Feb 19, 2021
Written by Melanie Swackhammer, BA
3 Ways Castor Oil Packs Support Menopause Symptoms
I don’t know about you, but the phrase ‘my hormones are out of whack’ came out of my mouth more than I’d like to admit. Growing up, I heard women in my life say this when they were entering menopause, but by the time I was 25, I uttered those words along with them. Can you relate?
Even though I wasn’t actually experiencing menopause, I was experiencing estrogen dominance. I felt disconnected from my own body. As heart-wrenching and stressful as this time was, it was also my saving grace. It was what propelled me to try castor oil packs- the key to balancing my hormones and freedom from:
• Super irregular periods
• Trouble sleeping
• Alternating between constipation and diarrhea
• Hair growth on my chin and upper lip
• Hot flashes (power surges, as I like to call them)
Does this sound like you? I’ve been there too, I get it. After several appointments and sleepless nights, I was diagnosed with IBS, PCOS, and Hypothyroid. Looking back, it makes sense because estrogen dominance is always present when the thyroid is low, or vice versa.
My doctor also told me I likely wouldn’t be able to have babies. Up until then I never thought very hard about having babies before; but having it suddenly taken away from me was my wake-up-call to get up close and personal with my health and my hormones.
At that time, I didn’t know that my wake-up-call would begin with the ancient health practice of castor oil packs, but I’m so glad it did.
My friend and hormone balancing fitness expert, Debra Atkinson, CEO of Flipping 50, has a solution for women who are craving movement, just like I was. Her 12-week STRONGER online programs are designed for women in perimenopause, menopause and beyond. Similar to the castor oil pack, Debra’s program was made for you and is a gentle approach to support hormone balancing, which is what I love most about it.
How castor oil packs support hormone balancing and estrogen dominance.
- 1. Castor Oil Packs Relieve Constipation.
Our stools are how we naturally eliminate food waste, bacteria, toxins and hormones. However, estrogen dominance is a very common issue for women and can actually cause constipation1. That was me, constipated and overloaded with estrogen.
You see, a healthy balance of progesterone and estrogen are required for smooth-moving bowels. So, it makes sense that too much estrogen makes you constipated2, right?
I truly thought my constipation was unbeatable until I tried the castor oil pack. It’s been shown to gently relieve constipation3 and regulate the bowels through improvement of smooth muscle function of the intestines4.
This is extremely important for estrogen dominance because you must eliminate the excess hormones in order to heal and rebalance.
It’s kind of like a gentle massage for your intestines, but a gentle massage that can support good flow and hormone balancing. Sounds like a dream, don’t you think?
- 2. Castor Oil Packs support Cleansing and Detox.
Cleansing is like a conveyor belt that keeps the body in flow. So, the conveyor belt must be working well in order to balance the dominance of estrogen.
My conveyor belt most definitely wasn’t working, it was almost like the belt was at a standstill. You see, without the castor oil pack my conveyor belt was all backed up and there was an overload of estrogen that had nowhere to go (except to stay in my body).
The liver is pretty much the control system for the conveyor belt, so it has to be functioning well for our hormones to be in harmony with each other. So, my castor oil pack helped restore the flow and was a support to my liver. Isn’t that amazing?
Just like how the castor oil gently massages your intestines, it also acts as a gentle repair system for your liver’s cleansing conveyor belt.
- 3.Castor Oil Packs Naturally Shift you into a Relaxed State.
The problem in our modern world is that all of us are in a constant state of stress, would you agree?
You see, rest and relaxation takes practice, but the castor oil pack gives your body the chance to practice over and over again.
Take it from me, I didn’t know what it was to feel relaxed. I was so out of practice, but that all changed as soon as I put the pack on my body. This is because the castor oil pack on the skin activates the relaxed, ‘parasympathetic’ state5 and stimulates our feel-good hormones, dopamine6 and oxytocin7.
Oxytocin also lowers stress and balances blood pressure8, leading to healthy levels of progesterone for great bowel movements! You see, the more we’re able to release oxytocin and de-stress, the easier it is for our body to naturally boost progesterone (because progesterone is high when stress hormone levels are low). It’s a fine balance and is what connects regular bowel movements, liver cleansing, and relaxation.
For me, shifting into the relaxed state naturally not only made my body know what it is to be in flow, but also created a need to move my body. I started craving exercise, which was a refreshing shift for me since there was a time when I couldn’t even get out of my bed.
You see, the act of resting and releasing my feel-good hormones with my castor oil pack resulted in my body having the energy it needed to re-introduce gentle movement.
Years ago, when I heard the words ‘estrogen dominance’ it startled me and my natural instinct was to fight it. So, be gentle with yourself if you’re feeling like your hormones are out of whack and know that you’re not alone in feeling this way.
Kind of like the story of the Sword and the Stone, the key wasn’t to fight with aggression, it was to find a gentle approach so that I could work with my body to rebalance my hormones.
1 & 2. Ji-Eun Oh,Yong-Woon Kim,So-Young Park, andJong-Yeon Kim Estrogen Rather Than Progesterone Cause Constipation in Both Female and Male Mice.Korean J Physiol Pharmacol. 2013 Oct; 17(5): 423–426. Published online 2013 Oct 17. doi:10.4196/kjpp.2013.17.5.423 PMID:24227943
3. Arslan GG, Eşer I. An examination of the effect of castor oil packs on constipation in the elderly. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2011 Feb;17(1):58-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2010.04.004. Epub 2010 May 18.PMID: 21168117
4. Sorin Tunaru,a Till F. Althoff,a Rolf M. Nüsing,b Martin Diener,c and Stefan Offermannsa,d,1 Castor oil induces laxation and uterus contraction via ricinoleic acid activating prostaglandin EP3 receptors. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Jun 5; 109(23): 9179–9184. Published online 2012 May 21. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1201627109 PMID: 22615395
5. Rolls ET et all. Representations of pleasant and painful touch in the human orbitofrontal and cingulate cortices. Cereb Cortex. 2003 Mar;13(3):308-17.PMID: 12571120
6. Francis S, Rolls ET, Bowtell R, McGlone F, O’Doherty J, Browning A, Clare S, Smith E. The representation of pleasant touch in the brain and its relationship with taste and olfactory areas. Neuroreport. 1999 Feb 25;10(3):453-9.PMID: 10208571
7. Walker SC1, Trotter PD2, Swaney WT2, Marshall A3, Mcglone FP4. C-tactile afferents: Cutaneous mediators of oxytocin release during affiliative tactile interactions? Neuropeptides. 2017 Aug;64:27-38. doi: 10.1016/j.npep.2017.01.001. Epub 2017 Jan 19.PMID: 28162847
8. Uvnas-Moberg K1, Petersson M.[Oxytocin, a mediator of anti-stress, well-being, social interaction, growth and healing]. Z Psychosom Med Psychother. 2005;51(1):57-80.PMID: 15834840
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