Frequently Asked Questions

Where does castor oil come from?

Castor oil is a vegetable oil that has been used for thousands of years. It comes from seeds of the ricinus communis plant, which is native to tropical areas of Africa and Asia. The seeds are known as castor beans. They contain about 30% to 50% oil which can be extracted from the beans by either mechanical pressing, solvent extraction or a combination of both. The beans contain a toxic enzyme called ricin which when heated is deactivated and can therefore be used safely.

How does castor oil work to relieve pain?

Castor oil is high in a fatty acid called ricinoleic acid which has been shown in studies to help reduce inflammation and pain when applied topically. It has been seen to be particularly helpful in reducing pain for people suffering from inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, castor oil is a stimulant laxative and has been seen to be effective in reducing constipation. For wounds, castor oil acts provides a moist environment which stimulates the growth of new tissue, reduces dryness and prevents the build up of dead skin cells. 

What proof is there that castor oil reduces pain?

Numerous studies have demonstrated the benefits of castor oil in pain relief. Some examples are shared below.

Several studies reported in the US National Library of Medicine showed that castor oil was effective in inducing laxation as a relief for constipation ( ,

Other studies such as have shown that castor oil promotes a faster healing rate.

Several studies have shown that castor oil leads to a significant reduction in pain and inflammation when applied to the skin (

Other studies have demonstrated the benefits of castor oil in reducing inflammation and bacteria on the skin, therefore reducing conditions such as acne and Staphylococcus aureus (

Studies have also demonstrated the anti-fungal qualities of castor oil (

These are just a few of the many studies and research programs that have demonstrated the benefits of castor oil – and of course, the testimonials from our happy clients speak for themselves!

How does the castor oil get heated?

The castor oil is heated by the iron filings that are in the heat pads. As soon as the heat pad of iron filings is removed from its outer case and exposed to the air, the iron filings will naturally start to heat. The heat will last for at least 2 hours at full strength.

Are there different types of castor oil?

There are two types of castor oil – yellow castor oil and Jamaican black castor oil. The castor bean originated in Africa but due to the slave trade, found its way to Jamaica.

Both types of castor oil are made from the castor bean but the way they are processed differs. Yellow castor oil is ‘cold-pressed’ meaning it is made by pressing fresh castor beans without heat being involved. As no heat is involved, the oil is of a higher quality and is not degraded. On the other hand, Jamaican black castor oil is developed by first roasting the bean, which results in a darker colour and a stronger smell.

Shiane Wellness only uses high quality cold-pressed yellow castor oil in our products.

Who was Edgar Cayce?

Edgar Cayce was born in 1877 and died in 1945. He was a renowned US psychic who, despite having no medical training, was able to correctly diagnose illnesses and prescribe effective treatments when in a trance. On over 500 occasions he prescribed the use of castor oil for ailments that were, as a result of his recommendations, successfully treated. 

Cayce designed a DIY version of a heated castor oil treatment which involved layering flannel soaked in castor oil with plastic sheeting and a heat pack. It was messy and time consuming but effective in relieving pain.

Shiane Wellness has taken Cayce’s basic concept and created a quick and easy to use product that does not require lengthy preparation. Like Cayce’s product, it has proven to be highly beneficial in relieving pain and inflammation.

How is the Shiane Castor Oil Heat packs different to other products on the market?

Other heated castor oil products on the market are DIY products where lengthy preparation is required to create a solution that is essentially messy with frequent leakages of castor oil onto clothes and surroundings.

Shiane’s Reusable and Disposable Castor Oil Heat Packs take away the hard work and the mess. Shiane’s Reusable Castor Oil Packs offer a simple, lightweight reusable belt or knee sheath with castor oil flannel already attached, all that is required is the opening of the packet containing the iron filing pouch and insertion of that pouch into the sleeves on the belt. That’s it! The belt can then be used for up to 2 hours for significant relief from pain.

Likewise, the other products in the Shiane range have all been designed for ease of use and maximum affordability.

How long does the Shiane Castor Oil Heat Pack work for?

The Shiane Castor Oil Heat Packs are recommended for use of up to 2 hours unless you feel any discomfort, then remove the packs. The Shiane Castor Oil Heat Packs may retain heat for up to 8 hours.

Can I use the Disposable Castor Oil Patches more than once?

Shiane’s Disposable Castor Oil Patches are designed to only be used once. Shiane offers the Reusable Castor Oil Heat Pack for Back or Knee which may be used repeated times.

Can I consume castor oil?

None of Shiane’s castor oil products are intended to be consumed. Please only use them as directed.

Castor oil is considered safe when taken in small doses but can cause abdominal cramping, nausea, diarrhoea and vomiting if consumed in larger amounts. It is not recommended that castor oil is taken as a treatment for longer term issues. If in doubt, we recommend you consult your doctor.

Person stretching before run


While living with stage 4 bowel cancer, I became ill with pneumonia and pleurisy. The pain was so intense that I wasn’t able to sleep properly for many weeks. It was debilitating and I was exhausted. Then I was given the Shiane Castor Oil Heat Belt to trial to help reduce my pain. It was awesome! I slept like a baby for 10 hours straight! I have used it many times since and can honestly say that it has worked beyond my expectations in providing long-lasting pain relief.

Andrew Church, Central Coast

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