One of my favourite ways to support the reproductive system, apart from nourishing our body optimally and keeping an eye on stressors, is using castor oil packs. This is something both myself and my clients have greatly benefited from. I used them before conceiving my daughter, and have seen clients find relief from menstrual and digestive pains from using them as well. Today on the blog, I would like to explain what castor oil is and how it can be used for reproductive health.
What is Castor Oil?
Castor oil is extracted from the seeds of the Ricinus Communis plant. It has been used for thousands of years: the Egyptians used it for oil lamps, and it is still a common ingredient in skincare products to promote hydration. It has also been known to improve hair growth and scalp health. My favourite use for castor oil is a castor oil pack – I have used it successfully on my own fertility journey, but also with a lot of my clients to promote circulation, optimise fertility as well as help alleviate menstrual pain.
What is a castor oil pack?
A castor oil pack is a wool flannel which has been soaked in castor oil and placed on the area which needs support, such as the lower abdomen for fertility, the liver for detoxification, the belly for digestive health.
When it comes to reproductive health, castor oil packs can be useful to:
- Improve blood circulation to the uterus and reproductive organs. This will help bring fresh, oxygen rich blood and nutrients to the reproductive area such as ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus and keeps them healthy and working optimally. Abdominal massage therapy is great for this too. If applied on the abdomen, it can help alleviate digestive issues too.
- Reduce inflammation and pain. This is especially helpful for painful periods and cramping.
- Helps detoxification if placed on the liver. We know that liver health is essential for hormonal health, as it is the main organ of estrogen detoxification (you can read more about why here), so by supporting liver health by using regular castor oil packs on the liver will benefit your hormonal health too.
- Stimulates the lymphatic system to remove waste from the areas the pack is applied to. As the lymphatic system does not have a ‘pump’ (like our circulatory system) to move the lymph around the body, we need to stimulate it to do so. Rebounding and exercise is a great way to get the lymph flowing, but castor oil packs also stimulate the circulation of the lymph. By stimulating the lymphatic system, you are also stimulating the immune system!
How do I do a castor oil pack?
To make a castor oil pack, you will need the following items:
- A hot water bottle
- A wool flannel (you can purchase a bespoke castor oil pack flannel)
- A plastic sheet to cover the pack
- Organic cold pressed castor oil
- Some old clothes and sheets you do not mind getting stained (yup, castor oil stains!)
Soak the wool flannel in the castor oil. It needs to be quite covered but not drenched.
Apply the castor oil pack to the desired area. Cover the flannel with a plastic sheet to protect the hot water bottle.
Place the hot water bottle on top. It should feel nice and warm to the touch but not scolding hot.
Lay back and relax for about 30 minutes to an hour.
Remove the castor oil pack and gently cleanse the area.
You can store the castor oil pack in an airtight container for the next use.
How often should I do them?
Apply a castor oil pack 3-4 times a week for 30-60 minutes. Frequency is more important than length of session, so it is better to do them more often for shorter sessions than to do one 2 hour session for example. They are relaxing to do and an excuse to sit quietly for a while! If you are hoping to conceive, do not do a castor oil pack after ovulation. Do not use it during menstruation, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. I also discourage taking it internally.
If you are struggling with fertility or hormonal issues and would like some extra support, I’d love to chat with you! Why not click here to book a free discovery call and see how some bespoke diet and lifestyle changes can help your hormones flourish!