Castor oil therapy for endometriosis (& fertility)

{Caveat: I’m not a medical or alternative therapy professional. Me doing castor oil therapy does not mean you should do it on a whim. I did research into lots of different things to help my endometriosis and settled on this as one of them, with a particular personal interest of mine on how it is also said to help fertility.}

In line with Endometriosis Awareness Week 2019, I’ve decided to finally put finger to keyboard and write about how I use castor oil therapy as a form of relief and treatment as I’ve been asked a fair few times about this.

It was three years ago now when I was diagnosed. Almost two years into trying for a baby naturally. My endo was classified as stage 2-3 with the most troublesome being stage 4.

It had glued one of my ovaries down somewhere it shouldn’t be. There were patches of it all over my reproductive organs. They burnt it off via laparoscopic surgery.

I’ve written before about how I was actually a little shocked to receive the diagnosis. I’d always had horrible periods and excruciating period pain (hello symptoms) but never in my adolescence or young adulthood had I heard the term ‘endometriosis’. Over many years of me complaining to doctors about my monthly misery, being prescribed countless contraceptive pills that made me MENTAL and being told I probably had IBS, it is now clear that the medical knowledge of this condition was fucking shit. How it continues to be fucking shit is beyond me.

When I was finally told that I might indeed have it by a gynae and fertility consultant based on the answers to some of his questions, well by then I knew what it was. I had googled things like ‘why am I not getting pregnant’ ‘weird periods’ ‘painful periods’ and had had it suggested to me by the pissing internet that perhaps what was going on in my insides was a real life disease that could explain the pain and the no pregnancy. Not one natural pregnancy, still to this day.

Anyway, anger and frustration aside, I always try to gain a little control back when I’m told something I don’t want to hear or that ends up ultimately being in someone else’s hands . I *think* it served me well during IVF.

I’ve written before about overhauling my diet, household cleaning products and cosmetics as a direct result of the diagnosis – here. And I’ve breezily mentioned castor oil therapy on more than one occasion but have never gone into detail.

How is castor oil therapy said to help endometriosis?

Castor oil once heated up using the hot water bottle is said to be able to penetrate through the skin and to the organs underneath. It is said to help shrink cysts, fibroids, patches of endometriosis, soothe pain and reduce inflammation. 

And what about aiding fertility?

Castor oil is said to help detoxify the reproductive organs and the liver which has a positive impact on the balancing of hormones. It also helps the function of the lymphatic system. It helps warm the womb and promote important nutrient rich blood flow to the reproductive organs. It is also said to help thicken a thin uterine lining.  Only use castor oil therapy once a period has finished and up until ovulation/embryo transfer (IVF).

So here it is. What I do and how I do it. Why I do it is because I’m a huge fan of natural therapies, the importance of detoxification and didn’t see any harm in trying. Once I was up and running with it I found it of such comfort. It would chill me out, warm me up and I would envision the oil seeping through into my troubled pelvic area, believing it to be breaking down all the stagnant bloody shit inside me, oiling the organs allowing them to move freely and supporting a more nutritious blood flow.

How I make and use castor oil packs

What I use:

  • Organic cold pressed castor oil. I use this from Pukka.
  • Flannels specifically for Castor oil therapy like these
  • Hot water bottle
  • Cling film
  • Mason jar with a lid
  • Few hand towels and one big towel
  • Spare normal flannel pre-soaked in warm water to help clean you up afterwards.

What I do:

I generally apply castor oil packs to my pelvis/lower abdomen in the evenings. You’re typically supposed to leave them on for 60 minutes per session so I find using this time in bed or on the sofa with a book or podcast is a nice set up.

When I was trying for a baby I was very aware that the use of castor oil packs should absolutely ONLY occur after your period and before ovulation. They should not be applied after ovulation.

  1. Take your flannel and soak it in castor oil. The easiest way I’ve found is to put the flannel in a mason jar with castor oil and give it a shake. You want the flannel well soaked but not dripping.
  2. Boil the kettle. Fill your hot water bottle up and perhaps make yourself a lovely decaf brew if it’s near to bed time. Something like Yogi Tea’s Bedtime blend.
  3. Settle down somewhere comfortable, you’re going to be here for around 60mins while the oils do their thing. Make sure your neck is comfortable and that anything you need (book, phone, drink) is in easy reach. Would suggest laying on a big towel in case of drips.
  4. Place the soaked flannel over your pelvic area, below the belly button.
  5. Cover with a larger sheet of cling film
  6. Place the hot water bottle on top of the cling film. Sometimes if it gets too hot I will place a thin tea towel between the cling film and the hot water bottle initially and then remove a little later into the session.
  7. Relax. I have been known to fall asleep.

Once the hour is up you’re done. The flannel can be placed back in the mason jar and popped in the fridge. This same flannel can be reused around 25 times but you might need to check it for oil and top it up a little on occasion.

I recommend having a nice glass of water afterwards.

Notes:

  • Some people use plastic bags instead of cling film. I actually don’t like either option so am looking into alternatives. But for now, it’s cling film.
  • Do not ingest castor oil
  • On your first use(s) of the packs you make experience an increase in going to the toilet for a poo.
  • Reiterating: if you are trying to conceive only use castor oil therapy post period and prior to ovulation.
  • Castor oil will stain clothing and bedding. I tend to lay on a big towel when using packs.
  • When selecting castor oil, look out for ‘cold pressed, organic and without hexane’ options

Enjoy!

Vx

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