Sunday, October 01, 2006

What's a Castor Oil Pack?

A castor oil pack is a piece of cloth soaked in castor oil that you heat up and place on your belly then cover it with a piece of plastic and then put a heating pad or hot water bottle on top of that. You usually do it for 15-20 minutes once a day, at night before bed most typically. It is supposed to improve blood circulation and increase the white blood cell count locally.

What it definately will do is get you to slow down and relax. Disadvantages are that you end up with an oily belly right before bed and heating it up if you don't have a microwave (which I don't) can be a pain.

My naturopath had me do castor oil packs for a while. I found them to be a pain and they didn't seem to change anything -- my fibroid didn't get smaller, my cycles didn't get more normal, my basel temps stayed where they were -- I'm skeptical.

The book Sex, Lies and the Truth About Uterine Fibroids mentions castor oil packs, and that there aren't any studies showing that they work. There are studies showing they increase white blood cells in the skin area that is treated but nothing more than that. Evidently it is a traditional treatment used in many cultures.

My acu asked me to do them this Spring and I wasn't into it -- I just would use my hot water bottle to apply heat directly to my lower abdomen to keep the blood flow active in the area and left it at that.

No comments: