Dr. Weeks’ Comment: the castor bean offers a unique healing oil being comprised as it is of ricinoleic acid, a monounsaturated 18-carbon fatty acid. Among fatty acids, ricinoleic acid is unusual in that it has a hydroxyl functional group on the 12th carbon. It helps optimize liver function and reduce pain. Use topically – NOT orally!
“Some parents punished children with a dose of castor oil. Physicians recommended against the practice because they did not want medicines associated with punishment.
A heavy dose of castor oil could be used as a humiliating punishment for adults, especially political dissenters. Colonial officials used it in the British Raj(India) to deal with recalcitrant servants. Belgian military officials prescribed heavy doses of castor oil in Belgian Congo as a punishment for being too sick to work
The most famous use as punishment came in Fascist Italy under Benito Mussolini. It was a favorite tool used by the Blackshirts to humiliate their opponents.Political dissidents were force-fed large quantities of castor oil by Fascist squads. This technique was said to have been originated by Gabriele D’Annunzio or Italo Balbo. Victims of this treatment did sometimes die, as the dehydrating effects of the oil-induced diarrhea often complicated the recovery from the nightstick beating they also received along with the castor oil; however, even those victims who survived had to bear the humiliation of the laxative effects resulting from excessive consumption of the oil.
It is said that Mussolini’s power was backed by “the bludgeon and castor oil”. In lesser quantities, castor oil was also used as an instrument of intimidation, for example, to discourage civilians or soldiers who would call in sick either in the factory or in the military. It took decades after Mussolini’s death before the myth of castor oil as a panacea for a wide range of diseases and medical conditions was totally demystified, as it was also widely administered to pregnant women and elderly or mentally ill patients in hospitals in the false belief it had no negative side effects.”
Castor Oil Stories: Castor Oil and Cancer Pain
Pain in the terminal cancer patient is perhaps the most feared complication of neoplastic diseases in the human being. One wonders where the pain actually originates-for pain is perhaps the most difficult symptom to pin down and the least understood. Methods of cancer therapy derived from unorthodox sources seem to produce some help in this direction. In my own experience with cancer patients who were too far advanced with the disease to be helped by any of the therapies available, I have seen one traditional aid bring much relief from pain during the terminal days. Quite recently, a 62-year-old man developed a cancer of the brain. By the time he came under medical observation, it was quite advanced; then, a second malignancy was discovered in the wall of the bladder. Weight loss had come rapidly, and the only therapy offered him was chemotherapy. When the family consulted us, the patient was terminal, in bed and obviously had not long to go. He was advised to use castor oil packs on the abdomen. He had not used any pain medication up to that point, and remained pain-free until twenty-four hours before he passed away. Then he developed some pain in one flank. The castor oil pack was applied locally there, too, and he became comfortable once again.
An earlier instance of the use of these packs came nearly twenty years ago, when I was called upon to care for a woman who had a large abdominal cancer which was far advanced when I first saw her. She had become unable to care for herself. She refused surgery of any kind and went into a rest home, since she had no living relatives. There she received coffee enemas and abdominal castor oil packs daily for the next forty days, until her death. She had no pain at any time. One wonders if these cases – and I’m sure I am not alone in observing this – are simply coincidences, or does a soothing application with particular vibrations bring about a reaction in the autonomic nervous system of the lymphatic system which eliminates the situation that causes pain? At times there seem to be more cases that deviate from the rule than there are ones that obey it.
[† May, 1976, Volume 11, No. 3, page 137, Copyright © 1976 by the Edgar Cayce Foundation, Virginia Beach, VA.]