Quick Fix for Better Sleep and Tired Eyes | Nightly Castor Oil Beauty Routine

You know the saying, “there’s plenty of time to sleep when I’m dead”? I used to use this as an excuse to justify my erratic sleeping habits. When I was in naturopathic college I would stay up all hours of the night studying, or working late hours as a waitress to pay the bills. Coffee was literally my lifeline – if I couldn’t have it, I couldn’t make it through the day. Period. Does this sound familiar? 

I would be foggy and groggy in the mornings, trudging around like a zombie until I had my cup of Joe. Then in the evenings, it seemed as soon as the sun went down I had a miraculous bout of energy that wouldn’t allow me to fall asleep. So I’d toss and turn, becoming tangled up in my sheets worse than an old telephone cord! I came to dread those long, desperate hours, feeling so exhausted but unable to drift off into Dreamland.

That’s when I learned about the simplest of sleep practices that totally changed the game for me. Gracias a Dios!

Eye Masks for Better Sleep

I learned that wearing an eye mask to bed helps us get a deeper, more restful sleep. The eye mask blocks out all light and promotes melatonin production1 in the body; our sleep regulating hormone! 

The soft compression of the eye mask over the face also supports hormones that makes us feel all warm and fuzzy and relaxed, like oxytocin2 and dopamine3

I was absolutely blown away by how much this simple practice helped me sleep. 

Castor Oil for Beauty Sleep 

Around this time was when I began falling in love with castor oil and castor oil packs. Through research, I quickly learned that castor oil was a beauty staple in Egyptian and Greek cultures, and that Cleopatra herself used it to enhance her eyes. I found that castor oil was commonly used as a treatment to help  eyelashes and eyebrows grow, and found it in the ingredient list of dozens of lash growth serums.

This makes total sense! Castor oil improves circulation to where it is applied via nitric oxide stimulation4, so when applied to the lashes and brows it ensures that the hair follicle is getting a good blood supply. Castor oil is also anti-inflammatory5 and provides nourishment for the skin and hair follicle like vitamin E, polyphenols and omegas6. It’s antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant.

These properties also make it the perfect anti-wrinkle eye cream. The oil is exceptionally emollient and nourishing for the delicate skin around the eyes and can help with dark circles, puffiness, redness and fine lines.

Watch this video below of my friend Kitty Martone and I talking about our Nightly Castor Oil Routine, including how to do a castor oil face wash!

Is Castor Oil Safe Near the Eyes?

There is a wealth of research supporting the use of castor oil in the eye as a treatment for dry eyes7 8 9  and prevention of cataracts10. In a study done on rat lenses, castor oil was shown to preserve levels of glutathione exceptionally well11 (glutathione is one of our most powerful antioxidants!).

So castor oil is 100% safe and even beneficial to use in/around the eyes. This made me adore it even more because we have to be so careful with the products we use around our eyes – always read ingredients carefully!

Pair It With Your Castor Oil Pack

The most important part of my nightly castor oil sleep routine is putting on my castor oil pack. It immediately relaxes the nervous system1213, getting it ready for a deep night’s sleep.

Quality of Castor Oil

I just want to quickly note that not all castor oil is created equally. You want to use the best quality, especially when using it near the eyes. Castor oil should be certified organic, cold-pressed, 100% pure, hexane-free, extra virgin and ALWAYS packaged in a glass bottle. If you have castor oil in a plastic bottle, throw it away! Castor oil can absorb toxins and there are many compounds in plastic such as nonylphenol14 and benzophenones15 that can mess with our hormones, immune and nervous systems.

Sweet Dreams, Sleeping Beauty!

So this became my bedtime routine. I dab a little bit of castor oil in the palm of my hand and apply it to my lashes and brows with an applicator brush. Then I dab the excess oil around my eyes, put on my organic cotton eye mask and crawl into bed, easily drifting and dancing off into Dreamland.

I’ve never slept better in my life, and I’m always being complimented on my bright, beautiful eyes!

Get your Castor Oil Pack and Beauty Sleep Eye Kit together in a bundle that I like to call The Original Cleanse with special bonuses. Click the links below!

US Residents Click Here!

Canadian ResidentsClick Here!

Don’t forget to share this with your friends on social media, through email and to like us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to learn more about how to join the movement so that we can all have an improvement!

Disclaimer: Any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, information or content expressed or made available by third parties, including information providers, are those of the respective authors or distributors. Neither Queen of the Thrones™ nor any third-party provider of information guarantees the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any content. This communication does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Information provided does not replace the advice of your health care practitioner. If you happen to purchase anything we promote, in this or any of our communications, it’s likely Queen of the Thrones™ will receive some kind of affiliate compensation. Still, we only promote content and products that we truly believe in and share with our friends, family and patients. If you ever have a concern with anything we share, please let us know at care@drmarisol.com. We want to make sure we are always serving Our Queendom at the highest level.

References

1  Rong-fang HuXiao-ying JiangYi-ming ZengXiao-yang ChenYou-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. doi: 10.1186/cc8965

2   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.

3   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.

4    Mascolo N1, Izzo AAAutore GBarbato FCapasso F.Nitric oxide and castor oil-induced diarrhea.J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1994 Jan;268(1):291-5.

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

6  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.

7  Goto E1, Shimazaki JMonden YTakano YYagi YShimmura STsubota K. Low-concentration homogenized castor oil eye drops for noninflamed obstructive meibomian gland dysfunction. Ophthalmology. 2002 Nov;109(11):2030-5.

8  Maïssa C1, Guillon MSimmons PVehige J. Effect of castor oil emulsion eyedrops on tear film composition and stability. Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2010 Apr;33(2):76-82. doi: 10.1016/j.clae.2009.10.005. Epub 2009 Dec 6.

9  Jean-Sébastien Garrigue, 1 Mourad Amrane,1 Marie-Odile Faure,2 Juha M. Holopainen,3,† and Louis Tong4 Relevance of Lipid-Based Products in the Management of Dry Eye Disease J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. 2017 Nov 1; 33(9): 647–661. Published online 2017 Nov 1. doi: 10.1089/jop.2017.0052 PMCID: PMC5655476 PMID: 28956698

10  Mary Fu, BA, MA Jennifer Brusewitz, ND Castor Oil & Age-Related Cataract – A Case for the Therapeutic Order NDNR Posted May 1, 2018 in Anti-Aging

11   Holm TBrøgger-Jensen MRJohnson LKessel L.Glutathione preservation during storage of rat lenses in optisol-GS and castor oil. PLoS One. 2013 Nov 19;8(11):e79620. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079620. eCollection 2013.

12   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.

13   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.

14   Kim H1, Oh S1, Gye MC1, Shin I1,2. Comparative toxicological evaluation of nonylphenol and nonylphenol polyethoxylates using human keratinocytes. Drug Chem Toxicol. 2018 Oct;41(4):486-491. doi: 10.1080/01480545.2017.1391829. Epub 2017 Nov 10

15   Amar SK1, Goyal S2, Srivastav AK3, Chopra D3, Ray RS2. Combined effect of Benzophenone-2 and ultraviolet radiation promote photogenotoxicity and photocytotoxicity in human keratinocytes.Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2018 Jun;95:298-306. doi: 10.1016/j.yrtph.2018.04.003. Epub 2018 Apr 4.

Diastasis Recti and Constipation | Two Common Postpartum Body Challenges

Kim and her partner holding their baby

Guest Blog By Kim Vopni, The Vagina Coach

There are two things that I will never forget about the early hours after giving birth to my first son – Diastasis Recti and Constipation.

I remember how disconnected my upper body felt from my lower body when I got up to go to the bathroom for the first time after my baby entered the world.  I felt like I had to hold myself together.  What was a fairly tight compact part of my body, was now a vacant space with very little tone.  The muscles in my abdominal wall had stretched well beyond their normal, optimal length and the rectus muscles (think 6 pack) had also moved away from their midline position – a condition known as diastasis recti.  

Two images of abdominal muscles, one showing diastasis recti

As I sat down to pee, I had a sudden panic attack knowing that at some point I was also going to have to poop!  

The thought of that first bowel movement after giving birth is almost scarier than the birth itself! This fear coupled with other influences I will elaborate on below, can contribute to postpartum constipation.  

Diastasis Recti and constipation are very common and with the right information, can be very well managed and don’t have to be a big deal in the early postpartum period or beyond.  Let’s look first at constipation.

Pushing on the toilet

POSTPARTUM CONSTIPATION

Once the baby is born, we as parents start to diligently record every feed and every poop our baby makes.  What no one really thinks about is that the new mom would benefit from having someone do the same for her.  Nutrition is a key element of postpartum healing and can play a huge role in healing and nourishing the body as well as managing bowel movements therefore reducing the likelihood of constipation.

Labour typically slows down the digestive system, especially if you had an epidural and it can take a few days to get back on track.  Other things that can influence the digestive system in the early weeks postpartum are pain medications, iron supplementation and fear of pooping!  A lot happens in the pelvis and to the vagina, perineum and anus – things like tearing, stitches, tenderness and hemorrhoids.  The thought of anything else passing through can be a bit stressful to say the least.  Stress activates the ‘fight or flight’ response which reduces blood flow to the digestive system and can contribute to constipation.

From a Chinese medicine perspective the first system that needs to be addressed in postpartum healing is the digestive system.  The digestive system is responsible for transforming food into blood and energy and if digestion is off, then the body will not benefit from the food consumed and therefore not build the blood and energy needed for healing.  

Digestive System Diagram

MOTHER ROASTING

It is also believed in Chinese Medicine that the body has ‘opened’ during pregnancy and birth and is therefore susceptible to ‘wind’ or ‘cold’.  New mothers have a 30 day period of “sitting in” where the mother does not go out and is instead served warm soups, stews, and broths that are easy to digest.

Korea has a 100 day period where the mother and child do not leave the home. In Japan, the mother and baby stay at the mother’s parent’s home for some pampering and one-on-one time with the baby. India and African nations include traditions of 10-40 day isolations where additional support is provided including massage, childcare and food preparation. 

Other practices from places like Malaysia include belly binding and hot stones on the abdomen to help cleanse it, close it and heal it. 

These practices not only allow the body time to recover from the trauma of giving birth but provide a period of mental rest that I firmly believe creates a solid foundation for mom and baby from day one.

BELLY BINDING

The belief of the need to ‘close’ the body is justified.  Diastasis Recti has been shown to happen to 100% of women in the third trimester and the gap between the muscles doesn’t always return to its pre-pregnancy state, nor does the connective tissue naturally regain its supportive tensioning role in the core. The muscles in the pelvic floor have also stretched and in some cases have been cut or torn which can contribute to challenges with core control and continence.

Belly wrapping or belly binding aims to provide temporary compression and support to the pelvis and abdominal wall in the early weeks postpartum when the muscles are temporarily hindered in their ability to contribute to core control.   

Belly Wrapping

The muscles and connective tissue in the abdominal wall and pelvis are key with regards to stability and control in our inner core but so are the bones and joints. In the pelvis, the shape of the bones provides what is called ‘form closure’ while the muscles, ligaments and connective tissue contribute to what is called ‘force closure’. During pregnancy biomechanical changes occur in the body which can reduce the effectiveness of both form and force closure such as;

  • Altered posture and load bearing;
  • Altered muscle length in the pelvic floor and abdomen (both longer and shorter) which results in reduced ability for muscle force production;
  • The role of relaxin and progesterone contribute to joint laxity and when the ligaments are lax it affects the force closure.
  • The abdominal muscles are stretched to allow space for the enlarging uterus, which can lead to loss of muscle tone and strength in the abdominal region and a compromised ability to produce tension in the thoracolumbar fascia, resulting in reduced force closure in the pelvis;
  • Diastasis recti is a distortion in the abdominal wall and can impair the function of the muscles including their role in posture and pelvic stability;
  • The transversus abdominis, multifidus, diaphragm and the pelvic floor are all anticipatory muscles of the core and are required for force closure in the pelvis – all are affected by posture and alignment changes in pregnancy
  • Intra-abdominal pressure – altered mechanics and alignment mean management of intra-abdominal pressure will change

INTRA-ABDOMINAL PRESSURE

We can’t talk about postpartum recovery and wrapping without talking about intra-abdominal pressure.

Intra-abdominal pressure is defined as the pressure within the abdominal cavity.  It is part of our core stability system.  We need some, but not too much and we need an ability to manage the varying pressures throughout the day. When we take a breath in, the diaphragm descends and there is a compression action on the abdominal contents which acts to stabilize the pelvis and spine.  We can have too much pressure such as a Valsalva maneuverer which is an inhale, then breath hold while bearing down.  This often results in a distended abdomen and can place pressure on the pelvic organs as well.  

The reverse can also be seen in a technique called hypopressives which decreases intra-abdominal pressure and results in a hollowing or concavity of the abdomen.  A reliance on one may result in a compromised ability to manage changes in intra-abdominal pressure such as during lifting or exercise.  

Crunches were given a bad rap because they cause an increase in intra-abdominal pressure but a study found that activities like standing up from a chair or downward dog pose in yoga actually created equal or greater increases in intra-abdominal pressure which suggests that managing intra-abdominal pressure is more about HOW a person performs a movement or exercise rather than the exercise itself.

Wrapping is often considered to be a practice that increases intra-abdominal pressure and it can when done incorrectly.  Wrapping is ideally done to temporarily contribute to force closure in the pelvis with some gentle hugging of the abdominal wall.  Many mistakenly wrap only the waist and wrap very tightly in hopes that it will help heal the gap between the abdominals (diastasis recti).  Instead it increases intra-abdominal pressure, it interferes with digestion and it restricts optimal breathing patterns which can prevent healing of the abdominal wall and pelvic floor and can also contribute to constipation.

My recommendations for postpartum recovery include principles that support rest and belly wrapping in the early weeks postpartum, core retraining with pelvic floor initiated movements, a balance between hyper and hypopressive exercise and nutrition that is based on the traditional practices of mother roasting to support optimal digestion.

Disclaimer: Any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, information or content expressed or made available by third parties, including information providers, are those of the respective authors or distributors. Neither Queen of the Thrones™ nor any third-party provider of information guarantees the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any content. This communication does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Information provided does not replace the advice of your health care practitioner. If you happen to purchase anything we promote, in this or any of our communications, it’s likely Queen of the Thrones™ will receive some kind of affiliate compensation. Still, we only promote content and products that we truly believe in and share with our friends, family and patients. If you ever have a concern with anything we share, please let us know at care@drmarisol.com. We want to make sure we are always serving Our Queendom at the highest level.

Why Is My Poop Green?

Picture this: It’s Christmastime and the Grinch lands in your toilet bowl, totally ruining your Christmas festivities! It causes a *gasp* and a “wtf”?!  Not everything that is red and green this time of year is a good thing!

So what gives? These monstrosities in the toilet bowl that you inspect shouldn’t be smiling back at you like the green goblin, an eerily foreboding sign of the dangers that are lurking in your daily meals. You think to yourself, what have I eaten? Green food coloring wasn’t on the menu? Could it be the green smoothie I had the other morning? Is it my intake of greens causing my poo to be green? 

It can be scary seeing green monsters in the throne, but the reality is it happens every day, all around the world, and could happen to you too! The thing is, the color you see in the toilet bowl is a sign of what is going on with the #1 thing that your body produces, your poo! It got a bad wrap being called #2, but it really deserves the throne!

Read more to get in tune with the signs your body is delivering from the divine! Right in time for the new decade, where you can make a massive positive change in your life.

Is Green Poo Normal?

 Green poo isn’t normal, FYI, it’s actually a sign that something may be wrong in the manufacturing plant, A.K.A. your digestive tract.

There may be 50 Shades of Poo (if you haven’t downloaded your copy, do so now here!)… but in general, if you’re healthy and well balanced, your poo should always be brown. Anything along the spectrum of the color of dirt is acceptable.

Outside of this realm, and we don’t have happy campers.

How the Digestive Factory Works to Color Your Poo

Poo gets its color from bile, which is a combination of substances that are to be eliminated out of the body. A part of it is bilirubin (produced from the breakdown of red blood cells). Bilirubin gives it its brown color, in general. 

Problems with color are typically caused by problems with the gall bladder, swelling, stones blocking the opening of the duct into the intestine, and sometimes ominous masses in the intestine. 

What Does it Mean When Your Poop is Green?

 There is another mechanism of action that is especially important when it comes to those green poops. That is stomach acid

Stomach acid wilts green vegetables. Think of it like this, if you leave a salad sitting on the counter and it is emerged in vinegar (that is the same physiological pH as our stomach acid) you will see it wilt and turn brown. This could be a chemical transformation of chlorophyll, or simply just the acidic pH transforming the components of the green vegetable. 

Either way, green poops after drinking a green smoothie is a sign of low stomach acid. Sometimes it also indicates a lack of protein in the smoothie, because protein is the signal for stomach acid to be produced. 

Low stomach acid can also be caused by many factors; too much stress, low protein in your diet (thus not simulating stomach acid), lack of important nutrients such as vitamin B12 and zinc, or autoimmune reactions that affect the stomach acid-producing cells,  to simply name a few.

What To Do About It

To find out how to test and what to do about it, please download my 50 Shades of Poo. It’s the blueprint for the color of your poo, teaching you how to become body conscious about what is going on as well as diagnostics, inspection techniques and how to fix. 

There really is an entire science behind your poo. In your poo, you have the power to understand and be conscious of what is going on inside your body. It’s like having your own personal doctor on dial. It’s time for you to get dialed in my friends xox

Enjoyed this blog? Don’t forget to share this with your friends on social media, through email and also to like us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to learn more about how to join the movement so that we can all have an improvement!

Disclaimer: Any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, information or content expressed or made available by third parties, including information providers, are those of the respective authors or distributors. Neither Queen of the Thrones™ nor any third-party provider of information guarantees the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any content. This communication does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Information provided does not replace the advice of your health care practitioner. If you happen to purchase anything we promote, in this or any of our communications, it’s likely Queen of the Thrones™ will receive some kind of affiliate compensation. Still, we only promote content and products that we truly believe in and share with our friends, family and patients. If you ever have a concern with anything we share, please let us know at care@drmarisol.com. We want to make sure we are always serving Our Queendom at the highest level.