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Castor oil therapy consists of using a warm castor oil wrap over the abdomen in order to stimulate blood flow to this uterus and ovaries. This type of Castor oil treatments are quite often recommended by holistic practitioners to treat many gynaecological disorders in women including infertility related problems, like endometriosis, fibroids, polycystic ovary syndrome, etc. This type of treatment is very helpful in many cases to resolve infertility because the castor oil pack relieves congestion and inflammation of the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. Castor oil therapy increases circulation to the reproductive organs and helps detoxify the liver improving the metabolism of hormones. In these cases, Castor oil is used by employing packs over the abdomen (Castor oil abdominal packs) covering both the uterus and liver. Castor oil is absorbed easily into the body through the skin and its healing components are delivered directly into the body tissues.v The benefits of castor oil are many. First of all, it removes the waste products from the cells and tissues where it is applied enhancing detoxification of the organs. Then, it decreases inflammation and assists the body in the removal of inflammatory components like prostaglandins. One of the main benefit of Castor oil is its ability to assist the liver eliminate excess hormones. The most important function of the liver, as far as fertility is concerned, is to regulate blood sugar, and take part in hormone metabolism. Castor oil is also easily absorbed into the lymphatic circulation. Here, it stimulates the relaxation of the smooth muscle of the blood vessels allowing the free flow of oxygen and nutritional substances to reach the tissues more efficiently. Furthermore, the relaxation of the smooth muscle of internal organs, such as the stomach, intestines, gall bladder and liver, and uterus is highly effective for pain relief as Castor oil therapy reduces inflammation and excess congestion.
How Do Castor Oil Treatments Work?
Scientific studies have shown that Castor oil treatments can boost the immune system by increasing the number of total lymphocyte count. This is another benefit of Castor oil due to its ability to stimulate lymphatic drainage and removal of waste products from the tissues and cells. This is why a Castor oil pack is often employed as a form of mild detoxification when applied over the liver, gall bladder and spleen.
Castor Oil Therapy and Detox
Breaking Up Scar Tissue
Castor oil therapy can be effective in breaking up scar tissue and adhesions, in loosening up masses and in drawing out toxins from as deep as 8 cm. When dangerous toxins enter the blood stream, they can potentially cause free radical damage, inflammation, and DNA damage. If the liver cannot detox efficiently, environmental chemicals are stored in the fat cells. This is one of the root causes of women's diseases like uterine fibroids, endometriosis, breast cysts, glucose imbalances, thyroid problems, etc. All of these conditions, as you can see, ultimately lead to infertility or fertility issues of some sort. Castor oil therapy is a simple way to address all of these conditions at once.
Benefits of Castor Oil Therapy Using A Castor Oil Pack
The use of topical Castor oil is very important when treating conditions related to poor drainage of the lymphatic system and congestion of organ tissues. The most important component of Castor oil is ricinoleic acid, a fatty acid component which has the ability to draw toxins out of the tissues.
The following conditions respond to the application of Castor oil packs:
1. Menstrual dysfunction of painful periods. 2. Liver, pancreas and gallbladder disorders. 3. Digestive and stomach problems. 4. Adhesion and scarring of the Fallopian tubes. 5. Improve peristalsis and elimination through the bowels. 6. Benign fibroids, endometriosis and ovarian cysts. 7. Lymphatic congestion and swollen lymph nodes. 8. Constipation, bowel impaction or adhesions. 9. Bladder and vaginal infections. 10. Fibrocystic breast disease through breast applications.
When to Use A Castor Oil Pack
Duration of castor oil therapy: 45-90 minutes 3-5 times a week for at least 8-16 weeks. During the first two menstrual cycles the ovarian pain and menstrual discomfort should decrease. Taper off slowly by decreasing the number of session per week. Sometimes a longer period of time is required.
Do not apply a Castor oil pack on broken skin, during menses and after ovulation if you are trying to conceive. If you are suffering from any serious or chronic condition, consult a natural health practitioner before applying Castor oil. Do not use a castor oil pack if you are breastfeeding, pregnant or suspect to be pregnant. It is best to avoid Castor oil treatments if you have uterine bleeding or suffer from cancerous tumors. Castor oil should not be taken internally. Because it causes severe abdominal spasms.
To make a castor oil pack you will need the following items:
1. Cold pressed Castor oil Kit. 2. Magic bag or water bottle. 3. Tow cotton flannel pieces of 1 foot square each. 4. One piece of plastic bag one foot square in size. 5. A towel.
Directions for Applying Castor Oil Abdominal Packs:
a. Soak the flannel pieces in Castor oil, generally about 1 cup of Castor oil will be enough. Place them over your whole abdomen (make sure to include the liver and the uterus). Alternately, you can just spread a generous layer of Castor oil directly on your skin and cover with the flannel pieces. b. Place the piece of plastic on top and then place the towel. c. On top of the towel place the warm water bottle or the magic bag. d. The pack should remain in place for at least one hour. e. When you remove the pack, the remaining oil can be massaged into the skin or cleaned off using a clean flannel cloth. f. Take it easy for a couple of hours after doing a Castor oil application.
Is A Castor Oil Pack Safe?
Castor oil is very safe and very effective as it has the ability to be absorbed by the skin to relax smooth muscle present in many organs like lymphatic vessels, uterus, fallopian tubes, bowels, gall bladder, and even the liver.
Castor oil therapy using packs is very safe. There are a few situations in which Castor oil packs should not be used, like menstrual bleeding, acute stomach gas, serious intestinal conditions, on broken skin, and of course during pregnancy.
Duration of Castor Oil Therapy for Fertility
It is recommended to try Castor oil packs for a few months before trying to conceive, just to be on the safe side because Castor oil has a detox effect which moves all the toxins away from your organs. After that you can apply Castor oil packs only until ovulation, while trying to get pregnant. Do not take it orally because it is a strong laxative and can induce uterine contractions causing miscarriage. I also do not recommend doing an herbal fertility detox while doing Castor oil treatments because the detox effect can be too strong. If you are on an herbal liver or bowel cleanse, do Castor oil packs only once or twice a week. It is not harmful to your body but you may experience detox symptoms that may make you fell unwell. These symptoms are transient and their duration depends on the level of toxicity of your body. If you do experience them, ease off on the frequency of the Castor oil therapy sessions.
Natural Health and Castor Oil Uses
In my opinion there are a number of natural health therapies that work well with Castor oil therapy because they help increase blood flow to the reproductive organs decreasing uterine and ovarian congestion. They are yoga, massage therapy and nutrition. Castor oil pack work really well in conjunction with self fertility massage.
My Experience with Castor Oil Therapy
After I suffered an ectopic pregnancy I begin experiencing tremendous ovulation pain on the right side. In fact the ectopic pregnancy was a very rare case of ovarian pregnancy, where the embryo stayed attached to the right ovary instead of descending into the uterus. This occurrence had most likely scarred my ovary and caused pain during ovulation when every month a new egg was going to be released during ovulation. I decided to use Castor oil packs to ease the ovulation pain and help my liver regulate the production of hormones. I used the packs as I outlined above for about two months and not only my ovarian pain went away but after about a couple of months I got pregnant after years of infertility. Even if castor oil therapy was not the only natural treatment I was doing, I strongly believe that Castor oil therapy helped me conceive naturally. If you suffer from PCOS, endometriosis, fibroids, blocked fallopian tubes and want to take charge of your own health, try using this Castor oil therapy kit.
If you suffer from any infertility issues or even unexplained infertility, I recommend it in conjunction with self fertility massage DVD developed by Hethir Rodriguez, certified registered massage therapist. It can work miracles in your body!
Here is a tried and tested (by my readers) procedure you can use for abdominal strictures and adhesions that has worked for many to relieve pain and release an obstruction. It also works equally well for other areas of the body (back, hips, knees, etc.). Most people report substantial relief in 24 hours. Simple injuries like acute muscle strains can be healed in 3-4 days (using once or twice per day). Longstanding problems like scar tissue that is several years old can take up to 4-6 months. And newer scar tissue can be softened or dissolved in only 2 months (of once per day application). If your scar tissue does not involve your digestive system, then skip Step 1 of this protocol. 1. Go On A Liquid Diet Ideally and for fastest healing of intestinal strictures or obstruction, you should go on an exclusively elemental diet (which results in only liquid, minimal fecal matter) at least until the obstruction clears, and ideally for an additional week after clearance. If you can’t afford this, there are two other forms of liquid nutrition that may work for you, or you can combine these options in a way that works for you: a) Raw vegetable juicing – juice primarily vegetables, with only enough fruit added to make them palatable (or sweeten with stevia instead). BUT, people with active/bleeding Crohn’s or colitis often cannot tolerate raw vegetable juices, so be sure and test carefully and if you’re at all underweight, this is not a good option b) Raw (unpasteurized) cow or goat milk – from pasture-fed animals only (not barn-raised and grainfed). Goat milk is usually better tolerated than cow milk, but make sure milk is RAW. Never consume pasteurized milk as it will only exacerbate your condition. If you tend to constipation, then you will also need to add extra magnesium citrate to your raw milk (1-3x/day up to 1000 mg/day maximum) to avoid getting constipated from the high calcium levels. c) Absorb Plus elemental shakes – this is a product I formulated, specifically for people with inflammatory bowel disease (or other advanced illness like cancer, AIDS, lupus, etc.). It is absorbed into your bloodstream within 20 minutes of ingestion and produces liquid, minimal fecal matter. Therefore it is ideal for people with strictures, obstruction, intestinal bleeding or malnutrition. Each of these liquid nutrient sources are best when combined with homemade bone broths (Chicken and Beef Broth). You can derive your nutrients from only one of these sources, or you can mix and match and combine them together.
If you consume raw vegetable juices, buy organic or ‘no spray’ produce and juice fresh every day (or freeze portions to consume later). Make sure you consume enough juice to provide you with adequate energy each day. Or, combine raw juicing with raw milk or Absorb Plus to add the protein and good fats needed for energy. You should also be taking extra cod liver oil and Udo’s oil (you can add it to the shakes) during this time. 2. Apply DMSO / Aloe Vera Solution to Abdomen Or Problem Area/Joints: Make up a 50% dilution of DMSO with George’s Aloe Vera Juice – this means you combine 2 tbsp. 99% DMSO and 2 tbsp. aloe vera in a glass bottle, shake well. Apply to your abdomen (or wherever your scar tissue/pain/cramping is) using your fingers or a natural hair paintbrush. Do not use synthetic anything with DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide – a natural substance derived from tree bark) as it will pick up and transport everything it contacts into your skin/bloodstream. Make sure hands and abdomen have been washed with plain soap and water and do not have any creams or fragrance on them. Allow to dry. Then apply a hot castor oil pack to your abdomen or problem area. Note: After you have done this protocol a few times, if you think your skin will tolerate a higher DMSO content, then try a solution of 70% DMSO to 30% aloe vera. DMSO tolerance varies widely (with redheads being the most sensitive), so the 50/50 ratio is likely to be tolerated by most, but feel free to adjust up or down as you desire. If you are using it below the waist (excluding genital area) then you can usually use a higher concentration with no irritation. It is normal for it to itch while drying, but if it causes a rash, then decrease the concentration of DMSO. Some people do notice a garlic-type odor when using DMSO, this is normal and stops as soon as you stop using it. 3. Apply a Hot Castor Oil Pack to Abdomen or Problem Joint/Area: A castor oil pack is placed on the skin to increase circulation within the scar tissue. It also promotes healing of the tissues and organs underneath the skin. It is often used to relieve pain, increase lymphatic circulation, reduce inflammation, stimulate the liver, and improve digestion. Just remember to use a coldpressed castor oil and 100% cotton flannel (or wool) – no synthetics. You can use either a hot water bottle or a heating pad as the heat source. Here are detailed instructions: Castor Oil Pack Components • Castor oil. • Two sheets of plastic (garbage bags OK). • 1 yard cotton or wool flannel. • Heating pad (if indicated). • Large old bath towel. • 3 safety pins.
Preparing a Castor Oil Pack 1. Fold flannel into three thicknesses to fit over your whole abdomen. 2. Cut a piece of plastic 1-2 inches larger than flannel. 3. Saturate the flannel with gently heated oil, but not so much that it is drippy. Fold it over and squeeze until it is oozing. Unfold. 4. Place plastic and old towel over flannel to prevent staining of surface you will be lying on. 5. Lie down, placing flannel over abdomen, putting fitted plastic over the flannel. 6. Now wrap the towel under you, around your torso and pin with safety pins (or just tuck in tightly). 7. Place a heating pad (low heat) or hot water bottle on top of the towel. 8. Rest for 30-60 minutes. Use visualization, meditation, or just sleep. A good time to use castor oil packs is just before bedtime. 9. When finished, it’s best if you don’t get up and walk around and be busy (except to go to the bathroom). Try to stay still and relaxed. If you are doing your pack at bedtime, have a zip-lock baggie next to your bed, and a towel to remove any excess oil and protect your bed sheets. Fold the oily pack up and put it into the baggie, then drop it to the floor till morning. In the morning, put it in the refrigerator. 11. Store the pack in the covered container or baggie in the refrigerator. Remove it from the refrigerator 13 hours before you plan to use it, so that it is at room temperature when you are ready to use it. 12. Each pack may be used repeatedly. When it starts to smell stale, throw it out (don’t try to wash it) and make a new pack. Note: If this procedure is way too complicated for you, apply a generous amount of castor oil to the skin of your abdomen. Cover that with an old cotton t-shirt or other cloth you won’t mind eventually discarding. Lay your heat source (hot water bottle, heating pad) on top of that. Keep the cloth you use to protect your heat source from the oil to reuse. Eventually it will smell like stale oil, but can be kept for a few weeks at least in a plastic bag. Rest for 30-60 minutes. Stay covered and warm so you can relax. Have a soft cloth or rag handy to catch any oil dripping off your body. You may want to put a towel or plastic underneath your body so your bed doesn’t get oily. It’s not necessary to have a castor oil pack that you keep in the refrigerator. Just do what works for you. I’ve even heard from readers who don’t even bother to apply heat after a while, they just massage the castor oil directly into the skin and they say it works fairly well that way too! Frequency of Use
To be effective, a castor oil pack must be used at least 3 times a week, although 5 times a week is better. In cases of long-term chronic pain or acute stricture/obstruction, it works best to commit to at least a 4-6 week treatment period using the DMSO solution in combination with a castor oil pack 5-7 times per week, then as needed. Full healing may require 3-6 months of treatment. If you don’t want to use the DMSO solution first, the hot castor oil pack on its own will provide significant relief from pain and softening of tissues. To actually begin to break down the scar tissue though, you’ll want to combine it with the DMSO solution. Colonic Massage for Obstruction If your intestine is obstructed, it is a good idea to also do this colonic massage after the DMSO / Castor Oil treatment – while the abdomen is soft and you are relaxed – to help massage the stuck food through the stricture: Six Techniques As soon as the wound is knitted, massage therapy can be performed. During the initial immature stages of wound recovery, it is imperative that a gentle approach be taken. The following six techniques are wellknown ways bodyworkers can improve scar tissue: 1. Manual Lymph Drainage optimizes lymphatic circulation and drainage around the injured area. Gentle, circular, draining motions within the scar itself or a firm stretch to the skin above and below the scar, first in a straight line and then in a circular motion, are two drainage techniques. Placing the fingers above the scar, then making gentle circular pumping motions on the scar also helps drain congested lymph fluid. As the massage therapist gently works down the scar, the tissue will feel softer. Drainage techniques should not hurt or make the scar redden. 2. Myofascial Release helps ease constriction of the affected tissue. To stretch the skin next to the scar, place two or three fingers at the beginning of the scar and stretch the skin above the scar in a parallel direction. Then move the fingers a quarter of an inch further along the scar and repeat the stretch of the adjacent tissue, working your way along the scar. An alternative method is to follow the same pattern of finger movements using a circular motion instead of straight stretches. Work your way along the scar in a clockwise and counterclockwise fashion. 3. Deep Transverse Friction can prevent adhesion formation and rupture unwanted adhesions. Applied directly to the lesion and transverse to the direction of the fibers, this deep tissue massage technique can yield desirable results in a mature or immature scar. Never progress beyond a client’s comfort level. 4. Lubrication of the scar helps soften and increase its pliability. Mediums such as lotion, castor oil, vitamin E oil or other oil can prevent the scar from drying out and re-opening.
5. Stretching aids in increasing range of motion. This is most important when approaching scars that cross over a joint. Scar tissue will lengthen after being stretched, especially if the stretch is sustained for several seconds and is combined with massage. 6. Heat Application helps the pliability and flexibility of the scar. Common tools used to apply heat are paraffin wax, moist heat packs or ultrasound. Cautions Massage therapists must use their training and best judgment when deciding whether or not to proceed with scar massage. While treatment is most effective when a scar is still in its immature phase, it is also a wise time to seek physician permission. A few additional cautions for immature scars include: · Take extreme care with radiated tissues, as the skin is delicate and can break easily. · Aside from friction massage, do not continue if your actions cause pain or increase tissue redness. · Never perform massage on any open lesions. · To prevent accidental sliding of the fingers, apply a lubricating medium after your primary work. As a massage therapist, always keep in mind that scar tissue may be at the root of the physical imbalance you are preparing to address. If a scar is found to play a part in your client’s dysfunction, consider combining the six scar-reducing techniques described earlier. Not only can you minimize a scar’s appearance with bodywork, yet you can therapeutically correct the cause of your client’s physical ailments. Recommended Study: Neuromuscular Therapy Lymphatic Drainage Myofascial Release Recommended Products: Hot Pack Paraffin Wax
References: LaFrano, Chuck, Scar-Tissue Massage, Massage Magazine, May/June 2001.
www.abcn.ca, Massage Therapy for the Treatment of Scar Tissue, Sandra MacDonald, RMT, Atlantic Breast Cancer Net, November 2004. www.harcourtassessment.com, Scar Management, Ed Rauschuber, OTR, CHT, Therapy Skill Builders, 1998. www.lufkinhbo.com, Myofascial Release, Julietta Planchart, PT, Cralle Physical Therapy, 2006. www.lymphnotes.com, Scar Therapy and Lymphedema, Lymph Notes, 2006. www.ombregt.be, Deep Transverse Massage, L. Ombregt, MD, www.ombregt.be, 2006.