I’ve had a lot of questions about the use of castor oil packs and the details around using them. Unfortunately, everyone’s situation is different, so the short answer to these questions is “it depends.” In this post, I am going to walk you through some of the recommendations I provide my patients based on their current condition. Let’s dive into the use of castor oil packs for your pelvic wellness.
If you have a chronic issue, this may be a scenario where you need to use these interventions more often and for a longer duration of time before you can expect to see positive results. Keep in mind, these castor oil packs are not meant to take away from any traditional medical treatment, and it is important you consult your doctor before using them. Castor oil packs are simply an adjunct method that can help to support your body as it is trying to heal.
Castor oil for the digestive tract
Let’s first consider a couple of things. If you are having issues going to the bathroom, that’s a sign that something is not quite right. Whether this be constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, or chronic heartburn, I would encourage you not to ignore these issues. If any of these issues become chronic, they can then lead to hormone imbalances or autoimmune conditions.
Check out my video here where I go into detail about the benefits of castor oil for balancing hormones.
There was a study completed within a long-term care facility to help those with constipation. In this study, they used castor oil packs to help relieve constipation and what they found is that it was just as successful as conventional laxatives. The study also mentioned that conventional laxatives had more harsh side effects, whereas castor oil packs did not.
There is an active ingredient in castor oil called ricinoleic acid that has anti-inflammatory properties. This acid has a very low molecular weight that allows it to penetrate very deep past layers of the dermis and into the level of your organs. This includes your bowels, uterus, ovaries, etc.
Specifically speaking about your small & large intestines, the ricinoleic acid helps to activate prostaglandin receptors which stimulate the smooth muscle of these organs resulting in better bowel movements. Think of it like your intestine is receiving a gentle massage, helping the stool to move along your digestive tract.
Rest and digest with castor oil
One of the things we often miss is the benefit of applying a castor oil pack to your liver. By putting it there and getting into a position where you are comfortable and can relax, you help to shift your body into a parasympathetic state, or “rest and digest.”
By doing this, you are giving your body a little bit of self-care. It can’t be overstated how important a process like this is. Assisting your body into this “rest and digest” state can really assist your gut.
Castor oil packs are also safe enough to be used throughout the entire life cycle. Safe enough to be used on kids, just at a smaller amount. The only time you do not want to use them is during pregnancy. Other than that, they are safe, effective, and not contraindicated with any medications someone is taking.
These packs can also support other areas of the body, let’s say a frozen shoulder or fibroids in the uterus. Even fibrotic tissue in the breasts, thyroid or ovarian cysts, etc. It’s important you are targeting the right location you are concerned about and pair that area with a pack placed over your liver.
Take the time to see the benefits
The minimum amount of time you want to wear a castor oil pack is one hour. Loner is always better, but at least an hour is necessary for adequate benefits. Wearing a castor oil pack overnight is ideal, but sometimes people aren’t comfortable with this.
It is also possible to continue this routine of castor oil pack “wearing” for a very long time. If you’re trying to improve a certain condition, you might consider wearing them every night for three months and then reassess your condition. If you find you’re at a good place, but maybe this is a chronic issue you are dealing with, you could start to taper off your wear a little. This could look something like wearing your pack 2-3x per week.
In all honesty, there are protocols out there for castor oil wear, but there really is no wrong way to go about it. So don’t be afraid to get started and be consistent.
DIY or buy your castor oil pack
In one of my previous videos, I demonstrated how to make your own castor pack using a piece of organic flannel. Check out that video here. This is a great way to use what you have to get started.
It’s also kind of nice to have comfortable packs, and of course, they have ones you can buy. The Queen of Thrones is a good source to use if you are willing to purchase your packs. They have designed their products well so that they are easy to use and strap them on to be able to sleep comfortably in them all night. If you’re someone looking to invest in this practice for the long haul, this may be a good option. Check out the Queen of Thrones products here.
At the end of the day, the main thing is that you just get started. Do this and see what happens. There really are no negative outcomes in practicing use of castor oil packs, so what are you waiting for?
If you'd like to check out the video associated with this blog post, click the link here!