Our naturopath suggested that we start a castor oil abdominal massage in the evening to help with the gentle cleansing process. The full instructions are below, but for most kids, you do what you can do:
- 1/4 cup of castor oil for approx. 5 to 10 minutes in a clockwise direction starting at the right hip.
- Finish massage with 5-10 massage strokes downward from left rib to mid-pelvis
- Then place a towel soaked with castor oil over the abdomen, then a dry towel and then a hot rice bag or water bottle.
- Cover with a blanket to keep heat in.
- Leave on for 15 minutes.
- Remove and wipe abdomen with warm water/baking soda-soaked cloth.
- Practice this for 3 nights in a row each week.
I started tonight and just massaged Moses’ belly clockwise for about a minute. Good enough to start with, I think.
I’m not familiar with this technique, so I googled it and found that castor oil was traditionally taken internally, but due to its potency, it’s better used externally. I particularly found it interesting that Edgar Cayce (a psychic channel) often recommended castor oil packs as a cure for many ailments.
Earth Clinic Folk Remedies has this to say about castor oil cures:
A castor oil pack is placed on the skin to increase circulation and to promote elimination and healing of the tissues and organs underneath the skin. It is used to stimulate the liver, relieve pain, increase lymphatic circulation, reduce inflammation, and improve digestion.
Castor oil packs are a traditional holistic treatment for a range of conditions, such as: cholecystitis (inflammation of the gall bladder), poor eliminations, epilepsy, various liver conditions such as cirrhosis and torpid liver, scleroderma, headaches, appendicitis, arthritis, incoordination between assimilations and eliminations, colitis, intestinal disorders such as stricture and colon impaction, incoordination between nervous systems, neuritis, and toxemia.
In Moses’ case, I think the castor oil massage is probably to help with his digestion and to reduce inflammation. I’ll let you know how it goes!
Update: May 22, 2010 – Well, the truth is that I haven’t been able to successfully make this part of the bedtime routine. We’ve only done it a total of two times so far. I think this is probably better for an adult, or an older child. My four year old just won’t hold still long enough for me to massage his belly. I can massage his back for a lot longer and I do with coconut oil, but haven’t been able to do the castor oil treatment.
November 19, 2010 – Our naturopath suggested that we massage castor oil on our son’s back once a week in a clockwise direction, which may help to draw out some toxins from his back. His back is currently the area where most of his eczema is concentrated.
December 2010 – We never really got in the habit of doing this.