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Castor Oil Packs

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#1 rokgerl

  • Cyclebase
  • 1865 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Calgary, AB
  • Dx:Other

Posted 30 September 2012 - 01:31 PM

Hi Dr. Fiona

It has been suggested by my ND that I try castor oil packs while leading up to an ivf cycle. I read however that one should not use them if they have decreased ovarian reserve (I've never been told that I have this) nor should they do so while stimming. Could you please tell me what the point of the castor oil packs are? I have been told by my RE that I have poor egg quality. Will castor oil packs help or hinder? It's also been suggested that I begin to take NAC, HFE, and coQ10 to also attempt to improve egg quality.

Thank you!

#2 DrFionaMcCulloch

  • Physician
  • 842 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Toronto
  • Dx:N/A
  • My Clinic:White Lotus Naturopathic

Posted 30 October 2012 - 01:30 PM

Hi Rokgerl,

Thanks for your question! In my opinion, castor oil packs are safe to use before ovulation in any cycle where you are trying to conceive. And if there is no chance of natural conception they are safe to use after ovulation also. I definitely do not recommend them after transfer, or after ovulation in a cycle where you could have possibly conceived naturally. I also don't recommend them for low ovarian reserve. The reason is that the heat is often not beneficial for egg quality, from what I've seen clinically in these patients, and Randine Lewis PhD also believes this is the case from the many patients she has treated clinically. In traditional chinese medicine, it is not recommended to use heat for patients who have deficient heat symptoms (often seen in low ovarian reserve).

Castor oil packs are most typically used for endometriosis, or fibroids - the castor oil packs increase circulation and could possibly have some anti-inflammatory effects. This circulation increasing effect might benefit the reproductive organs when you are trying to conceive. Research is still out on this, and it is not known how well absorbed the active components of castor oil are through a transdermal method such as a pack. That being said, it is a folk remedy that has been used for decades with many patients swearing by its results.

Dr Fiona
Dr. Fiona McCulloch, BSc., ND : Naturopathic Doctor, Integrative Women's Health & Fertility
White Lotus Integrative Medicine
Greenfield Ave, Suite 201
North York, Ontario, M2N 3CBCanada
phone (416) 730-8218


#3 elastagirl888

  • Just Hatched
  • 3 posts
  • Dx:Other

Posted 12 November 2012 - 08:57 PM

Hi Dr. Fiona. I was happy to see your information on castor oil packs. My naturopath had suggested that I use them to increase circulation in order to remove toxins from my system. I am concerned that I have been using these packs on my lower abdomen and I have low ovarian reserve. I will have to now take your information into consideration. Thanks so much.

#4 Mia15

  • Just Hatched
  • 1 posts
  • Dx:Other

Posted 19 August 2016 - 12:49 AM

Hi Dr. Fiona. If the reason for not using castor oil packs in case of low ovarian reserve is the heat and not the actual castor oil, I was wondering if I could use it just to massage my pelvic area. In that way I can benefit from the oil qualities without risking the eggs quality with the heat. Just a theory. I'd like to know your opinion

#5 4 years and counting

4 years and counting
  • Global 100+
  • 213 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Toronto, Canada
  • Dx:Other

Posted 31 August 2016 - 09:26 AM

Hi Dr Fiona,


My ND wants me to use them as a way of increasing circulation due to thin lining issues. I don't have the concern with effecting the egg quality as we are using donor eggs.

My concern is using them properly, when to use them etc.

Me 43, DH 43


Trying since 2012


Natural Pregnancy May 2012, ended blighted ovum

Natural Pregnancy June 2013, miscarriage 6 weeks (chemical pregnancy)

Natural Pregnancy January 2014, miscarriage 8 weeks

IVF Pregnancy December 2016, miscarriage 4 weeks (chemical pregnancy)
IVF Pregnancy May 2017, 1st beta May 23 hcg 3,290, 2nd beta May 25 th_abfp.gif

First clinic 2012-2014

Second clinic 2014-present


Dx: diminished ovarian reserve; thin lining


Unsuccessful protocols: estrace, estradot patches, gonal f, natural cycle


Lining gets to 8.0 mm


Using donor eggs


FET attempts 15, transferred 4 times (2 BFN, 2 BFP), cycles canceled 11.

IUI attempts 2 (2 BFN)


Successful protocol for lining: estradot patches, Viagra

Successful protocol for FET: medrol, lovenox, PIO