While there’s no hack or trick that is guaranteed to get you pregnant, there are quite a few small, natural changes you can make to your routine to give your odds a boost. One of those small, affordable easy changes? Using castor oil packs.
I’d never heard of these lil guys before starting my fertility journey back in 2014. Around that time, I started attending a fertility yoga workshop where I first heard about castor oil packs and then began using them, finding them an affordable and relaxing way to “self care.”
But what is castor oil? Castor oil (ricinus communis) comes from the castor seed, and is known for its health-promoting abilities. The Chinese, Persians and Egyptians all used this oil in balms and ointments. During the Middle Ages, it was used throughout Europe for treating skin ailments.
Safe and effective at boosting your chances of conception, castor oil packs are a centuries-old natural therapy used by naturopaths and homeopaths to help boost your fertility and promote healing in your reproductive system.
So how can castor oil packs help when dealing with your reproductive system? Well, when applied correctly they can:
- Alleviate congestion in the abdomen area
- Repair tissues while increasing circulation and blood flow
- Support ovarian and uterine health
- Promote fallopian tube health
- Support healthy endometrial growth
- Alleviate PMS symptoms
- Improve lymphatic circulation
- Detoxify the liver
- Reduce inflammation
There are many kits you can purchase that include a flannel cloth, castor oil and easy-to-follow instructions. We recommend this kit by the Heritage Store, available on Amazon. Otherwise, you can find castor oil online or at many holistic grocery stores like Whole Foods.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- One flannel cloth
- One bottle of castor oil
- Hot water bottle or heating pad
- An old towel or piece of plastic
- Old clothes and sheets you don’t care about
- Soak the flannel cloth in castor oil so that it is saturated, but not dripping.
- While lying down on an old towel or sheet, place the cloth over your abdomen (right below your belly button).
- Place another grungy towel or piece of plastic on top of the cloth and place your hot water bottle or heating pad on top of it.
- Lie on your back with your feet elevated (if possible) and relax for 30-45 minutes. You could try meditating, reading or watching a show, if you’d like.
- Afterwards, remove the pack and place the flannel and castor oil in the fridge.
- Use a natural soap (or combination of water and baking soda) to remove any castor oil left on your skin.
- Drink water!
Castor oil packs are relaxing, affordable and pretty easy to do. Honestly the biggest downside? It’s very messy; castor oil WILL stain your clothes and sheets…so if you’re squeamish about messes, the whole process may be more stress than helpful.
For maximum effectiveness, try using castor oil packs every other day for a couple weeks in a row. That said, castor oil packs should only be used from the time your menstruation ends until ovulation occurs (also known as your “follicular stage”). If you are trying to conceive, do not use castor oil packs after ovulation. And if you think you’re pregnant? Stop using them immediately.
If you have questions or concerns about castor oil packs, please speak directly with your healthcare provider.