Today I put together my first castor oil pack and it didn't feel as strange as I thought it would! It was actually very easy to do and wasn't uncomfortable at all. It was recommended by a friend of mine to try castor oil to attempt to shrink an ovarian cyst that I have. At my follicle scan a couple weeks ago my RE found a large cyst on my left ovary. He seemed concerned and he said that it had the appearance of "shattered glass", which is a key characteristic of an endometrioma (endometriosis in the ovary). The cyst was about 4cm at it's widest and had a volume of about 14 cubic centimeters. So it was definitely something he was concerned about.
If it is indeed an endometrioma, then I'll need surgery to remove it. But, if it's another kind of cyst, there's a good chance it will just go away on it's own. And that's what I'm hoping for. So I've been doing some research and I figured it can't hurt to try the castor oil for a couple of weeks.
Castor oil, when used topically, can help with a wide range of health issues. It's an ancient form of therapy that can be used for many purposes, but primarily to promote healing, increase circulation, and improve the lymphatic system. It has also been used to shrink ovarian cysts.
So what the heck, it's worth a shot! Here's my step by step instructions on how to create this simple castor oil pack, all for under $20!
The first thing you need to do is order your supplies. I purchased everything from Amazon and it was delivered in just a few days. I had a hard time finding the castor oil in stores. There are 4 things you'll need:
2) Undyed/unbleached wool flannel
3) Plastic wrap - the same stuff you use to store food
4) Heating pad, warm water bottle, or a microwaveable rice pack
The first step is to soak the wool flannel in the caster oil. The wool flannel I purchased was 12x27 in size, and I ended up cutting it in half and then folding it in half to use on my lower abdomen. I got a bowl from the kitchen, wadded up the wool flannel, and slowly poured the caster oil on top of it. I would pour a little, then rub it in, then pour some more until the flannel was totally saturated. You want the castor oil to soak through the flannel, but not so much that it's dripping.
Next, make sure you are wearing clothing that you aren't worried about staining. I wore some old sweatpants and a sports bra. I placed the castor oil pack on my lower abdomen, over where my ovaries should be, and then my husband started wrapping me up in the plastic wrap. It will definitely be easier if you have someone help you with this step.
Once he wrapped me up a couple of times, we ended up with this result. It's tight enough to keep everything in place, but not too tight where it was cutting off circulation anywhere. You should also make sure to overlap a few inches above and below the flannel to avoid any dripping or staining.
The last step is to lay down or recline somewhere comfortable, get your heating pad, rice pack, or whatever you have to keep it warm, and relax for about an hour.
Clean up is pretty simple. Just remove the plastic wrap and throw it away. You will want to keep the soaked flannel and reuse it. I placed mine in a Tupperware container and put it in the fridge. You can reuse the castor oil pack up to 30 times if you want! So it should last a month or more, depending on how frequently you use it.
After I stored my castor oil pack in the fridge, I jumped in the shower to wash all the grease off of my stomach. I used a little bit of baking soda to help rub off the oil.
So that's it! My very first castor oil pack and I think it went very well. I'm going to be doing this every day for the next 2 weeks and hope that the next time I have an ultrasound that my cyst will have disappeared. If not, I'll be on to surgery #3...
Have you ever tried a castor oil pack? Has it worked for you?