In the past, I’ve highlighted the use of Castor Oil Fertility Packs and Fertility Massage as wonderful forms of Mind/Body Therapy—therapy that helps you push past mental blocks that contribute to chronic stress, and therefore infertility.
However, while I recommended using these two treatments in combination with one another, I haven’t shared the details on the how and why this combination works—until now.
As a quick review, let’s start with each practice individually, then talk about why they’re even more successful when used in combination.
Castor oil is derived from the seeds of the Castor plant (Ricinus communis), also known as Palma Christi. In this therapy, a cloth is soaked in unrefined castor oil (referred to as a castor oil pack) and is then placed on the area of the body you want to heal. The castor oil soaks into the skin and detoxifies the internal organs. Castor oil stimulates blood circulation and helps heal the tissues and organs below the surface of the skin. Castor oil packs improve liver detoxification, support uterine and ovarian health, improve lymphatic circulation, and reduce inflammation.
At a high level (refer to this blog post for details), castor oil packs stimulate three important parts of the body: the lymphatic system, circulatory systems, and the liver. Stimulating these body systems optimizes your reproductive system, reduces menstrual pain and irregularity, lessens the pain of fibroid and endometriosis, and increases fertility health. Consequently, you may hear the terms “castor oil pack” and “castor oil fertility pack” used interchangeably.
Fertility massage (also referred to as Maya Abdominal Massage) is a series of massage techniques used to support the reproductive system, the menstrual cycle, and fertility. There are several forms of massage therapy (you can learn about the most popular here).
Regularly receiving fertility massage provides benefits like:
I highly recommend using these two therapies in combination with each other. The most effective way to do this is to use castor oil as your massage oil when doing your fertility massage, and then after the massage, place the castor-oil-soaked cloth over your lower abdomen, followed by the heat source to allow the castor oil to deeply penetrate the tissues below. A full description of how to make a castor oil pack can be found here.
Combining self-care fertility massage in conjunction with castor oil packs allows the healing properties to work their magic quickly and efficiently. Using your castor oil pack on your lower abdomen/reproductive organs immediately after fertility massage can:
Basically, by using the massage right before the castor oil pack, you are taking an already super-effective healing + detoxification process and making it significantly more effective. If you plan to try either therapy, it makes the most sense to combine them for maximum effect. Called castor oil massage, this therapy is a great way to increase your chances of getting pregnant.
How often you use either of these mind/body therapy techniques will vary depending on the reason behind your use. As a quick reference guide, find the related reason that is closest to your current situation below. And always remember that you can contact me for a consultation if you don’t see your symptom listed below and we can discuss your specific situation.
Castor oil packs can be used every other day throughout your entire menstrual cycle EXCEPT while you are bleeding (or after ovulation if you’re actively trying to conceive). Don’t use castor oil packs while menstruating.
Only do castor oil packs and fertility massage during the first half of your cycle. My recommended schedule is to start after you’ve stopped bleeding and then stop when you get a confirmed LH surge. Stop using a castor oil pack for fertility and fertility massage when you’ve confirmed a positive LH surge. If you don’t end up getting pregnant, you can start again right after bleeding your next cycle.
Similar to the process I recommended if you are trying to conceive, I recommend not using castor oil packs during the luteal phase of your cycle (after ovulation), and never while bleeding. As suggested above, use castor oil packs for several days in a row—after you’ve stopped bleeding and before ovulation—to get the most benefit.
It’s best to use castor oil packs daily for these two conditions, just don’t use them during menstruation. Both of these treatments can produce a significant detoxification effect, so it is good to take breaks to allow your body to re-group between detox phases.
If, for example, you only have 2 days of red bleeding or several days of brown spotting before or after real bleeding, I recommend using castor oil packs every other day throughout your cycle, and then every day while you are bleeding. This will help your uterus contract and release more efficiently.
Be aware that using castor oil packs while bleeding could increase the flow of your blood, and you may even experience more and/or bigger clots than usual. If this happens to you, don’t worry. This just means your body is releasing old blood and tissue that needed to come out and tells you the packs are working!
Of course, as always, pay attention to your body and use your judgment. If bleeding seems excessive (for example, needing to change pads every hour), stop using the packs altogether. It is unlikely, but some women could experience a stronger effect from using the packs during their periods.
You can feel comfortable using castor oil packs every other day for general support, and general fertility massage as often as you’d like. But again, don’t use the castor oil packs while menstruating or after ovulation if you are actively trying to conceive.
For acute situations, such as addressing constipation or a spastic gall bladder, you can use the packs for 3-4 days in a row, stop for a day to assess improvement, and repeat if necessary.
You can also place the castor oil packs over your liver for a greater detoxification effect.
While castor oil packs and fertility massage are both generally considered safe, there are two factors you need to be aware of:
A castor oil fertility pack is a cloth soaked in unrefined castor oil. This cloth is then placed on the area of the body you want to heal. The oil soaks into the skin to stimulate blood circulation, which supports the healthy function of the underlying tissues and organs.
During castor oil massage, unrefined castor oil is used as the lubricant. After the massage, you can boost fertility by placing a cloth soaked in the same oil on the lower abdomen and applying heat. This will help the castor oil to penetrate the tissues below and promote optimal functioning of the reproductive organs.
There are several benefits of getting castor oil massages, especially if you’re trying to conceive. Two of the biggest are improving circulation to the reproductive organs and increasing lymphocyte production, which will boost immunity.
If you’re wondering how to use castor oil for fertility, the easiest way is via topical application. Simply soak a cloth in unrefined castor oil and place it on your lower abdomen. Keep in mind, however, that you should only use it during the first half of your cycle. Start once you’ve stopped bleeding and BEFORE ovulation. Then, stop using a castor oil fertility pack once you’ve confirmed a positive LH surge. If you don’t end up getting pregnant, you can start again right after bleeding your next cycle.
Yes! Apply a castor oil pack directly to your breasts several days in a row until breasts feel less tender. If the pain is cyclical, use this method as soon as the discomfort presents itself and add in some self-massage to reduce tenderness over time.
Absolutely! You can use castor oil packs every other day for general digestion support, unless you’re menstruating. For acute situations, such as addressing constipation, you can use the packs for 3-4 days in a row. Then, stop for a day to assess improvement, and repeat if necessary.
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Sarah Jane Sandy is a certified nutrition therapist, and a fertility and women’s health expert. She has helped hundreds of women increase their fertility naturally and go on to have healthy full-term pregnancies. She has been working with women and couples trying to get pregnant for over 15 years and over 90% of the women who work with her get pregnant and have healthy babies. Learn more about her own fertility journey here. To send Sarah a message, complete her Contact Form.