Castor oil packs are a powerful tool for promoting healthy menstruation, easing menstrual discomfort such as cramping and tension, and helping heal conditions such as PCOS and fibroids.
I first used castor oil packs when I was a teenager and experienced terrible menstrual cramps. My mom, an OG hippie, had all kinds of tricks up her sleeve and introduced this to me. To be honest, at the time I wasn’t very good about doing it, and didn’t care for the mess. Since becoming a mother myself, I’ve used castor oil packs on myself and my kids for all kinds of things from digestive upsets, liver detoxification, menstrual discomfort and urinary tract dysfunction (I’ve also used castor oil to induce labor. That’s for another blog post!).
How Castor Oil Packs Work
The essential fatty acids in castor oil, in particular the ricinoleic acid, encourage movement of chemical energy within the body, resulting in a detoxifying effect. They also help to support the flow of lymphatic fluid, essential for immune response and detoxification.
As for as menstruation goes, castor oil can help bind excess estrogen, reduce inflammation AND it helps reduce prostoglandins (the hormone that can contribute to uncomfortable or painful cramping). It is extremely absorbent, and applying heat helps the oil to really penetrate deeply below the surface of the skin.
Castor oil packs are NOT a modern fad… they have roots in many ancient traditions, including traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine and the ancient Egyptian culture. Medicine people have known for a long time of the deeply healing properties of castor oil, and modern practitioners have the benefit of understanding how this effective remedy really works.
What you will need:
- Soft, clean, thick material like organic flannel, wool, or cotton (I recommend this flannel wool from amazon or this castor oil kit )
- Castor oil (or castor oil kit)
- Glass bowl
- Hot water bottle or heating pad (my fave rechargeable one – costs more but totally worth it)
- Old clothes that you don’t mind getting stained
- Plastic bag or saran wrap plus a large towel
- Baking soda and water for cleanup (or the wipes in this castor oil kit)
How to make and apply the castor oil pack:
- Place your flannel into the bowl. Pour enough castor oil into the bowl to saturate the material
- Get your hot water bottle or heating pad ready
- Place your towel (and plastic bag if desired) onto the floor or bed, and lie down with supplies next to you
- Set the flannel over your lower abdomen, and cover it with saran wrap/plastic
- Place the hot water bottle over the castor oil pack
- Rest, meditate, read, etc for 45-60 minutes while the castor oil does it’s magic
- Afterwards, clean up with water and a little baking soda (1 tsp baking soda to 1 pint of water), or use the wipes in the castor oil kit.
- Stay hydrated during and afterwards to assist in the detoxification!
- You can store the used flannel in a jar or ziplock bag and reuse many times. For future uses, add approximately 1 tbsp of castor oil to re-saturate.
Frequency: for menstrual discomfort, apply once daily. I recommend also using it premenstrually to help avoid cramping.
If you have a heavy flow, using a castor oil pack during menstruation may be best to avoid as some believe it can increase blood flow. While I have never had this happen with a client, it is also used to help promote more effective cleansing for someone with a scant/light period, so caution is appropriate. Use at your own risk. You can still use it premenstrually for discomfort!
Also, do not use castor oil packs if you are pregnant.
Castor oil is a powerful medicine and one that can help create ease, relaxation and menstrual vitality. If you’d like to learn more about how to care for your womb and menstrual cycle in a holistic way, just get in touch! I teach women everything from the basics of cycle phase care to natural remedies for all kinds of menstrual health concerns to understanding the energetics of your womb and learning to connect deeply with yourself.
All information on this website is my own opinion, and not to be taken as medical advice. Reliance on any information provided on this website is solely at your own risk. Please always consult with your health care practitioner before making any medical decisions.
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