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The Health Benefits of Castor Oil Packs

You have probably seen people promoting castor oil packs on social media & might wonder what the hype is all about & is it just some new ‘trend.'


The truth is, castor oil packs have been around for thousands of years & date back to the times of the Ancient Egyptians, Indian Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine & Mediterranean history.



What is Castor Oil?


Castor oil comes from the seeds of the Ricinus communis plant which are known as castor beans. The plants are grown in Africa, South America & India, with India making up 90% of total exports. The oil is then extracted from the beans which consist of 90% ricinoleic, 4% linoleic, 3% oleic, 1% stearic, and less than 1% linolenic fatty acids. Studies have shown that there is a presence of flavonoids, phenolic compounds, fatty acids, amino acids, terpenoids & phytosterol.


The book “The oil that heals - A physician's success with castor oil treatments” by William A. McGarey reviews individual results from Edgar Cayce’s notes along with his own experiences with his patients using castor oil. The results are extraordinary and the key takeaways are that the castor oil penetrates through the skin into the tissues and that it stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system (our rest and digest state). This then stimulates lymphatic flow and reduces inflammation via the Peyer’s patches (similar to the lymph nodes that line the small intestine). This shows the benefits of using castor oil for numerous gastrointestinal issues, such as constipation.


There was a small double-blind study done on a group of adults that showed how applying castor oil packs to the abdomen stimulated their immune system. Their blood results also showed a rise in T-11 lymphocytes. T-lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell that defends the body by creating antibodies against pathogens and their toxins


Castor oil benefits include:

  • Relieving & eradicating joint pain & swelling

  • Increasing liver & gallbladder stimulation

  • Improving glutathione levels

  • Reducing flatulence

  • Relieving constipation

  • Assisting with biofilm breakdown

  • Promoting feel-good hormones, such as serotonin

  • Stimulating the lymphatic system

  • Enhancing immune function

  • Reducing PMS symptoms

How should you use a castor oil pack?

The old way included up to a 12-step process, which was messy, but there are companies like Queen of Thrones that make applying the pack and castor oil process so much easier!


All you have to do is add 1-2TBSP to the pack and wrap it around your liver, which is on the right-hand side of your body underneath your rib cage & that’s it! You can also use a separate pack for your pelvic area but it is advised not to use the same pack since it is unclear if the toxins can be transferred. You can leave it on for an hour a day to start with to see how you feel & the aim is to sleep with it on overnight.


There is talk that you shouldn’t use the castor oil packs when on your period, but the information below is taken from the Queen of Thrones website who are the leading experts on castor oil packs.


“Castor oil can be done during menstruation. People worry that because you are bleeding during your period that you may bleed out. But your menses is not a hemorrhage, it is a sloughing off of a layer of tissue of the endometrial lining that needs to leave the body.

Castor oil and castor oil packs affect your blood indirectly. Via nitric oxide release, it reduces platelet-activating factor (Paf), keeping the bloodless inflamed and with healthier clotting[32]. Castor oil also stimulates the uterus's smooth muscle contraction[33] during your menses to move and eliminate. This results in less clumpy period blood and your bleeding time will be shorter

It’s also best to start a castor oil pack before you have your period. That way you start working on it before the situation happens. Rarely, if you start a pack for the first time while on your period, you can feel quite tired because it is helping the endometrial lining to move out and that can be a lot of work for your body if it is unbalanced”

They do warn that castor oil packs are NOT suitable for women who are pregnant as they are known to stimulate and contract the smooth muscles of the uterus, but there are some studies that say it can help induce labour


Queen of Thrones is the brand I use because they only use organic cold-pressed castor oil that is hexene free & is packaged in a dark glass bottle to refrain from using plastic (plastics are known to leech so you would definitely want to avoid those toxins getting into your tissues).


If you'd like to. check out their products click here.


I'd love to know, have you done a castor oil pack before or will you be trying them out now that you know of the amazing benefits?


References:

  1. Patel VR, Dumancas GG, Kasi Viswanath LC, Maples R, Subong BJ. Castor Oil: Properties, Uses, and Optimization of Processing Parameters in Commercial Production. Lipid Insights. 2016 Sep 7;9:1-12. DOI: 10.4137/LPI.S40233. PMID: 27656091; PMCID: PMC5015816.

  2. ​​Marwat SK, Rehman F, Khan EA, Baloch MS, Sadiq M, Ullah I, Javaria S, Shaheen S. Review - Ricinus Communis - Ethnomedicinal uses and pharmacological activities. Pak J Pharm Sci. 2017 Sep;30(5):1815-1827. PMID: 29084706.

  3. The oil that heals - William A. McGeary

  4. 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. PMID: 21168117.

  5. Rag, P., & Gou, P. (2012). THE EFFECT OF AYURVEDIC DRUGS WHEN USED AS DISEASE-MODIFYING ANTIRHEUMATIC DRUGS (DMARDS) IN AMA VATA ( RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS)

  6. Holm T, Brøgger-Jensen MR, Johnson L, Kessel 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. PMID: 24260265; PMCID: PMC3834120.

  7. Castor oil packs when on your period - https://queenofthethrones.com/faq/



Written by Dr. Kristina Telhami and Amanda Hann


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