Updated: Jun 19
Hot Castor Oil packs
This video is about hot Castor oil packs, what they are, what they are for and why you will love them.
What is it:
A castor oil pack is a simple natural therapeutic technique that involves the external application of castor oil to the skin, typically over the Liver or the abdomen or other specific areas of the body. Castor oil has a very moving quality (btw do not drink it as it is a strong laxative!) and helps invigorate the blood flow of the liver.
The liver plays a crucial role in numerous bodily functions, including filtering toxins from the blood, producing bile for digestion, storing vitamins and minerals, and metabolizing nutrients.
The liver is located if you were to place your hand on your right side, starting below the chest and moving downward, you would feel the lower edge of the ribcage. The liver is situated just beneath this area, extending from the right side of the abdomen towards the midline.
When the liver becomes sluggish, it means that its normal functioning is compromised, and it may not be performing optimally. Sluggishness of the liver can occur due to various factors, such as poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, excessive alcohol consumption, certain medications, toxins, or underlying health conditions.
Some potential consequences or symptoms that may arise when the liver is sluggish are:
Reduced detoxification: The liver is responsible for detoxifying harmful substances from the body. When it becomes sluggish, this detoxification process may be impaired, leading to a buildup of toxins in the body.
Digestive issues: The liver produces bile, which aids in the digestion and absorption of fats. Sluggish liver function can result in poor bile production, leading to digestive problems such as bloating, indigestion, or difficulty digesting fatty foods.
Fatigue and low energy: A sluggish liver may not effectively metabolize nutrients and produce sufficient energy. This can result in fatigue, low energy levels, and a general sense of lethargy.
Skin problems: The liver plays a role in maintaining healthy skin. When it's not functioning optimally, it may lead to skin issues like acne, rashes, or dull complexion.
Weight gain and difficulty losing weight: The liver helps metabolize fats. If it's sluggish, fat metabolism may be compromised, leading to weight gain or difficulty in losing weight.
Increased sensitivity to alcohol and medications: A sluggish liver may have difficulty processing alcohol and medications, making a person more sensitive to their effects and potentially increasing the risk of side effects.
Hormonal imbalances: The liver helps metabolize hormones, such as estrogen. When liver function is compromised, it can contribute to hormonal imbalances and associated symptoms.
If you suspect your liver may be sluggish or you're experiencing any of these symptoms, it's important to consult with your MD for proper evaluation and guidance.
Fun fact: In menopause the main form of estrogen changes from estradiol (produced from the ovaries) to estrone (produced in the adipose tissue and liver). We need the liver to produce estrogen in menopause but we also need estrogen for the proper functioning of the liver. Hence the need to take extra special care of our livers at this time.
On a daily basis, we are regularly exposed to numerous chemicals, By incorporating simple adjustments such as opting for organic foods and switching to chemical-free personal care products, the liver can experience relief. Minimizing chemical intake reduces the liver's workload in eliminating them.
Organic food can be pricey, so I alway recommend the Environmental Working group's list of the dirty dozen to avoid
As the produce you should absolutely buy organic. And they also have a list of the clean 15 that are super low in pesticides and safe to buy non-organic
the links for these are in the blog post accompanying this.
Some keys foods to boost liver function include cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collard greens; lemons and limes; and dandelion greens (look for these in the grocery store in the spring, or if you are lucky enough to have them growing in your yard, harvest them as long as they aren’t sprayed (with pesticides or dog pee!), also feel free to forage them in an unsprayed area.
Castor oil packs
Castor oil packs should not be used in pregnancy as you do not want to do a cleanse when someone is pregnant.
If you suffer from constipation, it is best to start with castor oil packs over the lower abdomen, and to address diet, and to consider herbs and acupuncture to support regular bowel movements.
Using a hot castor oil pack over the liver will help the detox function of the liver. It does this by increasing the blood flow.
To create a castor oil pack, you will need the following:
Flannel or cotton cloth: You will need a soft and absorbent cloth, such as flannel or cotton, that is large enough to cover the targeted area of your body.
An old towel or Plastic wrap: This is used to cover the castor oil pack and prevent staining of clothing or bedding.
A hot pack
To prepare and use a castor oil pack:
Fold the cloth into a size that can comfortably cover the area you want to apply the pack to.
Drizzle the castor oil over the cloth – maybe 1 -2 tbsp worth, you want it oily enough to absorb into your skin but not dripping with oil. (also be careful about not getting oil all over your bed, or massage table, or sheets, or clothing.)
Place the cloth over the desired area of your body.
Cover the pack with spare towel or plastic wrap to create a barrier and keep it in place.
Apply gentle heat to the pack. You can use a heating pad or a hot water bottle for this purpose. The heat helps the oil penetrate the skin.
Leave the castor oil pack on for about 20-40 minutes. It's a good idea to lie down and relax during this time.
Afterward, carefully remove the pack and store it in a sealed container for future use. You can re-use it a few times. Be aware that castor oil stains, so it's advisable to designate a specific pack for repeated use. Castor oil is very viscous so it is very difficult to clean the cloth. I usually use it a few times, then discard it and start with a fresh cloth.
Gently wipe your skin before getting redressed, so you don’t stain your clothes.
You can incorporate castor oil pack treatments regularly, During spring when you might actively be supporting your liver with a detox, you can do it 1-2 x a week, otherwise 1-2 x a month, or once every 2-3 months is a good maintenance schedule.
Why will you love castor oil packs:
Because when your liver flows better, you will feel better. I always feel clearer and slightly more energized after doing a hot castor oil pack.
Let me know how you feel after doing one, or if you have any questions. You can email me info@windstone, or just chat with me next time you are in clinic.