Sharing my thoughts on using a castor oil pack and how I implement them in my routine. Friendly reminder that this post is not a substitute for medical information; always ask your doctor if something is right for you! I’m definitely not a doctor and just sharing my experience. My favorite castor oil pack company is offering a free dry brush for readers if you place a castor oil liver kit through Saturday! Details are here and the code is GINA23.
Hi friends! How are you? I hope you’re having a wonderful morning! What are you up to today? I’m hiking with a friend – the weather has been a dreaaaammm – studying for IHP, and have a podcast interview. I’d love to hear what you have going on!
For today’s post, I wanted to talk a little about castor oil packs. I’ve been using them on and off for about 12 years now, and have recently brought them back into my routine more regularly. I first tried it out when I started working with Dr. Flynn with my hormones before we got pregnant with Liv. It was part of the detox protocol and wowwww they’ve come a long way since then! It’s so much more convenient now that there are less messy options. I figured I’d share more about my experience if it’s something you’ve heard about or are considering adding into your routine.
What is a a castor oil pack?
This ancient healing remedy is one of the oldest and most widespread traditions, used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, to Modern Naturopathic medicine.
Castor oil packs have been used all over the world for centuries, and users have reported benefits including:
– Mental and physical health improvements
– Improving hormonal imbalances (PCOS, estrogen dominance, etc.)
– Digestive issues, including bloating, constipation, indigestion and IBS
– Insomnia and other sleep distubrances
– Stress reduction, anxiety, and depression
– Period regulation, endometriosis, TTC, ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids, fibrocystic breasts
– Cancer, tumors
– Thyroid health
– Liver and gallbladder support
What you need for a castor oil pack
A piece of wool or flannel
Castor oil (make sure that it’s organic and comes in a dark, glass bottle)
You can also get a set from Queen of Thrones, which is what I use. I love this option because it’s way less messy, and the pack uses your own body heat so you don’t need to add a heating pad.
How to use a castor oil pack
First you’ll place 1-2 tablespoons of castor oil onto the flannel or castor oil pack. Fold it gently in half to spread it around.
Next, you’ll place the castor oil pack around your liver, which is under your right ribcage.
Make sure you wear an old t-shirt on top because castor oil is messy and can stain!
If you’re using a traditional flannel or wool, you can lie down and cover with a heating pack on low. For 30-60 minutes, relax, meditate, or watch a show.
If you’re using the Queen of Thrones pack, I find it’s WAY less messy – it contains pretty much everything but I still wear a dark, old-t-shirt just in case- and since it stays in place, you’re free to move around and do whatever you’d like to do.
Castor oil pack benefits
Since I’ve had some gallbladder issues in the past, I’m ALL about doing things to support my liver. Our liver and gallbladder are BFFs, so if you have gallbladder issues, you may need liver support as well.
When I use the castor oil pack, I have better, deeper sleep (and super vivid dreams!) and notice an improvement in digestion.
They can improve our glutathione levels, a powerful antioxidant that gets rid of excess estrogens, toxins, and byproducts of plastics (like BPA). And they can regulate bowel movements and provide relief from constipation so excess hormones can leave the body. They can also reduce cortisol by switching our body into the rest and digest state; I notice that I feel calm and balanced after using it.
You can read some studies about potential benefits of using a castor oil pack here:
Examination on constipation using castor oil packs in the elderly
Potentially anti-inflammatory effects of castor oil
Some of the typical uses for castor oil
It can be messy.
There isn’t a ton of evidence to back it up, as it hasn’t been widely-studied. The good news is that I haven’t come across any harmful potentially effects from using it topically (unless you’re pregnant or have any skin issues or contraindications. This is why it’s important to talk to your doctor.)
How often to use a castor oil pack?
It really depends on how you feel after using it. I’m ALL about using things as minimally as needed while still noticing positive results. There’s a sweet spot, where too little, or too freuqent use, will diminish the benefits. For me, I like using it 1-2x a week. On the website, they say that you can sleep in it, but I don’t think it’s necessary, especially if you feel a difference without needing to sleep with it.
If you’re trying to conceive, a castor oil pack is typically recommended to use during the first half of your cycle, leading up to ovulation. (Of course, talk with your doctor or practitioner.) This is how I used it when I was trying to get pregnant. I would wear it nightly until ovulation, and then take a break until my next cycle began.
NOTE: Castor oil and castor oil packs are NOT meant to be used during pregnancy. It is sometimes used my midwives to induce labor since it is a laxative and can cause uterine contractions – I’ve heard horror stories about women taking it to induce labor and just end up with horrible digestive issues, and head in to deliver dehydrated and exhausted – so just a heads up.
So tell me friends: have you used a castor oil pack before? Do you think you would?
If you want to check out my favorite brand, they’re offering a free dry brush for readers with a castor oil liver kit through Saturday! Check it out here and use the code GINA23.