Log in
Endometriosis UK
41,361 members35,283 posts

Castor oil packs anyone?

Hi - I'm curious to know who uses castor oil packs on here (castor oil smeared over pelvic area, covered in 2 small sheets of white towelling, hot water bottle on top), or who has tried them in the past. For those who use them - how often do you use them, and how long for at a time? Do you find them useful for any aspect of endo in particular? Do you put them over your uterus, or over your liver?

I go in phases of using them, and tend to keep them on my abdomen all through the night as I sleep. I've not tried them on my liver. I have found that if I use them towards the end of my cycle I bring my period on quicker and it is often heavier than normal, so have learned to avoid this time. Has anyone else found this?

I'm just really interested to know how others have got on with them as it's not something I've seen come up on this forum before.

Thanks

Sarah

11 Replies
oldestnewest

Hi

I only just read about this being a natural treatment the other day. I just thought it sounded a bit unlikely to help and tbh I dismissed it. But I'm now intrigued after reading that you do notice a difference.

Do know know why it works?

Reply

I read that it significantly boosts production of T11 lymphocytes, which can (basically) activate the lymphatic and immune system to recognise unwanted tissue in the uterus and clean it up. When I use it overnight I wake up the next morning with a flatter belly and a full bladder which is certainly a good sign that my lymphatic system has been busy detoxifying! If I've broken my diet and eaten inflammatory food which lead to painful twinges, the castor oil packs are good at reducing that pain and feel like they reverse the damage of the foods (like alcohol and coffee).

Scientists are still getting to the bottom of the exact biochemical mechanisms of endometriosis though it does appear to be a faulty immune system that isn't doing it's job within our abdominal cavity - i.e. recognising faulty cells (endometrial implants) and getting rid of them, so boosting it with castor oil makes complete sense. Although you put the castor oil on your skin, it does get absorbed well into the tissues. You soon know about it too - cos after a couple of hours my abdomen starts to make all sort of little gurgling noises - but the feeling is very soothing and relaxing and often makes me drift off into a deep and pleasant sleep. Chances are they will also increase your bowel motility too, though as I have a redundant colon I don't notice this so much.

I've had a few burst ovarian cysts in my time - enough to know the signs when it happens. The resultant mess inside my abdomen can take weeks to disppaear and cause an unpleasant feeling in my pelvic floor and give me a lower backache. I have found that using the castor oil packs regularly after this occurs really speeds up the recovery process to a matter of 1-3 weeks, instead of 6-8 weeks.

However, if you are trying to conceive, it's not recommended you use them after ovulation as the effects are unknown. I'm sure they're probably fine in reality - but no-one can say for certain, so that's something to be aware of. Other than that, there are no contraindications other than during a period, and, as I've found out - just before a period. The reason for this is that the packs increase blood flow (because they increase circulation), and can make periods extra heavy. If you go to sleep with a castor oil pack on, make sure you have a drink of water before going to bed otherwise you can wake up in the middle of the night very thirsty - which is normal for a detoxifying reaction.

Reply

Wow thank you so much for this information. That's really interesting and helpful. It makes a lot of sense and reminds me of something I'd read in my yoga books about having oil baths to cleanse the body. I remember reading it can be a really intense process and there was a lot of caution about doing it, again because I thought 'how can rubbing oil in your body make any impact?!' I dismissed it but now it makes a lot more sense. Something some Indian cultures had been doing for centuries.

I have really bizarre & chaotic fibroid (Dr's actual words) that is growing off my uterus into my pouch of Douglas, as well as other endo. It causes me so much pain and fatigue. The best medical option they've given me is hysterectomy which I want to avoid so I'm going to start using bio identical progesterone cream tomorrow. I don't want to start using 2 new treatments at the same time so once I've done a couple of cycles with the cream I'm definitely going to try this. I'm wondering if the cream helps break down the fibroid, the castor oil packs might help my body clear it out.

Thank you so much for all this info.

X

1 like
Reply

You're very welcome. I have used Progesterone cream in the past too - but I used far too much and ended up with a scary adverse reaction (but my 3 fibroids did shrink to half their size within 5 weeks - though I was doing other things too). It wasn't in a pump dispenser so I didn't really know how much to use (I thought - the more the better...). I recently bought some more - this time in a pump dispenser - so use it occasionally, but I keep forgetting about it. You've just reminded me.

The progesterone cream works by balancing out oestrogen and progesterone reduces/banishes oestrogen dominance. Fibroids rely on extra oestrogen for their growth - so the idea is that reducing that extra oestrogen will starve the fibroids and shrink them. Castor oil is also good for reducing fibroids too as it is an anti-inflammatory, and inflammation and oestrogen go hand in hand - so, from what I understand, reducing internal inflammation will reduce the inflammatory effect of oestrogen. So - they both work differently and there's no reason why you need to use one instead of the other, but I appreciate you might want to see just exactly what the progesterone cream is doing on its own. I haven't noticed any instant effects with the progesterone cream - it's a long-term thing, however, the castor oil is great for instant soothing when painful twinges and dull aches arise because it works on pain and inflammation within hours.

1 like
Reply

Forgot to say - my 3 fibroids (sorry - actually now 4 - a new one appeared recently) are growing on the outside of my uterus too. The biggest one presses into my bladder and is pedunculated. The other are to the side on top growing upwards. The biggest one got up to over 5cm at its worst (and was incredibly painful) - and with the progesterone cream (and anti-inflamm diet) it got down to 2cm - and the other 2 smaller ones shrunk from 2 -3cm to 1-1.5cm - so I could no longer feel them. I also took up running and lost half a stone which seemed to help (BMI dropped from about 23 to 21.5 I think). My diet slipped at the start of the year and the fibroids (which are suspected to have endo on them - since I have it elsewhere) were back up to 3.5cm (plus the new one appeared), but I can feel they have shrunk again since I returned to the health regime as they are no longer bothering me. I should give the progesterone cream a really good go and see if i can get them down to 1 to 2cm again. I do know that the more I throw at it (diet/ exercise / alt therapies / supplements) the better results I get - but of course it all takes time, focus, and sometimes money.

It's funny - my gynae told me that you can't shrink fibroids, but that they grow 0.5cm per year on average (until menopause). He's seen my U/S scan results which prove otherwise so he's had to swallow his words. I saw a radiologist a couple of years ago and told her about my results - and she just didn't believe me and thought the castor oil was nonsense. Oh well - it doesn't matter if they don't believe me - their thoughts and attitude have no bearing on my results.... ;-)

1 like
Reply

Oh - and you won't need a hysterectomy - that I am pretty sure about - not with all these wonderful natural anti-endo treatments at your disposal..x

Reply

It's great to hear from your experiences. I have quite a few small fibroids but the troublesome one is 13 centimetres, with an internal 7 cm lesion that is filled with blood. It pushes into my spine and it causes me so much pain and I think because it is bleeding, it is partly why I feel so exhausted all the time, my iron levels have been written late high for the past year, despite me being vegan and not supplementing iron. If I managed to shrink this, I think it will have an amazing impact on my well-being. It is so reassuring to hear that your use of progesterone cream help to shrink them. I had consulted with a naturopath, who has given me a little measuring spoons and directions for using the cream, so hopefully I will avoid the difficulties that you have experienced. I have read that you use it from Day 8 of your cycle if you have endometriosis and a 13 if you're just using it to balance that oestrogen dominance. I was just advised to start with 15mg a day but divide it into 2 doses over the day. And then to stop using the cream on day 26 on the cycle, or 2 days before your period is due if you don't have a 28 day cycle. She said it's a bit of a balancing act though and you need to adjust for your individual needs.

I have paid to have my oestrogen and progesterone levels checked and just got the results today, confirming that I do have oestrogen dominance. I have done all the health related changes including a plant based diet , yoga, meditation, eliminating toxins etc . None of these made any impact on my symptoms, although I do feel other benefits in my general mindset and ability to cope with my symptoms.

I am definitely going to try the castor oil though.

It's funny how the Medics react to alternative treatments working. They don't seem to be very open to accepting that they may not know all the answers, or even that they have got it wrong. I was originally told on two occasions that my large fibroid was asymptomatic and was definitely not causing me any symptoms. I was also told after a laparoscopy that I did not have endometriosis. Now that both of these things have been found to be untrue, I have been offered no apology or explanation as to why they said otherwise. I am now just expected to believe their current understanding of my difficulties and drastic treatments.

Is so reassuring to hear natural treatments working. It's really perked me to today.

1 like
Reply

Oh blimey - your fibroid story almost made my eyes water! 13cm and bleeding - ouch! And for the docs to say that a melon sized fibroid pressing into your spine (and surely blocking you rectum?) is 'asymptomatic'!! It's amazing how docs try and tell you what you're (supposedly) 'not' feeling. The mind boggles.... I tend to use clinicians only for the purpose of getting diagnosed with anything (scans, blood tests etc) - but as for the treatment bit - that's something I take care of myself these days as I have been far more successful than they have (I was close to death in 2010 when a keyhole lap went horribly wrong and they cut an artery leading to substantial internal bleeding before they realised - BP bombed to 48/25. Led to all sort of further problems. Never again...).

I decided to have a quick search for castor oil and fibroids and I came across this really interesting blog from a 36 year old in the US who had numerous fibroids and was facing surgery or nasty drugs. She was almost symptom free after one month. She did various things including castor oil every other night. She doesn't mention progesterone cream - but here's the link :

velvetlope.com/blog/2015/11...

She mentions the liver - and using turmeric, and herbs etc. The liver is of course key in fibroids/endo as one of its jobs is to break down excess oestrogen. Thinking about it - I should give the castor oil pack a try over my liver. See what difference that makes...

Reply

By the way - to what extent is your oestrogen dominance? Is is wildly off balance?

Reply

...reading that blog just inspired me to serve up a turmeric and ginger latte...

1 like
Reply

Wow, your experience of surgery is terrifying! I can see why you'd be all for a natural approach after that!

I'll definitely check out that blog.

I can confirm my rectum is indeed unhappy with the fibroid. I thankfully don't have ibs (a gut healing diet really helped my digestion a few years back) so it's definitely not as bad as it could be but I do get a lot of pain, constant pressure and urgency.

At for the estrogen dominance. I want to clear on how to interpret the data they have me (I can only vaguely remember quotients from uni undergrad) but the doctors summary was estrogen dominance with the quotient reduced by 55, 3:1. I tried to figure it out but my exhausted brain was like, no. So I've just accepted the summary. Do you know what it means?

Reply

You may also like...