A Castor Oil Hot Compress Might Help

Recently two different people suggested I use a castor oil compress on my daughters sore joints.

We get recommendations all the time – it seems every second person has a cure for arthritis.  I usually just nod and smile.

Still things have been difficult lately so I was in the mood to try something new.  It passed the sensible test –

  • it didn’t cost a lot of money ($25 for a big bottle of organic castor oil)
  • it didn’t involve something potentially harmful (Castor oil is approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration.  The(FDA) has categorized castor oil as”generally recognised as safe and effective”.

I approached the exercise with very low expectations.  Here is what I did to treat my daughters very sore hips.

I wet two hand towels with hot water and wrung them out.  I then poured some castor oil on the towels.  (Double check the compress is not too hot – you don’t want to create a burn.) I put this compress on my daughters hips while she had a sleep.

Someone else tells me they use dry towels with oil on and then put a hot water bottle on it.

My daughter says it really helps.  I am very surprised.

Since we first tried it I have tried to find out more about castor oil.

According to Wikipedia “Ricinoleic acid is the main component of castor oil (95%) and it exerts anti-inflammatory effects”.  There is a reference to a study done in 2000 that makes reference to the use of castor oil to treat inflammation.

If you’d like to find more here is a link to the study – “Effect of ricinoleic acid in acute and subchronic experimental models of inflammation”

So there you have it.  Like most things it probably won’t work for every body but as it is pretty easy it might be worth a try.