 
    1. You can reuse your castor oil pack for 1-2 months, depending on how much you use it. 
    2. Upon reuse, remove it from the fridge, lay it out on fresh plastic wrap and add a little more castor oil to get it back to saturation. Then repeat the process!

  10. Rest, relax, and hydrate!
And that's it! Once you clean yourself up and your space, and put your castor oil pack away, you're done. I did this as often as nightly, but definitely several times a week during the height of my issues. Along with medical mj, it was one of the ONLY things that helped alleviate my gallbladder symptoms and other digestive issues symptoms at the time. 

How Often Do You Do Them?

When I started, it was recommended to do them 2-3 times a week. I would do them after dinner at or around bedtime. They worked so well for me and alleviated what I was experiencing that I started doing them several times a week.

Ultimately, doing castor oil packs did not save my gallbladder. But, at the time, and in pain, with mystery digestive and gallbladder issues, castor oil packs saved me and bought me time and comfort during that period.

Hope this helps!

Thanks for reading,


Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Consult your doctor. Not to be substituted for legal, medical, or professional advice. Pregnant and nursing women, young children, and those taking prescription medications should consult with their physician before taking action. Not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent and disease.



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