Castor Oil Therapy for Reproductive Health

Castor Oil Therapy for Reproductive Health

Castor oil therapy has been used for centuries to promote healing in the body and more specifically the reproductive system. By applying a castor oil pack externally, positive benefits have been found.

What is Castor Oil?

Castor oil is derived from the seeds of the Castor plant (Ricinus communis), also known as Palma Christi. Castor oil has been used for thousands of years, dating back as far as 4,000 years.

What is a Castor Oil Pack?

A Castor Oil Pack is a cloth soaked in castor oil which is placed on the skin to enhance circulation and promote healing of the tissues and organs underneath the skin.

What Can a Castor Oil Pack be Used for?

How To Use A Castor Oil Pack

Castor oil has been traditionally used to aid in cases with inflammation, pain, growths or when increased circulation was desired. When it comes to fertility Castor Oil packs could be a great, supportive and relaxing therapy for:

  • Supporting ovarian health
  • Supporting fallopian tube health
  • Supporting uterine health
  • Detoxifying before conception
  • Supporting Egg Health

How Do Castor Oil Packs Promote Healing?

Castor oil packs stimulate 3 important parts of the body: lymphatic and circulatory systems and the liver. The stimulation of these body systems aids the body in healing the organs and tissues beneath where the castor oil pack is applied.

    Lymphatic System
    The lymphatic system is made up of lymphatic vessels, lymph nodes and lymph, a clear to yellowish fluid. Lymphocytes are the cells of the lymphatic system. Lymphocytes help to provide immunological defense against disease. This system runs throughout our entire body. Lymph nodes are concentrated in certain areas of the body. Many lymph nodes surround the reproductive organs.

    The lymphatic system removes toxins and waste from the area stimulated by the castor oil pack. The lymphatic system provides each cell in the body a means to get rid of waste. The lymphatic system relies on external movement and manipulation, as well as regular movement of the entire body to function. The lymphatic system does not have a “pump” to move the lymph through it like the circulatory system has the heart. Castor oil packs are one way to stimulate movement of lymph. Regular exercise is also a vital way to maintain lymphatic system health.

    Stimulation of the lymphatic system occurs by applying the Castor oil pack over the reproductive system. This helps to cleanse the reproductive organs and promote healing of damaged tissues where the pack is applied.

    Circulatory System
    The circulatory system is more familiar to most people, the most familiar parts being the heart, blood, veins and arteries. It runs throughout the entire body.

    The promotion of circulation by the castor oil pack will bring in fresh oxygenated, nutrient rich blood to the reproductive organs, including the uterus. Without proper circulation to the reproductive organs, they may not function at their best, this may invite disease, hinder proper healing of damaged areas, promote formation of scar tissue and adhesion.

    The Liver
    The liver is our chemical processing plant. The liver removes hormones, drugs, and other biologically active molecules from the blood. It then converts these by changing their structure or inactivating them, through different processes, and then excretes these to be passed through the kidneys. If there are too many excess toxins and hormones overwhelming the liver, they may be stored up, not only in the liver, but other parts of our body, especially fat.

    The liver also makes 1/3 to 1/2 of all lymph. Liver health is vital to proper function of the lymphatic system. A liver that is overwhelmed due to poor diet, poor lifestyle choices, being sedentary, or exposure to xenohormones, cannot adequately function, or produce lymph as well. This may contribute to hormonal imbalance and disease.

How to Use a Castor Oil Pack

Soak the flannel cloth that is contained in the kit with castor oil and place it on the skin. Cover the flannel with a sheet of plastic, and then a hot water bottle or heating pack is placed over the plastic to heat the pack. Cover everything with a towel and relax.

The best place to place a castor oil pack for fertility issues is over the lower abdomen.

Precautions: Castor oil should not be taken internally. It should not be applied to broken skin. It should not be used during pregnancy, breastfeeding, or during menstruation. If you are actively trying to conceive, discontinue use after ovulation has occurred.

How to prepare your Castor Oil Pack

Materials

  • One flannel cloth contained in the kit
  • One bottle of Castor oil contained in the kit
  • Plastic wrap cut one to two inches larger than the flannel (can be cut from a plastic bag)
  • Hot water bottle
  • Container with lid
  • Old clothes and sheets. Castor oil will stain clothing and bedding.

Step-by-step instructions


1. Place the flannel in the container. Soak it in castor oil so that it is saturated, but not dripping.

2. Place the pack over the affected body part.

3. Cover with plastic.

4. Place the hot water bottle over the pack. Leave it on for 30-45 minutes. Rest while the pack is in place.

5. After removing the pack, cleanse the area with a dilute solution of water and baking soda.

6. Store the pack in the covered container in the refrigerator. Each pack may be reused up to 25-30 times.

To purchase a kit that contains this therapy click here…

Summary

Castor oil packs stimulate important detoxification systems in the body; the lymphatic system and the liver. Castor oil packs also stimulate healthy circulation. All of this is important for clearing out toxins, dead or foreign tissues and old blood. The stimulation of these systems may also help prevent disease in the reproductive organs. Castor oil packs are a great way to support a healthy reproductive system.

References:
– Van De Graaff, Kent M., Stuart, Ira Fox, LaFluer, Karen M. (1997). Synopsis of Human Anatomy and Physiology. Wm. C. Brown Publishers.
– Ley, Beth M. Ph.D. (2003). Castor Oil! It’s Healing Properties. BL Publications.

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[-] 170 Comments
  1. Hi,

    I am 27 and I have a diagnosis of stage 3 endo with bilateral endometriomas measuring around 2 cm each.

    I am starting my IVF cycle next month, Can I apply castor oil packs during ivf cycle? I will stop it after egg retrieval.

    Thank you

    • Hi Sarah,

      Applying castor oil packs during your IVF cycle would be fine, and yes you are correct, stop prior to transfer. If at any time you experience ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, or even ovarian tenderness due to the medications you are being given, discontinue the castor oil packs.

      May your IVF be successful!

  2. I’ve had 2 emergency C-sections. One at 33 weeks when my water broke with my twins 12 years ago and then another 2 years ago when I tried to do VBAC and it ended in a near uterine rupture. I would love to have another baby but the OB does warn me that I am at an elevated risk for placenta pervia because of having now 2 scars and since we have significant male factor infertility (0% morphology, low count), we can only proceed again with ICSI as we did the other times. I am wondering if doing the castor oil packs would be a good way to reduce the risk of placenta pervia. What are your thoughts on the use of castor oil packs for that goal?

    • Dear Christa,

      Castor Oil Packs offer a wide array of fertility health benefits that they would be worth considering. I am unaware of a way to guarantee the location an embryo will implant. I am not certain this is possible even when an embryo is physically placed in the uterus through a medical procedure. I think there is still potential for it to move. You may want to talk to your doctor about this.

    • Dear Elizabeth,

      Thank you for your reply. I guess my question as it relate to castor oil packs is, will the castor oil packs reduce the amount of scar tissue from the c-sections so that there is less scar tissue in which the embryo could implant?

    • Hello Christa!

      Castor oil is known to increase circulation to the reproductive organs. A lack of circulation to these organs can prevent them from properly healing if damaged and may promote the formation of excessive scar tissue and adhesions. I can not guarantee a degree to which Castor Oil Therapy alone will support increased circulation. That said, we have worked with many who have benefited positively from using this natural therapy as a part of their natural fertility program. In my opinion it would be worth considering if you are interested and feel you could benefit from its benefits.

  3. how does castor oil work wit only 1 falopian tube and its blocked by uterus and tube

    • Dear Melissa,

      Castor Oil is known to:
      – increase circulation. Fresh oxygenated blood flows through the abdomen and nourishes the reproductive organs – ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus – helping them to properly function and
      – reduce inflammation and pain which can be factors when fallopian tube related fertility health issues,

      The effectiveness of natural therapies will depend on the location and/or severity of the blockage, in addition to what has led to, or is contributing to the blockage. Consider asking your healthcare provider if he can help you understand these factors as you contemplate the best plan for you. Then, if you wish to use natural therapies, our guide Natural Therapies for Blocked Fallopian Tubes may be a helpful place to start.

  4. How often to do the castor oil pack over reproductive organs and liver when you trying to conceive? Shall I alternate the pack between the uterus and liver? Can you do it at nay time of your monthly cycle?

    • Dear Agnes,

      Castor Oil Packs can be used 3-4 times a week from when menstruation ends until ovulation (not after) when actively trying to conceive. The pack can simply be placed over the lower abdomen. There is no need to alternate location of application.

  5. How are you Elizabeth,I have two fibroids a submucosal fibroid and a posterior myometrium (subserosal) .I used castor oil pack a week before my period and i discontinued because i was having a lot of pain.5 days after my period i continued and still i am feeling the same pain.What could be the cause of that.

    • Dear Thelma,

      I am sorry for what you have experienced! I know that for some women uterine fibroids are painful. I have not heard of Castor Oil Packs causing pain, rather helping with pain relief. How often did you use or are you using the packs and for how long? It may be worth taking a one day break between application (using them every other day), decreasing the amount of time you leave the pack on and/or lowering the amount of heat.

      Also, think about anything else that has changed for you in the past couple of weeks. Have you used any other natural therapies to support uterine health? Have you changed your exercise routine? Did you do any strenuous work/bending that may be part of the cause?

      There could be any number of things contributing to the cause.

  6. Do you recommend using a tens unit along with the castor oil pack process, before/after the pack?

    • Dear Stacy,

      A Tens Unit may be best used before a Castor Oil pack. If choosing to use it after a Castor Oil pack on the lower abdomen, wait some time (a half an hour or more) because the skin will soften as a result of the Castor Oil and we don’t want any chance of skin damage from applying the Tens pads to softened skin (…although I have not heard of this happening. It’s just best to stay safe).

  7. My grandmother is 91 and has ovarian cyst can she use the Castor Oil Pack?

    • Dear Nancy,

      It would be best for your grandmother to find a healthcare provider, whether natural or medical, to work with her. I have not heard Castor Oil needs to be avoided by elderly woman, but my area of expertise is supporting women in their fertile years.

  8. Hello,
    Do you recommend alternating between Castor Oil Pack applications over uterus and over liver? Is there a best time of the cycle to do each and why?
    Thank you!

    • Dear Nika,

      We recommend Castor Oil Packs be applied over the lower abdomen (the belly). We have not seen a need for women to alternate this application with moving the pack up to cover the liver in order to stimulate liver cleansing. There is no need to alternate application sites.

      Castor Oil Therapy is best used from after menstruations ends until ovulation when actively trying to conceive. Given Castor Oil enhances circulation, it is not to be used during menstruation and given it supports detoxification, it is not to be used after ovulation when actively trying to conceive. If not actively trying to conceive, Castor Oil Packs can be used from the when menstruation ends through the remainder of the cycle.

  9. Hello. I am 35 and was diagnosed with two small fibroids a little over a year ago and was just diagnosed this week with a polyp. I am considering surgery to have the polyp and fibroids removed as I am trying to have a baby and it seems this may be causing infertility. Would you suggest the castor oil pack for me? If so, how often can I use it to try and increase circulation, detoxification and hopefully dissolve the polyp and fibroids? Thank you.

    • Dear Lauren,

      Castro Oil Therapy can be a very useful natural therapy. It is suggested 3-4 times a week from the end of menstruation until ovulation when actively trying to conceive. It can be continued past ovulation when not actively trying to conceive. It is a suggested part of a natural therapy plan for uterine fibroids.

      If deciding to proceed with surgery, we feel it is important to ask for a referral to a surgeon who has a marked surgery success rate and good track record of patients who have achieved pregnancy after fibroid removal.

      All my best!

  10. Hello! So I’m actually doing a DE (donor embryo) FET this month. I’m on day 3 of my cycle. My transfer was cancelled in January due to thin lining (it was at a 7 on Day 14). We are doing injectable estrodial valerate (intramuscular every 3 days). I have had issues with thin lining in the past. I’m NOT stimming…no retrieval…so would using a caster oil pack help my lining? Thanks!!

    • Dear Annie,

      Castor Oil could be considered, but is not to be used over injections sites (punctured skin). I am not sure where you inject it. Our Senior Herbalist’s Guide to the 5 Steps to Preparing for a Frozen Embryo Transfer shares additional ways to support uterine lining health you may find helpful as well.

      As always, it is best to discuss with your healthcare provider combining any herbs you might be interested with medications.
      All our best!

  11. Hi, can I ask I am about to start estrogen patches in the preparation for Donor IVF, can you advise if I can continue with castor oil pack and how often and also if I can continue up and pass transfer date?

    • Dear Eileen,

      Castor Oil Packs are safe to use as long as no ovulation stimulation medications (which make the ovaries sensitive) are being used up until uterine lining thickness has been determined adequate, then they should he stopped. Castor Oil Packs are not to be used after the transfer.

      All my best!

  12. Thank you so much for getting back to me and I promise this will be my last question. If you are just taking Clomid and not doing any injections, is it safe to do castor oil packs leading up to the IUI procedure? I know, that during and after, you shouldn’t do them, but is it not recommended to even do them for the days leading up to the IUI procedure. Thank you so much.

    • Dear Mukti,

      This would be best to discuss with your healthcare provider. Clomid is a medication used to stimulate ovulation and given this and the variety of ways women respond to Clomid, we can not suggest combining it with Castor Oil Therapy.

  13. Hi there, I was just wondering if I could get some clarification on castor oil packs during an IUI cycle. Are you saying you don’t recommend doing castor oil packs at all if you are doing an IUI cycle this month? And if so, why? Thank you!

    • Dear Mukti,

      Castor Oil Packs are a cost effective and beneficial to use in preparation for IUI. We suggest using them for a minimum of three months time, but they are quick to support the reproductive organs, whether used for three months time or a few weeks.

      The reason Castor Oil packs should be discontinued when beginning IUI would be if you receive ovulation stimulation injections. The injections stimulate multiple follicles (eggs) in the ovaries to mature for the upcoming retrieval. As the follicles mature and the ovaries become larger, you will most likely be very sensitive in the ovarian area.

      Castor Oil Therapy is not to be used during IUI, the semen transfer, or during pregnancy either.

      Best wishes to you!

  14. When should you use the castor oil packs? First day of menstrual cycle? How may days? When do you start again and then stop?

    • Dear Janel,

      Castor Oil Packs can be started the day after menstruation ends and used 3-4 times a week until ovulation when actively trying to conceive, or until menstruation begins again if not actively trying to conceive.

  15. I am trying for a baby can castor oil be use while using fertility supplements and does this affect sperm?

    • Dear Pat,

      Castor Oil Therapy can be used 3-4 times as week from when menstruation ends until ovulation, but not after ovulation when actively trying to conceive. It can be used while taking herbs and fertility-health supplements. I have not read that applying it externally in the form of a Castor Oil Pack impacts sperm health.

      Best wishes!

  16. Hello and thank you for your wonderful article. I’m about to pose a question that has been already answered; however, I would appreciate some more detail: do you think that castor-oil packs can produce enough heat in the female pelvis area so that any sperm that’s already “in there” is destroyed? Given that sperm is known to be heat sensitive, it stands to reason that it should not be subjected to high temperatures for a prolonged period of time.

    • Dear Niki,

      During Castor Oil Therapy high temperatures are not used, or used for what are considered prolonged periods of time. This therapy should not be used after ovulation when actively trying to conceive, during the fertile window, or after. Given this, there need not be concern about any potential damage to sperm within the female reproductive tract. Sperm within the healthy female reproductive tract are well encased in cervical mucus and traverse a pretty hostile environment. I have not heard of a bit of additional heat impacting their health, none-the-less if there is concern, then it’s best to avoid additional external sources of direct heat.

  17. Hi,
    Some fertility specialists express the opinion that heating is not good for eggs quality. They also say that this is even more valid for patients with diminished ovarian reserve (DOR) who generally have poor egg quality. Do you recommend castor oil packs for these patients? Is it reasonable to apply cold castor oil packs? Or probably the fertility massage is the better option for DOR patients?

    • Dear Katrin,

      I have not of heat impacting egg quality or ovarian reserve, especially the level of heat on would use when using Castor Oil packs.

      Castor Oil Therapy stimulates increased circulation and when fresh oxygenated blood flows through the abdomen, it nourishes the reproductive organs – ovaries – helping them to properly function.

      If however there is concern or other resources you trust suggest against it, then consider either using low heat, or using it at room temperature during fertility massage if still interested in the benefits of Castor Oil. That’s a great option too.

      Enjoy these natural therapies!

  18. Is ok to start it after a little bit of spotting after my menstruation? Is ok to do it days in a row? Is it best to do the fertility massage after?

    • Dear Liv,

      It is best to wait to use Castor Oil Therapy until bleeding has stopped completely and this therapy can be used 3-4 times a week. While it is okay to use a Castor Oil Pack a couple of days in a row, it is best to spread them out over a weeks time. Self Fertility Massage can be done after using a Castor Oil Pack. This is great because then the Castor Oil doubles as massage oil.

      Enjoy these natural therapies!

  19. Please, the doctor said my wife has blocked fallopian tubes (both tubes). Can Castor oil help without going for IVF or surgery?

    • Dear Ibbe,

      While Castor Oil Therapy can be one part of a natural fertility program, it alone is not all that should be considered.

      The effectiveness of natural therapies depends on the location and/or severity of the blockage, in addition to what has led to, or is contributing to the blockage. Consider asking your healthcare provider if he can help you understand these factors as you contemplate the best plan for your wife.

      Natural therapies can be used alongside many treatment options, so consider learning about the other natural therapies known to benefit normal fallopian tube health.

  20. Can castor oil be warmed on a gas stove/microwave instead of using a heat pad?

    • Dear Anne,

      It is best to not heat the Castor Oil prior to application to prevent damaging the oil and burning yourself. It is best use a heating pad, hot water bottle or rice pack (that can be heated in the microwave).

  21. i’ve been diagnosed with Endometriosis in April 2014. Can castor oil help with abdominal pains?

  22. Hello there,
    Please tell me if castor oil pack can be used to reduce stretch marks during pregnancy.
    I am 32 weeks so far and would like to use , but definitely not to induce labor!!!
    Please advise , AS I VE READ TO MANY DIFFERENT OPINION.
    Thanks

    • Dear Teodora,

      Castor Oil Packs are not to be used in pregnancy. It would be better to try coconut oil, or sweet almond oil for stretch marks if they are concerning you. These two oils can be applied multiple times a day.

      Congratulations on your pregnancy!

  23. I have a polyp in my uterine and only one of my fallopian tube is open. I have been trying to get pregnant for 3 years, with no results. I m undergoing my second surgery of hysteroscopy to remove the polyp that is close to the right fallopian tube. can I use castor oil therapay pack?

    • Hi gp,

      A castor oil pack may be used up until the day prior to surgery, but should be avoided until the incision has completed, post-surgery.

      May your surgery be successful and your recovery speedy!

  24. Hi, first of all, congratulations and thank you for this wonderful site and your very informative and useful/relevant articles and advises.

    I am 45 years old and been on ttc since past 6 months….just want to ask if Acai Juice is safe for me to take. Currently, am taking Maca, Royal Jelly, Evening Primrose oil and Fertility Blend.

    My apology though as my query is not related to the specific topic now which is Castor Oil Pack, but would highly appreciate your feedback.

    Thanks again and congratulations to the entire team.

    Marie

    • Dear Marie,

      Acai juice is known to be antioxidant rich and quite healthy… “an antioxidant powerhouse” as referred to by many. It can be taken with the herbs and fertility superfoods listed. Enjoy!

  25. What are the other alternative ways of using castor oil to achiever the same results?

  26. I’ve been ttc for a while now and thought I would try out the castor oil packs. Usually my periods always on time and the two times since doing the castor oil pack I’ve been late by about 5 days – is this normal?

    • Dear Fluer,

      Castor Oil Therapy is not known to delay menstruation and is unlikely to do so after only using this therapy two times. This being said, each one responds to this therapy differently and theoretically menstruation could be delayed as a result of stimulating the lymphatic system and liver to detoxify. Whenever detoxifying the liver or lymphatic system, these toxins temporarily circulate within the body and may cause temporary shifts in menstrual cycle timing. Typically shifts as a result of detoxification work themselves out within 1-3 cycles of use.

      It may help to consider anything else being participated in or that is being taken that may be a contributor as well. Changes is diet, exercise routines, extreme weight loss or gain, even travel can impact menstrual cycle timing as well.

      I hope this helps some!

  27. i’ve been reading all the comments and in others…can castor oil pack help large tumor or mass to be smaller or maybe gone?

    • Dear Michelle,

      Castor Oil Therapy is not designed to reduce or be used with tumors. It is best to work one on one with your healthcare provider to determine the best way to address your health needs.

      All my best to you!

  28. Hey dear! Wanted to ask you something. Is it OK to use Castor Oil Pack for more than half hour ?

  29. I have been seeing that castor oil can be used as a birth control. How? What do you do?

  30. This is kind of embarrassing, but I am a rather large lady trying to lose weight and improve my fertility. I have PCOS and haven’t gotten a “real” period in a few years. In addition to following much advice from this site, I have started doing castor oil packs a couple of weeks ago but don’t know its efficacy since I am putting my castor oil pack on my lower abdomen with a lot of belly fat. Do the inches of fat hinder the castor oil??

    • Hi Stephanie,

      Great question! Yes, body fat can actually hinder the castor oil from reaching the underlying organs. Try to get the pack as low as you can, just above the pubic bone. Typically there is a little less belly fat on that area. You might like to read our article 10 Steps to Sustained Weight Loss & Achieving a Healthy Weight for further guidance. It is so great to hear you are working to take your health into your own hands! Bless you!

    • Please don’t be embarrassed – you asked the very question I myself was searching in order to find the answer to…from one larger lady trying to conceive to another — thank you and good luck!

  31. I am beginning an IVF in June and would like to do castor oil to prepare. How many times in May should I do this?

    • Hello Amanda!

      Castor Oil Therapy can be performed 4-6 times a week from after menstruation until ovulation when actively trying to conceive. If not actively trying to conceive, Castor Oil Therapy can be continued after ovulation, until menstruation begins (I share this as I have had couples try to conceive naturally the cycle prior to IVF). This being said, Castor Oil Therapy should be discontinued a week or so prior to beginning IVF.

      All my best to you!

  32. Will castor oil treatments help in any way treat yeast infections, vaginosis, and a uti? I have been experiencing one or all during every cycle for the last six months, exactly when my mother passed away. I’ve been told emotional distress could have thrown off everything. It’s been very frustrating since ttc and time is of the essence since I am 43 and was about to begin more aggressive treatments before it all went downhill. I’ve been given antibiotics which gave me temporary relief however it has not been enough. Thank you for your input.

    • Dear Cindy,

      I am sorry this has been our experience and for your loss!

      Castor Oil Therapy may be one natural therapy to consider, but may not alone be as effective as need be. Take time to learn How Yeast Infections & Candida Affects Fertility.

      It is true that emotional distress can wreak havoc on our body in a number of ways. I sincerely wish I had the magic answer to helping women deal with distress. Alas, I do not, but we do have wonderful guidance on ways to support the body in managing stress and a healthy stress response. Learn more in the article Stress and Your Fertility.

      I hope to have been helpful!