Castor oil sounds like something your grandmother might have had in her cupboard, and frankly, it probably was. Castor oil has, in fact, been used for thousands of years and was considered so valuable it was included in the tombs of ancient Pharos in Egypt as early as 4,000 B.C.
For a medicine to be used for thousands of years is more than remarkable. Castor oil was even discussed in the Old Testament of the Bible, in the book of Jonah, chapter 4, verses 6 – 10. This reference generated the plant’s common name, Palma Christi, or Palm of Christ. Nobody names a plant after a part of Christ’s anatomy if it isn’t miraculous.
What Are The Benefits of Using Castor Oil?
Topical castor oil is well known to:
- Reduce pain
- Reduce inflammation
- Ease digestion
- Reduce menstrual cramps
- Reduce the growth of bacteria and fungi
- Reduce digestive irregularities like constipation, diarrhea, gas, and bloating
- Help eliminate toxins via the lymphatic system
- Reduce the appearance of cellulite by increasing local circulation and decreasing toxic load
- Help balance hormones via the lymphatic system
- Increase circulation
- Reduce stress by helping your body enter a parasympathetic state
- Increase hair growth when it has been thinning or receding
- Soften and hydrate skin and hair
- Soothe joint pain and ease stiffness
- Stimulates prostaglandin receptors to move smooth muscle in the intestines and uterus
- Deep tissue penetrance due to high content of Ricinoleic acid
Why Is Castor Oil Such a Miracle?
Castor oil has a unique chemical makeup which is almost 90% Ricinoleic acid, and this ricinoleic acid is the molecule responsible for the bulk of its amazing effects. Unlike most fatty acids, ricinoleic acid has a molecular weight of 298 Daltons. This is important because having a molecular weight below 500 Da allows Ricinoleic acid to be absorbed transdermally, into deeper body tissues and lymphatic circulation. Most fatty acids are well above 500 Da, so Ricinoleic acid is remarkable in this area.
Because of this deep tissue penetrance, it is essential to make sure your castor oil is NOT exposed to plastics, stored in plastics, or used with plastics. Harmful chemicals from plastic easily transfer to castor oil and from the castor oil directly into your body. Many of these chemicals, like BPA, are hormone disruptors and have been shown to dysregulate estrogen levels and even promote estrogen-responsive cancers. Make sure your castor oil is packaged in glass.
With MTHFR, castor oil as a detoxification aid is especially important. MTHFR gene mutations can impair detoxification, especially in those substances detoxified through the methylation pathway. This includes many harmful toxins such as:
Hormones and hormone mimetics:
- BPA and other plasticizers
- Birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy
How Does Castor Oil Help MTHFR?
Castor oil is crucial for people with MTHFR, because it helps with so many areas that can be difficult with this genetic mutation. People with MTHFR mutations are prone to higher levels of inflammation and inflammatory disease, lower levels of glutathione which is the master antioxidant, higher oxidative stress, and higher levels of toxins. Castor oil penetrates through the skin and into the lymph, spreading anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits, as well as allowing toxins to move from tissue spaces toward the liver to be detoxified.
Also, castor oil doesn’t boost phase I liver detoxification, which means it doesn’t cause the “toxic reactions” that many liver support products or detox kits do. Liver support and detox kits very often boost liver function, especially in the area of Phase I detoxification, which means it causes the liver to begin to metabolize many toxins but doesn’t always support Phase II and Phase III detox, which allows those toxins to actually exit the body. Because of this, a lot of people feel incredibly awful when they take liver support because it is actually making them temporarily more toxic.
Castor oil doesn’t give you this toxic reaction and it helps to avoid and even reduce many of the detoxification symptoms that can happen. In fact, using castor oil topically while you take liver support internally can soften the feeling of detox symptoms, although it may not stop them entirely if you’re pushing your liver too hard.
How To Use Castor Oil?
There are three main ways to use castor oil topically. Each one has benefits and drawbacks, so choose the one you are most likely to use and use again. Make it as easy and realistic in your life as possible, because the more you use castor oil, the more benefits you are likely to see.
- Traditional Castor Oil Pack – This is the original method of using castor oil. It involves using a folded square of organic cotton flannel, which you soak in castor oil. You put this saturated flannel over your liver area, cover it with a towel or something else to protect your furniture from castor oil, put a heating pad or hot water bottle on the soaked flannel, and lay down for an hour. This method is great because it allows for a generous amount of castor oil to penetrate the skin, but difficult because who has an hour to lie down with a hot water bottle and all the mess?
- Pros – lots of castor oil in the soaked flannel, a good excuse for an hour laying down.
- Cons – Messy, time-consuming, and difficult to fit into real life.
- Dr. Amy’s Lazy Method – This is definitely a lazy way to do a castor oil pack and is less of a pack and more of a slather. Essentially, you should slather castor oil onto your whole torso and back, put on your least favorite pajamas (now your castor oil pajamas because they will never be the same again), and go to bed like that. Shower in the morning, and voila.
- Pros – easy and doable in real life
- Cons – it’s a thinner layer of castor oil so it takes more time using this method to see progress.
- Queen of the Thrones Castor Oil Pack – This is a modern, easy-to-use pack that combines multiple layers of organic cotton with a hormone-free waterproof backing so you can pour a generous dollop of castor oil onto the fabric side, tie the pack over your liver, breasts, uterus, or whatever area you are treating, (or use multiple packs so you can cover your liver and a target area at the same time.) Wear it to bed, get up in the morning and shower, and that’s it.
- Pros – more castor oil in the soaked pack, easy, mess-free, doable in real-life, custom pack sizes and shapes to fit precise areas like breasts, uterus, and thyroid.
- Cons – You don’t get to feel glamorous in your dedicated castor oil pajamas.
- Note – I am an affiliate for Queen of the Throne, because I love their products and use their castor oil (it’s not so easy to find castor oil in glass). I confess, I often do the lazy method, but only when my hubby’s out of town. When he’s home I still do castor oil packs, I just do them without the glamorous castor oil pjs. If you want to support To Health With That! By using our affiliate link, then thanks!
- Coupon Code – Also, if you’re stocking up and plan to spend more than $59 at Queen of the Throne, here’s a 10% off coupon AMY_TOHEALTHWITHTHAT10
MTHFR is a common genetic mutation that can contribute to anxiety, depression, fatigue, chronic pain, infertility, and more serious conditions like breast implant illness, heart attack, stroke, chronic fatigue syndrome, and some types of cancer. If you know or suspect you have an MTHFR variant, schedule a free 15-minute meet-and-greet appointment with MTHFR expert Dr. Amy today.Book Your Appointment