PSA: Our Winter Mantra Box® is now available for pre-order - be quick! We're now booking spots at our Namaslay Italy Yoga Retreat in April! Only a few spots left at our Kenya Safari Yoga Retreat this August! Lastly, my book Namaslay is a great yoga resource if you're looking to jumpstart your practice or your teaching.
Weird Health Trends is a series on YBC that tries out funky health trends and reports back. Hope you enjoy!
This year, I'm focusing on continuing to really take care of myself, lower my stress levels, and be as healthy as I can. One of the things I've started incorporating are castor oil packs. Castor oil has been around for thousands of years, and is a tremendously healing oil, although you don't want to use it internally, as it can cause diarrhea. But externally, it can be helpful for skin health, muscle health (may help to speed up minor muscular tightness), digestion, inflammation, and provide a gentle detox for the liver. It's also said to be helpful for menstrual cramps, improve lymphatic circulation, and help promote a more restful sleep. I am generally pretty skeptical of snake-oil type stories, so I always do quite a bit of research both online and asking my friends and family who are into the holistic approach to health. What I found surprised me - this stuff definitely works in terms of calming you down and making you sleep restfully. While I didn't notice any liver detox effects (not even sure what that would look like), I can't say that a gentle liver detox didn't happen, either. There are no negative side effects that I've found, but it definitely makes you feel a sleepy (I liken it to the feeling after a magnesium bath), so I like to do it at night before bed.
Here's what you'll want to do to do a liver castor oil pack:
1. Gather your materials. You'll need:
2. Follow the steps below:
- Pour the castor oil into a mixing bowl.
- Put the flannel cloth into the oil and submerge it using your hands so it gets covered in oil.
- Then, gently wring it out, and set it aside.
- Change into old clothes, because castor oil will stain if it comes in contact with fabric.
- Put an old blanket or towel down.
- Lay down on the old blanket, or towel.
- Put the soaked flannel over the right side of your abdomen as shown below.
- Then, place the seran wrap over the flannel.
- Then, place the hot water bottle or heating pad over top.
- Get cozy and hang out like that for at least an hour. You can read, rest, meditate, watch tv - whatever you like.
- When you're finished, store the flannel. I keep mine in a quart sized ziplock bag. You can reuse the flannel about thirty or so times before it needs to be replaced.
Let's Talk: I'd love to hear your thoughts! Have you tried castor oil packs before? What for? Did you notice a difference?
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