Here is a copy of an article I came across. Hope it helps.
The Palma Christi: A Physiological Theory of the Efficacy of Castor Oil Packs
A student intern takes a closer look at castor oil - also known as palma christi oil - and its healing influence upon the human body.
By Melissa Patterson, NMD
When I was a senior student at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, I chose a clinical rotation at the A.R.E. Clinic. I have always been very interested in the effectiveness of castor oil packs. Not only have I myself had amazing results from them, but several patients I have worked with have also had great results. However, in my researches I have never found a definitive answer as to how the packs actually work. So, during one of my first rotations at the A.R.E. Clinic I asked Scott Grady, who heads up the Clinic’s Research & Education departments, about his understanding of the physiological effects of castor oil on the body.
His viewpoint was that castor oil works in the body because it stimulates smooth muscle. He gave two examples as to why he believes this is so. The first being that when taking castor oil internally the gastrointestinal tract is stimulated to eliminate its contents, therefore acting as a purgative.
Also, castor oil is used internally as a “labor balm” by many midwives and naturopathic physicians, to produce labor by stimulating the uterus of a pregnant woman who is overdue. In both of these instances the organs involved are surrounded by a layer of smooth muscle, which when triggered contract and can create the above-mentioned outcomes.
When I started thinking about this theory I became intrigued with the concept. When one looks at the many different places in the body where smooth muscle is located the possibilities of the effectiveness of castor oil becomes enormous. Smooth muscle is located in all major organs within the body (with the exceptions being in the brain and the heart). Therefore, if one places a castor oil pack over a specific organ, the smooth muscle of the organ could be stimulated. This would allow the organ to not only work more effectively, but also allow the organ to detoxify. A prime example of this is the use of castor oil packs in the process of “detoxifying” the liver, and its high rate of success.
However, not only is smooth muscle found in most organs, but it is also found lining the walls of the blood and lymphatic vessels. From a circulatory perspective this can be a very dynamic possibility, because the circulation of blood in and out of organs would be increased. This would allow any diseased tissue to increase its healing rate, and would also once again facilitate detoxification. If the circulation increases in the lymphatic vessels and organs, this would increase the overall circulation even more. It would also improve healing time at an even greater level because of the intrinsic connection the lymphatic system has with the immune system. White blood cells, B-cells, and T-cells, would all be mobilized quicker and more effectively.
What Edgar Cayce
said in his readings seems to support this view, as may be seen in a typical comment from the readings like this one:
“The effect of these oil packs is to enliven, through the activity of the absorption through the perspiratory system, the activities in such natures and measures as to produce a greater quantity (than at present) and a superficial activity of the lymph circulation; hence setting up drainages to such measures that the poisons will be eliminated from the system ....” [631-4]
This theory is grand in its applications, which may be seen when one examines the anecdotal clinical information about the efficacy of castor oil. Grand cures bordering on miracles have occurred. People have literally been taken off of their death bed with the use of the castor oil packs. Cancers have been cured. Many have had their health restored after years of suffering from a debilitating ailment. One thing is for sure: castor oil’s medieval Latin name is very appropriate. “Palma Christi” translates as the “Palm of Christ.”
I am very thankful for my shift here at the A.R.E. Clinic, one that I will not soon forget. I plan to use several of the Cayce remedies in my practice, and will include the use of castor oil packs as a mainstay in my treatment protocols. This is going to be especially true when nothing else has worked and I need nothing short of a miracle to help cure an ailment: castor oil — the miracle oil.