Spirit Seeker Magazine August-September 2000



James R. Harris, Ph.D.

        Among the best-known remedies mentioned in the "readings" of Edgar Cayce (1877-1945), America's most famous clairvoyant, are Castor Oil and a unique substance called "Glycothymoline." With osteopathy, massage, enhanced spiritual awareness, and mental changes, the "oil of the castor plant" and "Glyco" lie at the heart of Cayce's approach to health and healing.

        Two luminaries stand out among the many authors who have written on Cayce and his health remedies. The Edgar Cayce Handbook for Health Through Drugless Therapy (New York: 1975), by physiotherapist Dr. Harold J. Reilly and Ruth Hagy Brod, is an encyclopedia of information and insight about Cayce's work. It also gives us a valuable perspective on the early 20th-century world of medical practice that Cayce influenced fundamentally.

        The Edgar Cayce Remedies (New York: 1983) by William A. McGarey, M.D. offers a discursive treatment of Cayce remedies. Dr. McGarey's epochal Edgar Cayce and the Palma Christi (1967) has reappeared in a revised edition, The Oil That Heals. It supplies extensive documentation on the uses of caster oil.

        What can we say generally about Edgar Cayce's approach to healing? Today we routinely acknowledge the interdependence of spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical factors in the treatment of illness. Fear, depression, resentment, anger, lack of spiritual faith or focus, environmental toxins, and poor diet have their debilitating effect, and may combine to bring us down.

        Nearly two thirds of the 14,256 readings that Cayce gave are medical in focus. These and the "life" readings tell us that "mind is the builder," and that it is one's best friend or worst enemy. There we find physical diagnosis, and observations about life, society, global events, and the universe.

        Such insights occur in the readings that mention Castor Oil and Glycothymoline. Cayce always specified treatments most effective for the individual seeking his help, and recognized that a complex of factors influenced the success of a remedy. If you have, he said, "a castor oil consciousness," then use castor oil!

        Sometimes Cayce cautioned that for castor oil, for instance, to be effective, one would have to undergo spiritual and psychological transformation. Many people benefited from the same or similar remedies, but different people also required treatments unique to their condition, which might seem identical to others on superficial observation, compared with the glimpse into the universal the sleeping Cayce provided. Today we can appreciate this synergistic understanding of disease and illness, health and healing.

        Central in Cayce's "psychic diagnoses" is the importance of balancing, harmonizing, and relaxing the entire system. Critical to this end are restoring proper elimination, and quieting inflammation and irritation. We now know very well that prolonged failure to do any of these may result in heart disease, cancer, or stroke, and other maladies to which we are subject.

        The process of elimination in the human body is carried out at many levels and points: skin, blood, lungs, liver, kidneys, heart, and bowel. It is open to interference or debilitation anywhere along the line. Our ability to "keep it moving through the system" quickly suffers from pervasive stress, fear, anxiety, ongoing resentment, and anger.

        Irritation and inflammation seem to be the inaugural stage of heart disease and cancer, and take root in us when we harbor destructive emotions. Tension or confusion about our direction in life, insecurity, apprehension or depression about our effectiveness in life can all weaken and poison us.

        Many people argue that these debilitating patterns are endemic to modern life. Bad air quality, neighborhood noise, pollution from automobiles and industry, caffeine overload, and cell-phone distraction on the road stem from and aggravate stress. As did Cayce, we counsel people about their physical condition, and its energetic, mental, and spiritual dimension.

        Castor Oil is called the Palma Christi, or "palm of Christ." Many cultures through many centuries have credited it with miraculous healing powers. Dr. McGarey reports that in his clinical practice, no single remedy has surpassed castor oil in treating so broad a range of disorders, "from appendicitis to scleroderma...pain syndromes, slipped discs, hyperactivity, tumors, tinnitus, nausea, etc." (p.46)

        Castor oil can be applied locally, in drops on the problem area, taken orally, or used in packs. Many years ago, I dissolved a large cyst on my shoulder that a doctor said would have to be surgically removed by massaging castor oil into it. After a month, the cyst dissolved into loose grit, and disappeared.

        Dr. McGarey cites the case of his own son, whose serious puncture wound healed in a few days; pain from the wound, he reports, stopped immediately after a castor oil pack was applied. In my personal experience, castor oil packs have stopped a bleeding kidney, and helped to cure ulcerative colitis.

        No one really knows how or why castor oil works. It appears to normalize the lymph flow in the body, thus aiding in waste disposal (elimination). Particularly when applied in warm packs, castor oil serves to remove toxins directly from the area of the body treated, and to reduce if not eliminate inflammation and irritation. Who has swallowed a tablespoon of castor oil and not noticed its stimulating and soothing effect on the bowel?

        Now classic studies document toxic overload as fundamental in the destruction of human life, physical and otherwise. Toxemia Explained: There Is Only One Disease and You Have It! by J.H. Tilden, M.D., and Food Is Your Best Medicine, by Henry G. Bieler, M.D. attest to the importance of proper diet (which changes depending on time, condition, and place), and proper elimination - with its multi-level ramifications.

        Previously in these pages I have said that the physical body itself is a hologram, and stands in a holographic relationship with the entire universe. When we are tense and preoccupied, our bodies, vision, and understanding constrict and grow myopic. The interconnectedness of everything in us and in the universe fades from view. Thus traditions of meditation the world over laud the value of relaxation in enhancing health and awareness.

        Especially when applied in warm packs, castor oil has a profoundly relaxing effect on the entire system. It is common for a person struggling with insomnia and generalized stress to fall asleep when using a castor oil pack. Emotionally, when one settles into using a pack, the pack, I would say, actually feels kind and compassionate. The Palma Christi indeed!

        For castor oil packs Cayce recommended:

(1) Two to four thicknesses of preferably white wool flannel, 10" x 14". He said that white wool flannel has the needed electrical and conductive properties.

(2) Then we need AA cold-processed, unscented castor oil,

(3) a heating pad,

(4) a large sheet of plastic to cover the area to be treated,

(5) plastic sheeting to protect the bed or floor (an old shower curtain is great),

(6) two bath towels, or one beach-size towel, and

(7) two large safety pins to complete the apparatus.

The procedure:

(1) Cover the bed or floor with the large piece of plastic. Warm a portion of the castor oil by placing the bottle in warm water. Then soak the pack in the oil.

(2) Place the pack on the area of body to be treated. If you want to treat the descending and sigmoid colons, the pack goes on the lower left abdomen, between the bottom of the rib cage and the pubic bone. To treat the ascending colon, cecum, and appendix, place the pack on the corresponding left side of the body.

    An excellent treatment uses two packs, and two heating pads to cover the whole abdominal area. This has the advantage of covering the entire transverse colon. It also normalizes the lymphatic system more efficiently.

(3) Wrap the smaller piece of plastic around and over the pack(s), put the heating pad(s) over the plastic, and turn on Low. (Castor oil packs burn easily if they get too hot.) Fold the bath or beach towel on which you are lying around you and secure it with the safety pins. Leave everything in place for one to two hours.

(4) After removing a castor pack, you will need to wash the oil off the body, with one teaspoon of baking soda to each pint of warm water. Launder oil-stained clothing or cloth in washing soda. Store the pack in a glass jar in the refrigerator, but warm to room temperature before using it again. Refrigerate the bottle of castor oil or store it in a cool place. Add more castor oil as the pack dries out.

(5) Each person in a household should have his or her own pack. Never launder the pack. With use, it will wear out, and get dirtier, owing to the exit of toxins from the body, and need to be replaced. I have heard of some packs becoming black and crusty with toxins.

        The manufacturer of Glycothymoline says that its formula has remained unchanged since Cayce's day. This unique red liquid consists of water, Glycerin, 4% SD Alcohol 37, Sodium Borate, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Carmine, Sodium Salicylate, Eucalyptol, Menthol, Pine Oil, Thymol, Methyl Salicylate. It is rather pleasantly aromatic.

        The present-day label describes Glycothymoline as a "Mouthwash and Gargle," for which we can use it full-strength. However, the original label for Glycothymoline describes it as a "Treatment for Mucosity." This reflects more accurately its broad range of applications.

        Dr. Reilly's Handbook notes Glycothymoline packs for a host of problems: "Adhesions, arthritis, bronchitis, cataracts, catarrh (nasal), cold congestion, cystitis, cysts, epilepsy, eyes, glands, goiter, hay fever, migraine, herpes simplex, injuries, intestines, kidneys, lesions, paralysis, Parkinson's disease, pelvic disorders (over 40 cases), ptomaine poisoning, sciatica, sinusitis, subluxations, throat, tonsillitis, toxemia, tumors." (p. 359)

        Germs, we know, thrive in an acid environment. Glycothymoline alkalinizes the body, raising its pH or hydrogen ion concentration slightly over 7.0. It reduces inflammation and irritation in the mucus membranes throughout the body. It has been used for vaginal douches and the last stage of colonic irrigation, where it tones and cleanses the membranes. While it is not quite so memorialized, like Castor Oil, Glycothymoline is a valuable treatment for a wide array of human ills.

        Dr. Jim Harris earned his Ph.D. with a concentration in philosophical psychology. He holds a Master of Music degree, has received advanced Reiki initiation, and is a graduate of The School for Enlightenment and Healing in San Diego, CA. In private practice, workshops, and seminars, he integrates the methods and teachings of many traditions from both Asia and the West. Nationally certified in therapeutic massage and bodywork, he often treats clients and patients with massage based on Edgar Cayce's principles. Contact him at (314) 725-9650, Fax: (314) 725-2775,  Email: jimrharris@earthlink.net