How Castor Oil Packs Help Support Perimenopause

How Castor Oil Packs Help Support Perimenopause

What is and how to treat perimenopause by Queen of the Thrones

How Castor Oil Packs Help Support Perimenopause

Written by: Heather Tanti R.P.N (non-practicing)

Medically reviewed by: Victoria Williams R.H.N.

Est. reading time: 16 minutes

The choppy waters of perimenopause is a journey that women must navigate, and it’s a chapter in life that brings with it a cascade of emotional challenges. As the body undergoes subtle, yet profound changes, the emotional aspects can be just as dynamic. 

From unexpected mood swings to heightened sensitivity, perimenopause presents a unique set of trials that can leave women grappling with a roller coaster of feelings.

In this exploration of perimenopause, we’ll explore the emotional and physical struggles that accompany this transitional phase of life.

But before we begin, let’s first understand the fundamental question: What is perimenopause?

What is perimenopause?

As women we often find ourselves on a journey as unique as a fingerprint- the transition into perimenopause. It’s a phase of life that’s rarely discussed openly, yet its impact can be profound and transformative.

If you’re wondering what perimenopause is, and how it might be influencing your life, you’re not alone.

What is perimenopause by Queen of the Thrones
Perimenopause is the transitional phase leading to menopause, marking the closing of a woman’s reproductive years, and usually begins in a woman’s 40’s, although it can start earlier for some and later for others.1 

During perimenopause, hormonal fluctuations become more pronounced, leading to a variety of physical and emotional changes.

So, how can you make sense of these changes? Imagine your body as a finely tuned orchestra, and hormones as the musicians playing in harmony. As you enter perimenopause, this symphony takes an unexpected turn. Estrogen levels fluctuate, causing irregular menstrual cycles, mood swings, and even unexpected hot flashes.

It’s a hormonal roller coaster that can catch you off guard, making you wonder, “Is this normal?”

The biggest challenge with perimenopause is that it is often a silent struggle. Many women don’t openly discuss their experiences, leading others to feel isolated in their journey. 

It’s important to recognize that perimenopause is a shared experience, and sharing our stories can break down the walls of silence surrounding this transitional phase.

Perimenopause comes in 2 stages, early stage and late stage, keep reading to learn more!

Stages of perimenopause

Although we don’t have all the details about perimenopause, we do know it has two stages. In the first stage, called early menopausal transition, periods are mostly regular with few interruptions. 

In the second stage, known as late transition, the time between periods becomes longer, lasting at least 60 days, until the final menstrual period occurs.2 

The early menopausal transition is when there’s a consistent difference of 7 days or more in the length of menstrual cycles, or if one or more cycles are skipped. This inconsistency repeats within the next 10 cycles. As this irregularity continues, it leads to longer periods without menstruation. 

Stages of perimenopause by Queen of the Thrones
When the absence of periods last 60 days or more, it indicates the late menopausal transition. 

In the late stage, there’s a further increase in the duration without periods and more significant hormone fluctuations. This stage is more likely to bring about symptoms like hot flashes, although they are most common after the final menstrual period. 

It’s important to note that not everyone follows these stages exactly. Some women, especially those transitioning later in life, might skip the early transition, while others, particularly those transitioning earlier, may spend many years in the early stage.3

So, what types of symptoms are present when experiencing this phase of life? Let’s explore!

Perimenopause symptoms

Let’s face it, if perimenopause were a playlist, it would be as diverse and unpredictable as shuffle mode on your favorite music app.

Symtoms of perimenopause by Queen of the Thrones

As women begin this phase, they often find themselves tuning into a symphony of symptoms that can range from subtle background noise to full-blown crescendos.

Let’s take a dive into the key symptoms that make up this unique playlist, shall we?

Perimenopause weight gain

Perimenopause is a time when women are more likely to gain weight. This happens because estrogen levels drop as the ovaries work less. Also, changes in hormones, getting older, less physical activity, and eating habits can add up to more body fat. Emotional eating during times of stress can play a role too.4

You see, it’s not just about the numbers; it’s about the internal emotions, insecurities, and the uncharted territory of a changing body. Can you relate?

Imagine stepping onto the scale and feeling like you’re in a guessing game. One day it’s up, and the next it is down, leaving you to wonder if your body is following its own playlist. 

The shift in hormones that perimenopause brings, causes a hormonal dance that can influence your weight in ways that seem beyond your control.

As you zip up your favorite pair of jeans and notice a snugger fit, an internal dialogue begins, causing you to question your eating habits, exercise routine, and even your self-worth… 

This transformation can feel like you’re learning a new dance to an unfamiliar beat, agreed?

But what about weight loss as a symptom? Let’s take a look at the other side of this transitional stage.

Navigating perimenopause and weight gain by Queen of the Thornes

Perimenopause weight loss

On the other side of the tracks of perimenopause is weight loss, though less common, it is another silent struggle that plays out on the scale before you.

Picture stepping onto the scale, and instead of the expected stability you’ve known most of your life, you’re met with something unexpected; weight loss. While this might seem like an enjoyable side-effect to some, these numbers echo a change that might be as surprising as it is perplexing.

How or why do these weight fluctuations take place? Well, perimenopause brings hormonal shifts that can directly impact the number you see on the scale. And as these numbers dip, another internal dialogue takes hold… 

In one instance you may be elated that you can now fit into those old clothes you used to, but those feelings also mix with questions about the unintentional weight loss, leading you to wonder about your health, and whether this weight change carries an unspoken worry about what might be happening within your body.

Plus, just as weight gain prompts a reevaluation of how you see yourself, weight loss can lead to new confusion when it comes to your body image. Perhaps the curves you were accustomed to begin to soften, and the silhouette in the mirror takes on a different contour… It’s a transformation that challenges the idea you may have already had of beauty and self-worth, agreed?

Navigating this unknown territory requires a delicate balance between embracing the changes, and understanding the factors at play, making this a great time to take a step back and focus on understanding your body’s needs, and nourishing it with self-care, like a Pelvis & Hips Castor Oil Pack to help support your hormone balance, and more.

Perimenopause and fatigue

Navigating fatigue in perimenopause by Queen of the Thrones
Many women going through perimenopause often struggle with sleep problems and feeling tired, making fatigue one of the most common complaints during this stage.5

Because perimenopause introduces a rollercoaster of hormonal fluctuations, women are often at the mercy of unpredictable energy levels. 

One day you might wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day, only to find yourself completely drained and fatigued the next… is this you?

The inconsistency can make planning and managing daily activities and tasks daunting, making quality of sleep a rare, but essential commodity during perimenopause.

Hot flashes, night sweats, and hormonal imbalances can disrupt once restful nights, turning them into a vicious cycle of sleep deprivation. The consequence? Waking up feeling exhausted and struggling to stay alert throughout the day.

And because women often find themselves juggling multiple responsibilities- career, family, and personal well-being, fatigue can make this delicate balance even more demanding, both at home and in the workplace.

Plus, exhaustion doesn’t just manifest physically; it takes a toll on emotional well-being.

Feeling constantly tired can contribute to irritability, mood swings, and a heightened sense of stress. This is why establishing a reliable support network, whether through friends, family, or online communities is essential, helping you to share experiences, and insights to help you feel less alone during these difficult times.

Sore breasts and perimenopause

Breast tenderness can enter a woman’s life during perimenopause like an unwanted guest, catching her off guard. Breasts that were once familiar and seemingly predictive in nature, suddenly become tender, sensitive, and sometimes painful. Can you relate?

Hormones play a central role in breast tenderness. Fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone levels can often lead to increased breast sensitivity6. As these hormones engage in a delicate dance, the breasts respond with tenderness, a physical manifestation of the hormonal changes at play.

Understanding sore breasts in perimenopause by Queen of the Thrones

How can you help support breast tenderness during perimenopause? Finding the right bra is a great starting point, ensuring comfort and support during this period. The once beloved underwire bra may begin to feel like an instrument of torture, as increased sensitivity demands a gentler touch. 

But breast tenderness can extend beyond the physical, influencing intimate moments when it comes to relationships. This increased physical sensitivity may reshape how women experience touch and intimacy, requiring open communication with partners to ensure mutual understanding and comfort during these times of change.

Which brings us to the importance of embracing self-care. Warm compresses, gentle massages, and choosing fabrics that are kind to sensitive skin can help offer relief. Plus, when you incorporate these self-care practices into your daily life, you create a nurturing experience in the fight against discomfort. 

Looking for a great place to start for natural self-care for your breasts? The Queen of the Thrones® Castor Oil Packs for Breasts are here to bring you gentle, comforting support!

Insomnia and perimenopause

Do you find yourself tossing and turning at night, unable to escape the clutches of insomnia? If so, you’re not alone. Many women in their forties and fifties experience a unique combination of sleep disturbances and hormonal changes known as perimenopause.7

As the body transitions into perimenopause, hormonal fluctuations can wreak havoc on your sleep patterns. Night sweats, hot flashes and mood swings become unwelcome companions, leaving you yearning for a peaceful night’s sleep. Can you relate?

Navigating sleep disturbances during menopause by Queen of the Thrones

Ever lie awake at night with your mind racing like a never-ending marathon? Perimenopause often brings with it an influx of thoughts and worries that can make falling asleep feel like an impossible task. 

Hormones play a pivotal role in regulating sleep, and the hormonal rollercoaster of perimenopause can throw this delicate balance into disarray. 

So, how do you navigate those sleepless nights and insomnia? Well, self-care of course! But not just any self-care, we’re talking all natural, simple self-care that you can do to help support all these changes without worry.

Consider adding a Castor Oil Eye Compress to your self-care routine. Castor Oil is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, making this soothing, soft compress a comforting touch in helping to ease eye strain, and help support deeper relaxation. 

The best part? You can help naturally enhance your sleep hormone melatonin!8

Perimenopause and night sweats/hot flashes

Perimenopause causes night sweats and hot flashes by Queen of the Thrones
Have you ever found yourself abruptly waking up at night drenched in sweat, searching for relief from the intense heat you’re experiencing? Welcome to the world of night sweats and hot flashes, two companions that often accompany women during the perimenopausal journey.9

Night sweats, characterized by excessive sweating during sleep, can turn your cozy haven into a battleground of damp sheets and discomfort. Are you familiar with this unexpected and unpleasant midnight heat wave?

Hot flashes can strike at any moment- day or night. The sensation of intense heat spreading across your body, accompanied by flushed skin and a rapid heartbeat, can be disruptive and confusing, seeming to have a mind of its own… 

The culprit behind these uncomfortable sensations? You guessed it- hormones. Fluctuations in estrogen levels, which are characteristic of perimenopause, can trigger the body’s internal thermostat to go haywire.

So how can you begin to make sense of these changes and find support? By adopting lifestyle adjustments and embracing supportive strategies, you can turn down the temperature, so to speak, and help work towards reclaiming more peaceful nights.

In the meantime, try a natural approach with the Hormone Balance and Detox Kit, your go-to for hormone balance, and gentle support with the natural goodness of Castor Oil!

Perimenopause and vaginal dryness

As we continue our exploration of perimenopause, another often unspoken aspect comes into focus: vaginal dryness. 

Have you noticed changes in your intimate wellness that has left you seeking answers and solutions? You’re not alone.

What you need to know about vaginal dryness by Queen of the Thrones

One of the less discussed but significant challenges during perimenopause is the onset of vaginal dryness. Changes in hormone levels, particularly a decline in estrogen, can lead to a decrease in natural lubrication, making intimate moments uncomfortable or even painful.

Estrogen, a hormone vital for maintaining the health of vaginal tissues, takes a noticeable dip during perimenopause, often resulting in changes to the vaginal lining. This can often impact moisture and elasticity.

Have you found it challenging to discuss these experiences openly?

Exploring natural support becomes essential for many women seeking comfort and relief. Thankfully, Castor Oil has been gaining more attention when it comes to supporting vaginal dryness, naturally.

Castor Oil, derived from the castor bean plant, has a rich history, containing anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties10 that make it a helpful tool in the fight against vaginal dryness. 

But how can Castor Oil support vaginal dryness?

Castor Oil’s natural emollient properties may provide a soothing touch. Applying a small amount of Castor Oil to the external vaginal area may help contribute to enhanced moisture and comfort. Sounds good, agreed?

Castor Oil Packs for perimenopause

In the midst of perimenopause, finding a comforting companion on this transformative stage of life becomes invaluable.

This is where Castor Oil Packs come in- a soothing practice that offers support for your wellness, helping to build a moment of self-care tailored to the unique challenges of perimenopause.

Castor Oil Pelvic Pack feel like a hug by Queen of the Thrones

Castor Oil boasts anti-inflammatory properties11 believed to enhance relaxation, making it an ideal candidate for those seeking a holistic approach to perimenopausal support.

Have you ever wondered about the magic hidden in this golden elixir?

Creating your personal haven of tranquility involves a simple, yet profound practice- the Castor Oil Pack. This self-care routine is similar to wrapping yourself in a cozy blanket. Sounds relaxing, right?

Now, you might be asking, “Can’t I use any regular fabric”?

Well, here’s the catch: the ideal material for Castor Oil Packs is organic cotton or wool. 

Nowadays, most clothing is made from synthetic fibers and treated with chemicals like bleach and flame retardants, which can disrupt hormones. Since Castor Oil is an excellent carrier oil that deeply absorbs, it’s crucial to use it only with organic materials against the skin.

That’s precisely why Queen of the Thrones® Castor Oil Packs were crafted by a naturopathic doctor, featuring premium organic cotton. 

This ensures not only quality and convenience, but also provides maximum benefits for your wellness.

 

Queen of the Thrones Castor Oil Packs are made of layers of certified organic materials

Why choose Castor Oil Packs for your self-care?

Stress and relaxation support:

  • Gentle compression supports oxytocin, which may help balance cortisol and move your body into a relaxed state.12
  • The cotton compress with the Castor Oil helps to stimulate pleasure centers, potentially supporting dopamine for a feel-good effect.13

Inflammation and detox support:

  • Ricinoleic acid in Castor Oil has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.14

Colon cleansing and lymphatic drainage support:

  • May support gentle colon cleansing, aiding constipation and bowel movements.15-16
  • Gentle compression of the pack is thought to act as a pump, supporting lymphatic drainage, especially in the liver area.17

Sleep and hormone balance:

  • A nightly routine enhances comfort for a restful sleep similar to a weighted blanket.18
  • May support hormone balance through liver detox, lymphatic drainage, and colon cleansing.

Microbiome and digestive support:

  • Castor Oil may help break down biofilm, potentially benefiting the microbiome19 and combating Candida via nitric oxide promotion.20
  • Placing the pack over the liver and abdomen during discomfort helps support calm, potentially balancing inflammation, and supporting good flow within the body.

Enhanced absorption:

  • May support the absorption of healthy food, supplements, and treatments, aiding digestion and overall well-being.

Sounds amazing, agreed? Get started with the Liver Castor Oil Pack for your wellness!

In closing…

Key features of perimenopause by Queen of the Thrones

So, my friend, in the midst of perimenopause, where hormonal shifts shape both the physical and emotional challenges faced by women all over the world, it’s crucial to make time for self-care. 

As you navigate the complexities, remember to embrace the importance of looking after yourself.

Whether it’s finding comfort in practices like Castor Oil Packs, or nourishing your body with nutritious foods- each element contributes to your personal self-care routine.

Make your well-being a priority, and acknowledge the challenges and changes with kindness. By focusing on self-care, you not only navigate the hurdles of perimenopause with resilience, but also lay the foundation for your well-being.

Are you a practitioner, health coach or wellness influencer? If you’re interested in recommending our easy-to-use tools and practically applying them in your health and wellness professional practice, in clinic, or online with the people you serve, you can join now!

Click here for references
  1. Tarlatzis BC, Zepiridis L. Perimenopausal conception. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2003 Nov;997:93-104. doi: 10.1196/annals.1290.011. PMID: 14644814.

  2. McCarthy M, Raval AP. The peri-menopause in a woman’s life: a systemic inflammatory phase that enables later neurodegenerative disease. J Neuroinflammation. 2020 Oct 23;17(1):317. doi: 10.1186/s12974-020-01998-9. PMID: 33097048; PMCID: PMC7585188. 
  1. Delamater L, Santoro N. Management of the Perimenopause. Clin Obstet Gynecol. 2018 Sep;61(3):419-432. doi: 10.1097/GRF.0000000000000389. PMID: 29952797; PMCID: PMC6082400.
  1. Chopra S, Sharma KA, Ranjan P, Malhotra A, Vikram NK, Kumari A. Weight Management Module for Perimenopausal Women: A Practical Guide for Gynecologists. J Midlife Health. 2019 Oct-Dec;10(4):165-172. doi: 10.4103/jmh.JMH_155_19. PMID: 31942151; PMCID: PMC6947726.
  1. Chang YC, Jou HJ, Hsiao MC, Tsao LI. Sleep quality, fatigue, and related factors among perimenopausal women in Taipei City. J Nurs Res. 2010 Dec;18(4):275-82. doi: 10.1097/JNR.0b013e3181fc6471. PMID: 21139447.
  1. Prior JC. Progesterone for Symptomatic Perimenopause Treatment – Progesterone politics, physiology and potential for perimenopause. Facts Views Vis Obgyn. 2011;3(2):109-20. PMID: 24753856; PMCID: PMC3987489.
  1. Tandon VR, Sharma S, Mahajan A, Mahajan A, Tandon A. Menopause and Sleep Disorders. J Midlife Health. 2022 Jan-Mar;13(1):26-33. doi: 10.4103/jmh.jmh_18_22. Epub 2022 May 2. PMID: 35707298; PMCID: PMC9190958.
  1. Rong-fang Hu, Xiao-ying Jiang, Yi-ming Zeng, Xiao-yang Chen, You-hua Zhang. Effects of earplugs and eye masks on nocturnal sleep, melatonin and cortisol in a simulated intensive care unit environment. Published online 2010 Apr 18. PMID: 20398302
  1. Hunter MS, Mann E. A cognitive model of menopausal hot flushes and night sweats. J Psychosom Res. 2010 Nov;69(5):491-501. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2010.04.005. Epub 2010 Jun 1. PMID: 20955869.
  1. Marwat SK, Rehman F, Khan EA, Baloch MS, Sadiq M, Ullah I, Javaria S, Shaheen S. Review – Ricinus cmmunis – Ethnomedicinal uses and pharmacological activities.Pak J Pharm Sci. 2017 Sep;30(5):1815-1827. PMID: 29084706
  1. Boddu SH1, Alsaab H2, Umar S3, Bonam SP2, Gupta H2, Ahmed S3. Anti-inflammatory effects of a novel ricinoleic acid poloxamer gel system for transdermal delivery. Int J Pharm. 2015 Feb 1;479(1):207-11. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2014.12.051. Epub 2014 Dec 24. PMID: 25542985
  1. 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
  1. 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
  1. Vieira C et al. .Effect of ricinoleic acid in acute and subchronic experimental models of inflammation. Mediators Inflamm. 2000;9(5):223-8 PMID: 11200362
  1. 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. 
  1. 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.
  1. Moore JE Jr, Bertram CD. Lymphatic System Flows. Annu Rev Fluid Mech. 2018 Jan;50:459-482. doi: 10.1146/annurev-fluid-122316-045259. PMID: 29713107; PMCID: PMC5922450.
  1. Meth EMS, Brandão LEM, van Egmond LT, Xue P, Grip A, Wu J, Adan A, Andersson F, Pacheco AP, Uvnäs-Moberg K, Cedernaes J, Benedict C. A weighted blanket increases pre-sleep salivary concentrations of melatonin in young, healthy adults. J Sleep Res. 2023 Apr;32(2):e13743. doi: 10.1111/jsr.13743. Epub 2022 Oct 3. PMID: 36184925.
  1. Andrade IM1, Andrade KM2, Pisani MX1, Silva-Lovato CH1, de Souza RF1, Paranhos Hde F1.Trial of an experimental castor oil solution for cleaning dentures. Braz Dent J. 2014 Jan-Feb;25(1):43-7.PMID: 24789291.
  1. Stasko N1, McHale K2, Hollenbach SJ2, Martin M2, Doxey R2. Nitric Oxide-Releasing Macromolecule Exhibits Broad-Spectrum Antifungal Activity and Utility as a Topical Treatment for Superficial Fungal Infections. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2018 Jun 26;62(7). pii: e01026-17. doi: 10.1128/AAC.01026-17. Print 2018.

Empowering Endometriosis Self-Care with Castor Oil Packs

Empowering Endometriosis Self-Care with Castor Oil Packs

Empowering Endometriosis Self Care with Queen of the Thrones Castor Oil

Empowering Endometriosis Self-Care with Castor Oil Packs

Written by: Heather Tanti R.P.N (non-practicing)

Medically reviewed by: Victoria Williams R.H.N.

Est. reading time: 12 minutes

In the quiet corners of countless lives, a silent struggle unfolds, one that often goes unnoticed—the battle against endometriosis. It’s the kind of pain that isn’t just physical; it’s emotional, mental, and sometimes even spiritual. It’s the ache that keeps you up at night, the discomfort that impacts your every movement, and the invisible weight that seems to crush your spirit on the toughest days.

Living with endometriosis isn’t just about enduring the physical symptoms; it’s about navigating a maze of uncertainty, frustration, and often, loneliness. It’s about struggling to explain to others why simple tasks sometimes feel like climbing mountains. It’s about battling against the stigma that surrounds “invisible illnesses” and the disbelief that often greets our pain.

Facts about endometriosis by Queen of the Thrones

Yet, amidst the struggles and the tears, there’s a resilience that burns bright within each of us. It’s the resilience that gets us out of bed on the darkest days, that pushes us to seek answers even when the medical system fails us, and that reminds us that we are more than our pain.

Beyond the medical approach lies a natural self-care support; a comforting approach to the struggles faced with endometriosis– Castor Oil Packs.

Journey with us as we explore the ups and downs of endometriosis, and how the nurturing touch of Castor Oil Packs may help support the symptoms that often weigh you down.

What is endometriosis?

Chances are you, or someone close to you has been diagnosed with endometriosis. Endometriosis is a condition that typically affects teenagers and women of reproductive age. It involves the presence of endometrial tissue outside the uterus, often leading to persistent pelvic pain and fertility problems. Diagnosing endometriosis can be slow because there’s no clear and easy way to confirm it without invasive methods. Symptoms vary, making it tough to pinpoint. Treatment usually involves using hormones and pain relievers, but they don’t always work well since endometriosis often comes back.1
What is endometriosis by Queen of the Thrones
Around 10% to 15% of women in their reproductive years are believed to have endometriosis, but this number goes up significantly to about 70% in women experiencing chronic pelvic pain. In the U.S., a recent survey found that 11.2% of women aged 18 to 45 hospitalized for issues related to the genital and urinary system were diagnosed with endometriosis. Additionally, about 10.3% of women who had gynecologic surgeries were found to have endometriosis.2 Now that we understand what endometriosis is and how common it is among women, let’s dive deeper into the signs and symptoms that often accompany this complex condition.

What is thoracic endometriosis?

Thoracic endometriosis syndrome involves the presence of endometrial tissue in or around the lungs.  It includes four specific clinical conditions:
    • Catamenial pneumothorax
    • Catamenial hemothorax
    • Hemoptysis
    • Pulmonary nodules
This syndrome is rare and complex, and clinicians frequently face challenges in diagnosing it, leading to delayed or overlooked cases. Such delays can contribute to recurrent hospitalizations and other complications.3

Symptoms of endometriosis?

As we peel back the layers of endometriosis, we uncover not just a medical diagnosis, but a relentless storm of symptoms that can wreak havoc on every aspect of life. It’s like being caught in a whirlwind of pain, uncertainty, and frustration, where every day feels like a battle against your own body.

From the relentless pelvic pain that feels like a dagger twisting in your gut to the fatigue that weighs you down like an anchor, the symptoms of endometriosis are more than just physical; they’re a constant reminder of the silent struggle raging within.

But it’s not just the pain that defines endometriosis; it’s the invisible symptoms too—the anxiety that clenches your chest, the depression that clouds your mind, and the isolation that wraps around you like a suffocating blanket. It’s the endless doctor’s appointments, the countless medications, and the never-ending search for relief that can leave you feeling lost and alone.

Endometriosis symptoms can be grouped into three categories:

1. Menstrual dysfunction

2. Ovulatory dysfunction

3. Reproductive dysfunction 

Problems with periods, like pelvic pain, painful periods, and pain during sex, are common signs of menstrual dysfunction. In younger patients with these issues, endometriosis is often found to be the cause, especially if the doctor sees unusual lesions. 

Symptoms of Endometriosis by Queens of the Thrones
Ovulatory dysfunction connected to endometriosis involves issues such as not ovulating, spotting before periods, problems in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, and something called LUF syndrome (Luteinised unruptured follicle syndrome).4 But endometriosis symptoms often go beyond the pelvic area, and can impact your entire body, including back pain, and constant lower abdominal pain often connected to bladder filling and going to the bathroom.5 The relentless struggles with endometriosis symptoms can profoundly impact every facet of one’s life. The constant pain, ranging from menstrual discomfort to persistent abdominal and back pain, becomes an unwelcome companion in daily activities. Intimate moments turn into sources of anxiety and discomfort, and even routine activities like using the bathroom become painful episodes.  The irregular menstrual cycles and fertility challenges add emotional strain, while chronic fatigue casts a heavy shadow on daily energy levels. If you’re nodding your head relating to these symptoms, you’re not alone

Stages of endometriosis

Stages of Endometriosis by Queen of the Thrones
Let’s dive into understanding the stages of endometriosis—a roadmap that sheds light on the progression and severity of this complex condition. Just as each individual’s experience with endometriosis is unique, so too are the stages that characterize its impact on the body. The American Fertility Society uses a scoring system to classify endometriosis into four stages, ranging from Stage I (minimal) to Stage IV (severe). This classification is determined by the location and size of the lesions observed during surgical procedures.6

Endometriosis diagnosis

Endometriosis is a prevalent condition, yet its diagnosis is often delayed by 8-12 years due to the diverse range of symptoms. Currently, laparoscopy stands as the gold standard for diagnosis, but exploring less invasive methods could potentially reduce the time it takes to identify the condition. Using less invasive tests like imaging, genetic tests, biomarkers, or miRNAs could be the key to making the diagnosis of endometriosis less intrusive. Research suggests that different methods may contribute differently to the diagnosis, depending on the type of endometriosis. For instance, transvaginal ultrasound is good at detecting endometriomas but not superficial/peritoneal endometriosis While various non-invasive tests show promise in diagnosing this complex condition, further research is needed before they become part of routine clinical care.7 So you see, getting to the bottom of endometriosis often feels like putting together a puzzle, except that puzzle can look different for everyone.
Endometriosis diagnosis by Queen of the Thrones

Endometriosis and treatment

When it comes to dealing with endometriosis, the current medical game plan is more about managing the condition than waving a magic cure wand. 

The good news is, many women do find relief and better control of their symptoms with medical treatments. But here’s the catch – these treatments might bring some not-so-fun side effects and can be a bit heavy on the wallet. Plus, once you hit pause on the meds, symptoms often make a comeback. 

So, it’s a bit like a balancing act between finding relief and dealing with the trade-offs of the treatment journey.8

Some of these medical treatment approaches include:

  • Hormone therapy: One of the most effective ways to manage pain from endometriosis is often through hormonal drugs, regardless of the type of endometriosis (whether it’s in the ovaries, deep, or superficial). Medications like gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogs and oral antagonists work by causing a kind of induced menopause, which helps lessen painful periods (dysmenorrhea) and other pain symptoms.9
  • Pain medications: As per the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are included in the initial pain management approach, and often include Ibuprofen, naproxen, or metamizole as suitable pain relievers.10
  • Surgical treatments: Surgical treatment for endometriosis aims to completely remove all lesions in a single procedure, offering promising long-term results for pelvic pain, recurrence, and fertility, while preserving organ functionality. The decision between surgery and medical therapy depends on factors like pregnancy plans, treatment effectiveness, potential complications, pain type and intensity, and the location/severity of the disease.11
Endometriosis treatments by Queen of the Thrones

While the above medical treatments may bring relief in the battle with endometriosis, what about natural ways to treat endometriosis?

Natural help for endometriosis

These days there is growing interest in natural ways to help support the symptoms of endometriosis, this is mainly due to the side-effects that traditional medical approaches bring in the search for relief. Complementary and alternative medicine treatments include various options like herbal remedies, acupuncture, microwave therapy, and Chinese herb enemas. These methods are believed to help ease period pain, shrink masses in the pelvic area, and improve the chances of getting pregnant, all with fewer side effects compared to hormonal or surgical treatments.12 Beyond the medicinal approach lies lifestyle approaches to supporting endometriosis symptoms, including dietary supplements. Dietary supplements like vitamin D, zinc, magnesium, omega 3, propolis, quercetin, curcumin, N-acetylcysteine, probiotics, resveratrol, alpha lipoic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCg), are thought to have properties that can help reduce inflammation, fight oxidation, slow cell growth, and support the immune system.13 So, what exactly is a good diet when it comes to endometriosis support? Best practices involve:
  1. Following a nutrient-rich diet: Eating a diet of healthy fats, hearty proteins, and heaps of vegetables that are high in micronutrients and fiber may help reduce inflammation in the body.14

     

  2.  Adding in anti-inflammatory herbs and spices: Spices and herbs like turmeric, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, cacao, dark chocolate, chamomile, mint, and others are rich in anti-inflammatory properties. They help alleviate pain and symptoms linked with endometriosis.15

     

  3. Avoiding caffeine, sugar and gluten: Excessive intake of these substances may influence blood sugar levels, potentially causing hormonal imbalances. Caffeine can affect your liver function, impacting the body’s natural detoxification process and contributing to estrogen buildup, potentially worsening symptoms.16

    4. Supporting your gut health: Taking steps to nurture your gut, such as incorporating anti-inflammatory foods (especially cruciferous vegetables, known for aiding in the removal of excess estrogen that may disrupt hormones and worsen symptoms), including probiotics in your diet, and steering clear of inflammatory foods and triggers, can help contribute to managing endometriosis.17
Queen of the Thrones good diet for endometriosis

Here’s a lunch/dinner recipe idea to get you started!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa (uncooked)
  • 2 cups mixed vegetables (broccoli, bell peppers, carrots, spinach)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (optional)
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish

Instructions:

  1.  Cook quinoa according to package instructions.
  2. In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add minced garlic and grated ginger, sautéing for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  3. Add mixed vegetables to the pan and stir-fry until they are tender yet crisp.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together tamari (or soy sauce), sesame oil, rice vinegar, and maple syrup (or honey).
  5. Pour the sauce over the vegetables, stirring to coat evenly. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add cooked quinoa to the pan, mixing well with the vegetables and sauce.
  7. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the stir-fry for added crunch (optional).
  8. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve warm.

This quinoa and vegetable stir-fry is not only delicious but also incorporates anti-inflammatory foods, supporting your journey in managing endometriosis.

Castor Oil Packs and endometriosis

Now that we’ve touched on the medical and alternative approaches to symptom support, let’s explore endometriosis self-care with Castor Oil Packs as a natural approach to your wellness.

Castor Oil Packs—a natural remedy with a rich history dating back centuries. 

Traditionally, using Castor Oil Packs involved a messy and somewhat complex process. However, modern advancements have transformed this ancient practice into a convenient and user-friendly experience. 

Queen of the Thrones® Castor Oil Packs have been designed to support your self-care and wellness with ease and simplicity. So, let’s explore the benefits of Castor Oil Packs and discover how they can help enhance your well-being and support your self-care with endometriosis.

When it comes to naturally supporting your body through the ups and downs of endometriosis, Queen of the Thrones® offers a wide range of Castor Oil Packs to bring you the self-care you deserve.

Queen of the Thrones® Pelvis & Hips Castor Oil Pack

Conditions that Queen of the Thrones® Pelvis & Hips Castor Oil Pack support

The pain, cramping and inflammation associated with endometriosis can really impact the quality of life women experience, agreed? Besides pain relievers like naproxen, ibuprofen etc. a naturally comforting approach can be used with the Queen of the Thrones® Pelvis & Hips Castor Oil Pack.

This self-care gem is like a warm, comforting hug for your pelvic area, and feels like a cozy weighted blanket.

The best part? When combined with organic Golden Castor Oil, you’re creating a self-care practice that goes beyond the surface, bringing you the benefits of Castor Oil and gentle compression from your pack.

Pelvis and Hips Castor Oil Pack clickable button
Why does compression matter? Gentle compression from the pack against your skin is thought to help stimulate receptors linked to the nervous system, triggering the activation of the vagus nerve and encouraging the release of oxytocin (the love and connection hormone).18 19 Moreover, the indulgent sensation of Castor Oil on your skin may contribute to supporting dopamine levels, potentially supporting a sense of satisfaction.20 In the context of managing endometriosis symptoms, this luxurious experience can be a comforting addition, offering relief and enhancing your well-being. Sounds good, agreed? Get your Pelvis & Hips Castor Oil Pack Now!

Moreover, gluten also acts as a prebiotic, supporting the growth of “good” bacteria in your body. It can also help imbalance of bad and good bacteria associated with gut dysbiosis.

What about dairy?

Eating dairy products is the easiest way to get vitamin D, calcium, and proteins needed for the healthy heart, bones, and muscles.

It helps maintain bone density and reduces the risk of fractures.

Studies have even suggested that the right kind of dairy may prevent heart disease.3

So, why is there so much discussion about dairy-free foods?

Well, similar to gluten, your digestive system releases the enzyme lactase to digest sugar in dairy products called lactose.

If you have a problem producing lactase, you probably have symptoms of lactose intolerance, including stomach pain, diarrhea, bloating, and nausea. Makes sense, agreed?

Moreover, evidence suggests that dairy products may improve body composition by reducing waist circumference and fat composition.4

A review of 25 studies also found that various types of yogurt were linked to the lower risk of metabolic syndrome risk factors, such as obesity, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.5

With this in mind, let’s understand more about gut glue.

What about dairy?

My best and favorite example of this is how glue is made.

White school glue, if you didn’t know, is actually edible. You can essentially make it at home with milk, flour, and baking soda, and then the ingredient that is the pièce de résistance is vinegar.

This combination is basically what happens in your belly, when you combine bread (flour) with cheese (dairy/milk) and you swallow it down into your stomach that contains your stomach acid (like vinegar, because it’s acidic!) and bicarbonate (like baking soda).6

Guess what, you’ve got glue in your belly!

So imagine what your gut is like, if you are consuming glue.

Let’s talk anatomy for a second. Ready?

Your small intestine is lined by finger-like projections called villi, that help you absorb nutrients from your food.

Gut glue could cause these projections to get stuck together and reduce your ability to properly digest your food!

In addition, because the carbohydrates and protein don’t digest well together, you get this glue moving all along your digestive tract.

All in all, it’s rarely only one thing that is causing discomfort. It is often multifactorial and there are many contributing factors and culprits.

 

Gut glue junction by Queen of the Thrones

This is simply an example where combining gluten and dairy together may not be ideal for digestion (they also happen to be some of the most common food sensitivities and allergies that people deal with).

This is not it.

According to the traditional Ayurveda medicine, excessive amounts of proteins, carbohydrates and fats should not be taken together as this leads to a feeling of heaviness in the stomach.7

Plus, milk is considered as a complete food.

It contains antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, proteins, good fats, amino acids, calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, lactose, and all nutrients necessary for a healthy body.

That is why in Ayurveda it has been advised not to take wheat products with milk.

What can you do about your digestion problems?

When we choose nourishing food combinations, time our meals accordingly, and create healthy habits like proper chewing, we reduce the chances of these uncomfortable, and sometimes painful symptoms.

Plus, adding the practice of Queen of the Thrones® Castor Oil Packs after your meal may further help with inflammation regulation and help to improve liver detoxification, lymphatic drainage and colon cleansing, which means less digestive problems. Amazing, right?

Would you love to know how Castor Oil Packs work and how they can support your gut health?

Are you a practitioner, health coach or wellness influencer? If you’re interested in recommending our easy-to-use tools and practically applying them in your health and wellness professional practice, in clinic, or online with the people you serve, you can join now!

Click here for references

1. Cömert ED, Gökmen V. Effect of food combinations and their co-digestion on total antioxidant capacity under simulated gastrointestinal conditions. Curr Res Food Sci. 2022 Feb 17;5:414-422. doi: 10.1016/j.crfs.2022.02.008. PMID: 35243354; PMCID: PMC8866489.

2. Ye EQ, Chacko SA, Chou EL, Kugizaki M, Liu S. Greater whole-grain intake is associated with lower risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and weight gain. J Nutr. 2012 Jul;142(7):1304-13. doi: 10.3945/jn.111.155325. Epub 2012 May 30. Erratum in: J Nutr. 2013 Sep;143(9):1524. PMID: 22649266; PMCID: PMC6498460.

3. Lordan R, Tsoupras A, Mitra B, Zabetakis I. Dairy Fats and Cardiovascular Disease: Do We Really Need to be Concerned? Foods. 2018 Mar 1;7(3):29. doi: 10.3390/foods7030029. PMID: 29494487; PMCID: PMC5867544.

4. Abargouei AS, Janghorbani M, Salehi-Marzijarani M, Esmaillzadeh A. Effect of dairy consumption on weight and body composition in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical trials. Int J Obes (Lond). 2012 Dec;36(12):1485-93. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2011.269. Epub 2012 Jan 17. PMID: 22249225.

5. Khorraminezhad L, Rudkowska I. Effect of Yogurt Consumption on Metabolic Syndrome Risk Factors: a Narrative Review. Curr Nutr Rep. 2021 Mar;10(1):83-92. doi: 10.1007/s13668-020-00344-y. Epub 2021 Jan 6. PMID: 33405074.

6. G. Lynn Carlson. A New approach to the baking soda-vinegar reaction. J. Chem. Educ., 1990, 67 (7), p 597 DOI: 10.1021/ed067p597. Publication Date: July 1990

7. Sabnis M. Viruddha Ahara: A critical view. Ayu. 2012 Jul;33(3):332-6. doi: 10.4103/0974-8520.108817. PMID: 23723637; PMCID: PMC3665091.

The Benefits of Castor Oil Postpartum

The Benefits of Castor Oil Postpartum

Queen of the Thrones castor oil uses for postpartum and breastfeed

The Benefits of Castor Oil Postpartum

Written by: Heather Tanti R.P.N (non-practicing)

Medically reviewed by: Victoria Williams R.H.N.

Est. reading time: 12 minutes

In the profound journey of motherhood, marked by sleepless nights and selfless sacrifices, a woman’s body undergoes amazing changes to bring life into the world. 

As we navigate the challenges of postpartum, breastfeeding, recovery and more, you can find comfort and support from Castor Oil and Queen of the Thrones® Castor Oil Packs– a gentle, natural tool to bring you mind, body and spiritual wellness.

Benefits of Castor Oil

You’ve likely heard of Castor Oil before, perhaps your grandmother swore by it for helping you go number 2? Or maybe you’ve read online it can help induce labor?

While Castor Oil traditionally has been used as a stimulant laxative when taken orally, research has shown this to be a rather harsh evacuation on your bowels, causing urgency, cramping and discomfort1.

But today, Castor Oil has been celebrated all over the world for its multi-purpose abilities, bringing you whole body wellness- without needing to consume it!

Sounds wonderful, agreed? Let’s break down a few of Castor Oil’s uses, shall we?

Castor Oil uses

Castor Oil for postpartum hair loss

Let’s be honest, most of us enjoyed how healthy looking our hair seemed to be during pregnancy, right? The shine, length and thickness visible for all to see… 

But now, it’s like it falls out in clumps after every shower… you watch it swirl down the drain with a heavy heart, knowing it once was once full of so much vitality. Can you relate?

Queen of the Thrones Castor oil for postpartum care
Sure, there’s tons of hair care products lining store shelves promising healthy looking hair, but with a little one keeping you busy, where do you find the time?

Not to worry, my friend, because we get it. Time and money are valuable these days, which is why we strive to bring you self-care that is simple and adaptable in your day-to-day life.

Find support with Castor Oil for postpartum hair loss, PLUS:

  • Support thicker, longer hair
  • Nourish breakage and split ends
  • Enhance shine and strength2

You’re going to love the Queen of the Thrones® Castor Oil Hair Mask, a nourishing, natural hair remedy you can do from the comfort of home!

But it doesn’t stop there, Castor Oil can be used for lashes and brows too!

Can I use Castor Oil on eyelashes while breastfeeding?

Castor Oil is not only great for the hair on your head, but for your lashes and brows too. But, maybe you’re wondering if this self-care practice is safe while breastfeeding?

Thankfully, the topical application of Castor Oil on your eyelashes and brows is a safe self-care practice. 

Applying Castor Oil topically on your breasts can also bring you wonderful skin-loving nutrients3 and support. Plus, you’ll be able to support your breast wellness even more with the Castor Oil Packs for Breasts!

But the postpartum phase isn’t all sunshine and roses, because there’s one thing (besides sleep debt), that weighs heavy on most new mothers- constipation.

Castor Oil for constipation post delivery

Postpartum constipation- the unwelcome guest that makes its appearance after childbirth, right? As if postpartum recovery wasn’t challenging enough, then when you add in the discomforts of constipation post delivery it can feel like you’re giving birth all over again, can you relate?

Wearing a Liver Castor Oil Pack is a safe and gentle practice that supports liver detox, inflammation4 and constipation5 6. However, if you are breastfeeding, it may be best to avoid it until you’re finished breastfeeding, to avoid toxins in breast milk. 

Good news though, mama! Postpartum is the ideal time to reset organs and nourish depleted tissues, so beginning with the Pelvic Castor Oil Pack practice is a great place to start! (Save the Liver Castor Oil Pack until after you’ve finished breastfeeding.)

Queen of the Thrones how do Castor oil pelvic packs help postpartum body

So, how does it all work to support your body postpartum?

    • May help balance inflammation in your pelvic area
    • Nourishes and supports your organs during postpartum recovery
    • Supports cleansing of the uterus & fallopian tubes
    • Enhances circulation and lymphatic drainage to this sensitive area.
    • Support for constipation post delivery.

It’s like a little helper for your hormones and gut, supporting you after the rollercoaster of childbirth.

Sounds good, agreed?

Here’s a FREE download all about Castor Oil Packs postpartum!

Don’t forget to download your Postpartum Guide on Castor Oil Packs!

Castor Oil for scars and stretch marks

So, you’re navigating the waters of postpartum, focusing on recovery and being a new mom to your little one. But maybe you’re looking to use Castor Oil for scars and stretchmarks, hoping to lessen their appearance, is this you?

Those stripes of honor from the journey of motherhood are beautiful representations, a canvas made from creating new life.

So how can we begin to support these delicate etchings on our skin?

Castor Oil is a great option for soothing scars and stretch marks while delivering essential nutrients to your skin. However, please note that if you have a fresh C-section scar or incision, refrain from applying Castor Oil or a Castor Oil Pack over the open wound.

A great way to utilize Castor Oil for scars and stretchmarks is with the Fascia Body Roller– this self-care gem is armed with refreshingly cool metal balls that roll effortlessly across your body.

Fascia body rolling may help support:

    • Enhanced circulation and lymphatic drainage
    • Breaking down scar tissue from injury, surgery, cesarean section, and/or endometriosis
    • Appearance of stretch marks, scarring, cellulite and varicose veins  postpartum
    • Tight IT bands and sore muscles through fascia release
Queen of the Thrones Castor oil for scars and stretch marks

Castor Oil & cabbage leaves for breasts

If you find yourself in the midst of swollen, tender breasts, whether during pregnancy or postpartum, you may be searching for natural relief.

Mastitis is a common, uncomfortable condition that affects many women on their postpartum and breastfeeding journey. Can you relate?

Now, you may have heard about cabbage leaves helping to support the discomfort associated with mastitis, but is there any truth to it?

Using cabbage leaves may help alleviate breast engorgement pain and extend breastfeeding duration. Some studies indicate its effectiveness, while others suggest it may not be as useful.7

Queen of the Thrones Castor oil and cabbage for breasts

How does Castor Oil combined with cabbage leaves offer support?

Using Castor Oil and cabbage leaves is a bit of a home remedy approach that some people try to help with mastitis. Now, keep in mind, these aren’t proven cures, and what works can vary from person to person.

So, with Castor Oil, some folks think it might help because it’s believed to have anti-inflammatory properties in the form of ricinoleic acid. Applying Castor Oil Packs to your sore breast(s) may help calm down the inflammation and make things feel a bit better. Also, massaging with Castor Oil might support blood circulation, which could be helpful in fighting off any potential infection.

Now, cabbage leaves. People sometimes use chilled cabbage leaves as a sort of cold compress for their breasts. It’s supposed to be soothing and might help with the pain and swelling. 

How exactly do you combine this duo to help support breast discomfort? Get the recipe in the free download below!

Melanie and her son from Queen of the Thrones postpartum

So, mama, embracing the wonders of Castor Oil and Castor Oil Packs can be a game-changer as you navigate the beautiful, yet challenging postpartum journey.

As you cradle your little one and savor those precious moments, consider incorporating these natural remedies into your self-care routine. The nurturing properties of Castor Oil can lend a comforting hand, offering support during this transformative period.

Here’s to finding solace in the simplicity of Castor Oil– a gentle companion for every new mom as she begins the amazing adventure of motherhood.

Visit the shop below for some much-deserved self-care shopping, mama!

*Remember, always check with your healthcare provider before beginning any new practice to ensure it is right for you.*

Are you a practitioner, health coach or wellness influencer? If you’re interested in recommending our easy-to-use tools and practically applying them in your health and wellness professional practice, in clinic, or online with the people you serve, you can join now!

Click here for references
  1. Mascolo N1, Izzo AA, Autore G, Barbato F, Capasso F.Nitric oxide and castor oil-induced diarrhea.J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1994 Jan;268(1):291-5. PMID: 8301570 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8301570
  2. McMullen R, Jachowicz J. Optical properties of hair: effect of treatments on luster as quantified by image analysis. J Cosmet Sci. 2003 Jul-Aug;54(4):335-51. PMID: 14528387. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14528387/
  3. Marwat SK, Rehman F, Khan EA, Baloch MS, Sadiq M, Ullah I, Javaria S, Shaheen S. Review – Ricinus cmmunis – Ethnomedicinal uses and pharmacological activities.Pak J Pharm Sci. 2017 Sep;30(5):1815-1827. PMID: 29084706 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29084706
  4. Vieira C et al. .Effect of ricinoleic acid in acute and subchronic experimental models of inflammation. Mediators Inflamm. 2000;9(5):223-8 PMID: 11200362 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11200362
  5. 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 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21168117
  6. 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 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22615395
  7. Boi B, Koh S, Gail D. The effectiveness of cabbage leaf application (treatment) on pain and hardness in breast engorgement and its effect on the duration of breastfeeding. JBI Libr Syst Rev. 2012;10(20):1185-1213. doi: 10.11124/01938924-201210200-00001. PMID: 27820535.

 

Can I use Castor Oil during pregnancy?

Can I use Castor Oil during pregnancy?

Can I use Castor Oil during pregnancy by Queen of the Thrones

Can I use Castor Oil during pregnancy?

Written by: Heather Tanti R.P.N (non-practicing)

Medically reviewed by: Victoria Williams R.H.N.

Est. reading time: 15 minutes

Within a mother’s heart lies hidden stories of incredible strength, shared in the lullabies sung to nurture the hopes, dreams, and the tiny life growing inside. 

Pregnancy is a canvas on which life flourishes, a journey marked with unfading symbols of love and sacrifice. However, behind the soft glow and beauty of motherhood lies the unspoken toll it takes on a woman’s body. Can you relate?

On the hunt for relief and support, mothers-to-be turn to remedies like Castor Oil, seeking solace from the stretch marks, tiredness, and the telltale signs of this beautiful journey etched upon their skin.

 But with this come questions of uncertainty… 

 Is it safe?… How can it be used? … 

 With so much conflicting information, where do you begin? This blog will aim to answer those pressing questions, finding ways for you to find comfort in Mother Nature’s nourishing touch.

Can I drink Castor Oil while pregnant?

queen of the thrones risks of drinking castor oil during pregnancy

In the whirlwind of advice and home remedies, the idea of drinking Castor Oil in late-stage pregnancy is sure to come up in conversation. It’s a question that’s likely to cross the minds of many expectant mothers searching for relief, as it’s thought to be a quick way to induce labor… 

We get it, those last few weeks of pregnancy can feel like an eternity, right? And you might be tempted to try anything to kickstart labor… But, before you reach for that bottle of Castor Oil, let’s talk about the potential dangers.

Why drinking Castor Oil can be risky?

You’ve probably heard the rumors- some people swear by drinking Castor Oil to induce labor. The idea is that it works by irritating your bowels that causes contractions of the intestines and uterus.

But here’s the thing: It’s risky business.

Drinking Castor Oil during pregnancy puts you and your baby at risk, and it should ONLY be done under the supervision of your doctor or midwife.

Even if it’s taken in late-stage pregnancy as a support to induce labor, it can cause  stomach cramps, and a one-way ticket to diarrhea town.

Not exactly the glamorous entrance into labor you had in mind, right?

Castor Oil during pregnancy may cause preterm labor

While there are many natural remedies available, it’s important to be aware of any potential risks associated with them. Castor Oil is a natural product that has been used for centuries for various purposes, including inducing labor1 Castor Oil is known to stimulate the bowels and cause contractions in the intestines. Once released in the intestine, it binds to receptors in the smooth muscle cells of the intestinal walls, causing them to contract and move waste through the colon2.
Queen of the Thrones Castor oil and preterm labour

This is why Castor Oil is often used as a natural laxative, and when used during pregnancy may lead to uterine contractions, increasing the risk of premature labor and delivery, which can be dangerous for both mother and baby.

It is always best to consult with your healthcare provider before using any natural remedies during pregnancy.

Castor Oil’s star ingredient: Ricinoleic acid

Castor Oil’s magic comes from ricinoleic acid, a unique fatty acid that is not found in many other vegetable oils. It has been found to have anti-inflammatory3, analgesic, and antibacterial4 properties.  This makes it a popular choice for a variety of uses, from promoting hair growth to relieving constipation. When applied topically, it can help hydrate and moisturize dry skin, and may even help the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles!  With its many benefits and versatile uses, it’s no wonder Castor Oil has been a staple in natural medicine for centuries, agreed?
Queen of the Thrones ricinoleic acid in Castor Oil

However, to be on the safe side, since it’s unclear whether the topical use of Castor Oil could promote uterine contractions, it should be avoided during pregnancy altogether.

Can a Castor Oil Pack be worn during pregnancy?

Castor Oil Packs are a wonderful approach to natural self-care, and are ideal for supporting gentle liver detox, lymphatic drainage, balanced inflammation and deeper sleep (just to name a few!).

However, whether you’re a long time Castor Oil Pack user or you’re new to this wonderful self-care practice, you will have to put your beloved Castor Oil Pack aside for the duration of your pregnancy.

Why is this? Well, because Castor Oil is widely used by midwives to stimulate labor when consumed orally5, it is unclear if topical application has the same effect. To err on the side of caution, it is best to avoid Castor Oil Packs during pregnancy to limit any potential risks to you or your baby.

Queen of the Thrones risks of drinking Castor oil while pregnant

How to use Castor Oil Packs postpartum

Congratulations, Momma! You made it to the postpartum period, which is a testament to the strength and resilience of your body after 9 months of nurturing new life. It’s natural to feel a bit lost in this new chapter, especially when it comes to postpartum care.

Are you wondering how or where to get started with Castor Oil Packs now that your pregnancy is over? You’re not alone, and you’re in the right place!

Queen of the Thrones Castor Oil for postpartum

Postpartum is a crucial time for new mothers, and it’s important to prioritize self-care during this period

A Castor Oil Pack worn on the pelvic area is a natural way to support your body’s recovery process, and bring you some much-deserved comfort!

Wearing a pelvic Castor Oil Pack may help your organs reset by supporting inflammation balance6 and circulation via nitric oxide promotion7. They’re also great for relaxation and stress-relief (every new momma’s dream!)

The Queen of the Thrones® Pelvis & Hips Castor Oil Pack is like a comforting warm hug for your pelvic area that deeply deserves some tender loving care.

As always, make sure to check with your healthcare provider before trying any new postpartum care routines.

Click the button below to download your FREE infographic: Castor Oil Packs Postpartum.

Don’t forget to download your Postpartum Guide on Castor Oil Packs!

Conclusion

Thanks for having this heart-to-heart chat with us about navigating Castor Oil during pregnancy. While a supportive practice to enjoy daily, it’s important to remember to put your beloved Castor Oil Packs and Castor Oil aside for the duration of your pregnancy. 

Thankfully, you can begin to look forward to creating a postpartum self-care routine that is natural and safe once your baby arrives with Queen of the Thrones® Castor Oil Packs.

Don’t forget to download your Postpartum Guide on Castor Oil Packs!

Don’t forget to download your Postpartum Guide on Castor Oil Packs!

Wishing you warmth and wellness during this special time.

Disclaimer: Queen of the Thrones® Castor Oil is for topical use only. Always talk to your doctor before starting any new practice. Do not use Queen of the Thrones® Castor Oil during pregnancy or on open wounds. This is not intended to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose any disease. This is not medical advice. This is for educational purposes only. Results vary.

Click here for references
  1. Kozhimannil KB, Johnson PJ, Attanasio LB, Gjerdingen DK, McGovern PM. Use of nonmedical methods of labor induction and pain management among U.S. women. Birth. 2013;40(4):227–236. doi:10.1111/birt.12064 PMID: 24344703 

  2. 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

  3. Vieira C et al. .Effect of ricinoleic acid in acute and subchronic experimental models of inflammation. Mediators Inflamm. 2000;9(5):223-8 PMID: 11200362 

  4. Al-Mamun MA, Akter Z, Uddin MJ, Ferdaus KM, Hoque KM, Ferdousi Z, Reza MA. Characterization and evaluation of antibacterial and antiproliferative activities of crude protein extracts isolated from the seed of Ricinus communis in Bangladesh. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2016 Jul 12;16:211. doi: 10.1186/s12906-016-1185-y. PMID: 27405609; PMCID: PMC4942971. 

  5. Moradi M, Niazi A, Mazloumi E, Lopez V. Effect of Castor Oil on Cervical Ripening and Labor Induction: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Pharmacopuncture. 2022 Jun 30;25(2):71-78. doi: 10.3831/KPI.2022.25.2.71. PMID: 35837141; PMCID: PMC9240406.

  6. Vieira C et al. .Effect of ricinoleic acid in acute and subchronic experimental models of inflammation. Mediators Inflamm. 2000;9(5):223-8 PMID: 11200362 

  7. Mascolo N1, Izzo AA, Autore G, Barbato F, Capasso F.Nitric oxide and castor oil-induced diarrhea.J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1994 Jan;268(1):291-5. PMID: 8301570
4 Benefits of Castor Oil for Men’s Health

4 Benefits of Castor Oil for Men’s Health

Queen of the Thrones Castor oil pack for men

4 Benefits of Castor Oil for Men’s Health

Written by: Heather Tanti R.P.N (non-practicing)

Medically reviewed by: Victoria Williams R.H.N.

Est. reading time: 14 minutes

For men, taking charge of your well-being involves more than just hitting the gym or taking your supplements- it’s about holistic self-care. One often overlooked companion in the realm of men’s health is Castor Oil, a versatile and natural oil that seamlessly integrates into your daily routine, offering a range of benefits for both physical and mental well-being.

Let’s explore how incorporating Queen of the Thrones® Castor Oil and Castor Oil Packs into your self-care may help support your journey towards wellness and balance in your daily life.

Benefit 1: Castor Oil for men’s hair

Did you know that Castor Oil has gained popularity for its potential benefits in supporting hair growth, shine and more?

Because Castor Oil is rich in fatty acids, it is believed to help nourish the scalp, strengthen hair, and may even help stimulate hair growth, naturally!

Castor Oil for men’s facial hair

Queen of the Thrones nourish your hair with Castor oil

Have you found yourself struggling with growing facial hair? Tirelessly trying product after product, searching for one that helps you grow a beard or moustache easier?

Or maybe you’ve already grown facial hair, but it’s so itchy and rough that you struggle to keep it. Is this you?

Have you considered Castor Oil? This natural oil is packed full of fatty acids that are thought to help support the look and feel of your hair, including facial hair. But how?

Many of Castor Oil’s beneficial properties come from 4 fatty acids:

Ricinoleic acid: Thought to help enhance blood circulation via nitric oxide promotion1 2 and support healthy-looking hair due to its potential antifungal and antimicrobial properties.3

Oleic acid: Considered to contribute to beard softness and hydration, by potentially providing moisturizing benefits for your hair.4

Stearic acid: Stearic acid is thought to preserve natural hair color by acting as an emollient. This can indirectly enhance color perception by supporting overall hair shaft health. Well-moisturized and healthy hair is less susceptible to damage, supporting less breakage, and contributing to vibrant, long-lasting color. Additionally, stearic acid is believed to help control excess oiliness in the hair.5

Linoleic acid: Thought to help contribute to the retention of moisture in beard hair follicles, potentially preventing dryness and supporting overall beard health.6

Isn’t it amazing what four simple fatty acids may do to support your hair? Let’s keep going!

Castor Oil for razor burn

Razor burn is an all-too-familiar companion for many men, causing discomfort, redness and irritation after a close shave. While there are various remedies available at local stores, Castor Oil for men is gaining traction for natural support against the irritating struggle with razor burn.

Razor burn occurs when the skin becomes irritated after shaving, often due to friction, sensitive skin, or dull blades. 

Common symptoms can include:

    • Redness
    • Itching
    • Inflammation
    • Discomfort

Plus, men with coarse or curly facial hair are often more prone to experiencing razor burn. So, how can Castor Oil, particularly Castor Oil for men, help support the frustrating aftermath of razor burn?

Queen of the Thrones Castor oil supports razor burn
Anti-inflammatory properties: Castor Oil contains ricinoleic acid, a supportive, natural anti-inflammatory fatty acid7 that may help ease redness and swelling often associated with razor burn. Applying a small amount of Castor Oil to the affected areas may help soothe irritated skin, naturally.

Moisturizing effect: One major irritation with razor burn is dry and flaky skin. Castor Oil is known for its moisturizing qualities8, bringing natural hydration to the skin, helping to support dryness that may exacerbate razor burn symptoms.

Rich in fatty acids: As discussed earlier, Castor Oil is rich in fatty acids, including ricinoleic acid, which has both antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It also contains oleic, stearic and linoleic acid which help contribute to the oils ability to soothe irritated skin.9

Curious to discover more uses of Castor Oil for hair support? Keep reading!

Castor Oil for receding hairline

Have you ever wondered what causes a receding hairline? Well, there are many factors, from lifestyle choices to hormones that may contribute to this confidence-depleting struggle.

Can you relate to any of the above? You’re not alone. In fact, by the time men hit 80, about 80% of them are dealing with male pattern baldness.10 

This isn’t just about hair; it’s got some pretty hefty psychosocial effects, impacting self-esteem, the perception of how others view you, and so much more.

So how does Castor Oil come in for support? Some people believe that massaging Castor Oil into the scalp can help stimulate hair growth, by helping blood circulation, and providing essential nutrients.

However, scientific evidence of this claim is limited, so realistic expectations need to be considered if trying this natural method. 

Queen of the Thrones Castor oil and Castor oil Packs helps receding hair line

Castor Oil for men’s dandruff

Dandruff is a common scalp condition that can affect men both physically and mentally, often causing itching, flaking, and discomfort. Can you relate?

While the exact cause of dandruff varies, factors such as dry skin, fungal overgrowth, or sensitivity to hair products may contribute to its development.

With many products lining the shelves promising relief, it can be difficult to distinguish where you should start, agreed? 

Why not start with Castor Oil? Due to its moisturizing properties, massaging Castor Oil into your scalp may help hydrate skin, potentially helping to limit flaking and itching..

Queen of the Thrones Castor oil fights dandruff

Additionally, Castor Oil contains fatty acids and antioxidants that might contribute to the overall wellness of your scalp.

However, while Castor Oil may offer potential benefits for alleviating dandruff, it should be considered as part of a broader approach to scalp care, including proper hygiene practices, and professional guidance when needed.

Benefit 2: Castor Oil for testosterone

Have you, or someone close to you been struggling with testosterone levels? 

Testosterone is a key male sex hormone that plays an important role in maintaining muscle mass, bone density, energy levels, and overall well-being.11 And as men age, testosterone levels may naturally begin to decline.

Lately there’s been growing interest and talk about Castor Oil and Castor Oil Packs for supporting hormone balance.

So, let’s explore the potential benefits of Castor Oil when it comes to testosterone and hormone balance, shall we?

Because Castor Oil is known to be rich in fatty acids, especially ricinoleic acid, the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties are believed to help support hormone balance, including testosterone.

And when you add a Castor Oil Pack practice into your self-care routine, it is thought to help your body’s natural regulatory processes work better, including…

And so much more!

Because Castor Oil has anti-inflammatory properties, it is thought to help support hormone balance. Why is this important? Well, studies have shown that chronic inflammation has been linked to lower testosterone levels.12

So, using a Castor Oil Pack, like the Queen of the Thrones® Liver Castor Oil Pack, may be a supportive addition to your self-care routine.

Queen of the Thrones why is testosterone important

Castor Oil for male fertility

Recently, there has been growing interest in natural remedies that may support male fertility. Have you heard this too?

While research is limited, some believe that Castor Oil may offer certain benefits for male reproductive health.

Thanks to Castor Oil’s nutrient composition, including vitamin E and fatty acids, it makes a great natural option for those looking for a companion to support their wellness and fertility.

Queen of the Thrones Golden Castor Oil for mens wellness and health
Plus, because Castor Oil is believed to help with inflammation, a factor that can impact fertility13, some people suggest that the anti-inflammatory properties could potentially have a positive impact on reproductive wellness in men.

One popular application of Castor Oil involves the use of Castor Oil Packs on the abdomen, like the Queen of the Thrones® Liver Castor Oil Pack. Incorporating a Castor Oil Pack practice into your daily routine is thought to help enhance blood circulation in the pelvic region, potentially offering support to reproductive organs.

 

Castor Oil for prostate

The search for natural approaches to support prostate health is vast, and for some, has led them to the potential benefits of Castor Oil and Castor Oil Packs as a holistic approach to prostate wellness.

Castor Oil’s nutrient-rich profile may provide support for prostate wellness, especially the anti-inflammatory component, ricinoleic acid. Because inflammation is known to be a common factor associated with prostate issues14, ricinoleic acid, when applied topically, may help bring additional support when managing inflammation within the prostate gland.

Queen of the Thrones support prostate wellness holistically

Looking to enhance your Castor Oil experience? Try utilizing Castor Oil with a Liver Castor Oil Pack

This easy, self-care practice may help encourage absorption of those beneficial nutrients found in Castor Oil, as well as provide a relaxing experience for you to unwind with.

Benefit 3: Castor Oil for hydrocele

Have you heard of a condition known as hydrocele? A hydrocele develops when fluid builds up between the layers that surround the testis and spermatic cord, referred to as the tunica vaginalis. 

This accumulation of fluid is caused by an imbalance in the secretion and reabsorption of fluid within the tunica vaginalis, and can either be congenital or acquired, usually through infection, injury or at times, malignancy.15

Sometimes hydrocele will go away on its own, while other times surgery may be required. However, supporting this condition, and modern medicine therapies with a holistic self-care addition may be beneficial.

So, in combination with doctors’ recommendations, adapting a natural self-care practice into your routine, such as with the topical use of Castor Oil, may help bring additional benefits to the things you are already doing.

Queen of the Thrones holistic approach to hydrocele management

How can Castor Oil help?

In a holistic wellness approach, your healthcare provider may suggest applying Castor Oil directly to the hydrocele as part of a broader treatment plan. This method is considered potentially helpful, particularly in cases where hydroceles result from injuries. 

Castor Oil contains ricinoleic acid, a fatty acid known for its anti-inflammatory properties. As a result, the topical application of Castor Oil for men may help contribute to the reduction of pain, swelling, and other discomfort associated with hydrocele. Always follow your doctor’s recommendations for a well-rounded approach to managing your condition.

Benefit 4: Castor Oil Packs for men’s wellness

In recent years there has been a growing interest in holistic approaches to men’s wellness, with individuals seeking natural remedies like Castor Oil Packs to help support their overall well-being.

Castor Oil Packs for constipation

Castor Oil Packs are commonly used to support digestive well-being. When applied to the abdomen, like the Liver Castor Oil Pack, Castor Oil’s unique composition, with the gentle compression of the pack is thought to help stimulate blood circulation and lymphatic drainage.16

This makes Castor Oil Packs a helpful self-care practice when it comes to addressing issues such as bloating and constipation, helping to bring gentle, supportive relief in your day-to-day routine.

Castor Oil Packs for relaxation

Queen of the Thrones Castor oil Packs for mens wellness
We could all use a little more relaxation, agreed? But with the busy hustle of life, relaxing often gets tossed onto the backburner for when there’s ‘time’… Can you relate?

So, how can Castor Oil Packs help support your relaxation? The process of applying a Castor Oil Pack can be a calming experience in itself. Taking the time for self-care and mindfulness during this practice may help contribute to less stress and anxiety.

How? Well, it is thought that the gentle compression of the pack adds a tactile element, helping to shift your body into the parasympathetic state of rest and digest.17 Sounds good, agreed?

Castor Oil Packs for sleep

Quality sleep is a cornerstone of wellness, agreed? When we don’t get enough sleep it can have a domino effect on various aspects of our well-being, including physical and mental wellness.

Establishing a consistent bedtime routine is crucial for signaling the body that it’s time to wind down, and incorporating a Castor Oil Pack practice into your nightly routine can help signal the mind and body that it’s time to relax.

Because the Castor Oil Pack acts like a gentle weighted blanket, they may help to build a sleep cycle that naturally supports your sleep hormone- melatonin through gentle compression.18

In closing…

When it comes to men’s wellness, there’s often an unspoken journey that gets overshadowed by stereotypes and societal expectations. One that demands self-care, acknowledgement of vulnerabilities, and a genuine commitment to well-being.

In this instance, Castor Oil Packs become more than a self-care practice, but a symbol that aims to help break free from the stigma that has long surrounded men’s wellness.

Imagine a nightly practice, a moment set out in the quiet of the evening when the rest of the world settles down. It’s here that the Castor Oil Pack becomes more than just a routine, but an act of defiance against the thought that men should shy away from tending to their emotional and physical needs.

It’s about acknowledging that, just like everyone else, men are entitled to moments of reflection, moments to address stress, and moments to embrace the beauty of vulnerability without shame.

Are you a practitioner, health coach or wellness influencer? If you’re interested in recommending our easy-to-use tools and practically applying them in your health and wellness professional practice, in clinic, or online with the people you serve, you can join now!

Click here for references

 

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  2. Mascolo N, Izzo AA, Gaginella TS, Capasso F. Relationship between nitric oxide and platelet-activating factor in castor-oil induced mucosal injury in the rat duodenum. Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 1996 May;353(6):680-4. doi: 10.1007/BF00167187. PMID: 8738301
  3. Mysore V, Arghya A. Hair Oils: Indigenous Knowledge Revisited. Int J Trichology. 2022 May-Jun;14(3):84-90. doi: 10.4103/ijt.ijt_189_20. Epub 2022 May 24. PMID: 35755964; PMCID: PMC9231528.
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  6. Ryu HS, Jeong J, Lee CM, Lee KS, Lee JN, Park SM, Lee YM. Activation of Hair Cell Growth Factors by Linoleic Acid in Malva verticillata Seed. Molecules. 2021 Apr 7;26(8):2117. doi: 10.3390/molecules26082117. PMID: 33917070; PMCID: PMC8067726.
  7. Vieira C et al. .Effect of ricinoleic acid in acute and subchronic experimental models of inflammation. Mediators Inflamm. 2000;9(5):223-8 PMID: 11200362
  8. Purnamawati S, Indrastuti N, Danarti R, Saefudin T. The Role of Moisturizers in Addressing Various Kinds of Dermatitis: A Review. Clin Med Res. 2017 Dec;15(3-4):75-87. doi: 10.3121/cmr.2017.1363. Epub 2017 Dec 11. PMID: 29229630; PMCID: PMC5849435.
  9. Marwat SK, Rehman F, Khan EA, Baloch MS, Sadiq M, Ullah I, Javaria S, Shaheen S. Review – Ricinus cmmunis – Ethnomedicinal uses and pharmacological activities.Pak J Pharm Sci. 2017 Sep;30(5):1815-1827. PMID: 29084706
  10. Hagenaars SP, Hill WD, Harris SE, Ritchie SJ, Davies G, Liewald DC, Gale CR, Porteous DJ, Deary IJ, Marioni RE. Genetic prediction of male pattern baldness. PLoS Genet. 2017 Feb 14;13(2):e1006594. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1006594. PMID: 28196072; PMCID: PMC5308812.
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  12. Li Y, Liu M, Cui Y, Zhu Z, Chen J, Zeng F, Gao M, Li Y, Huang F, Chen H. Increased risk of testosterone deficiency is associated with the systemic immune-inflammation index: a population-based cohort study. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2022 Aug 16;13:974773. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2022.974773. PMID: 36051392; PMCID: PMC9424499.
  13. Azenabor A, Ekun AO, Akinloye O. Impact of Inflammation on Male Reproductive Tract. J Reprod Infertil. 2015 Jul-Sep;16(3):123-9. PMID: 26913230; PMCID: PMC4508350.
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  18. Meth EMS, Brandão LEM, van Egmond LT, Xue P, Grip A, Wu J, Adan A, Andersson F, Pacheco AP, Uvnäs-Moberg K, Cedernaes J, Benedict C. A weighted blanket increases pre-sleep salivary concentrations of melatonin in young, healthy adults. J Sleep Res. 2023 Apr;32(2):e13743. doi: 10.1111/jsr.13743. Epub 2022 Oct 3. PMID: 36184925.