Castor oil is a natural remedy that has been used for centuries to treat a variety of health problems. Recently, it has been gaining popularity as a way to reduce period pain, inflammation, and hormone imbalances. In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits of castor oil for uterine health and how you can use it to improve your quality of life.
What is Castor Oil?
Castor oil is a plant-based oil produced from the seeds of castor beans. The oil is extracted from crushed castor beans using hot water. One of the main medicinal components in castor beans is ricinoleic acid. Ricinoleic acid is a natural anti-inflammatory agent that has been shown to be effective in reducing inflammation and pain.
Castor oil can be used externally or internally. When used externally, castor oil can be applied directly to the skin or added to a warm bath. For internal use, castor oil can be taken orally in capsule form or used as a vaginal suppository. Castor oil MOVES THINGS. It is often used internally to relieve constipation and to help induce labour. When used externally (like in a castor pack) it helps move blood, lymph, and toxins.
What are the benefits of Castor Oil?
1. Hormone Balancing
Castor oil has been found to improve hormone health. A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food showed that castor oil was able to increase progesterone levels and reduce estrogen levels in people with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). It has also been shown to increase the luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels, which are two hormones important for ovulation and fertility.
Castor oil has also been proven to increase lymphocytes within hours of application. Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell that helps fight infection and disease. It is suggested that the increase in lymphocytes aids the body in eliminating harmful chemicals, including those that may upset hormone synthesis. Hormone imbalances can greatly affect menstrual health and pain associated with menstruation.
In addition to the hormonal benefits of castor oil, it is also renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties. Castor oil is thought to work by inhibiting the production of inflammatory cytokines. Cytokines are a type of protein that plays an important role in immunity and inflammation.
4. Increases CirculationIt doesn't stop there! Castor oil also increases circulation. This is due to the presence of ricinoleic acid, which is unique to castor oil. Ricinoleic acid helps to dilate blood vessels and increase circulation. Increased circulation can help to reduce inflammation and pain by bringing more oxygen and nutrients to the affected area.
What is a Castor Pack?
One of the most common ways to use castor oil topically is with a castor pack. A castor pack usually includes a piece of cloth, castor oil, and a heat source to encourage absorption. Somedays has the only gel-based castor pack on the market making the whole process easier, a lot less messy, and more enjoyable. The packs are often used on the abdomen when trying to relieve period pain, but can also be used on other areas of the body to promote circulation and decrease inflammation (like over the liver).
Castor oil packs need to be done consistently for at least three days in a row in order to see any significant results. You can do a castor pack as a month long treatment a couple times a year, or you can do them on other days throughout the month as needed. Using castor oil while menstruating can increase bleeding, so we suggest skipping castor packs on days that you're actively bleeding if you have a heavy flow.
Castor packs have many health benefits, but the combination of these benefits can also have a profound positive impact on hormone health.
When it comes to period wellness, hormone health is crucial. Hormone imbalances can have severe impacts on your menstrual cycle, including but not limited to: increased pain, cramping, and mood swings.
Common uses for Castor Packs
- Ovarian cysts
- Uterine fibroids
- Menstrual cramps
- Liver Detox
How castor packs can help balance your hormones
- Reduces Inflammation
Both progesterone and estrogen are important for menstrual health, and it's important to have a balance of both. When either hormone is out of balance, it can lead to increased pain, infertility, and other irregularities during your period.
The root cause of a hormonal imbalance is often caused by inflammation. Chronic inflammation can damage and even kill the cells in your endocrine glands. Endocrine disorders occur when one or more parts of the system do not work correctly. This typically causes high or low levels of certain hormones or results in the body not responding correctly to certain hormones.
Inflammation is an important immune response, but it can do more harm than good when it's chronic. Chronic inflammation is often the result of underlying health conditions, such as endometriosis, PCOS, and fibroids. Chronic inflammation is defined as inflammation that lasts for more than six weeks. If you are experiencing inflammation for longer than this, it is important to seek medical help.
Castor packs are scientifically proven to help reduce and prevent chronic inflammation - thus helping restore your body’s healthy hormone function.
- Improves Liver Function
The liver plays an important part in the regulation of sex hormones such as thyroid hormones, cortisol, and other adrenal hormones. Any excess of hormones from the body are altered or eliminated by the liver. This is one of the many reasons why a healthy liver is essential for hormonal balance.
The liver also helps to control estrogen levels. Estrogen dominance is a condition in which there is too much estrogen in the body relative to progesterone. This can lead to a variety of problems such as PMS, endometriosis, fibroids, and even cancer.
The liver helps to break down estrogen into a form that the body can eliminate. When the liver is functioning optimally, it can keep estrogen levels in check and help to prevent many of the problems associated with estrogen dominance.
Castor packs are widely used and prescribed by naturopaths to help gently detoxify the liver by increasing white blood cells (lymphocytes). Lymphocytes serve as frontline defenders in response to infection and non-infectious assaults. They monitor our immune response and regulation, and help maintain liver homeostasis.
Hormones that are critical to a healthy menstrual cycle
Progesterone is a crucial hormone for menstrual health. It helps to prepare the uterine lining for pregnancy and regulates the menstrual cycle. If you don't have enough progesterone, it can lead to an imbalance in your estrogen levels, which can cause a host of problems, including increased pain during your period.
Estrogen is another important hormone for menstrual health. It helps to thicken the uterine lining and regulates the menstrual cycle. If you have too much estrogen, it can lead to an imbalance in your progesterone levels causing problems like PMDD, mood swings and increased pain during your period. Excess estrogen has also been linked to decreased pain thresholds (heightened pain sensitivity), increased inflammation, and overactive immune responses.
How to use the somedays Better Cycle Kit:
- Apply Belly Jelly to the abdomen focusing on your lower belly (over your uterus) and the right side under your ribs (where your liver is).
- Tie the ultra-stretchy and ultra-soft Belly Band around your belly so that the castor jelly is completely covered. Secure in place with a knot or towel tuck.
- Apply your flaxseed heatpad over top to help absorption and relax for a minimum of 1 hour.
- When finished, wipe your belly clean with a dry cloth if there is any excess jelly, and store your belly band in an air-tight container until your next treatment.
Arentz S, Abbott JA, Smith CA, Bensoussan A. Herbal medicine for the management of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and associated oligo/amenorrhoea and hyperandrogenism; a review of the laboratory evidence for effects with corroborative clinical findings. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014;14:511. Published 2014 Dec 18. doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-511
Arentz, Susan et al. “Herbal medicine for the management of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and associated oligo/amenorrhoea and hyperandrogenism; a review of the laboratory evidence for effects with corroborative clinical findings.” BMC complementary and alternative medicine vol. 14 511. 18 Dec. 2014, doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-511
Arentz, S., Abbott, J. A., Smith, C. A., & Bensoussan, A. (2014). Herbal medicine for the management of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and associated oligo/amenorrhoea and hyperandrogenism; a review of the laboratory evidence for effects with corroborative clinical findings. BMC complementary and alternative medicine, 14, 511. https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6882-14-511
Arentz S, Abbott JA, Smith CA, Bensoussan A. Herbal medicine for the management of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and associated oligo/amenorrhoea and hyperandrogenism; a review of the laboratory evidence for effects with corroborative clinical findings. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014 Dec 18;14:511. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-14-511. PMID: 25524718; PMCID: PMC4528347.
Vieira C, Evangelista S, Cirillo R, Lippi A, Maggi CA, Manzini S. Effect of ricinoleic acid in acute and subchronic experimental models of inflammation. Mediators Inflamm. 2000;9(5):223-228. doi:10.1080/09629350020025737
Vieira, C et al. “Effect of ricinoleic acid in acute and subchronic experimental models of inflammation.” Mediators of inflammation vol. 9,5 (2000): 223-8. doi:10.1080/09629350020025737
Vieira, C., Evangelista, S., Cirillo, R., Lippi, A., Maggi, C. A., & Manzini, S. (2000). Effect of ricinoleic acid in acute and subchronic experimental models of inflammation. Mediators of inflammation, 9(5), 223–228. https://doi.org/10.1080/09629350020025737
Vieira C, Evangelista S, Cirillo R, Lippi A, Maggi CA, Manzini S. Effect of ricinoleic acid in acute and subchronic experimental models of inflammation. Mediators Inflamm. 2000;9(5):223-8. doi: 10.1080/09629350020025737. PMID: 11200362; PMCID: PMC1781768.
Better Cycle Kit
Recommended by naturopaths for people with moderate to severe period pain. This mess free castor oil set comes with everything you need for a 30 day treatment that's easy to use. *Can be used for shorter periods but for best results it is recommended to use it regularly for at least three weeks.
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