a bottle of castor oil, castor oil vs. warts, get rid of skin tags, castor oil to clear nail fungus

Castor oil is an old-timey remedy. The oil comes from the seeds of the Ricinus communis plant. It has been used for thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians used castor oil in their lamps because it was slow burning. They also used it as a body oil for their skin. Medicinally, it was valued as a laxative. The famed Christian mystic, Edgar Cayce, loved castor oil, aka Palma Christi (the palm of Christ). He wrote about it in his books and used it for fungal infections, acne, inflammation and wound healing.

Treatment with CO “Packs”

Cayce often recommended castor oil packs to his “clients.” They were told to fold soft flannel cloth a couple of times, soak the flannel in the oil, wring it out, and then apply it to the area on the body that “needs treatment.” This topical remedy has been used for a wide variety of conditions, from bruises and warts to cracked fingertips and sore joints. Here is just one story from a reader of our newspaper column:

Joint Pain:

Q. Castor Oil is a life-saver for joints, especially knees.

A few years ago, my husband hurt/twisted his knee while getting in and out of a huge truck. The pain only increased as time went by, so we went to urgent care. After x-rays, etc., my husband was told that it really required surgery to repair and fix his knee, which was NOT in our budget at the time. What to do?

We had already heard about using castor oil on joints from a couple of doctors (M.D.) with knowledge in natural remedies, also.

According to instructions, I massaged castor oil into his whole knee area; then I wrapped the whole area with an old cloth (that I would continue to keep stored/sealed in a zippy-bag, for re-use) and with saran-type-wrap, because the oil is both greasy and staining–it will not wash out. After that, we put a heating pad on the area (SET ON LOW heat) for an hour. We kept the wrappings on his knee over night.

I had to beg my husband to let me apply the oil and wrappings on the first night. The second night, he reminded me to fix up his knee again. Night number three, he did it himself, on his own. He woke up the next morning, with his knee feeling great.

If/when he or I ever hurt any joint, both of us know to rub with the castor oil, wrap with a cloth, cover for a while, and get relief. Heat does not have to be applied, but it helps.

There is nothing like castor oil for knees and joints. It’s messy, but who cares, if it helps prevent or STOP the need for surgery and if it stops pain?

PS. A few years ago a non-oily version of castor oil came out on the market: Castiva. We always kept a tube or two around the house; we can not find it now, though. Any idea where we can find Castiva?

A. Castiva Arthritis Pain Relief is still available. You can find it online or in independent pharmacies. Castiva contains a castor oil base and comes in both a warming formula (capsaicin) or a cooling formula (menthol and methyl salicylate). Capsaicin (the hot stuff in hot chili peppers) has long been used to ease joint pain. Combined with castor oil we think this is a winning formulation.

Diane in New York had a somewhat similar experience:

“My mother was always ahead of her time with everything. She was a vegetarian all her life of 88 yrs. She did yoga for 55 yrs (before it became popular) and read Edgar Cayce and became a fan of castor oil immediately.

“I have recently had unexplained extreme pain in my knee area and shoulder. Blood tests ruled out lupus and Lyme (I had a tick bite last year). The blood work showed inflammation. The Rheumatologist recommended medication but I chose the oil route instead. I experienced improvement within a few days.

Prior to the castor oil pack I could not stand or walk without a knee brace and cane. Now nothing, no pain at all…RIP Mom.”

Other Conditions:


L.C.F. tells a great story about bruise prevention:

“Whenever my children hurt themselves, the first thing I reached for was the castor oil. My mother-in-law’s uncle was a boxer and castor oil was what they used after a boxing match to prevent hematomas and bruising. It works like a charm. It has been passed down as a remedy in my family for many years.”

Tom D. accumulated a lot of bruises as a Lacrosse player:

“Used oil from the castor bean in Lacrosse for years. Put on the oil and wrapped it with plastic wrap, bruise would at times be gone the next day. Frustrated a lot of players because they would swear that they hit you… :-) “

M.M. is super susceptible to bruising:

“Castor Oil DEFINITELY WORKS!!! I am a huge bruiser, esp. since I am borderline anemic and whenever I bruise and I apply castor oil right away directly to bruise and rub it in a bit, it significantly minimizes the bruise right away and/or decreases the severity or # of days it shows! I love it!”


D.G. uses it for a variety of aches and pains:

“I rub castor oil on my aches and pains, and it helps a lot. Some people make packs. I used them when the doctors said I had liver cancer. We don’t know what happened to the liver cancer! It is gone. I use castor oil every chance I get. I hope it works for others! Take care!!”


V.M. finally got rid of warts with castor oil:

“I had warts on my hands when I was younger. Tried the burning/freezing remedies and nothing worked as well as my mother’s remedy of applying castor oil to the wart and covering with a band aid. This got rid of the warts completely. I forget how long it took or how often I had to reapply, but they never came back.”

Anne had equally excellent long-term success:

” It completely eliminated a wart that I had tried to eliminate for over twenty years. It did not even leave a scar! I applied the oil on the wart after showering and at bedtime and covered it with a bandage. I kept at it until it was gone, maybe two months.”

Other Uses:

If you find the stories about this old-fashioned remedy of interest, here are some links to more:

Does Castor Oil Clear Actinic Keratosis?

Clear Up Cracks at the Corner of the Mouth (Angular Cheilitis) with Castor Oil

Topical Castor Oil Helped Banish Skin Tag

Inducing Labor:

One of the most unusual applications of this old-fashioned remedy is to start labor when a baby is overdo. We knew a pharmacist, John McDonald, in Durham, NC. He had a wall of his drugstore dedicated to pictures of babies that had been born after their mothers drank his special concoction containing castor oil. 

To our surprise, there are several studies of this effect. A study published in the journal Women and Birth (April, 2018) concluded:

“Nearly 91% of women in the study who consumed the castor oil cocktail to induce labor were able to give birth vaginally with little to no maternal or fetal complications.”

Israeli researchers carried out a randomized controlled trial (Women and Birth, Feb. 2018). They found that:

“Multiparous women in the intervention group exhibited a significant beneficial effect on entering active labor within 24, 36 and 48h after castor oil consumption compared with the placebo.”

Women should not consider this approach, however, unless they have consulted with their midwife or obstetrician. 

We would love to learn about your stories. Share your experiences below.

And if you would like other home remedies for arthritis, muscle aches, warts, headaches or just about any other ailment, you might like a copy of our book, Quick & Handy Home Remedies.

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  1. Lisa
    Lilburn, GA

    It fixed mine too. Now I’m using it for everything from warts to moles to arthritis. Thanks, Granny!

  2. Tere

    I used castor oil packs for a gallbladder attack a couple years ago (along with drinking apple and cranberry juice) I had to wait two weeks for a test to see what it was … so looked up home remedies for the pain. I used the castor oil packs for a few days on and off thru out the day, and by the time it was time for my test they could find nothing wrong, and the pain was almost gone. A couple more days, and it was gone completely. I am now going to try it for arthritis pain in knees which makes it almost unbearable to walk some days.

  3. Judith
    Louisville, KY

    I love castor oil to soothe knee pain and other pains and I regularly use it instead of body cream.

    I bought Castiva as you mentioned it but you apparently didn’t notice that it contains parabens. I’m going to use up the tube but because of the parabens, don’t plan to buy it again.

  4. Gail
    North Carolina

    Castor oil is a great treatment for inflammation and swelling. Also skin rashes like poison ivy

  5. Jean
    Chapel Hill, NC

    I rubbed castor oil on my feet, as they were dry with flaking skin, but I got diarrhea the next day, and stopped using it. I really thought the diarrhea was caused by the castor oil. Was I wrong or may it have just be coincidence?

  6. Betty

    Anybody treat and rid themselves of toenail fungus with castor oil applications? Asking because no other topical home remedies help my husband with this problem. Thanks!

  7. charles

    As a primary care physician I have used castor oil routinely on post op knees once the wound has healed (it’s toxic in an open wound). I find that patient’s recover more rapidly apparently from moving the the post op inflammatory fluid from the knee. Massaging the knee from below the area of swelling to above it is also part of my routine.

  8. Cathy

    This is vanity, but castor oil is also good for eyelashes. I use waterproof mascara nearly everyday and castor oil, put on at night with a q tip, every so often, is a good way to keep them conditioned. As a runner, I appreciate hearing about how it can be used for athletic injuries. Keep up the good work, PF!

  9. Pete
    Bayonne, NJ

    Can castor oil be swallowed instead of placed directly on knees? Are there any benefits towards relieving arthritis via swallowing it?

    • Terry Graedon

      Castor oil is a pretty strong laxative, so you won’t want to swallow it instead of rubbing it on.

  10. Beverly

    Has anyone tried castor oil for back pain, if so what were the results?

    • Eileen

      I had a sore on my face for weeks and was dealing with my sister’s illness so I didn’t have time to take proper care of it. I became concerned and so I bought some Palma Christi Castor Oil recommended by Edgar Cayce. I put a few drops on my face rubbed it in and I promise you this is true – next morning it was completely gone.

      Please, folks out there, consider Palma Christi Castor Oil when purchasing a brand. It is Hexane-free and certified. You are welcome to look up Edgar Cayce and his recommendation on Castor Oil. Thank you!

  11. Brendon
    Escondido, CA

    I pulled a calf muscle a few weeks ago while jogging. I was used to using Dr. Christopher products to take away the muscle pain and heal quickly. I love his products but didn’t seem to work this time.The dog came into my head to try castor oil. Are used to put it on my liver at night and wake up feeling much better the next day. So I put it on my calf muscle and it completely healed within three days. I went running on it and do not have a problem with it at all. I really love the stuff.

    • mary

      I must say I am flabbergasted!!! I have castor oil but never thought about using it for knee pain. I did last night and WOW. No pain. I have had knee pain from sciatica for 2 yrs, I will continue using it until ……
      Thank you for putting up this information
      God Bless all.

  12. Carol
    Austin, TX

    Will castor eliminate skin tags as it does warts?

  13. Abnash

    Read the article. Found this useful. I wanted to know if I could use this during the day and not night.

  14. John

    What brand of castor oil can I buy over the counter?

  15. Belen
    California (CA)

    For the lady who used the castor oil packs for liver cancer, did you apply them directly on the liver. Thank you

  16. Linda

    When in the service I had water on the knee, I’d use a rub then wrap it in a warm damp towel overnight. To keep the bed dry I had a trash bag I had put a hole through the bottom of for my foot to go through and slid it up my leg. I suspect the same would work to protect the bed from the castor oil wrap.

  17. Beverly

    I found using castor poil on swollen hemmorids takes the pain and swelling !way quickly. Now I have a knee pain I am going to try it

  18. Diane

    My mother was always ahead of her time with “everything”. She was a vegetarian all her life of 88 yrs., did yoga for 55 yrs (before its popularity) and read Edgar Casey and became a fan of castor oil immediately. I have recently had unexplained extreme pain in knee area and shoulder. Blood tests ruled out lupus and lymes (had tick bite last year) but showed inflammation only. Rheumatologist recommended but I chose the castor oil route instead and improvement within a few days. Could not stand or walk without knee brace and cane, now nothing….RIP Mom

  19. Pat
    London UK

    I had a knee problem for months after popping it playing basketball. Some days worse than others but I could feel pain and discomfort daily. Knee supports and pain creams did nothing. Then I read a book by Edgar Casey, he keeps talking about castor oil and it’s many different applications in health. So I bought the best I could and rubbed some on my knee. That was two mornings ago. Today I am not wearing a knee support and my knee feels fine. All I did was rub it into my knee directly for one day. The pain has gone and so has the clicking and popping. No wonder they call this plant the ‘Hand of Jesus’!! I am not that religious bTw.

    • Abnash

      Thanks for sharing.As I also have a knee problem I am going to give it a try

  20. Ali

    Fantastic & Beneficial!
    Sharing such a valuable treasure like wisdom is also a way to serve Humankind
    . ~ Salvation

  21. Ali

    Fantastic & Beneficial!
    Sharing such a valuable treasure like wisdom is also a way to serve Humankind.

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