Castor Oil Packs for Fertility and Reproductive health
If you are trying to conceive you may have heard of castor oil packs.
But If you are still feeling unsure as to what they are,
how to make and apply them, this article should answer all your questions.
What is Castor Oil?
Castor oil comes from seeds of the Ricinus Communis plant, and is a triglyceride, comprised of fatty acids, 90% is ricinoleic acid.
It has been used for centuries to promote healing in the body, traditionally being used for absorption, elimination, circulation (especially of lymphatic system) and breaking down scar tissue. Particularly in cases of inflammation, pain, growths and areas where increased circulation is desired
For reproductive health, Castor Oil is recommended by alternate health practitioners to support ovarian, fallopian tube, uterine and egg health, and detoxifying before conception.
What is a Castor oil pack?
A Castor Oil pack is an external application of castor oil. A piece of material is soaked in Castor Oil, and applied to the abdomen with a hot water bottle or heat pack.
Relating to reproductive health, these packs aim to help break down scar tissue (including cysts, endometriosis and fallopian tube blockages), ease menstrual pain, help to stimulate circulation therefore bringing a healthy blood flow to your uterus.
Preparing your body for the fertility and using Castor oil packs
A general guideline is to allow a 120-day window to prepare your body for conception, whether you are moving through natural fertility or IVF path.
It takes about 120 days for new egg and sperm development – ones that will be nourished, nutrient rich and strong for the best fertility outcome. Whether you are considering conceiving, or you are actively trying but a few cycles have come and gone without conceiving, we recommend you engage fertility and allied health specialists to discuss your fertility, reproductive health and your fertility plan. This may include fertility specialists, naturopathy, nutritionist/dietician, acupuncture, massage and self-care to give your body the best chance to developing the highest quality embryo and sperm, and success for conceiving.
Massage and Castor Oil packs are part of this preparation phase, alongside other key elements.
During your preparation phase Castor Oil packs can be used regularly to assist your body to prepare for fertility journey.
When and How often do I use this?
If you are in the preparation for conception phase (this is the time when you are preparing to conceive but not actively trying to conceive), you can perform this three (3) times per week for a minimum of 30 minutes (up to 1 1/2 hours) each time during your menstrual cycle. But avoid using during your menstruation bleed days.
If you are trying to conceive during your menstrual cycle:
Perform only during the first half of your menstrual cycle (from end of menstruation bleed days to ovulation).
After ovulation, cease using the packs.
If you are using assisted fertility and IVF:
Once you have started your IVF injections, cease using Castor Oil packs.
Are there any precautions when using Castor oil packs:
Do not use on any broken skin
Do not use during the two-week wait if you are actively trying to fall pregnant
Do not use during menstruation days of your cycle, pregnancy or breastfeeding
Do not ingest
Consult your physician or naturopath before using
How to make the castor oil pack?
Use a piece of cotton flannel or material big enough to cover your abdomen area.
Put it in a bowl (or glass jar) and pour castor oil onto it.
Leave the material a few minutes to allow the oil to soak in - You want it saturated, but not dripping. If you are using a jar gently shake it to disperse the oil into the cloth.
After each use, you will probably only need to add a little more castor oil for the next time.
Store in a plastic bag or glass jar in the refrigerator or cool place to be used next time.
How to apply a castor oil pack?
Use the pack in the evening as you are resting before bed, or when you have quiet time.
Spread out a large plastic bag with an old towel on top so the castor oil won’t leak onto the surface are lying on (as it will stain).
Soak a folded towel/material/flannelette cloth in castor oil as described above.
Warm a heat pack/hot water bottle (it should be very warm, but not so hot it burns you)
Lie down on the large towel, and place the castor oil-soaked cloth on your abdomen
Add the heating pad on top of cloth, and another towel on the heat pad. (You may want a plastic bag or sheet between the cloth and heat pad to prevent oil staining the heat pad)
Ideally keep this on for 1 to 1 ½ hours. But as a minimum 30min.
The perfect time to relax into mindfulness and visualisation meditation
Use paper towel to wipe of residue before you get up.
Where to buy Castor oil?
Vive Organic Food & Health clinic stock Organic top quality castor oil you can purchase online or instore.