Castor oil therapy is used frequently in acupuncture for fertility, and it’s a versatile tool in your acupuncturist’s healing toolkit. We use a warm castor oil wrap over the abdomen in order to stimulate blood flow to the uterus and ovaries.
Castor oil is absorbed easily into the tissues below, delivering healing directly into the abdomen. This natural method is often used to treat gynecological disorders related to blockage in the body such as endometriosis, adhesions or scar tissue, painful menstrual cramps, fallopian tube blockage and cysts.
Castor oil packs for fertility
Fertility is predicated on a healthy uterus. When our uterus is provided with a healthy, rich supply of oxygenated blood, it helps create an optimal environment for an embryo to implant.
Castor oil packs for menstrual cramps
A healthy uterine lining sheds more easily, and likely with less menstrual cramping. Castor oil packs bring the nutrient rich blood to the uterus, which supports a healthy lining that will shed at the end of a cycle. A good lining makes for a smoother menstrual cycle.
In addition to bringing blood to the uterus, if a blockage is causing the cramps, regular application of castor oil packs can encourage blood flow to move micro-adhesions and clots out of the body during menstrual flow.
Castor oil packs for the immune system
A congested lymphatic system can cause swelling. It also means that toxins are not being efficiently removed from our cells and tissues. We clearly see this when we fly – our legs swell from lack of movement, and our tongues become swollen and slightly purple.
This congestion is not optimal for health and can compromise our immune system. Scientific studies have shown that Castor oil treatments can boost the immune system by increasing the total lymphocyte count, which is an indication the immune system is upregulating.
Castor oil is a generally safe and effective therapy; however, please do not use it on broken skin or if your are pregnant. At Lokahi Acupuncture, we individualize each recommendation, but as a general rule of thumb, please avoid castor oil packs during your menstrual period, or uterine bleeding for any other reason, and stop therapy after ovulation if you are trying to conceive. Additionally, Castor oil should not be taken internally. It causes abdominal spasms and can stimulate uterine contractions causing miscarriage.
To Make a castor oil pack you will need the following items:
- Cold-pressed Castor Oil
- Buckwheat or rice warming pack, heating pad or hot water bottle.
- Two cotton flannel pieces each 1 square foot.
- One piece of plastic bag 1 square foot in size (to cover the oily flannel)
- A towel.
How to apply castor oil packs
- Soak one of the flannel pieces in 1 cup of castor oil. Place the soaked flannel over your whole abdomen (make sure to include the liver and the uterus). You can re-use these afterwards by storing in a plastic zip-lock bag.
- Place one piece of plastic on top and then place the towel.
- On top of the towel, place the warm water bottle, a heating pad, or the buckwheat pack. The pack should remain in place for at least one hour.
- When removing the pack, the remaining oil can be massaged into the skin or cleaned off using the other clean flannel cloth.
Tip – Plan this for a time when you can sit down and relax, like in the evening watching TV.
Pro Tip – To make a quick and easy castor oil pack:
- Rub a tablespoon of castor oil on abdomen
- Place an old towel on top of the oil
- Place a hot water bottle on top of the towel and rest for 45 minutes