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 and 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 patients’ abdomens during fertility massage, and to help with a variety of other abdominal and pelvic issues. I often recommend that patients use them at home too.
“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 in turn speeds up detoxification and increases circulation to your reproductive and digestive organs. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and penetrates deeply into the body, helping to break up restrictive scar tissue and adhesions in your abdomen and pelvis, which may in turn help to relieve pain and bloating.
“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. This includes post-ovulation in a cycle when you are trying to conceive naturally, post-Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), or post-embryo transfer if you are doing In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).
- 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 fertility massage in general, I would love to help! You can call me at 604-733-2632 - or email me.
If you’d like to try this gentle abdominal massage, you can call us, or book online.
Registered Massage Therapist at
BodaHealth in Vancouver, BC