Castor Oil Packs

Castor OilLast fall after I had surgery for Endometriosis, my doctor instructed me to use castor oil packs daily for a couple of weeks to help with the pain and inflammation.  Within a week these things had subsided substantially, and I credit most of that with the use of the castor oil packs.  After the first two weeks I was supposed to go to every other day or every three days…but after a week or two of that, I got out of the habit of using them.  

Just this week another holistic healthcare practitioner of mine who does energy work suggested strongly that I resume them in conjunction with my dietary changes.  She may have mentioned it a couple of weeks ago at my prior visit (based on her reaction that I was not doing what I was supposed to be doing!).  But sometimes I get overloaded with information and suggestions in these visits and I forget some of them!  So, I have started them back up since our conversation this week.  And I wanted to share this here as an important tool in the toolbox of anyone suffering from Endometriosis.

What are they used to treat?  They can be used to reduce inflammation and pain as I mentioned above.  They also can be used to improve digestive disfunction, and can be placed on the right side of the body to help detoxify the liver.  There may be other uses, but that is all I will cover here.

How do you administer a castor oil wrap?  A castor oil wrap is accomplished by soaking a wool flannel cloth in castor oil so that it is saturated but not dripping, placing it over the lower abdomen, covering either it or a heating pad with plastic, placing the heating pad on top of the castor oil pack, and turning the heat to high or medium as you can tolerate it.  You can do this while resting and meditating (as I did after my surgery) or watching TV (as I have been doing this week).

A few tips:

  • This WILL stain your clothes and be very difficult to get out, if not impossible.  Make sure the pack doesn’t come into contact with your clothing.  I ruined a favorite sweater last fall this way.
  • Put a towel down under you to protect whatever you are laying on
  • Use a solution of 1 pint of water plus 1 teaspoon baking soda to remove the castor oil from your abdomen after the treatment (it is sticky…and did I mention it will will stain your clothes if they come into contact?).  You can also buy wipes to remove the castor oil if you wish.
  • The castor oil itself can be bought at Whole Foods…but I’m not sure about the flannel accompaniment.  Your local health food store should carry both.
  • You can store the flannel wool in a ziplock baggie and use it repeatedly.  You may need to add more castor oil from time to time.  If it doesn’t leave lots of sticky oil on your belly, you are likely not using enough…although it shouldn’t drip.  Also, there is conflicting advice about putting it in the fridge or leaving it at room temp in-between uses.  I leave mine out and haven’t had issues.  If you put it in the fridge you may want to heat it before you place it on your belly.

You need to speak with your healthcare practitioners about how long and how often to use them.  There are MANY different guidelines and you need to figure out what works for you.  My doctor who sent me to surgery said every day for 20-30 minutes.  My current healthcare provider is instructing me to use them every day for an hour.  I’m not sure what dictates how long (or not) they should be used.

There is a reference to Edgar Cayce on the bottle of castor oil.  I was curios, so I did a google search and found this article in case it is helpful.  If nothing else I found it to be interesting and reinforced the instructions I have been given.

What are your experiences using castor oil wraps?  How often do you use them?  Do you experience healing or relief from their use?

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