Castor oil is derived from the seeds of the Castor plant (Ricinus cammunis), also known as Palma Christi. Castor oil’s healing properties have been utilised for many years, in ancient Egypt it was taken orally as a laxative (which is now known to be toxic). Traditional Chinese medicine, ayurvedic medicine and naturopathy recommend the use of castor oil packs because of their ability to promote circulation, healing and reduce inflammation.
A castor oil pack is a cloth soaked in castor oil, which is placed on the skin and warmed to enhance circulation and promote healing of the underlying tissues and organs.
Castor oil packs can be used to assist in cases of inflammation, pain, growths or when there is a need for increased circulation. Castor oil packs work by supporting the liver, lymphatic and circulatory systems. When it comes to fertility castor oil packs may be a great supportive therapy for:
- Supporting ovarian health
- Supporting fallopian tube health
- Supporting uterine health
- Supporting egg health
- Detoxifying before conception
Stimulation of the lymphatic system occurs by applying the castor oil pack over the reproductive organs where many lymph nodes are located. This helps to cleanse the reproductive organs and promote healing of damaged tissues where the pack is applied.
The promotion of circulation by the castor oil pack will bring fresh, oxygenated, nutrient rich blood to the reproductive organs, including the uterus. Without proper circulation to the reproductive organs, the organs cannot function at their best which can leave them prone to disease, impede the healing of damaged areas and allow for the formation of scar tissue and adhesions.
To make a castor oil pack you will need:
- A piece of soft, clean thick material like flannel, wool or cotton (organic is ideal)
- Castor oil
- A glass jar with lid
- A hot water bottle or heating pad
- A plastic bag
- A large towel
- Old comfortable clothes (castor oil stains fabric)
- Baking soda
- Put on your old clothes
- Place your piece of cloth onto your jar and pour enough castor oil over it to soak it. Make sure it is saturated, but it doesn’t need to be dripping with oil
- Get your hot water bottle or heating pad ready
- Place your towel on a flat surface (either a couch, your bed or the floor)
- Lie down and place the saturated cloth over your lower abdomen
- Cover with plastic bag
- Place the hot water bottle/heating pad over the pack and let it sit for at least 20 mins (ideally 30-45 mins) during this time you can rest or read a book
- When the time is up, remove the pack and clean the area with a dilute solution of water and baking soda
Store your cloth in the glass jar with the lid sealed in a cool place or in the fridge. You can reuse the pack many times – just add a little more oil if the cloth feels dry.
Precautions: Castor oil should not be taken internally. Do not apply to broken skin. It should not be used during pregnancy, breastfeeding or during menstruation. If you ae actively trying to conceive, discontinue use after ovulation has occurred.