While rubbing castor oil on your abdomen to help with pain might seem like an unusual practice, it can be a useful tool in your health journey. While there’s no such thing as a “miracle cure,” it’s great for symptom reduction, while also helping target the root cause of discomfort!
When applied externally, castor oil works by increasing flow of blood and lymphatic fluid to the area. This brings more nutrients and white blood cells that aide in the healing process. Castor oil can also help reduce localized inflammation. The chemical structure of ricinoleic acid, the active component of castor oil, is similar in structure to prostaglandins – chemicals in our bodies that reduce inflammation. Ricinoleic acid can be absorbed through the skin, helping to block inflammatory signals to the area.
Castor oil is an effective, natural remedy for a variety of issues in different areas of the body. Some of the things we frequently recommend it for include:
Constipation: Using external castor oil packs can help reduce stubborn constipation by reducing inflammation in the intestinal tract and relaxing bowel walls. A study in Turkey used castor oil packs to treat severe constipation in older adults over the course of 3 days. Participants reported reduced constipation symptoms, with stools that were softer and easier to pass.
Joint Pain: Regardless of where pain is located, and whether or not it’s arthritic in nature, the root cause is inflammation. Inflammation triggers the release of chemicals that increase pain signaling in the body, along with proteins that can settle in joints and cause irritation. Warmed castor oil packs applied to painful joints helps reduce inflammation and drain fluids that can contribute to swelling.
Improved Detoxification: The liver is our body’s main organ for detoxification. It breaks down and eliminates toxins, old hormones, and other waste. The liver also produces a digestive fluid called bile that helps break down and digest dietary fats. Bile is transported from the liver to the gallbladder for storage, until it’s released during the digestive process. Castor oil packs applied over the liver/gallbladder help “open up” bile flow, improving digestion and toxin elimination.
Hormonal Balance: Estrogen dominance (high estrogen) has become extremely common in women. Common symptoms include irregular menstrual cycles, painful periods, PCOS, and endometriosis. Estrogen is recycled by the liver and travels through bile pathways for elimination via the colon. If the liver/gallbladder or colon pathways are sluggish, estrogen is not eliminated properly and can build up in the body. Using castor oil packs over the liver/gallbladder helps ensure proper elimination of estrogen and more balanced hormones. Packs can also be applied to the abdomen to reduce fluid retention and pain around the menstrual cycle.
For ease of use, I personally like Queen of the Thrones castor oil packs. Their pelvic pack is great for reducing symptoms around your period, while their liver pack can help with overall hormone balance throughout the month (the liver is part of your hormone recycling center). They’re easy to apply, mess free, and don’t require a bunch of supplies. If you’d prefer to DIY, you can find instructions here.
Your Parter In Health,