I was a huge fan of the Anne of Green Gables books growing up and she was often given castor oil as medicine and described the nastiness of the taste. I knew that castor oil has been used medicinally for many years but it wasn’t until working with Chinese medicine that I learned about the many health benefits castor oil provides.
First what is castor oil? Many people mistakenly think it’s an animal-based oil because it’s often confused with cod liver oil, which also makes an appearance in Anne of Green Gables). Castor oil is extracted from the seed of the ricinis communis plant. The oil can be taken orally or used topically. It is widely known to benefit constipation and moisturize the skin. However, castor oil is a great solution to many women’s health problems like cramps, stimulating follicular development, improving the immune system and promotes detoxification. This is all because castor oil has tremendous circulation benefits – also why it is a great way to treat constipation. We frequently recommend patients doing a castor oil pack at home as a way of self treatment.
Castor Oil Packs – This is a great therapy to alleviate period cramps, encourage follicular development and promote uterine lining growth. You can find castor oil kits on Amazon but don’t bother paying the high prices when you can easily do it yourself. All you need is: castor oil, paper towels, an old towel that you don’t care about and a heating pad (electronic or otherwise). First massage a good amount of castor oil onto your lower abdomen (area below the belly button). Wet three to four sheets of paper towel with some castor oil. Place the paper towel over your lower abdomen. Wrap a towel around your abdomen and waist. Then place the heating pad on top of the towel (medium heat if you’re using an electronic pad). Sit or lay there for about 15 mins after which you can throw away the paper towels. The castor oil may stain the towel so pick one you don’t mind getting a little dirty. You definitely want to wear loose clothing and maybe put a towel down on the sofa or bed to protect your furniture.
Some of the castor oil packs include plastic wrap to prevent leakage but I don’t suggest heating up plastic with the heating pad. You can use binder clips or large safety pins to secure the towel wrap to protect against leakage.
If you’re getting painful lumps due to progesterone shots in an IVF cycle, you can do the same procedure at the site of the injection to help ease the symptoms.