Castor oil is a home remedy that has existed for centuries and is thought to have many healing properties, thanks to a high concentration of a fatty acid called ricinoleic acid.
A castor oil pack consists of a piece of cotton flannel saturated with castor oil that is applied externally to the abdomen. Heat, in the form of a hot water bottle or heating pad, is then placed on top. I almost always apply castor oil packs to women’s abdomens to help support them with a variety of issues that might be affecting their optimal reproductive and digestive health. I often recommend that they use them at home as well.
“What does castor oil do?”
This is the most common question that I hear on this topic. The short answer is that castor oil “gets things moving”. Castor oil stimulates your lymphatic system, which increases the circulation to your reproductive and digestive organs, aids in detoxification, and helps to support a healthy immune system, study shows.
It also has anti-inflammatory properties. It penetrates deeply into the body, potentially helping to break up restrictive abdominal adhesions, which may in turn help to relieve pain and bloating (source.)
“When should I use castor oil?”
This is the second most common question that I am asked. The answer is that most women can use them daily, except for during "The 3 P’s":
- Period: when you have your period, don’t use a castor oil pack. But if you are only having a little spotting at the end, then go ahead and use it!
- Pregnant: don’t use a castor oil pack if there is any chance of pregnancy.
- Poop: not to be too graphic, but don’t use castor oil if you are having acute diarrhea. This is because there is already a lot of “movement” in your abdomen.
A castor oil pack only takes 30 minutes. You need to stay still, so you are “forced” to take some quiet time for yourself and to RELAX! This will be so soothing, and your abdomen will love it!
If you have any questions about castor oil packs, or massage to support women’s reproductive and digestive health, I would love to help! You can call me at 604-733-2632 - or email me at email@example.com.
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Dawn Sells is a Registered Massage Therapist in Vancouver, BC. Her style of abdominal massage, using a combination of Swedish, myofascial, and visceral techniques is popular with fertility patients at BodaHealth.