If you read "The Oil That Heals" by William McGarey, M.D, you will find a pretty good explanation of the lymphatic system and that medical science doesn't really understand it. It is both a garbage dump and a nutrient source and needs to flow or your body gets all sorts of problems. The book is based on the readings of Edgar Cayce and focuses on castor oil packs with a lot of case histories of McGarey's success from prescribing them to his patients in his medical/M.D. practice. You will also learn that Cayce did not advocate the internal use of castor oil.
I've had great success with the packs in freeing up lethargic energies in particular, and just a general tonic in general. I also once tried castor oil internally one time. I swear that once it hits (it might take anywhere from four to six hours) it shows you no mercy. Have a towel ready just in case because just because you sit on a commode and pass everything you've ingested for the past six months and feel it's all gone, ten minutes later you will get the same urge and same results and your body may not make in time to the sitting position. This doesn't happen just once or twice but several times - and will produce the loosest stools you've ever encountered - for hours.
If you ingest castor oil, proceed with caution, plan nothing for the next 12 to 18 hours.
...Dr. McGarey is very humble in his statement, for he does present a plausible hypothesis relating to Edgar Cayce's suggestion that castor oil packs can strengthen the Peyer's Patches, which are tiny patches of lymphatic tissue in the mucosal surface of the small intestine.
According to Cayce, the Peyer's Patches produce a substance which facilitates electrical contact between the autonomous and the cerebrospinal nervous system when it reaches those areas via the bloodstream. Dr. McGarey thus understands Cayce to say that the health of the entire nervous system is, to an extent, maintained through the substance produced by the Peyer's Patches when they are in good health. Although the Peyer's Patches were discovered in 1677, it is only recently that medical science has begun to recognize them as constituents of the body's immune system.
Current research appears to confirm Dr. McGarey's theory. A double-blind study, described by Harvey Grady in a report entitled Immunomodulation through Castor Oil Packs published in a recent issue of the Journal of Naturopathic Medicine, examined lymphocyte values of 36 healthy subjects before and after topical castor oil application.
This study identified castor oil as an anti-toxin, and as having impact on the lymphatic system, enhancing immunological function. The study found that castor oil pack therapy of a minimal two-hour duration produced an increase in the number of T-11 cells within a 24-hour period following treatment, with a concomitant increase in the number of total lymphocytes.
This T-11 cell increase represents a general boost in the body's specific defense status, since lymphocytes actively defend the health of the body by forming antibodies against pathogens and their toxins. T-cells identify and kill viruses, fungi, bacteria, and cancer cells.
Castor oil packs are a simple home therapy which often produces astounding results. When we consider the Cayce statement quoted in Dr. McGarey's book, "There's as much of God in a teaspoonful of castor oil as there is in a prayer!", we may begin to appreciate the powerful healing potential of the "Palma Christi".
Castor Oil Pack Instructions
(excerpted from The Oil That Heals by William A. McGarey, M.D.)
Prepare a flannel cloth which is two or three thicknesses when folded and which measures about eight inches in width and ten to twelve inches in length after it is folded. This is the size needed for abdominal application - other areas may need a different size pack, as seems applicable. Pour castor oil into a pan and soak the cloth in the oil.
Wring out the cloth so that it is wet but not drippy with the castor oil (or simply pour castor oil onto the pack so it is soaked). Apply the cloth to the area which needs treatment. Most often, the pack should be placed so it covers the area of the liver.
Protection against soiling bed clothing can be made by putting a sheet underneath the body. Then a plastic covering should be applied over the soaked flannel cloth. On top of the plastic, place a heating pad and turn it up to "medium" to begin, then to "high" if the body tolerates it. It helps to wrap a large towel around the body to hold the pack snugly in place, using large safety pins on the towel. The pack should remain in place between an hour to an hour and a half.
The skin can be cleansed afterwards, if desired, by using water which is prepared as follows: to a squart of water, add two teaspoons of baking soda. Use this to cleanse the abdomen. Keep the flannel pack wrapped in plastic for future use. It need not be discarded after one application, but can usually be used many times.
Note: Always use a high-quality, cold-pressed castor oil, available in health food stores.
Copyright Simone Gabbay 1999 ©
THE OIL THAT HEALS - A Physician's Success with Castor Oil Treatments by William A. McGarey, M.D. A.R.E. Press, Virginia Beach, VA, USA
EDGAR CAYCE AND THE PALMA CHRISTI Dr. McGarey's first volume on castor oil, now superseded by The Oil That Heals
IMMUNOMODULATION THROUGH CASTOR OIL PACKS by Harvey Grady The Journal of Naturopathic Medicine, Volume 7, Number
THE EDGAR CAYCE HANDBOOK FOR HEALTH THROUGH DRUGLESS THERAPY by Dr. Harold J. Reilly and Ruth Hagy Brod A.R.E. Press, Virginia Beach, VA, USA
TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR BODY - Women's Health Advisor by Dr. Carolyn DeMarco The Well Women Press Winlaw, BC
WISE WOMAN HERBAL FOR THE CHILDBEARING YEAR by Susun S. Weed Ash Tree Publishing Woodstock, New York, USA
Simone Gabbay is a Registered Nutritional Consulting Practitioner in private practice in Toronto, Canada. She is the author of Nourishing the Body Temple: Edgar Cayce's Approach to Nutrition, the nutrition columnist for Venture Inward Magazine, and a frequent contributor to major health publications in North America. For more information, visit her web site at www.holistic-nutrition.com