Perimenopause is a transitional period before menopause when your menstrual periods finally stop. This duration is a complete mental breakdown involving physical, psychological, and emotional changes attributed to the fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone levels. Perimenopause is just a condition or a hard time with symptoms. It is not a disease and does not usually require treatment.

You only need some natural therapies or supplements to cope with the challenges and alleviate perimenopause symptoms. Magnesium, calcium, vitamin D, B vitamins, probiotics, and omega-3 fatty acids are the most essential nutrients for you to use during this time. Among natural therapies, castor oil packs are the most accessible and convenient to do. COPs have been a part of the traditional medicine system for ages and are recommended by several naturopaths for a holistic cure. Read below to learn all about perimenopause, its challenges, and the way how castor oil packs (COPs) help alleviate its symptoms.

What is Perimenopause?

Perimenopause is a transitional period around menopause, a time when your ovaries gradually stop working. (Menopause is when you don't have periods for 12 consecutive months.) The fluctuations in the estrogen and progesterone levels alter the menstrual cycle and lead to physical and emotional symptoms. This transitional period differs for every female due to abrupt and inconsistent hormonal fluctuations. Typically, it begins around 40 years of age and can last for 2-10 years.

During perimenopause, you are transitioning towards a period in which you will no longer release the eggs or have periods. Therefore, things become erratic before this pause. Your menstrual cycle lengthens, you ovulate less frequently, and you get recurring mood changes. Moreover, it's a massive mental breakdown for you as you become less fertile. Sometimes, you notice symptoms like that of PMS; it's usually when your estrogen levels are high. And when the levels are low, you get hot flashes, night sweats, and sleep disturbances.

Perimenopause and the Challenges

Perimenopause has two stages.

  1. Early menopausal transition
  2. Late transition

    The early menopausal transition occurs when you skip one or more menstrual cycles or have a seven or more days difference between your cycles. On the other hand, a late transition phase occurs when you don't get a menstrual period for 60 days or more. Remember that these stages don't occur periodically in every woman. Some women who get into perimenopause early usually experience a longer early transition. On the other hand, women who transition late in their life might skip the early transition stage. You may experience all or some of the following symptoms during these stages.

    1. Anxiety/depression
    2. Fatigue/ mood swings
    3. Vaginal dryness
    4. Irregular periods
    5. Loss of sex drive
    6. Sleep difficulties
    7. Heart palpitations
    8. Hot/cold flashes
    9. Night sweats
    10. Weight gain/loss
    11. Sore breasts
    12. Mental stress

          What are Castor Oil Packs, the Natural and Non-Invasive Remedy for Perimenopause?

          Castor oil packs are ready-to-wear packs made of cotton or wool flannel. The thick layers of the fabric absorb the maximum amount of castor oil, making them convenient to apply. Moreover, the ultra-absorbent cotton fabric lining is very soft and skin-friendly. On top of the soft fabric, there is typically a leak-proof polyester layer to prevent oil leakage and retain body heat. Moreover, castor oil packs have an adjustable strap and a button closure to fit your body parts snugly.

          These packs effectively alleviate perimenopause symptoms due to the therapeutic properties of castor oil. Castor oil is a natural pale-yellow, odorless elixir obtained from the ripe castor beans of the Ricinus plant. Due to its origin, castor oil is also known as Ricinus oil.

          The oil contains several essential ingredients, but its primary active principle is Ricinoleic acid, about 92+%. Ricinoleic acid is a potent stimulant, irritant, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, laxative, and emollient. All these therapeutic properties make castor oil and castor oil packs are the most effective in healing several conditions naturally.



          In What Ways Can Castor Oil Packs Help Perimenopausal Women?

          Castor oil packs help perimenopausal women in different ways. Here is the table to exhibit the effect of COPs on perimenopause symptoms.


          Pharmacological Property

          Therapeutic Action

          Effect on Perimenopause Symptoms


          Reduces inflammation

          Alleviates inflammation in the joints and muscles of the body. Reduces swelling in the uterus (in case of endometritis) and aids in cramping.


          Relieves pain

          Eases menstrual pain/ abdominal cramping, headaches, fatigue, and general body aches.


          Promotes bowel movements

          Relieves constipation and bloating. It supports overall digestive health, which may be affected during perimenopause due to hormonal changes since the increase in cortisol levels decreases bowel movements. Improved digestion= Better absorption of nutrients and increased appetite (manages perimenopause weight loss)


          Balances detoxification

          Stimulates blood and lymphatic circulation, aids in liver detoxification, and boosts immune function. Removal of toxins and wastes from the body helps manage perimenopause weight gain.


          Kills/Slows microbial activity

          Fights infections

          Reduces the risk of vaginal infections and UTIs that may occur frequently in some women during perimenopause.

          Mood stabilizer/Stress reducer

          Balances mood

          Relieves anxiety, fatigue, and irritability. Stabilizes mood by decreasing stress and promoting relaxation. No stress= Better sleep (manages insomnia associated with perimenopause). Meditation and yoga, together with castor oil packs, help improve mood swings.

          Emollient and lubricant

          Lubricates vagina

          Castor oil is a natural lubricant and emollient. It helps manage vaginal dryness that may occur due to decreased estrogen levels. This may result in painful intercourse and vaginal discomfort. You can apply the pack on your vaginal area if you are not allergic to the oil, as the oil may cause a rash on such delicate skin. Nevertheless, dilute castor oil with a carrier oil such as sunflower oil and apply on the vagina for lubrication.


          How Do You Use Castor Oil Packs During Perimenopause?

          Castor oil packs help alleviate perimenopause symptoms, such as digestive issues, inflammation, breast soreness, and hormonal imbalance. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to use castor oil packs during perimenopause.

          Supplies You’ll Need:

          1. Organic, cold-pressed castor oil
          2. A good-quality castor oil pack
          3. Heating pad
          4. Plastic wrap
          5. Old towel

            Step-by-Step Guide:

            1. Unwrap a good-quality castor oil pack and pour a tablespoon of organic, cold-pressed castor oil into it. Avoid the edges to prevent an oily mess. At this stage, you can also warm the oil in a microwave or stove if you want to wear the pack on the go and don't want to use a heating pad.
            2. Place the pack on your lower abdomen and let it sit for 30-60 minutes.
            3. You can meditate or do yoga during this period, as it will also help alleviate stress associated with perimenopause. While meditating, you can use a heating pad that provides adequate warmth and accelerates castor oil's functioning. For this, wrap a plastic sheet or cling film over your pack and then put a heating pad on it.
            4. After the due period, remove the castor oil pack and wash your skin with a mild soap and warm water; it will eliminate all the greasiness.
            5. Store your castor oil pack in a glass jar and put it in the refrigerator.
            6. Repeat the session 3-4 times a week for the best results. Remember that castor oil packs only help in alleviating the symptoms of perimenopause. This natural remedy is not a cure but an additional therapy. You can follow this therapy with conventional treatment after consultation with your OB-GYN.
            7. Also, take a skin sensitivity test before applying castor oil packs to your delicate body parts.


              Why do you not use castor oil packs during periods?

              Castor oil packs are generally not recommended for use during periods. This is because castor oil is a potent stimulant and irritant. It not only increases blood flow to the pelvic area but also triggers uterine contractions, causing heavy menstruation, excessive cramping, and large clots. Therefore, it's best to use these packs outside of your menstrual period.

              What are perimenopause symptoms?

              Perimenopause symptoms and their severity vary from individual to individual. The following are the common and uncommon perimenopause symptoms.


              1. Irregular periods and discharge
              2. Vaginal dryness
              3. Reduced libido
              4. Breast soreness
              5. Fatigue and mood changes
              6. Insomnia/sleep disturbances
              7. Hot flashes
              8. Night sweats
              9. Weight gain/loss
              10. Hair thinning
              11. Dry skin


                1. Allergies
                2. GI changes: bloating, abdominal gas, cramping, and constipation
                3. Heart palpitations

                  What's the best perimenopause supplement?

                  The ‘best’ perimenopause supplement varies based on each individual's body needs and symptoms. From an extensive list of supplements, magnesium, calcium, vitamin D, omega 3 fatty acids, B vitamins, probiotics, aswagandha, black cohosh, maca root, castor oil, and black clover are worth considering and beneficial. These supplements aid in:

                  1. Better sleep
                  2. Better digestion
                  3. Weight management
                  4. Detoxification
                  5. Bone and Body Strengthening
                  6. Alleviating Breast soreness
                  7. Reducing Hot flashes
                  8. Mitigating fatigue and mood improvement

                    How to use castor oil for perimenopause weight gain?

                    You may gain or lose weight during perimenopause. It's because of the hormonal and emotional changes due to fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone levels. Firstly, it's crucial to consult your OB-GYN about these body changes and ask about using natural remedies, such as castor oil packs, foods, and supplements to cope with perimenopause weight gain.

                    Oral consumption of castor oil has many side effects, as it irritates the gut mucosa. Therefore, topical use of castor oil with packs is a safer option. If you are not allergic to castor oil, apply the pack to your navel area. Let the pack sit for 30-60 minutes and relax. It will help your body detoxify harmful toxins and aid in their removal.

                    Brown discharge after castor oil pack: what does it mean?

                    When you apply castor oil packs to your pelvic region, they work by stimulating lymphatic circulation and blood flow to the area, thereby helping the vagina detoxify itself. So, a brown discharge may be the sign your vagina is cleaning itself off the old blood residues and toxins from the previous menstrual cycle.

                    The heat from the castor oil and the heating pad also dilates the blood vessels in the area and accelerates the discharge of vaginal wastes. Moreover, castor oil packs may temporarily alter hormonal balance that is already fluctuating during perimenopause. Consult your OB-GYN if this brown discharge or spotting becomes persistent, has heavy flow, or has unusual odor or other symptoms.


                    Perimenopause is a disturbing phase in a woman's life. It is a period when you are transitioning towards menopause- the pause and stop of menstruation. This duration is like a rollercoaster of emotions with debilitating psychological and physical symptoms. Since it is not a disease but a condition or a phase in a woman's life, it needs tuning and management. By tuning, I mean trying to regulate the hormonal (estrogen and progesterone)  levels. Moreover, perimenopause symptoms require management through natural therapies and supplements.

                    Castor oil packs are one of the best natural remedies for alleviating perimenopause symptoms. Their anti-inflammatory, analgesic, stimulant, irritant, laxative, and emollient properties benefit this condition. These best ready-to-wear castor oil packs are readily available on several marketplaces.

                    Grab yours and apply them to your lower abdomen for 30-60 minutes. Repeat the session 3-4 times a week for the best results. But never forget to take a skin sensitivity test because some people are allergic to castor oil and develop a rash. Moreover, consult your OB-GYN before beginning natural remedies for your gynecological issues. This is to avoid interactions with your medicines and dietary supplements.

                    Leave a comment

                    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *