There are three convincing things for me to like this remedy - 1. I read that this is the same fatty acid in ergot (secale) which the dogs draw a lot of (but I don't give since my cats are always pregnant); 2. They draw Ricinus as well, so there is an energy need for this oil. 3. I particularly like a couple of explanations of how it works on payer's patches and therefore digestion and what could happen if you didn't use it (edema), especially combined with this lymphatic diagram.
I've watched one dog, Kenchu, through many stages of the disease before his skin went black and his hair fell off - all the way from the time he was a puppy. I knew it was edema, but I didn't know that the lymphatics were the cause of edema. Now it seems almost obvious that the fluid must be lymph, but at that time I used to think ... plasma, water, etc.
I also saw how much it hurt him to digest food, now because I understand vaguely about the payer's patches, I understand why those two went together.
The diagram itself gave me great hope - Kenchu's body first thickened and blistered between his shoulderblades, an area of lymphatic drainage and nodes (collateral subcapsular?). Icy's began from around his lower back and spread down the sides of his abdomen (he nuzzles his stomach and cries). Again the diagram accurately records these areas as lymphatic regions. I've seen many dogs have a hard lump in front of the hip which connects to the spinal cord. I used to think it was a toughened muscle - now I'm thinking it might be lymph nodes. Icy used to have it, and he'd have a peculiar walk where the leg wouldn't move smoothly - it must have been from the spinal fluid not transmitting signals right.
You can see in this manual with directions how the spinal cord is somehow involved in the lymph system as is the abdomen for the final drainage.
"When castor oil is absorbed through the skin, several extraordinary events take place. The lymphocyte count of the blood increases. This is a result of a positive influence on the thymus gland and/or lymphatic tissue. The flow of lymph increases throughout the body. This speeds up the removal of toxins surrounding the cells and reduces the size of swollen lymph nodes.
As toxicity is reduced, the pH of the saliva becomes less acidic, indicating improved health. The Peyer's patches in the small intestine become more efficient in their absorption of fatty acids, which are essential for the formation of hormones and other components necessary for growth and repair." from here.
I've half-heartedly tried it before (on Sonu, when she was dying of cancer), but this is the first time I'm giving it a serious shot. At first I applied it with turpentine, which reduced its stickiness a bit, but now I'm mixing that combo with rice bran oil and flaxseed oil to thin it further. This seems to be a better combo to apply - more free flowing, and the dogs don't seem to mind it. (They didn't mind the castor oil in all its sticky glory either, for that matter, but this makes me less reluctant to apply it.:) Also it brings the omegas -3, -6 and -9 to the body.