Castor oil benefits go way beyond ingesting them to induce labor, a practice I do not agree with but that’s a story for another day. Ingested, added to a smoothie, or a shot chased by orange juice is not what I’m talking about here. I am referring to the healing internal benefits of Castor Oil Packs, which are used by means of applying from outside in and adding healing heat.
Castor oil packs can be used for many women’s health issues, such as infertility, menstrual cramps, newly postpartum women, for fibroids and cysts, and many other health benefits.
Castor Oil Packs during postpartum and for new moms can help with healing from the trauma birth causes on the internal organs after labor, sort of like the day or few days following a marathon when your aching body craves a massage, especially healing if you have had a cesarean section. These healing packs are also lifesavers for breastfeeding issues… You name it: clogged ducts, mastitis, sore boobs, etc.
Castor oil packs are known for generations for boosting fertility, since it smoothes and soothes the uterine muscles and the accessory organs known as the ovaries and fallopian tubes, as well as improve egg health. They are known to relieve menstrual pain and menstrual dysfunction, including endometriosis and PCOS. Castor oil packs can help improve liver detoxification naturally, improve lymphatic circulation and reduce inflammation.
Castor oil is derived from the seeds of the Castor plant (Ricinus communis), and is composed mostly of the fatty acid, ricinoleic acid. Archaeological findings show that this oil was regularly used medically in India, Egypt, China, Persia, Africa and Greece for over 4000 years.
Ricinoleic acid is what makes castor oil so powerful. Making your own Castor oil pack is the perfect way to allow ricinoleic acid to soak into the skin and be absorbed by the lymphatic system. Healthy lymphatic circulation is essential for both proper digestion and healthy immune function.
How to Make Castor Oil Packs:
I like using castor oil packs because they force me to relax and do nothing but take a nap or read a book or catch up on Chip & Joanna on HGTV. Sure, the packs can be messy but with proper preparation, they don’t have to be.
- High quality castor oil. I like Sky Organics and Now.
- Unbleached and dye free wool or cotton flannel or natural dye free cotton muslin
- Plastic wrap. Good old generic right off the roll will do.
- Hot water bottle or heating pad.
- An old towel, tee shirt, and something for under you, such as towels and a sheet, because castor oil does stain.
How to Make a Castor Oil Pack:
- Prepare the area you will be using the castor oil pack. Place towels under a sheet where you will be lying down to prevent staining under yourself, if the the castor oil leaks.
- Cut the flannel to fit the area you want to cover with enough to fold it three times. Once the flannel is cut, fold it into thirds.
- Thoroughly soak (not saturate) the flannel with the castor oil. I like to do this in a mason jar with a cap on it so that I can add more oil if needed, giving the flannel time to absorb the oil, with a shake here/ there. This can be done a day ahead of time and re-used up to 30 times.
How to Use the Castor Oil Pack:
- Carefully remove the castor oil-soaked flannel from the jar and unfold it.
- While lying on the towels and sheet, place the castor oil pack on the desired area.
- Cover with plastic wrap. I like to wrap the plastic all the way around me to hold in the heat and the oil.
- Place hot water bottle or heating pad over castor oil pack.
- Lie with your feet elevated for at least 60 minutes. Ideally, 2 hours.
Clean up After Using a Castor Oil Pack:
- Place flannel back into jar and seal. Place in refrigerator.
- Wash oil from your skin with warm water and natural soap or water and baking soda.
- Rest, relax, and be sure you are well-hydrated.