Castor Oil: Your Fertility BFF
Folk healers worldwide have used castor oil to treat a wide variety of health conditions for thousands of years. It is derived from the bean of the Ricinus communis or Palma Christi plant (palm of christ). The use of castor oil goes as far back as the ancient Egyptians, who used it to treat eye irritations and as a powerful natural skin care remedy. In India, castor oil is prized for its skin-healing, digestive-soothing, antibacterial properties and is commonly used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine practices. Today, we still use the power of these magic seeds to heal many ailments in the body, and it has more than earned its title as BFF (Best Friend Forever) for women and their reproductive health.
CASTOR OIL & FERTILITY
Castor oil is a wonderful tool to aid in your fertility goals. It can help to detoxify your reproductive organs and tonify your blood cells. Castor oil has strong affects on the liver, lymphatic and circulatory systems. It is also known, among other things to:
Treat breast cysts, fibroids, ovarian cysts and small benign cysts.
Support ovarian and uterine health.
Aid in the decongestion of abdominal organs and support healing skin conditions.
Help detox a healthy reproductive system
Assists with occasional uterine and ovarian discomfort
Supports the body's own detoxification abilities
Stimulate the lymph, promoting detoxification and cleansing when applied to the pelvic region.
Decongest the liver, which may promote hormone balance.
Stimulate circulation in the body (when applied as a castor oil pack), helping to bring fresh, oxygenated, untried rich blood to the reproductive organs. This enables healing of scar tissue, the breakdown of adhesions, and provides nutrition to the ovaries and uterus.
THERAPIES: CASTOR OIL PACKS
What Is a Castor Oil Pack?
A castor oil pack is an external application of castor oil to the body. A piece of wool (or cotton) flannel is saturated with castor oil and applied to a specified area with, or without, heat. It is known to improve assimilations, eliminations, and circulation (especially of the lymphatic system) and in particular to breakup adhesions of the lacteal glands. Although this therapy may seem unusual, its benefits and efficacy are very well documented. It has been recommended, as part of a holistic approach, for epilepsy, gallstones, scleroderma, constipation (and other intestinal conditions)—just to name a few.
How to Make the Pack
Castor oil (preferably cold pressed/processed)
a 13-gallon trash bag (cut along the edges that seal it thus giving you two identical rectangular pieces) (optional)
a large plastic sheet (such as an inexpensive shower curtain liner) or old sheet and clothes you don’t mind potentially getting soiled with oil!
Where to Place the Pack
The pack's placement depends on the issue being addressed. In general, ladies, to address your reproductive organs, place the pack covering your lower abdomen and upper pelvic region (to the area of the pubic bone).
Using the Pack
I always advise my clients to find quiet time when they’re able to relax and be still for a minimum of 30 minutes in order to apply the castor oil pack (for my mama’s that can feel a bit more challenging, but it’s possible! Give yourself this time, you deserve it, and a healthier, happier mommy benefits everyone!). This can also be applied after some tummy self-care massage ( Loving strokes in a clockwise motion can be effective. My Arvigo clients also learn an effective self-care protocol for their reproductive and digestive organs which is great to do before the castor oil pack application.) This is a great time to turn on some relaxing music, an inspiring audiobook, pray, meditate or read.
Make sure you’re comfortable, a pillow under your head and another under your knees a yummy blanket, candles, whatever feels right for your special time. (pro tip: Be sure to protect bedding as castor oil can stain sheets, cushions, or pillows.)
Here are the steps for a mess-free pack:
Warm the castor oil in a non-metallic bowl.
Place an old sheet over the plastic.
Take the second piece of the 13-gallon trash bag and position it across the sheet, under your lower back and beneath the area of your abdomen. (Optional, you can always use another sheet you don’t mind getting oily, if you don’t dig the idea of heating plastic on your skin. This is generally what I do.)
Lie down on your back on the plastic bag (or old sheet).
Place the saturated(not dripping) pack on your abdomen, with the oiled flannel against your skin and the plastic-covered heating pad on top (again, you can layer with a sheet that you don’t mind soiling instead of the plastic.)
Adjust the heating pad control to the warmest setting you can tolerate comfortably. It should be very warm ("as hot as the body can stand"), but not so hot it burns you. (please note: it's easy to fall asleep with the pack in place so if you find that happening, be doubly careful of the temperature setting on your heating pad and lower it if necessary.)
Keep the pack on for at least 30 minutes to 1½ hours; this is one treatment where more may be better. It can even be used overnight (pro tip: secure the castor oil pack with a large bath towel on top that wraps around the body. Pin it into place to make sure it doesn’t shift at night.).
When You Are Finished
Turn off the heating pad and put it aside. Take-off the pack and store it in a leak-proof container (glass jar or baggy suggested). Wipe off excess oil (you can use water and baking soda if trying to remove all oil from skin.).
How often do I use the packs as a treatment?
A typical regimen for non-acute conditions is three times a week, every other night for three weeks with the fourth week off. Repeat this for two more cycles, take a week off, and then continue once a week, or until symptoms subside.
For acute conditions, use for 30 minutes nightly for five nights, take two nights off, then repeat the cycle for two weeks or until the condition is resolved.
The flannel pack can be used repeatedly (with more oil being added with each reuse), and be kept in the refrigerator between usages, although this is usually not necessary as castor oil is very resistant to spoilage even at room temperature. Replace the pack if it smells rancid or discolors from toxins being released from the body.
Precautions with castor oil include (but are not limited to) dehydration, abdominal cramping, diarrhea, dizziness, nausea, and possible skin irritation. Pregnant women need to avoid castor oil since it can induce labor. It used to be advised for women to take it to help with labor but contractions can often be intense, so castor oil use is controversial.
This information is intended to motivate and encourage readers to make healthy decisions and if needed, consult with a qualified health care professional. Information contained is not intended to be construed in any manner as medical advice. All decisions for your medical health should be made with approval of your health care provider. Therefore, please read and use the information that you derive from it appropriately and at your own risk.