Castor Oil In Belly Button?
Written by: Victoria Williams R.H.N.
Est. reading time: 8 minutes
You’re scrolling along, and you see reel after reel of influencers slathering their abdomens in Castor Oil. On each of those trim tums, you see the Castor Oil pooling up in their belly button and the influencer tells you that this is the magical method to alleviate all sorts of complaints. But is there any truth to it?
Maybe you’ve wondered this yourself because these same social platforms also promoted other questionable “health cures”. Can you relate or what?
Well, in this blog, we’re going to scour this trend and reveal what’s useful, what’s not, and how you can get closer to your wellness goals by using Castor Oil.
Understanding your Belly Button
First, let’s explore some truths about that little knot on your abdomen, shall we?
So, you might not think of it this way, but your belly button really is a magical little place. Why? Well, it played an important role in your development. Literally!
You see, your navel is basically the scar left over from where you and your mother were once connected. Your belly button is the remnant of your original life line – the umbilical cord.
While you were in the womb, this cord was the vehicle through which you received nourishment. You even used it to breathe. Then after you were born, the cord was cut, leaving you with the cute little innie or outie you have today.
And now, even though the channels that once carried life-sustaining nutrition are gone, your belly button still connects you to thousands of years of maternal lineage. Fascinating, agreed?
So, when it comes to self-care practices, you can see why there is so much focus on the navel. It’s sacred, it’s conveniently located right in front of your digestive organs, it’s surrounded by plenty of nerves, and it separates the quadrants of your abdomen!
1. Because the belly button was your lifeline for nourishment in the womb, it is considered to be a sacred place on your body.
2. Belly button oiling has its roots in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Indian Ayurveda where it is sometimes called the Pechoti Method.
3. Navel oiling may provide some benefits, but you can deepen your practice by wearing a Castor Oil Pack.
4. The umbilical cord is a source of stem cells that have many uses especially in the area of anti-aging as they have the potential to create many different cell types1.
Can the belly button help in healing?
“Belly button healing” is an umbrella term for the practice of applying oil in and around your navel. This practice has roots in Indian Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine, where practitioners consider the belly button to be the center for psychological, physical, and spiritual healing.
The notion behind belly button healing has to do with its close proximity to the vagus nerve. So what’s the vagus nerve, you ask?
What is the vagus nerve?
In Latin, vagus means wandering, and that’s exactly what the vagus nerve does in your body. It’s your longest cranial nerve starting at your brain and extending down to your abdomen near your belly button.
Think of it as your body’s intricate communication highway, playing a crucial role in connecting your brain to various vital organs and functions, especially your involuntary or parasympathetic nervous system. Not only that, but this remarkable nerve facilitates sensory data transmission from your throat, heart, lungs, abdomen, and even taste perception from your tongue.
So, the basis of belly button healing – stimulate the vagus nerve via your belly button, and tap into the superhighway of wellness.
Ayurveda (navel oiling) and the Pechoti Method
So, what is the Pechoti Method? Well, it’s a practice centered around the Pechoti which is, as Dr. Smita Naram describes in an interview with The Indian Express:
“Pechoti is a point located at the centre of the body, approximately above the naval area. The Pechoti Intake Method is a process where one can absorb natural essential oil through one’s belly button for pain relief and relaxation. Traditionally, it was practiced by incorporating a number of essential oils based on their respective benefits and properties”.
According to Ayruvedic practitioners, the Pechoti Method (also known as navel oiling) may provide some benefit by supporting a sensation of groundedness, warmth, and nourishment. Navel oiling is thought to pacify and soothe.
In Ayurveda, applying warm oils in your belly button is said to support issues related to indigestion and discomfort caused by gas and bloating. It is also believed to balance your digestive fire as well as regular daily bowel movements to help your body with detoxification.
The navel in Traditional Chinese Medicine
Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine call the belly button shen que or spirit gate. As with Ayurveda, the Chinese tradition regards the navel as an important point because of its role in fetal development. And as an acupuncture or acupressure point, belly button stimulation is thought to help with all sorts of conditions from prostate issues to tennis elbow.
Ilchi Lee, author of the book, The Secret to Health is in the Belly Button, suggests that:
“By stimulating the navel, you pump the nutrients, toxins, waste, lymph, and blood gathered in your abdomen, causing them to pass through more easily, which helps your systems stay clear and flowing. It also warms your abdomen, which increases immune function, and relaxes muscles and fascia, which calms you and helps you breathe more deeply, sending more oxygen to your body and brain.”
Based on this it makes sense that, by adding warm oil to your belly button and giving it a gentle massage, you support better overall wellness. But, if nothing else, you’ll just enjoy a relaxing moment of self-care. Nothing wrong with that, agreed?
The benefits of putting Castor Oil in your navel
Let’s first take a look at what makes Castor Oil unique compared to other popular oils:
- Castor Oil contains 85-92% ricinoleic acid, a fatty acid that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties via a reduction of substance P3.
- Ricinoleic acid in Castor Oil has also been shown to support smooth muscle peristalsis (involuntary contractions) in your digestive tract4.
- Shown to promote nitric oxide5 6, an antioxidant that supports better blood flow and circulation, the nitric oxide in Castor Oil may also help to kill Candida.7
- Castor Oil has an abundance of skin-loving nutrients like vitamin E, omegas, and polyphenols making it extremely emollient and soothing for skin8 9.
Castor Oil in your belly button for hair growth
One reason people seem to love putting Castor Oil in their belly button is to help support healthier looking hair. Oil in the navel is thought to stimulate hair follicles and improve hair quality, leading to thicker and shinier locks.
But, here’s the thing: While putting oil in your belly button might have some benefit, at the moment it isn’t scientifically supported to help with hair growth, texture, or thickness.
On the other hand, there is evidence that Castor Oil may help support hair quality when you use it directly on your scalp.
According to research, the fatty acids in Castor Oil act as natural emollients that help condition your hair from root to tip10 11, and a study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Science found that Castor Oil improved the luster of hair12.
So, it won’t hurt to put Castor Oil in your belly button, but you might see more results by using Castor Oil on your hair and scalp directly. An easy way to do this is with the Queen of the Thrones® Castor Oil Hair Wrap.
Castor Oil in your belly button to support liver and digestion
So, inside the developing fetus, the umbilical veins and arteries form connections with the circulatory system, liver, and bladder. Following birth, when the newborn takes their first breath and the umbilical cord is cut, these internal segments of the umbilical veins and arteries gradually transform into ligaments. Remarkably, these ligaments remain attached within the belly button13.
One of these ligaments travels through the liver, while another reaches down into the pelvic region, where some portions of it may continue to play a role in your circulatory system near the bladder.
The long and the short of all this is that putting Castor Oil into your belly button may support liver and digestive wellness, but a more direct and impactful way to support these systems is by wearing a Liver Castor Oil Pack for an hour each day or overnight.
Why, you ask?
Well, wearing a Castor Oil Pack regularly may help support your liver and digestion, but it may also help support better bowel movements, less constipation, and bloating1. This, most likely, is because you’re putting more oil in a pack than you would your navel. Then, because the pack may help with oxytocin production15 and a greater sense of relaxation,16 17 you’re able to detox more thoroughly which tends to result in more overall wellness.
Basically, if you’re going to put Castor Oil anywhere, the best place is to put it in a Castor Oil Pack and then wear it consistently for optimum support. Queen of the Thrones® has a kit that makes it super easy and less-messy!
Would you love to know how Castor Oil Packs help support liver detox, lymphatic drainage and colon cleansing? Download your free infographic to see why.
Castor Oil in navel for weight loss
Castor Oil Packs work by helping you balance your body and its systems, and this may ultimately support weight loss. You see, when you balance inflammation and allow your body to cleanse naturally, weight loss tends to happen on its own. But don’t expect to have results overnight!
The gentle compression of wearing a Castor Oil Pack also supports oxytocin production15, a hormone that’s been linked to weight loss19.
Your body will need time to balance and find its own rhythm, so the best way you can support this process is to stay consistent with your Castor Oil Pack self-care routine.
How to use Castor Oil in the belly button
Time: 5 minutes
- Queen of the Thrones® Organic Castor Oil
- Rosemary essential oil
- Organic ginger or lavender essential oil
Blend 1: Belly Blend for Digestion
- 2 teaspoons Organic Castor Oil
- 2 drops ginger or lavender essential oil
Blend 2: Wellness Blend for Inflammation Balance
- 2 teaspoons Organic Castor Oil
- 2 drops rosemary essential oil
Mix the oils until well combined, and store in a glass jar, preferably amber. If you don’t have amber glass, store in a glass container away from sunlight.
- Rinse or clean out your belly button, and let it dry.
- Lie down somewhere comfortable, like your bed or couch. Try to relax, and put any stressful thoughts at ease.
- Add 3 drops of your favorite oil blend into your belly button, and let it absorb for a few minutes until the temperature becomes lukewarm.
- Massage the remaining oil delicately around your navel area in a clockwise manner until fully absorbed.
Please note: These recipes make enough for multiple servings – you only need about 3 drops in your belly button at one time. If you’re typically sensitive to essential oils, you may reduce the dilution to 1 drop of essential oil per 2 teaspoons of Castor Oil. You may want to conduct a patch test before first use. Although rare, hypersensitivity reactions can occur, in which case discontinue use.
Side effects of applying Castor Oil in belly button
While Castor Oil is generally safe for most people, there are some potential reactions to consider.
Skin Irritation: Although rare, some individuals may experience a hypersensitivity reaction. You may want to patch test before applying Castor Oil extensively.
Digestive Issues: If ingested, Castor Oil is a laxative that can cause digestive discomfort, cramps, or diarrhea. Queen of the Thrones® Castor Oil is for topical use only. Please only consume Castor Oil under the supervision of your physician.
The practice of putting Castor Oil in your belly button is a fascinating tradition with potential benefits for hair growth, liver wellness, and better digestive functioning.
Just remember, it’s essential to exercise caution! Always choose high-quality organic Castor Oil bottled in glass, like Queen of the Thrones®. Be sure to consult with your healthcare professional before trying any new remedy, especially if you have underlying health conditions or allergies.
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 Weiss ML, Troyer DL. Stem cells in the umbilical cord. Stem Cell Rev. 2006;2(2):155-62. doi: 10.1007/s12015-006-0022-y. PMID: 17237554; PMCID: PMC3753204.
2 George MS, Nahas Z, Borckardt JJ, Anderson B, Burns C, Kose S, Short EB. Vagus nerve stimulation for the treatment of depression and other neuropsychiatric disorders. Expert Rev Neurother. 2007 Jan;7(1):63-74. doi: 10.1586/14737188.8.131.52. PMID: 17187498.
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 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 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
6 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.
7 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 Jul.
8 Iqbal J, Zaib S, Farooq U, Khan A, Bibi I, Suleman S. Antioxidant, Antimicrobial, and Free Radical Scavenging Potential of Aerial Parts of Periploca aphylla and Ricinus communis. ISRN Pharmacol. 2012;2012:563267. doi: 10.5402/2012/563267. Epub 2012 Jul 11. PMID: 22919511; PMCID: PMC3418662.
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 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.
11 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.
12 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.
13 Garbar V, Newton BW. Anatomy, Abdomen and Pelvis: Falciform Ligament. [Updated 2023 Jul 24]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK539858/
14 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.
15 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
16 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
17 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
18 Löken LS, Wessberg J, Morrison I, McGlone F, Olausson H. Coding of pleasant touch by unmyelinated afferents in humans. Nat Neurosci. 2009 May;12(5):547-8. Epub 2009 Apr 12. PMID: 19363489
19 Elizabeth A. Lawson The effects of oxytocin on eating behaviour and metabolism in humans. Nat Rev Endocrinol. 2017 Dec; 13(12): 700–709. Published online 2017 Sep 29. doi: 10.1038/nrendo.2017.115 PMCID: PMC5868755 NIHMSID: NIHMS949823 PMID: 28960210