Step One in Detoxification
I am prepping this week for another liver and gallbladder cleanse. It has been so long since my last one! My body has been through so much since then, including a pregnancy and miscarriage so things have been kind of out of whack. I figured it’s time to get things moving again.
During this break from cleansing I’ve learned so much including the importance of the lymphatic system and its role in the detoxification process. Your lymphatic system collects waste from tissue and transports it to your blood for elimination in a process known as lymphatic drainage.
When your lymphatic system is not working properly waste and toxins build up in your body causing inflammation and disease. Given the fact that I’ve had swollen lymph nodes in so many areas of my body, and other physical symptoms of a clogged lymphatic system – I’m pretty sure that I’ve had this issue.
With the liver cleanse, toxins are released in a pretty large amount and if your lymphatic system is clogged then these toxins have a hard time fully releasing. I imagine it like a clogged pipe. Things back up into your body.
Clearing Clogs in the Lymphatic System
Clearing your lymphatic system should be addressed for a liver cleanse to be effective. With clear pathways, toxins are able to leave your body instead of recirculate and gather back in your body.
Manjistha helps cleanse your blood and gets your lymphatic system moving. I believe that this herb has helped me. Before, I had constant swollen lymph nodes in my throat and now I don’t notice this anymore.
There are many other ways to help get your lymph moving. One that I decided to implement this week, as I prepare for my liver cleanse this weekend, is the application of a castor oil pack on my abdomen.
Benefits of Castor Oil Packs
I’ve been reading about the benefits of castor oil packs for endometriosis for years especially from other women with endometriosis, but I never tried it. Sounded a bit messy and all 🙂
But since this is my cleansing week (and things are about to get a whole lot messier, Lol) I figured I’d give it a shot. I think it is a good warmup to my liver cleanse given its many benefits, but primarily because castor oil packs stimulate your lymphatic system.
Castor oil comes from a plant native to India. It has been used for a very long time for various ailments.It is antiviral, antibacterial and anti-fungal. When applied to your skin the oil diffuses into your body and stimulates internal movement.
- increase circulation of blood and lymph
- decrease pain
- improve digestion
- uterine fibroids
- ovarian cysts
- headaches and migraines
- constipation and other intestinal disorders
- gallbladder and liver conditions.
Lymphocytes are your immune system’s disease fighting cells stored mainly in your lymphatic tissue (thymus gland, spleen and lymph nodes). By increasing lymphocytes toxins toxins are removed at a faster rate from your body. This promotes overall healing 🙂
How to Do a Castor Oil Pack
Castor oil should be pretty easy to find. I picked some up from a local health food store. If you can find organic this is the best choice.
I took note from a fellow endo sister who made the whole castor oil pack process pretty simple. I followed her steps below:
- Spread castor oil on your abdomen, taking care not to use too much (it shouldn’t be dripping)
- Place an old T-shirt across the oil
- Optional: Place a heating pad on low heat on top of the shirt
- Relax for 30-45 minutes
- Remove and wipe off the remaining oil with the T-shirt or an old towel. Soap and water may be necessary if you feel too sticky (with my experience most of the oil was absorbed into my body or onto the old T-shirt)
It should be noted that castor oil is staining so old clothes should be worn when doing one and you can lay on an old towel if you don’t want to risk staining what’s underneath you.
Also, castor oil can cause skin irritation so best to try it out on a patch of skin before applying it all over. I found that it did cause my sensitive skin some irritation — made my abdomen a little red and dry, but nothing major.
Do not wash the T-shirt afterwards. Castor oil is sticky and can leave a film in the washing machine. It is also an oil so it can be flammable if put in the dryer. The T-shirt can be reused a couple of times, but keep in mind that the whole process removes toxins, so it may be best to use a new one as soon as possible. When it is no longer reusable, it should be disposed of.
Also to note – castor oil packs instigate a detoxification reaction in the body so the day(s) following you may feel some pain. This has been the case for me and I know other women with endometriosis who’ve had similar reactions.
As with any detox, things feel worse before they get better 🙂
On the Positive Side?
I’ve done two castor oil packs this week and I’ve found them to be very relaxing. I did one before bed and it really helped me to fall asleep and I slept soundly 🙂
I hope that by stimulating my lymphatic system prior to the cleanse that the toxins that I release will move out of my body. When I do the liver cleanse I’m going to incorporate castor oil into the process, to help even more and I plan on continuing to do them following the cleanse to keep things moving out.
As I mentioned, I know a lot of women with endometriosis who’ve had success with castor oil packs to help shrink cysts, decrease bloating and inflammation. It is a fairly inexpensive method and can be done at home.
So why not give it a shot? 🙂
Have you tried a castor oil pack? What results have you experienced?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below….