Castor oil packs have been used since the beginning of time. Traditionally castor oil packs have been used for skin issues, digestive concerns, and improving blood circulation. We now know castor oil has a significant impact on inflammation in the body and can specifically support the digestive process and even positively impact our gut bacteria. Let's go through the benefits, how it works in the body, and how you can start doing your castor oil packs at home.
Castor oil has been shown to:
Overall, this makes castor oil a great addition to a hormone healing journey!
Castor oil is made from castor beans and is primarily made up of monounsaturated fatty acids. Because of these types of fats, it's essential to get cold-pressed castor oil that is stored in a dark glass bottle. Otherwise, these fats can breakdown when exposed to too much light. Castor oil gets placed on a flannel or pack and then gets absorbed into the skin--this absorption takes about 20 minutes.
The main component of castor oil is ricinoleic acid, a type of fatty acid that possesses anti-inflammatory properties. Ricinoleic acid is what castor oil is most known for and this is the main compound studied for the anti-inflammatory and gut health benefits. There is another beneficial nutrient found in castor oil--quercetin. Quercetin is one of the most natural flavonoids (powerful phytochemicals) found in foods including fruits, teas, and vegetables. It has many benefits, but one that is primarily helpful for hormone health is how it impacts iron. Quercetin protects our bodies again free radicals that can cause oxidative damage, AKA inflammation. It also helps to remove iron safely from the body. It does all of this without having any negative impacts on the rest of our vitamins and minerals in our bodies.
Castor oil also naturally contains vitamin E, which, if you've been part of my community for a while, you know I love.
All you need for a castor oil pack is two things:
I use Queen of the Thrones Castor Oil Pack Kit and love it! You can easily tie around your waist and it comes with everything you need. Use the code AMANDA for a discount.
If you struggle with fibroids, cysts, endometriosis, or really painful periods, you can also put the castor oil pack over your uterus. If you have breast pain, you can put it over your breasts.
Q: Do I need to use a heat source when doing a castor oil pack?
Q: Can I do castor oil packs while breastfeeding?
Q: What should I expect when doing a castor oil pack?
Ideally, you keep the castor oil pack on for 1 hour. I recommend putting it on before bed and wearing it to sleep once you are used to them. That gives you plenty of time, and since you're under the covers and warm, you don't need a source of heat.
If you're struggling with constipation or digestive issues, I recommend doing them daily to start. Then after a week, you can try doing them less and see how your digestion is. If you're struggling with lots of PMS and painful periods, you ideally do them 2-3 times a week and then more often leading up to your period. Otherwise, you can do castor oil packs daily or a few times a week. They are the most effective when you do them regularly.
You want to avoid castor oil packs when you have your period (although I have some clients that do use them on their period and have no issues) and when pregnant.
I hope this information is helpful! I use castor oil packs with many of my clients and enjoy doing them regularly myself. Not only do they support your liver and digestion, but they are also relaxing and a great addition to a self-care/bedtime routine.