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  • Castor Oil For Period Pain & Detoxification

    November 06, 2023 4 min read

    Castor oil packs have been used for centuries to treat a wide variety of health conditions, including promoting hormone balance.

    Castor oil (ricinus communis) comes from the castor seed and is very high in ricinoleic acid, which is responsible for it’s anti-inflammatory and lymphatic stimulating actions, making it useful in detoxification as well as supporting uterine and ovarian health.

    How Are Castor Oil Packs Used?

    Traditionally castor oil packs are applied to various areas of the body where they produce different effects. Placed on the upper right hand side of the abdomen, they can provide detoxification support to the liver and digestive system, and used on the lower abdomen they can help with period pain and other menstrual difficulties.

    The heat applied during the castor oil pack process also stimulates blood flow to the area, which in the case of period pain can reduce stagnation in the uterine tissues as well as promote healthy repair and oxygenation to the tissues.

    The Benefits Of Castor Oil Packs

    Castor oil packs have been used since the beginning of time. Traditionally castor oil packs were used for skin issues, digestive concerns, and to improve 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:

  • Reduce inflammation - since castor oil helps remove excess iron from the body, this greatly reduces oxidative stress and inflammation in the body.
  • Reduce stress and support relaxation - castor oil has been shown to induce a relaxed state and help reduce feelings of stress.
  • Support digestion - castor oil has been shown to get rid of constipation and prevent the need for laxatives.
  • Support liver function and reduce inflammation in the liver - castor oil helps preserve and increase glutathione, a powerful detox antioxidant.
  • Balance out gut bacteria - castor oil has been used as a cleaner for many different types of bacteria - it can remove biofilms and help eradicate them.
  • Overall, castor oil can be wonderfully supportive to a hormone healing journey!

    How Castor Oil Packs Work

    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 ( 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 the vitamins and minerals in our bodies.

    What You Need For A Pack

    1. A flannel or castor oil pack compress.

    2. High-quality and organic castor oil. This means cold-pressed and hexane-free. You also want the oil to be in a dark, glass bottle to protect it from oxidisation.

    You can purchase the castor oil packs and organic castor oil from our dispensary or online.

    How To Use A Castor Oil Packs

  • Start with your flannel or pack and the castor oil.
  • Place 2 tablespoons of castor oil on the flannel or pack.
  • Wrap the flannel or pack around your waist (make sure you right abdomen is covered) and relax for 30-45 minutes. You can also use castor oil on any areas of the body that have pain, are healing or inflamed.
  • If you struggle with fibroids, cysts, endometriosis, or painful periods, you can also put the castor oil pack over your uterus. If you have breast pain or cysts, you can put it over your breasts.

    Ideally, keep the castor oil pack on for 30 mins to 1 hour. You can put it on before bed and wear it to sleep once you are used to using 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, we 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 gynaecological issues such as 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.

    When To Avoid Castor Oil Packs

    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 avoid using castor oil packs when pregnant.

    If you have any further questions about these, feel free to speak with your practitioner or phone our reception team on (08) 6468 8149.


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