Castor oil packs are a natural, holistic remedy to manage various illnesses and aesthetic concerns. This remedy is a combination of two ancient concepts in alternative medicine. The first is the use of herbs & oils, and the second is the benefit of warm compresses to ease bodily inflammation.
Castor oil packs are made of cotton or wool flannel fabric folded into multiple layers to soak the oil. Finest quality, organic The Goodbye Company extra virgin castor oil is the best to add to these packs and get maximum advantages real quick. Naturopaths recommend these packs to cure several general health problems, such as constipation, menstrual cramps, and fibroids. However, there are certain limitations regarding who should use castor oil packs. How long to use them and when not to use them? To know it all, check out this brief blog and get all your queries answered.
Castor oil packs are an example of commonly used remedies in complementary medicine. Many people use them following their beliefs in naturopathy despite the limited availability of clinical data to support these claims. People who should or can use castor oil packs safely are:
Castor oil in the packs contains ricinoleic acid- the principal constituent with potent laxative properties. This acid binds to the EP3 prostanoid receptors in the intestines. The resultant activation leads to calcium influx and, thereby, contraction of intestinal smooth muscles. This overall effect helps the stool pass easily.
Moreover, castor oil increases fluid secretion, which makes the poop soft and easy to discharge. Therefore, people with digestive issues such as constipation and bloating can use castor oil packs. Instead, they should use this remedy every day for the best results. For this purpose, put the pack over your abdomen on the lower intestinal region and relax for 30-60 minutes per session.
The liver is the major cleansing organ of the human body. It plays a significant role in detoxifying harmful chemicals and eliminating those wastes from the body. So when you apply castor oil packs, these enhance liver function, primarily detoxification by circulating more blood to the organ. The oil also helps relieve lymphatic congestion, which may block lymph flow and cause inflammation. Smooth and steady lymph flow helps transport more immune cells, such as WBCs and T cells, to the lymph nodes, thereby vigorously attacking intruders and providing better protection against infections and inflammations.
Women who suffer from painful menstruation (dysmenorrhea) or prolonged bleeding (menorrhagia) should not use castor oil packs. However, women who experience mild cramps and pain during menstruation can safely use them. When applied to the lower abdominal region over the uterus, these packs alleviate inflammation that reduces the thickness of the endometrium (uterus lining). The anti-inflammatory effect also helps the blood vessels dilate and supply more blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the uterus. So, a healthy uterus contracts easily without causing too much pain.
Despite limited clinical evidence supporting castor oil packs’ efficacy in reducing uterine cysts and fibroids, many people use them, and some anecdotal reports claim they really work. The ricinoleic acid in castor oil reduces inflammation in the abdominal region. This anti-inflammatory effect not only reduces swelling of the blood vessels but also shrinks the size of cysts and fibroids. Enhanced blood circulation transports more WBCs and nutrients to the affected site, aiding the fight against the condition.
Since ricinoleic acid is a potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic, castor oil packs help relieve inflammation and pain. So if you have a backache, neck pain, joint pain, or muscular ache, use castor oil packs despite taking many oral medications daily for general body pains.
The duration for using castor oil packs depends on the condition and the individual response to this remedy. Also, there’s no universally accepted standard duration for using castor oil packs. Nevertheless, you can use these packs for about an hour daily or 3-4 times weekly, as suggested by several naturopaths.
You should not use castor oil packs if:
- You are pregnant
- You are ovulating
- You are breastfeeding
- You are having dysmenorrhea/menorrhagia
- You are diagnosed with a chronic medical condition or cancer
- You are developing a rash
- You have active acne or psoriasis
- You have open wounds, cuts, and burns
- You have a history of allergy to castor oil
It’s not entirely true that you cannot use castor oil packs during menstruation. You can safely use them with a heating pad to ease menstrual cramps. Nevertheless, people with dysmenorrhea or menorrhagia should not use them to avoid excessive cramping caused by ricinoleic acid’s uterine contraction action.
If you are trying to conceive, use castor oil packs daily in the follicular phase and avoid the luteal phase. Also, skip the ovulation and menstruation days to avoid unnecessary uterine stimulation caused by ricinoleic acid.
To promote liver detoxification, apply your castor oil pack on the upper right quadrant of the abdomen where the liver is located. Leave the pack for about an hour, use them regularly, and see the magical results.
Well, there’s no established reason not to use castor oil packs during ovulation, but it may be prudent to avoid them during this period. The reason might be the labor-inducing action of ricinoleic acid that causes unwanted contraction in the uterine tract.
Though there is no universally acknowledged standard period for castor oil pack application, you can safely use it 3-4 times weekly. Nevertheless, suppose you experience mild side effects like bloating, diarrhea, or a rash. In that case, you can reduce the frequency of application or altogether discontinue its use in case of a sudden severe reaction.
Take a pack and soak it with an ample amount of castor oil. Squeeze the pack a bit to avoid it from dribbling. Then, apply it to the affected area, such as a joint or abdominal region. Wrap the pack on the body with a plastic wrap or cling film sheet. Now, if you wish to provide a heating effect to accelerate the working of the castor oil pack, use a heating pad or a warm compress over the sheet. Leave it for 30-60 minutes, and let the pack work for you.
You can use castor oil packs safely about 3-4 times weekly. Nevertheless, you can apply them daily if you have chronic pains or when your body responds slowly. Moreover, you can use castor oil packs daily in the follicular phase to balance your hormones and the menstrual cycle. Still, you better skip menstruation days and the luteal phase, particularly if you are trying to conceive.
Since castor oil packs are a natural remedy, everyone can use them safely. These packs have various applications, such as constipation, menstrual cramps, post-term labor, liver detoxification, uterine cysts, fibroids, endometriosis, and general body pain and inflammation. However, certain limitations regarding its use in pregnant and breastfeeding mothers are described in detail above.