Castor Oil Packs for PCOS and More [FAQ] - PCOS Diva
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Castor Oil Packs for PCOS and More [FAQ]

What are castor oil packs?

Castor oil is a nonvolatile fatty acid that comes from the seeds of the castor bean. The oil has been used for centuries in multiple cultures for its healing properties. It is known primarily as a strong laxative, but there are many properties of the castor bean that can be beneficial when utilized topically.

Castor oil packs are soothing, cleansing, and nutritive treatment that have many benefits. The benefits occur because it is an anti-inflammatory agent and improves lymphatic circulation. In this way, castor oil packs help with detoxification and enhancement of the immune system. They also help to support uterine and ovarian health. On top of that, it acts as a skin emollient and softener.

What do castor oil packs do?

Castor oil packs are a treatment as old as time that supports all health conditions and general wellbeing. They have 5 main modes of action that support rebalancing the body.

  1. Support Relaxation[1] [2] – Castor oil packs help train the body to the parasympathetic (rest and digest) state, rather than the sympathetic (stressed) state.
  2. Inflammation Reduction – Where there is inflammation there is acidity. Castor oil packs help to reduce inflammation[3] [4], increase alkalinity, and support a healthy immune response.
  3. Enhance Detoxification – Castor oil packs help to maintain levels of glutathione[5] and enhance elimination of toxins[6].
  4. Regulation of Bowel Movements – Castor oil packs improve regularity of bowel movements[7], meaning less constipation with no sudden urgency[8].
  5. Microbiome Support – Castor oil packs help to break down biofilm[9] [10] [11], making the microbiome more hospitable to healthy gut bacteria.

Through these 5 main modalities, castor oil packs indirectly help to balance the hormonal, immune, and nervous systems. This is why they are so beneficial to every health condition, plus they are 100% safe and have no side effects.

Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions (FAQs):

How do you make a castor oil pack?

Here are my step-by-step DIY instructions.

The easier and cleaner way to do it is to use the Queen of the Thrones method. That way, you know you are using the highest quality ingredients, and there is no mess or fabrics ruined by oil leaks.

Where do I place my castor oil pack?

Traditionally, castor oil packs are worn on the liver (underneath the right ribcage). Worn on this area, they also affect the surrounding organs like the stomach, pancreas, small and large intestines, adrenal glands, and kidneys. They can also be used locally on other areas of the body to treat specific health conditions like cysts, fibroids, enlarged lymph nodes, etc.

Castor oil packs are commonly used for pain – hip pain, joint pain, knee pain, muscle soreness – anywhere there is pain or discomfort, a castor oil pack can help.

The Queen of the Thrones™ castor oil pack has straps that are adjustable to fit any body shape.

How long do I wear my castor oil pack?

Castor oil packs should be worn for 1 hour each day to overnight. The longer you can wear it, the better. The key is to make it a daily consistent practice.

Do I have to use a pack? Can I just rub the oil on my body?

Simply rubbing castor oil on the body without the use of a pack is often referred to as the “Lazy Man’s Castor Oil Pack”. Applying just the oil will be emollient and nourishing for the skin as well as produce some anti-inflammatory effects, however, you lose out on the majority of the benefits.

Using a pack stimulates somatic visceral reflexes in the skin, similar to that of when you are given a big hug[12]. The feeling of compression and pleasant touch activates the release of feel-good hormones like oxytocin[13] and dopamine[14], allowing the body to move seamlessly into the parasympathetic (relaxed) state.

What material can I use for a castor oil pack?

It is important to always use ORGANIC cotton flannel. Non-organic fabrics are often treated with flame retardants and chemicals that disrupt our hormones[15] as well as our immune and nervous systems[16] [17]! We do not want to absorb these into the body.

For castor oil, it is important to always buy organic, cold-pressed, hexane-free and packaged in a GLASS bottle. Oils are lipophilic, meaning fat-loving, and their structure mimics that of plastic. This makes it very easy for chemicals in plastic to travel into the castor oil, then in turn be carried into our bodies, disrupting our hormones and entire system. Obviously, this is not the intention – so make sure to never buy castor oil in a plastic bottle!

The Queen of the Thrones™ castor oil pack is made with an inner layer of 85% organic cotton flannel, and an outer layer of eco and health-friendly PUL (polyurethane).

Does it matter whether my castor oil is bottled in glass vs. plastic?

Castor oil should always be in a dark, glass bottle. Plastics are lipophilic, meaning fat-loving. Their molecular structure makes it easy for them to travel into the oil, binding to the fats. This means that chemicals in the plastic can become bound to the oil, then when we use it on our skin, they get absorbed into our bodies.

How do I choose the right castor oil?

Know the source of your castor oil. Be sure it is grown without pesticides and is natural, raw, and cold pressed. It should be hexane free with no chemicals used in the extraction of the oil. It should come in a dark glass bottle.

How do I wash my castor oil pack?

According to Edgar Cayce, the bedside healer who popularized castor oil packs in the early 1900s, they never need to be washed. However, after about 15-20 uses, castor oil packs can become very saturated with oil, in which case you can wash them if you choose. Always apply castor oil to the middle of the Queen of the Thrones™ pack, avoiding the seams so that it does not seep through to the outside. We do not recommend putting them in the washing machine due to the nature of the oil. Also, avoid castor oil coming into contact with other articles of clothing as it will stain.

To wash the pack:

  1. Soak in a mixture of hot water, baking soda and natural dish soap overnight.
  2. In the morning, hand wash with hot water and natural dish soap, wringing it out very well.
  3. Take an old tea towel (that you don’t mind ruining) and lay the outer layer of the pack against it. Roll the pack up in the tea towel, blotting out the oil until there is little oily residue left on the outer layer.
  4. Hang to dry

With daily use, it is recommended to replace your castor oil pack every 3-4 months.

Do I need to add heat to my castor oil pack?

It is not necessary to use heat with the Queen of the Thrones™ castor oil pack as it is designed to hold in natural body heat. Heat has been shown to only speed up the elimination of metabolites, but not the rate of liver detoxification[18]. So, it is not necessary, and it all depends on your personal preference. If you enjoy more heat, you can add a heating pad over the top of your castor oil pack. Heat is used as a modality in natural medicine to slow things down, so depending on the functionality of your bowels, you can use it appropriately.

Are there any side effects?

Castor oil packs are a very gentle, topical treatment that are 100% safe throughout the entire life cycle (pregnancy excepted). In rare instances, people report feeling tired after doing their pack, which is likely because the body is fairly toxic/unbalanced and it is working hard to rebalance itself. Most people report feeling amazing after their treatments.

As with any substance, in very rare cases a hypersensitivity reaction to castor oil can occur. This usually appears in the form of a rash where the oil was placed on the skin, in which case you should discontinue use immediately.

Is it safe to do castor oil pack if I’m on medications?

There has been no evidence of castor oil packs interacting with any medications. In fact, they may actually help your medications to work better. Castor oil packs have been shown in a study to reduce cholesterol in the body[19].

Can I do a castor oil pack during menstruation?

Absolutely. In fact, castor oil packs support smooth muscle contraction[20], making it wonderful for relief of cramping during menses.

The school of thought around not using castor oil packs during menstruation is that people worry it can increase bleeding. Castor oil does not increase bleeding; however, it indirectly affects the blood via nitric oxide release and reduces platelet activating factor (Paf)[21]. This means that blood has a healthier clotting capacity and is less inflamed. So, castor oil packs can speed up the elimination of blood from the body, resulting in less clumpy period blood and a shorter bleeding duration.

This makes castor oil packs very effective for those who have troubled periods with lots of cramping or a heavy flow, and heat is best used in such situations. It’s always ideal to wear castor oil packs throughout your entire cycle so that your body becomes accustomed to their awesome benefits and all stages of the menstrual cycle will improve.

Can I do a castor oil pack while pregnant?

Oral administration of castor oil is used by midwives in the end stages of pregnancy to induce labor[22] [23] since it is known to enhance smooth muscle contraction of the uterus[24]. For this reason, it is recommended to avoid using castor oil packs during pregnancy.

Can I use castor oil pack while taking the birth control pill?

Absolutely. In fact, castor oil packs are wonderful for supporting the body while taking oral contraception because they indirectly help to balance the hormone system. They will not have any influence on the effectiveness of the pill.

Do castor oil pack help with hormonal issues (i.e. estrogen dominance, fertility, menopause, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), etc.)?

Castor oil packs have a long history of being used for hormonal issues as they indirectly have a powerful balancing effect on the hormone system. They are best worn over the liver for issues like estrogen dominance, PCOS, menopause, fertility problems, PMS (and period issues of all kinds). They can also be worn locally over the ovaries, uterus, or breasts for ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, fibrocystic breasts, etc. With these conditions it is best to alternate wearing it locally and wearing it over the liver, or to do both simultaneously.

Do castor oil pack have an effect on fibroids, cysts or fibrocystic breasts?

Castor oil packs have been used traditionally to help reduce pain associated with fibroids and cysts and to help break them down. It is always best to alternate wearing the castor oil pack locally over the affected area of the body, as well as over the liver, or to do both simultaneously.

Worn over the breasts, castor oil packs support improved lymphatic flow and reduced inflammation, both key factors for fibrocystic breasts and prevention of cancer.

Can castor oil pack be used with thyroid conditions?

Absolutely. In fact, castor oil packs have a long history of use for thyroid issues such as goiter, thyroiditis, and thyroid nodules. Simply apply castor oil directly to the thyroid area and cover with a small compress.

Are castor oil pack safe to use with breast implants?

Yes, there is no research that says otherwise. In fact, castor oil packs can be helpful at reducing scarring at the site of the incisions. Please note that castor oil should never be used on an open wound, so it is recommended to use once the wounds have closed.

Can castor oil pack be used for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD)?

Absolutely! Castor oil packs help to regulate the smooth muscle function of the digestive tract[25], improving symptoms of IBS and IBD such as constipation, diarrhea, bloating, cramping, and abdominal pain. They also help to break down biofilm created by bad gut bacteria[26], promoting a healthy microbiome. Stress is often a trigger in these types of conditions, so the nervous system calming effect produced by castor oil packs[27] is very helpful and allows the digestive tract to heal and repair itself. They also improve antioxidant status[28], reduce inflammation[29], and increase alkalinity to support the body’s natural digestion, absorption, and elimination processes.

When should I not use a castor oil pack?

There do not seem to be any significant adverse effects with castor oil, but there are some contraindications and recommendations.

  • Do not use castor oil if you are pregnant
  • Do no use if there is internal bleeding
  • Be cautious if you are experiencing heavy menstrual flow
  • Test castor oil on a small patch of skin before using it on a large scale
  • Castor oil stains! Be careful of your clothes, bedding, furniture, etc. when applying packs.

Why Queen of Thrones’s castor oil?

I trust her quality. With something like castor oil, this really, really matters. Castor oil absorbs the chemicals in plastic and then brings them into your body. These chemicals are problematic for your hormones because they are endocrine disruptors. It’s not only BPA that you need to worry about. There are slip agents and UV filters in these bottles too. Please, for the sake of your health, only use certified organic, cold-pressed, hexane-free, extra virgin castor oil in a glass bottle.

Dr. Marisol, ND is a world leader renowned for her passion for cleansing and gut health, not only because she has the degree on the wall but more so because she’s experienced feeling shitty and figured out the hierarchy of how to get healthy. Crowned the Queen of the Thrones™, for over 15 years she has trained and educated healthcare practitioners and has helped thousands of patients transition from “Sh*t Show” to “Owning Their Throne”. Dr. Marisol directs and practices at Sanas Health Practice in Canada. She has spearheaded PuraSanas health supplements and invented the Queen of the Thrones Organic Castor Oil Pack™ and line of products. Thelaunch of her first book, “Oh, Sh*t!”, along with her educational conferences and programs,heralds her championing you to become your legend. Join her movement and help her to achieve her goal of being in 1 billion bathrooms by 2020. We can do it!

Resources:

[1] Walker SC1, Trotter PD2, Swaney WT2, Marshall A3, Mcglone FP4. C-tactile afferents: Cutaneous mediators of oxytocin release during affiliative tactile interactions? Neuropeptides. 2017 Aug;64:27-38. doi: 10.1016/j.npep.2017.01.001. Epub 2017 Jan 19.

( oxytocin Release )

[2] Rolls ET et all. Representations of pleasant and painful touch in the human orbitofrontal and cingulate cortices. Cereb Cortex. 2003 Mar;13(3):308-17. ( Dopamine release, Limbic System of brain- Fatty Meal Satisfaction)

[3] Grady H. Immunomodulation through castor oil packs. The Journal of Naturopathic Medicine. Volume 7 Jan 1 1998; 7(1): 84-9

[4] Vieira C et al. .Effect of ricinoleic acid in acute and subchronic experimental models of inflammation. Mediators Inflamm. 2000;9(5):223-8.

[5] Holm TBrøgger-Jensen MRJohnson LKessel L.Glutathione preservation during storage of rat lenses in optisol-GS and castor oil. PLoS One. 2013 Nov 19;8(11):e79620. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079620. eCollection 2013

[6] Kennedy D and Keaton D. Evidence for the Topical Application of Castor oil: A Systematic Review. CCNM. Presentation 2010 AANP

[7] Sorin Tunaru,a Till F. Althoff,a Rolf M. Nüsing,b Martin Diener,c and Stefan Offermannsa,d,1 Castor oil induces laxation and uterus contraction via ricinoleic acid activating prostaglandin EP3 receptorsProc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Jun 5; 109(23): 9179–9184.Published online 2012 May 21. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1201627109PMID: 22615395

[8] Arslan GG, Eşer I. An examination of the effect of castor oil packs on constipation in the elderly. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2011 Feb;17(1):58-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2010.04.004. Epub 2010 May 18.

[9] Andrade IM1, Andrade KM2, Pisani MX1, Silva-Lovato CH1, de Souza RF1, Paranhos Hde F1. Trial of an experimental castor oil solution for cleaning dentures. Braz Dent J. 2014 Jan-Feb;25(1):43-7.

[10] Badaró MM, Salles MM, Leite VMF, Arruda CNF, Oliveira VC, Nascimento CD, Souza RF, Paranhos HFO, Silva-Lovato CH. Clinical trial for evaluation of Ricinus communis and sodium hypochlorite as denture cleanser.J Appl Oral Sci. 2017 May-Jun; 25(3):324-334.

[11] Salles MM, Badaró MM, Arruda CN, Leite VM, Silva CH, Watanabe E, Oliveira Vde C, Paranhos Hde F. Antimicrobial activity of complete denture cleanser solutions based on sodium hypochlorite and Ricinus communis – a randomized clinical study.J Appl Oral Sci. 2015 Nov-Dec; 23(6):637-42.

[12] Löken LS, Wessberg J, Morrison I, McGlone F, Olausson H. Coding of pleasant touch by unmyelinated afferents in humans. Nat Neurosci. 2009 May;12(5):547-8. Epub 2009 Apr 12.

[13] Walker SC1, Trotter PD2, Swaney WT2, Marshall A3, Mcglone FP4. C-tactile afferents: Cutaneous mediators of oxytocin release during affiliative tactile interactions? Neuropeptides. 2017 Aug;64:27-38. doi: 10.1016/j.npep.2017.01.001. Epub 2017 Jan 19.

[14] Rolls ET et all. Representations of pleasant and painful touch in the human orbitofrontal and cingulate cortices. Cereb Cortex. 2003 Mar;13(3):308-17. (Dopamine release, Limbic System of brain- Fatty Meal Satisfaction)

[15] Ezechias M, Svobodova K, Cajthaml T. Hormonal activities of new brominated flame retardants. Chemosphere. 2012 Jan 9.

[16] Miller MF, Chernyak SM, Domino SE, Batterman SA, Loch-Caruso Concentrations and speciation of polybrominated diphenyl ethers in human amniotic fluid. R.Sci Total Environ. 2012 Jan 9.

[17] Wang L, Zou W, Zhong Y, An J, Zhang X, Wu M, Yu Z. The hormesis effect of BDE-47 in HepG(2) cells and the potential molecular mechanism. Toxicol Lett. 2012 Jan 3;209(2):193-201.

[18] Huber R, Weisser S, Luedtke R. Effects of abdominal hot compresses on indocyanine green elimination–a randomized cross over study in healthy subjects. BMC Gastroenterol. 2007 Jul 10;7:27.

[19]

[20] Sorin Tunaru,a Till F. Althoff,a Rolf M. Nüsing,b Martin Diener,c and Stefan Offermannsa,d,1 Castor oil induces laxation and uterus contraction via ricinoleic acid activating prostaglandin EP3 receptorsProc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Jun 5; 109(23): 9179–9184.Published online 2012 May 21. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1201627109PMID: 22615395

[21] Mascolo N1, Izzo AA, Gaginella TS, Capasso F. Relationship between nitric oxide and platelet-activating factor in castor-oil induced mucosal injury in the rat duodenum. Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 1996 May;353(6):680-4.

[22] Gao J1, Sun N, Wang F.[Effects of castor oil-diet on the synthesis of prostaglandin E2 in pregnant rats].[Article in Chinese] Zhonghua Fu Chan Ke Za Zhi. 1999 Mar;34(3):147-9.

[23] Gao J1, Sun N, Wang F, Hao N.[Effect of castor oil-diet on the initiation of labor of pregnant rat].[Article in Chinese] Zhongguo Yi Xue Ke Xue Yuan Xue Bao. 1998 Oct;20(5):367-70.

[24] Kelly AJ1, Kavanagh J, Thomas J. Castor oil, bath and/or enema for cervical priming and induction of labour. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Jul 24;(7):CD003099. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD003099.pub2.

[25] Sorin Tunaru,a Till F. Althoff,a Rolf M. Nüsing,b Martin Diener,c and Stefan Offermannsa,d,1 Castor oil induces laxation and uterus contraction via ricinoleic acid activating prostaglandin EP3 receptorsProc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Jun 5; 109(23): 9179–9184.Published online 2012 May 21. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1201627109PMID: 22615395

[26] Badaró MM1, Salles MM1, Leite VMF1, Arruda CNF1, Oliveira VC1, Nascimento CD1, Souza RF1, Paranhos HFO1, Silva-Lovato CH1. Clinical trial for evaluation of Ricinus communis and sodium hypochlorite as denture cleanser. J Appl Oral Sci. 2017 May-Jun;25(3):324-334. doi: 10.1590/1678-7757-2016-0222.

[27] Walker SC1, Trotter PD2, Swaney WT2, Marshall A3, Mcglone FP4. C-tactile afferents: Cutaneous mediators of oxytocin release during affiliative tactile interactions? Neuropeptides. 2017 Aug;64:27-38. doi: 10.1016/j.npep.2017.01.001. Epub 2017 Jan 19.

[28] Holm TBrøgger-Jensen MRJohnson LKessel L.Glutathione preservation during storage of rat lenses in optisol-GS and castor oil. PLoS One. 2013 Nov 19;8(11):e79620. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079620. eCollection 2013.

[29] Vieira C et al. .Effect of ricinoleic acid in acute and subchronic experimental models of inflammation. Mediators Inflamm. 2000;9(5):223-8.

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