Irritable Bowel Syndrome and the Microbiome | Part 2 | Dr. Marisol

Irritable Bowel Syndrome and the Microbiome | Part 2 | Dr. Marisol

Last week in my blog post,  Irritable Bowel Syndrome and the Microbiome | Part 1, we learned about the theories of Pasteur and Bernard, germ theory vs. terrain theory. And, contrary to popular belief in western medicine, it seems that the terrain is the most important aspect when managing the bug.

Probiotic Supplements – Do they Make Sense?

Let me put it in two clear examples for you. You’re told to take probiotics. One pill a day that has 50 billion bacteria. Does it really make sense that this is going to compensate for the 100 trillion bacteria that you have in your intestine? One pill. Wow, must be some kind of magical mystical pill.

What happens when you stop taking it or change your diet or lifestyle? You’re going to have to take way more probiotics if your lifestyle and environment becomes sicker, or way less if your lifestyle and environment becomes healthier. Capiche? Do you see why addressing the body as a whole makes way more sense?

Fecal Transplants – Do they Make Sense?

What about the big buzz word these days, fecal transplants. They are probably more of a buzz because of their inherent shock factor.

They make sense for the moment if you’re willing to be a candidate to put someone else’s poo into your body. In lab studies, transplanting an IBS patient’s stools into healthy mice actually gave the mice unhealthy metabolic profiles, different from the healthy stools1.

However, I caution… Again, you can transplant the stools, but if your lifestyle and environment, your millieu changes, due to stress or the other factors, what happens is your microbiome will change too. Back to the beginning, no further ahead, only a little bit more full of shit (LOL!).

It’s so simple it hurts my head. I hope it’s hurting yours (not because I want to inflict pain, but I want your eyes to open!)

IBS as a Functional Disorder

In addition to all of this, irritable bowel syndrome is a FUNCTIONAL disturbance of the digestive tract. Does it not then beg for treatment that is functional in form, hence a SYSTEMS biology approach, and not one that reduces it down simply to the microbiome2?

The point of this whole blog is this….

IT’S ABOUT LOOKING AT THE BIG AND THE SMALL, SIMULTANEOUSLY.

Because this is the natural logic in our living system. Some systems are grand and complex, like our hormonal regulatory system, and other are less complex and small, like a bacterium. But the reality is that because they all exist together, they must all work together.

The issue for Bernard was that his workings appreciated that we lived as a whole of our systems, and that physiological phenomena always seemed to find balance with highly defined set points. So now I’m encouraging you to think of the whole and not the parts in isolation when you’re considering what to do about your irritable bowel.

What would a systems/whole approach entail?

1. Get the Junk Out – Don’t Let It Pile Up

Terrain is, in effect, how we keep our bodies clean from the waste that perturbs its natural function. Think of it like this. If you kept the garbage piling up in your house, instead of packaging it and taking it to the curb, eventually you wouldn’t be able to get into your house to do the things that you need to. The body is no different. Whether the garbage comes from the byproducts of the microbiome, your own metabolism or the food that you eat, at the end of the day it’s all garbage.

Another analogy that I just love is thinking of the fish tank. A fish, in essence, swims in its own filth unless you clean out the tank. Think of the fish like one of your cells. It spits out, pisses and poops out what it doesn’t need into the water. If your body, or the fish tank, is never cleaned, you get scum build up. The scum that makes the glass cloudy and eventually makes it difficult for the fish, a.k.a. the cell, to survive. This is a good way to understand “le millieu liquide as Bernard understood it.

The focus has shifted from keeping up on housekeeping rather than having a war on the virus. The premise is a strong system that is free of debris. Its “vital force” is intact and it is able to keep the balance between the good and the bad3.

2. Nurture It Like you Would a Garden

I look at it as if our body is a garden. We must feed it, give it water and light, sing to it, make it joyous, reduce the stress, try to avoid natural disasters and natural prey.

As any farmer will tell you, and I have had this conversation with many of my patients that are farmers… “You reap what you sow. If you put in good, you get out good, and more importantly, good takes time.”

We are not looking at dropping a nuke and killing off all the bugs, rather we are willing to put in the time day to day, to get good results. Farmers very much resonate with natural medicine and systems biology because they live it on a daily basis in their work, so it’s so very easy to extend it into their lives.

Our #1 Product to Help with Understanding what our Body is Saying

To help you figure out what the problem is, you fortunately have something very close at your disposable, a totally free assessment. Your stools are one of the best ways to understand what is going on inside your body.

Poop is classically known in our language as #2, but I firmly believe that it was mislabeled and should be called #1, as it is the most important product we produce. It gives us real-time knowledge about what is going on in our bodies. As long as we learn to poop, peek and then assess, we’ve got it all covered.

Start the journey to learn about your poo here

Our stools are the window into our digestion, absorption, and elimination. They show vitamin and mineral deficiencies, hormonal, immune, and nervous system problems. They suggest inflammation, food sensitivities, excess mucus in the body. They are basically the owner’s manual to your health… If you know how to read them. 

Dr. Marisol - Digestive Detective

Poo comes in all shapes and forms and sizes, and that is exactly how we like it because that’s how it is used as a guide to your body’s health. Whether it’s a cow plop or an Oktoberfest sausage… whether it sinks or floats… whether or not it smells like rotten eggs… They’re all key indications to the state of our health.

Download my free guide now and learn how to read your body

Environments Have Timing, so Does your Poo

Another majorly important factor is timing. All systems have timing. With your stools, it’s incredibly important for them to work well and for you to track how often and when you go. The ideal is a 24-hour cycle. A longer stool timing is linked to increased allergy and food sensitivity4, as one example, but there is much more it is linked to.

Timing is everything. Even your microbiome is doing different things depending on the clues in your environment5, following the day and night cycle, or circadian rhythm. So it makes sense that when you’re working on your systems, or your terrain, to start with the most important cycle to optimize.

Change your Terrain – Fix your Irritable Bowel

So now, what are you thinking? Do you still want to target the microbiome? I doubt it! I think now you understand that you must fix the environment and the rest will follow (there are a few exceptions to this rule, so always make sure that you check with your health care provider for what is right for you).

Night Practice for Irritable Bowel Terrain Treatment

My most important medicines for the terrain are the oldest therapies of them all. Likely because they had their roots long ago when people were in tune with these vitalistic principles.

Nightly Restorative Sleep Practice

Sleep is the most important part of our day. So like I do with all of my patients, we start here. We do the majority of our house-work while we’re sleeping, unbeknownst to you… As long as you get a deep and regenerative sleep. Even the microbiome potentially follows the natural day and night cycles6!

If you were like me, when I was in the stormy season of my irritable bowel, I couldn’t sleep for the life of me. Because of this, I was a mess emotionally and my WHOLE life felt like a mess, a hot mess. One of the top complaints made by irritable bowel syndrome sufferers is fatigue. And this is no surprise because if your body is confused with its hormones, nutrient deficiencies and microbiome mayhem, how can you get a good night sleep?

These are the most important tips:

  • Cool your room 
  • Complete darkness
  • Your bed is for sex and sleep only – try having sex before sleep that’ll help you doze off into never, never land
  • Don’t eat for at least 2 hours before bed 
  • Avoid caffeinated beverages past 3 pm (coffee, tea, green tea, pop, energy drinks) 
  • Alcohol – don’t over do it, it’ll wake you 
  • Create a routine every night, the same thing 
  • Journal for one page, write down what you need to do tomorrow and 3 things that you are grateful for
  • Wear an eye mask – this helps to naturally promote melatonin7 which does wonders for your sleep. Get your Beauty Sleep Kit Here
  • Use your castor oil pack, see below:

Castor Oil Packs – A Legendary Terrain Treatment

Castor oil packs deserve special mention. So many of us go to bed stressed out and worried about the next day. So we tumble, toss and turn, and do nothing but hyper worry about the day we just had and what’s to come.

When you place a castor oil pack on your body it immediately switches your system into the relaxed state. Ah, zen time for me. So you can sleep and heal and reap the benefits.

On top of it, there are so many wonderful actions of the pack that help your body to do the clean up during the night. They help to:

  1. Reduce inflammation and improve the alkalinity of your body8 9
  2. Enhance antioxidants like glutathione that help your body to cleanse10
  3. Move the bowels – typically the next morning you’re happy to let go of a load!11 12 
  4. Breakdown biofilm – a barrier created by the bad bugs of the microbiome. Getting rid of this gunk allows you to heal your gut 13 14
  5. Don’t forget they help you to relax15 16 so you can sleep!

Your sleep will be regenerative, healthy, fulfilling, and satisfying. You’ll be ready to take on your day. Most importantly, you will have done the important step of helping to reset your terrain while you sleep.

NEXT STEPS

My hope is that you start by looking at what your poo is saying about you and that you begin to address the ever-important sleep function of your body. I love the saying, “cleanliness is next to godliness”, and starting these practices are the very first steps to getting your body in a better, healthier, and cleaner state. 

DISCLAIMER: Any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed or made available by third parties, including information providers, are those of the respective authors or distributors, and not Queen of the Thrones™. Neither Queen of the Thrones™ nor any third-party provider of information guarantees the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any content. Furthermore, Queen of the Thrones™neither endorses nor is responsible for the accuracy and reliability of any opinion, advice, or statement made on any of the sites. This communication does not create a doctor and patient relationship.  Information provided does not replace the advice of your health care practitioner.  Before proceeding with any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed please consult your health care practitioner.

1 De Palma G1, Lynch MD2, Lu J1, Dang VT3, Deng Y1, Jury J1, Umeh G1, Miranda PM1, Pigrau Pastor M1, Sidani S1, Pinto-Sanchez MI1, Philip V1, McLean PG4, Hagelsieb MG5, Surette MG1, Bergonzelli GE4, Verdu EF1, Britz-McKibbin P3, Neufeld JD2, Collins SM1, Bercik P6. Transplantation of fecal microbiota from patients with irritable bowel syndrome alters gut function and behavior in recipient mice. Sci Transl Med. 2017 Mar 1;9(379). pii: eaaf6397. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaf6397.

2 Şimşek I1. Irritable bowel syndrome and other functional gastrointestinal disorders. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2011 Aug;45 Suppl:S86-8. doi: 10.1097/MCG.0b013e31821fbd6f.

3 Normandin S1. Claude Bernard and an introduction to the study of experimental medicine: “physical vitalism,” dialectic, and epistemology.  J Hist Med Allied Sci. 2007 Oct;62(4):495-528. Epub 2007 Jun 18.

4 Pali-Schöll I1,2, Untersmayr E3, Klems M4, Jensen-Jarolim E5,6. The Effect of Digestion and Digestibility on Allergenicity of Food. Nutrients. 2018 Aug 21;10(9). pii: E1129. doi: 10.3390/nu10091129.

5 Nobs SP1, Tuganbaev T1, Elinav E2,3. Microbiome diurnal rhythmicity and its impact on host physiology and disease risk.EMBO Rep. 2019 Mar 15. pii: e47129. doi: 10.15252/embr.201847129. [Epub ahead of print]

6 Liang X1, FitzGerald GA2. Timing the Microbes: The Circadian Rhythm of the Gut Microbiome. J Biol Rhythms. 2017 Dec;32(6):505-515. doi: 10.1177/0748730417729066. Epub 2017 Sep 1.

7 Hu RF1, Jiang XY, Chen J, Zeng Z, Chen XY, Li Y, Huining X, Evans DJ. Non-pharmacological interventions for sleep promotion in the intensive care unit. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Oct 6;(10):CD008808. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD008808.pub2.

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

9  Grady H. Immunomodulation through castor oil packs. The Journal of Naturopathic Medicine. Volume 7 Jan 1 1998; 7(1): 84-9

10  Holm T1, Brøgger-Jensen MR, Johnson L, Kessel 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.

11  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.

12  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 receptorsProc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Jun 5; 109(23): 9179–9184.Published online 2012 May 21. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1201627109PMID: 22615395

13  Andrade IM1, Andrade KM2, Pisani MX1, Silva-Lovato CH1, de Souza RF1, Paranhos Hde F1. Trial of an experimental castor oil solution for cleaning dentures. Braz Dent J. 2014 Jan-Feb;25(1):43-7.

14  Badaró MM, Salles MM, Leite VMF, Arruda CNF, Oliveira VC, Nascimento CD, Souza RF, Paranhos HFO, Silva-Lovato CH. Clinical trial for evaluation of Ricinus communis and sodium hypochlorite as denture cleanser.J Appl Oral Sci. 2017 May-Jun; 25(3):324-334.

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.

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. ( Dopamine release, Limbic System of brain- Fatty Meal Satisfaction) 

How To Optimize Cleansing and Detoxification with Castor Oil Packs

How To Optimize Cleansing and Detoxification with Castor Oil Packs

When I first heard about cleansing I was under the impression that it was just a fad.  A trend that would soon disappear.  Something that Gwyneth Paltrow or the latest Hollywood starlet was promoting.  When I began my journey and dove deep into the science and learning of what natural medicine truly is, I fell in love with the ways that natural-focused care givers activate the healing powers of the body, known as the “vis” in naturopathic medicine.  I soon realized that cleansing and detoxification practices are not a new-age Hollywood hippie thing.  In fact, their roots date back to before biblical times.  Basically to the beginning of the conscious human! 

There is evidence in historical texts, in the literature of practices since the time of Hippocrates, the father of medicine.  It is no wonder that this specialization in functional medicine is taking on a whole new science-based appreciation.  More and more practitioners are realizing the benefit of incorporating these treatments and therapies into their practice.  They help with rebalancing the system, whether you are suffering from a hormonal problem, a digestive issue, or any of the other hundreds of labels given to problems in the body.

The Difference Between Cleansing and Detoxification

To begin, I think it is really important to understand and define the terminology.  I am often confused, as I know you are too, by the manner in which people use the terms cleansing and detoxification.  Are they interchangeable?  Do they mean the same thing?  Which one should I be doing?  Let’s start by clarifying these Uber important terms and then delving into the 5 most important keys to re-engaging these vital life-promoting, disease-destroying functions of our glorious bodies.  Then I’ll share my most important tool that I use in my clinical practice to jumpstart these functions in our bodies.

Cleansing is the ability for our bodies to eliminate waste created in our systems by the foods we eat, our natural metabolic processes and what we accumulate just by living on planet earth. 

Cleansing Pathways of the Body

Our most important cleansing pathways include:

  1. Stools – Your poo is the primary vehicle for the elimination of leftovers/roughage from your food.  The majority of stools consists of bacteria, as well as fat soluble substances such as cholesterol, toxins of all types including heavy metals like mercury and lead, and excess hormones like estrogen.
  2. Urine – A primary vehicle that eliminates what the stools cannot, often excesses of heavy metals and other substances such as uric acid. 
  3. Sweat –  A secondary elimination pathway.  This pathway should be encouraged if stools and urine are functioning optimally.  People will often note worsening body odour if they are having problems with constipation.  This is because the genius of our bodies will always search for a way to get the things out that are no good for us. 
  4. Breath – Breath is well known for the elimination of carbon dioxide.
  5. Periods – For women, our periods are a vehicle for elimination of toxicity.  It is researched that women in menopause, after loosing their periods, are more toxic and will experience hot flashes as an adaptation to continue elimination, since they are so toxic.

Detoxification Sites of the Body 

Detoxification on the other hand, is the metabolic transformation of a substance, usually from one thing into another.  It occurs mainly in the following places in the body: 

  1. Liver – Phase 1 and phase 2 detoxification help to package and transform substances that are not easy to eliminate via the cleansing pathways. 
  2. Kidneys – Part of phase 3 of detoxification, where further filtration occurs.
  3. Mucous Membranes – Part of phase 3 of detoxification, this is most predominate in the gut. Phase 3 is the final stage of detoxification before cleansing.
  4. Various cells in the body – All aid in the detoxification process. 

Both cleansing and detoxification are deeply connected.  They are both extremely inhibited by 5 occurrences that can happen in our bodies. 

Reduced Ability to Cleanse and Detoxify

The causes of reduced ability to cleanse and detoxify properly are:

1. Stress

This is the #1 problem for the body, and unfortunately, because we live in today’s industrialization era we are bombarded.  The body doesn’t differentiate stressors as chemical, emotional or physical.  It puts all stress into the same mixing pot.  So you could be having an altercation with your mother-in-law, be exposed to high levels of pollutants, or injure your leg.  All of these instances would cause stress and significantly inhibit your ability to transform (detox) and eliminate (cleanse). 

Stress is now being touted as the #1 cause of disease in the modern world.  Something very interesting to note for women with hormonal problems, specifically those with estrogen dominance; is that with increasing stress, our adrenals produce increased cortisol.  Increased cortisol depletes your progesterone levels, which can leave you with a relative progesterone deficiency.  This can severely aggravate estrogen dominance related issues such as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

2. Inflammation

Has also been pointed out as a villain, A.K.A. the ‘silent killer’ in modern medicine and it’s no surprise.  When we have high inflammation we also experience elevated levels of acidity in our bodies.  Ironically, inflammation is a purposeful mechanism that helps us heal. 

Hippocrates stated, “Give me the power to create inflammation and I will heal every disease.”  However, too much of a good thing can damage us.  Inflammation is purposefully destructive, to actually help rebuild our tissues.  But when the fire of inflammation gets out of control because there is too much junk to burn, that’s when we start having problems.  The body often responds with trying to control the fire by adding water. 

The result is we get bloated, we may also experience weight gain, often in the central core of our bodies.  For others this may translate to excessive aches and pains in the joints.  And for others, mood can be greatly affected because the inflammation impacts their neurological system.  It all depends on your unique biology and weak areas.

3. Lack of Antioxidants

Antioxidants protect our cells against damage from toxic substances, and they help to clear them out of the body.  Glutathione is known as the master detoxification agent.  We are constantly exposed to thousands of toxins – in the food we eat, the air we breathe, the products we put onto our bodies.  Glutathione helps to move most (if not all) of these harmful substances OUT.

4. Inability to Eliminate

When you can’t eliminate properly, recirculation of toxins happens.  Constipation is a huge issue in our society.  We should be going each and every day, the length of our elbow to our wrist bone.  If we aren’t eliminating this much, our stools are sitting in the body holding waste materials that are reabsorbed and a source of repollution to our system.

How To Improve Cleansing and Detox – Castor Oil Packs

Castor oil packs are my number one recommendation for every single one of my patients.  Why?  Because the 4 problems listed above – stress, inflammation, lack of antioxidants and problems with elimination – are issues that occur in every single condition.  If you have a hormonal, immune or nervous system problem, I can guarantee you’ve got these issues somewhere in your body, dependant on your individual physiology and your weak zones. 

Main Modes of Action of Castor Oil Packs

So what are the main actions of the infamous castor oil packs? 

1.Practice the Pause

Stress, as mentioned above, is touted as being the #1 cause of dis-ease in the body.  The ‘pause’, A.K.A. parasympathetic state, is difficult in this day and age because we are bombarded with daily to-do’s that can feel out of our control. 

Like an Olympian athlete, to perform well we must practice.  As a whole, we are out of practice on the relaxed state.  It can be difficult to find things that are quick and easy to help us reset, or that don’t involve another person.  A hug, massage, acupuncture treatment, reiki, all require the presence of another person.  It’s difficult to schedule all these appointments.  Castor oil packs are an easy, at-home health treatment that feel like a warm hug1 on the body.  If done daily, they retrain the body into the pause state2.

The pause is the only place that we heal.  It is the panacea, the Eden on earth.  All of the body’s cleansing functions are NATURALLY turned ON in the relaxed, pause state.  All you need to do is make sure that you have sufficient vitamins and minerals to drive these metabolic processes and you’re good to go!  Castor oil packs, if done daily, additionally help you to better absorb all the nutrients from your food and the supplements you take because they improve digestion and absorption3,4,5. 

So instead of absorbing 10% of your supplements in a stressed state, you would get 70-80% in the pause state (this is an estimation).  Practising the pause is extremely important and required for a healthy, happy life.  Gratitude is another easy way to engage the pause. 

(Tip: Grateful Dung Daily Dining Practice before meals to improve the parasympathetic state, allowing us to digest better.  Simply recite 3 things you are grateful for while staring into the tiger’s eye stones of the bracelet.  Tigers eye stone helps balance the 3rd, Solar Plexus chakra, while the black obsidian Dung Beetle stone balances the 1st, Root chakra.  The dung beetle is also a symbol of transformation and rebirth – it has the dirty job of rolling dung day in and day out.  But planted in the dung is the seed of the lotus flower.  The daily grind of rolling dung creates the most beautiful symbols of eternity, and flourishing life.  The bracelet is a simple reminder to stay on your grind and your life will flourish!)

2. Reduce Inflammation

When we are inflamed, our bodies are acidic.  The enzymes in our bodies, which are the keys to the lock that turn on metabolism, don’t function properly in an acidic environment.  They require an alkaline environment.  Castor oil has been demonstrated to be an effective anti-inflammatory, reducing water retention and swelling as much as capsaicin6, but without the rubefacient effect. 

Castor oil is almost identical in chemical structure to the body’s natural anti-inflammatory prostaglandin Ep3.  Coincidence?  Unlikely.  Like I mentioned earlier, inflammation is like fire, and what does a firefighter do to put out a fire?  They put water on it.  Central abdominal bloating and weight gain are often caused because our body sends water to the site of inflammation to ‘put out the fire’.

3. Improve Glutathione Status 

Glutathione is the master detoxification agent of the body.  Unfortunately, it is quickly depleted and its depletion is in part the cause of many chronic diseases including autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.  Glutathione is difficult to replete because there are not many food sources.  One source is whey protein, but I do not typically recommend it because it’s dairy. Rooibos tea is another source, which I recommend adding to your tea cabinet.  Glutathione can be supplemented via IV, and NAC and magnesium supplementation can help (although the effectiveness is debatable).  Bottom line is it is not easy to get. 

Castor oil was compared to a solution of glutathione in ocular lenses in rats, and was found to be more effective at preserving the glutathione levels than the actual glutathione solution7.  The researchers hypothesized the opposite.  Huge win for castor oil.   Glutathione is an antioxidant that packages toxins and pulls them out of the body, and that’s why we get depleted so easily.  It is vital to keep us healthy and young, our gut mucous membrane strong, our thyroid functioning optimally and many other essential functions.  Castor oil packs help with this very basic protection of your body, and the elimination of toxic substances.

4. Move the Bowels

Our #1 process of the body, (not the #2!) are our bowel movements.  If you can’t eliminate your  waste products, you die.  Bottom line.  You self-intoxicate, a very unhappy death.  Remember those anti-inflammatory prostaglandins that castor oil mimicks?  Well these are the same ones that attach onto the receptors of smooth muscle in the body, namely the gut and uterus.  This physical smooth muscle function moves things out of the body and castor oil packs are the ultimate way to stimulate it8,9.  They also help via reduction of the stress response.

5. Microbiome Balance

The microbiome is now being referred to as its own organ. This bacterial, extracorporeal organ helps to keep a tight balance on our wellbeing. When it’s off we are.

Biofilm is a big bad barrier that bad bacteria can produce in the microbiome. It keeps the conbiotics™ (bad bugs) in, and the probiotics (good bugs) out.  This causes serious stress on the body, therefore inhibiting cleansing and detoxification. 

The microbiome is discussed frequently as being the center of what creates our health.  But what really creates our health is the ability to keep a balanced body ecology (environment) that prevents buildups like biofilm from existing.  This is possible over time with good food, good practices like your pack, and more. 

Probiotic supplementation is also a must to balance out conbiotics™.  Biofilm prevents this, thus the breaking down of biofilm via castor oil packs10, 11 improves the microbiome in a very simple way, requiring less probiotics.  In combination with a good diet, adequate fluid intake (water/tea), flow (urine, poop) mindset and movement, castor oil packs are one of the cornerstones to living a legendary life.

What Goes In, Must Come Out 

In summary, what goes in must come out.  Otherwise, game over!  We are healthy if we can digest, absorb and eliminate.  The key is to move into the parasympathetic state, the pause, as often as possible and to practice until it is toned.  It is then that the microbiome can be maintained, the response to food is adequate and our body temples are nourished.  Poop is perfect. 

It is possible to achieve a state of no brain fog, feeling good in your skin, happy in your head and empowered in your lifestyle.  It’s your time to know your poo and own your throne.  Join the movement, so we all have improvement. 

If you would like to learn more:

Find Out About Castor Oil Packs Here

Castor Oil Pack Course – Fit for a Queen

Castor Oil Pack Bundle Purchase 

Grateful Dung Bracelet – Parasympathetic Pause and Poo Colour

Eau de Throne™ After you Poo Parfum™ Natural Organic Spray Calms Mind Makes a Good Movement

References:

1 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.

2 Rolls ET, O’Doherty J, Kringelbach ML, Francis S, Bowtell R, McGlone F. Representations of pleasant and painful touch in the human orbitofrontal and cingulate cortices. Cereb Cortex. 2003 Mar;13(3):308-17.

3  Snoek SA, Verstege MI, Boeckxstaens GE, van den Wijngaard RM, de Jonge WJ The enteric nervous system as a regulator of intestinal epithelial barrier function in health and disease. Expert RevGastroenterol Hepatol. 2010 Oct;4(5):637-51.

4  Keita AV, Söderholm JD. The intestinal barrier and its regulation by neuroimmune factors.Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2010 Jul;22(7):718-33. Epub 2010 Apr 9.

5  Kraneveld AD, Rijnierse A, Nijkamp FP, Garssen J.Neuro-immune interactions in inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome: future therapeutic targets. Eur J Pharmacol. 2008 May 13;585(2-3):361-74. Epub 2008 Mar 18.

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

7 Holm T1, Brøgger-Jensen MR, Johnson L, Kessel 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.

8 Tunaru S1, Althoff TF, Nüsing RM, Diener M, Offermanns S. 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):9179-84. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1201627109. Epub 2012 May 21.

9 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.

10 Badaró MM1, Salles MM1, Leite VMF1, Arruda CNF1, Oliveira VC1, Nascimento CD1, Souza RF1, Paranhos HFO1, Silva-Lovato CH1. Clinical trial for evaluation of Ricinus communis and sodium hypochlorite as denture cleanser. J Appl Oral Sci. 2017 May-Jun;25(3):324-334. doi: 10.1590/1678-7757-2016-0222.

11 Andrade IM1, Andrade KM2, Pisani MX1, Silva-Lovato CH1, de Souza RF1, Paranhos Hde F1. Trial of an experimental castor oil solution for cleaning dentures. Braz Dent J. 2014 Jan-Feb;25(1):43-7. 

DISCLAIMER:

The information delivered are suggestions and practices from the author.  It does not replace the advice of your health care professional.  These suggestions are not a recommendation for treatment.  Before proceeding with any practice suggested please consult with your health care professional of choice.  This content is for educational purposes only.

Do Castor Oil Packs Really Work? | They Are Making a Comeback!

Do Castor Oil Packs Really Work? | They Are Making a Comeback!

Castor oil packs are a legendary treatment that dates back to ancient times. Traditional Chinese medicine, Indian Ayurveda, Ancient Egyptians and Mediterraneans all used castor oil for its rejuvenating health and beauty aspects. It is even mentioned in the bible as the oil that anoints. The plant has been given the special name of the Palm of Christ. The oil and the packs have been around forever and will forever be a part of natural medicine.

But do they really work??

I can personally say that castor oil packs changed my life and were a big contributor to my healing. They are my #1 prescription with patients because their benefits on the body are so far-reaching. So let’s dive into the science behind how castor oil packs work and what they do for the body!

  1. Feel Good and Relax – Bring Pleasure – Stimulate Dopamine

Who doesn’t want to be relaxed, feel good and feel pleasure? Like the pleasure you feel after an amazing meal1.

These packs are meant to relax the body. By applying the pack on the body, most commonly the liver area underneath the right ribcage, you stimulate the sensory receptors in the human hairy skin. This sends a message via the somatic-visceral reflexes, the fancy term for the sensory receptors on the skin, to the organs inside the body. The corresponding organs that are affected are the liver, pancreas, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, kidney and adrenals. Because the stimulus is soft to the touch and pleasurable2, it moves your body into the relaxed state from the stressed state. Studies show that stimulation of the skin lights up the areas of the brain exactly as they do with pleasurable, dopamine-stimulating fatty meals. Big difference though, castor oil packs are way healthier than an excessively fatty meal!

I call these packs the escape button for the nervous system, like on your computer, and the science of physioneurology proves it. Castor oil packs take your body from frazzled to fine in a matter of minutes, all by naturally working with your physiology to make it happen. They are great because they are non-invasive and so beneficial to overall health. You could say it’s almost like giving your body a great big hug3 and you get the same benefits from it.

Because of this aspect you want to make sure that you are using good quality, luxurious, organic cotton flannel that is soft to the touch. The sensory receptors identity the soft sensation as pleasurable which promotes the relaxed state. The pack is just as important as the oil. If you use the oil on your body without the pack, you will lose the majority of the relaxation benefit.

Why does being relaxed matter? When you are relaxed you can heal, your digestive system produces all of its juices with ease, like digestive enzymes, bile, hydrochloric acid and immune factors4. Most important is that your so called “leaky gut” is a response to living in a stressed-out state. In the relaxed state, stimulated by a castor oil pack, you regain your gut integrity5 6 7. This means that all the supplements and organic food that you are taking, you will absorb even better if you are using castor oil packs. They help to optimize digestion so that all these pills and potions you take will help supercharge your life.

In the relaxed state is also where your body can cleanse, detox and simply clean up the junk that is in your system. When your body is in the stressed state, all of these functions go on maintenance mode instead of enhanced mode. Move your body into the relaxed state with a castor oil pack and you have the recipe for successful cleansing and detox.

A cool practical application of these castor oil packs that I have seen in practice, is for health nuts just like me that love to do regular cleanses. When you do these packs during a cleanse, you AVOID the dreaded cleansing symptoms like headaches, skin irritation, moodiness, joint/muscle aches and pains. The mechanism of action here is this, when you are stressed and running away from say, a tiger who is going to eat you, your blood is flowing to the extremities and to your brain. Similarly, if you do a cleanse while in the stressed state, the toxins that you are trying to eliminate from your body will flow to your extremities, causing aches and pains, and to your brain, giving you headaches and moodiness. It’s physiology 101, in the stressed state your blood hemodynamics feed the extremities to get you away from the predator to survive, in the relaxed state your blood flows to your internal organs allowing you to digest, cleanse and reset. If you want to supercharge your cleanses and make it easy on you and those around you, ALWAYS do a castor oil pack for support.

Even better, retraining your nervous system daily to switch into the relaxed state helps you to optimize your life, in general, since you will become more resilient to stress of all types. These days we need it. So make these packs a daily health practice for life. You won’t want to stop.

2. Reduces Pain & Inflammation – Where there is Inflammation there is Sickness, Toxicity and Overall Distress in the Body

Let’s face it, as humans we run from pain and move towards pleasure. How does the castor oil pack stimulate pleasure and reduce inflammation at the same time?

The chemical structure of ricinoleic acid, the main component of this magical castor oil, is similar in structure to prostaglandins in our bodies that reduce inflammation. To put this into context, when you take a fish oil supplement, you take it because it provides you with these prostaglandins that will reduce inflammation all over your body. Castor oil is exactly like that, although we don’t take it orally for this effect, we use it as pack on our bodies to reduce inflammation.

It also reduces substance P8 in the body, that is a chemical messenger that promotes the sensation of pain.

Inflammation in your body equals retention of water. Inflammation is basically a fire that burns in the body with the purpose of creating destruction in order to recreate, renew and heal. Inflammation is purposeful and it can be healthy. However, many cases of inflammation get out of control and result only in destruction. Firefighters use water to control a fire, so does your body. With an inflamed intestine and gut, the body will hold water in the abdominal area to decrease the irritation. This leads to excess weight in your abdomen, the so called central obesity or in laymen’s terms, the “beer belly”. Castor oil packs help to reduce and regulate the inflammation in the abdomen, so that you can work towards that flat belly you are dreaming of.

3. Castor Oil Increases your MASTER Cleansing Agent – GLUTATHIONE

If you haven’t heard of glutathione, this is what you need to know. Glutathione is an incredible molecule that pulls and helps with elimination of most, if not all, toxic substances from the body including things like the dreaded heavy metals.

Glutathione is worth its weight in gold and it is priceless for a healthy body. The problem is that most of us are running on empty. We have used up our stores of glutathione because we have been bombarded with chemicals and pesticides of all types since the industrial revolution in the early 1900s.

Glutathione is also difficult to recycle naturally in our bodies and there are very few sources from our food. Some food sources are whey protein (which I don’t suggest because it is mucous-forming) or rooibos tea, which I personally love and always recommend drinking on cleanses. You can also take glutathione supplementally, via intravenous infusion or oral capsules. The latter of these isn’t necessarily the best absorbed and there is controversy about whether or not it is worth it to take glutathione orally.

Enter castor oil! A recent research study demonstrated that glutathione was increased in rat ocular lenses when they were placed in castor oil, greater than in the ocular lenses placed in actual glutathione9! Incredible.

We’ve known for eons that castor oil packs aided in cleansing and detoxification but we weren’t sure exactly why. This eludes to the benefits of castor oil far beyond what we comprehended. This mystical oil is still surprising us and I’d bet there is more to come.

4. Makes you Poo! By Stimulating Smooth Muscles of the Body

We all love a great poo. In fact there is nothing more pleasurable than poo, well perhaps a great orgasm! When we don’t poo frequently enough, we are recirculating in our bodies the junk that needs to come out. This builds our toxic load and predisposes us to problems like excess cholesterol, hormone imbalances and much more.

Castor oil stimulates smooth muscle contraction via the prostaglandin EP3 receptors of the body10. Smooth muscle is what the intestines and guts are composed of, as is the uterus. Working with castor oil packs stimulates these to move.

One caution: Do not use castor oil packs or castor oil while pregnant. It is unknown but it could possibly cause movement of the smooth muscle of the uterus, enough to terminate the pregnancy. Work with your knowledgeable practitioner on this one.

Cleanliness is next to godliness and keeping your bowels moving and regular keeps you happier, healthier and in tune with your body. Instead of using laxatives, put on your castor oil pack today! It’s proven to be just as effective and is a lot gentler on your system11.

5. Promotes a Balanced Microbiome, Happy Gut, and Biofilm Breakdown

Having a healthy microbiome has massive implications for your overall health. Benefits include balanced mood, good bowel movements, reduced abdominal pain including bloating and gas, reduced physical inflammation, improvement of auto-immune and hormonal problems, the list goes on and on. A healthy microbiome is the one major determinant of your overall health.

A very common issue for many people is overpopulation of bad gut bugs, or as I call them, “conbiotics”. They are con artists that take up residency in your gut and steal space from the good guys known as “probiotics”. Probiotics do great things for your body. They produce B vitamins and byproducts like butyrate which help to keep the gut really healthy. The conbiotics just wreak havoc. They can produce a protective layer called biofilm to keep them from being terminated. Biofilm can be so strong that it is almost impossible to kill off these conbiotics. If you are able to break down the biofilm then you have a much better chance of getting them out of your body and restoring the peace. Castor oil is one of very few natural substances that can break down this barrier, as well as chemical biofilm breakers like sodium hypochlorite12. The probiotics you are taking are actually going to work better and provide you with super health if you are able to get rid of biofilm in your gut. Wow, you save money and feel better faster.

Now that you know the benefits of practising a castor oil pack regularly, it just makes sense to do it. These are all things that many of us are spending thousands of dollars to achieve. Use the castor oil pack as a way to enhance all of the treatments, supplements and health tools that you are currently using. It’s your best next step to health.

As the Queen of the Thrones and of castor oil here are the most common questions I get about castor oil packs.

  1. How does this oil get through the skin? The active component of castor oil is ricinoleic acid. Castor oil is composed approximately of 75-85% of this fatty acid. It has a molecular weight of 298 daltons. In dermatological medicine there is what is called the 500 Dalton Rule. Substances that are below 500 daltons can permeate through the lower layer of the epidermis, which is the top layer of the skin. It can then go deeper, into the dermis, that contains the blood and lymphatic vessels. These are the superhighways of the body, transporting medicinal substances like castor oil into the body. Compression also helps to put tension on the skin, facilitating its deep penetration. So using the pack is a very important part of the treatment.
  2. Do you need to use heat? Heat is optional. Used as a modality in natural medicine, heat slows things down, so depending on your bowel function you can use it appropriately. If you go to the bathroom too much, add heat to slow things down. If you don’t go enough, let your own natural body heat do the job. If you have your period, use heat as it will help to relax the uterine spasms. Heat has been shown to only speed up the elimination of metabolites and not the rate of liver detoxification13.
  3. Should I use my castor oil packs during my period? Yes, absolutely! In fact, it will help with reduction of pain and cramping associated with your period. The concern was that the castor oil pack would make you bleed more. This is not the case, you will bleed what you have to bleed independent of the pack. The pack may speed up your period, but that could be of benefit if you’re off to a beach holiday!
  4. Castor oil packs are so messy, I don’t want to do them! You no longer have this excuse my friends. That’s exactly why I created the Queen of the Thrones™ Castor Oil Pack, to make it a simple 2-step process instead of a 12 step ordeal. The Queen of the Thrones™ Castor Oil Pack attaches onto your body for ease of use.
  5. How do I wash my Queen of the Thrones™ Castor Oil Pack? You do not ever have to wash your pack, if you take care to only apply oil in the center of the pack away from the seams. If you do prefer to wash your pack when it becomes very saturated with oil, usually after 15-20 treatments, you may do so. Soak overnight in hot water with 4 tbsp. of baking soda, and 1/2 tsp. of clean, natural dish soap. In the morning wring it out and hand wash with the healthy dish soap. Place on the outside of an old tea towel that you don’t mind ruining and press out the castor oil. Continue to do this until the outside has very little to no oily residue.
  6. How often do I need to replace my Queen of the Thrones™ Castor Oil Pack? Things don’t last forever, but in general, with daily usage your pack should last 3-4 months. For those who care for it well or use less frequently, longer.
  7. When is the best time to do the castor oil pack? There really is no best time, but it is best to do it DAILY! Before bed is ideal because the castor oil pack relaxes your body and promotes an amazing sleep.
  8. How long do I wear my castor oil pack for? Wear your castor oil pack for a minimum of 1 hour each day, or ideally overnight.
  9. What kind of material should I use for my castor oil pack? I recommend using organic cotton flannel for the side that touches your skin. Otherwise materials contain brominated flame retardants that are hormone14, nervous and immune system disrupting15 16. The Queen of the Thrones™ Castor Oil Pack is made from organic cotton without flame retardants on the inside and a non-toxic barrier layer on the outside made from eco and health friendly poly-urethane (PUL).
  10. Why Should I buy my castor oil in a glass bottle and organic? Castor oil is a carrier substance as well as a healing agent. In a plastic bottle, castor oil will grab onto the chemicals in plastic and bring it into your body. All oils should be in a glass bottle if you are using them in or on your body. Organic is simply because it is produced cleaner and has had less exposure to chemicals and pesticides.
  11. How much castor oil do I use per treatment? Each treatment requires a new application of the oil. You always want to start fresh and reapply. Apply 2 tbsp of Queen of the Thrones™ castor oil in the center of the pack, then fold in half using either side to blot the oil around. Be cautious not to get it in the seams as there are holes and the oil will permeate the pack if you do.

Are you eager to learn more about this legendary oil? For a limited time, Dr. Marisol is offering her online course, Fit for a Queen, which is her comprehensive online program all about castor oil, for only $11 ($189 value). This course teaches Dr. Marisol’s personal and clinical experience with castor oil, the history of castor oil, conventional and natural medicinal uses, beauty applications and tons of tips and tricks to incorporate this healing oil into your daily life. You don’t want to miss this amazing opportunity! Click here to learn more about Fit for a Queen.

References:

1 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.

2 Rolls ET, O’Doherty J, Kringelbach ML, Francis S, Bowtell R, McGlone F. Representations of pleasant and painful touch in the human orbitofrontal and cingulate cortices. Cereb Cortex. 2003 Mar;13(3):308-17.

3 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.

4 Grady H. Immunomodulation through castor oil packs. The Journal of Naturopathic Medicine. Volume 7 Jan 1 1998; 7(1): 84-9

5 Snoek SA, Verstege MI, Boeckxstaens GE, van den Wijngaard RM, de Jonge WJ The enteric nervous system as a regulator of intestinal epithelial barrier function in health and disease. Expert RevGastroenterol Hepatol. 2010 Oct;4(5):637-51.

6 Keita AV, Söderholm JD. The intestinal barrier and its regulation by neuroimmune factors.Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2010 Jul;22(7):718-33. Epub 2010 Apr 9.

7 Kraneveld AD, Rijnierse A, Nijkamp FP, Garssen J.Neuro-immune interactions in inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome: future therapeutic targets. Eur J Pharmacol. 2008 May 13;585(2-3):361-74. Epub 2008 Mar 18.

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

9 Holm T1, Brøgger-Jensen MR, Johnson L, Kessel 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.

10 Tunaru S1, Althoff TF, Nüsing RM, Diener M, Offermanns S. 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):9179-84. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1201627109. Epub 2012 May 21.

11 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.

12 Badaró MM1, Salles MM1, Leite VMF1, Arruda CNF1, Oliveira VC1, Nascimento CD1, Souza RF1, Paranhos HFO1, Silva-Lovato CH1. Clinical trial for evaluation of Ricinus communis and sodium hypochlorite as denture cleanser. J Appl Oral Sci. 2017 May-Jun;25(3):324-334. doi: 10.1590/1678-7757-2016-0222.

13 Huber R, Weisser S, Luedtke R. Effects of abdominal hot compresses on indocyanine green elimination–a randomized cross over study in healthy subjects. BMC Gastroenterol. 2007 Jul 10;7:27.

14 Ezechias M, Svobodova K, Cajthaml T. Hormonal activities of new brominated flame retardants. Chemosphere. 2012 Jan 9.

15 Miller MF, Chernyak SM, Domino SE, Batterman SA, Loch-Caruso Concentrations and speciation of polybrominated diphenyl ethers in human amniotic fluid. R.Sci Total Environ. 2012 Jan 9.

16 Wang L, Zou W, Zhong Y, An J, Zhang X, Wu M, Yu Z. The hormesis effect of BDE-47 in HepG(2) cells and the potential molecular mechanism. Toxicol Lett. 2012 Jan 3;209(2):193-201.