The First 3 Things To Do If You’ve Been Diagnosed With Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

The first three things to do if you've been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

 

How stress, poor sleep, and too much sugar is messing with your bowel movements!

 

Bowel movements, defecation, going poo… the #1 most important process of the human body, and not the #2! If you’re one of the 14-20% of the world population with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), that’s approximately one BILLION people1. And it is hypothesized that those who have gotten the diagnosis are only the tip of the iceberg, meaning that there are so many more people that have it but haven’t been diagnosed yet. You know all too well how it can negatively affect your life. Here are the first 3 things you need to do to take control of what is happening to your body. It has to do with 3 “s” words, and shit isn’t one of them. Stools, stress and sleep.

 

Irritable Bowel Syndrome – What is it?

 

Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic, long term, recurring functional condition, meaning that when you are tested via labs or colonoscopy, everything looks normal. There seems to be no reason for your symptoms, nevertheless you have them and they are debilitating.

 

The Frustration of an Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diagnosis 

 

This is extremely frustrating to hear from your doctor, especially after you have been suffering with these symptoms that have had a detrimental impact on all aspects of your life. From limiting your social life for fear of an adverse bowel movement, to affecting your work life by causing you to spend too much time in the bathroom or taking more sick days than the norm. Not to mention huge psychological impact on your well being, living with this ever growing problem.

 

Risk Factors for Irritable Bowel Syndrome 

 

The most noted risk factors for irritable bowel syndrome are being a women, of young age, and having a preceding gut infection of some sort2. The risk is actually four times higher for those who have had an infectious gut condition3.

 

Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome 

 

The most common symptoms of IBS include a combination of recurring:

 

  • Abdominal pain
  • Distension, bloating and gas
  • Abnormal bowel movements – diarrhea and/or constipation

The Categories of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

 

It is classified in three categories – constipation, diarrhea or an alternation between both.

 

  • IBS-C: Predominantly constipation
  • IBS-D: Predominantly diarrhea
  • IBS-M: Mixed, alternating between constipation and diarrhea
  • IBS-U: Unclassified

The classification is based upon the Bristol Stool Scale (see below), designating the form of bowel movements.

 

 

My Experience As a Naturopathic Doctor with IBS-M 

 

I have suffered with mixed type irritable bowel syndrome for the greater part of my life. In my youth I was constipated, mostly due to food choices and a home life that was incredibly stressful. The child of immigrants, with very little family or social support, we were poor and trying to succeed in a new world, which added an unbelievable burden to a family.  After an episode of food poisoning in my early 20’s I began to experience alternating constipation and diarrhea, in effect the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome mixed (IBS-M). I didn’t get the diagnosis until about a decade later and suffered in silence.

 

You Think your Bowel Movements are Normal, But They’re Not

 

I didn’t go to the doctor, mostly because I thought my bowel movements were normal. Both of my parents had chronic bowel problems but were never diagnosed. Looking back now, the signs were very clear. My father had IBS-D, predominantly diarrhea and my mother IBS-C, predominantly constipation.

 

Dr. Google Can’t Tell You Everything About Irritable Bowel Syndrome

 

I went back to school to become a naturopathic doctor after being diagnosed and told, “You have IBS, sorry for your luck, there really isn’t anything you can do.” I had Dr. Googled it and became enlightened, realizing that this was an epidemic in my family. I soon found out that it was an epidemic in the world as well! I wanted to change that and help people, just like yourself, and in the process ‘fix’ myself and my family. Much like what you’re probably trying to do right now.

 

My goal is to fix this, to create the platform to really help those that are suffering. To get the proper information to you, so that you can be empowered to live your best life, the legendary life you deserve. Together we can do it. Please share this article with your friends and those that you know are suffering.

 

The Things I Had to Do to Survive IBS – Warning: GRAPHIC CONTENT 

 

I lived with worries of not being able to go to the bathroom, mechanically (with my hand yes) trying to get the poo out. Gosh I can’t believe that I am sharing that. This is super embarrassing, but after sitting on the toilet for hours, feeling like I have to go and straining and I can’t, you do anything to get it out.

 

I would avoid social situations all together, preferring to hang out at home, close to the bathroom. I was worried I would have an accident at any given point in time. This was very hard for me, especially because I’m such an outgoing social person. I like my alone time, but being forced to spend time at home wasn’t pleasant. I even got into the habit of carrying a spare pair of underwear in my bag everywhere I went, ‘Just in case!’. It was devastating. Not a way to live at all. I’m so deeply saddened as I write this, reliving the emotions that I went through in that time.

 

My Parents Also Had IBS But Weren’t Diagnosed 

 

I know both of my parents spent more time dependent on the nearest bathroom than not. I realized that they weren’t as social as they aged because this was also a huge pain point for them. It’s sad that they spent their entire life chained to the bathroom, not understanding what was wrong, and not knowing what to do about it.

 

I DON’T WANT THE SAME FOR YOU.

 

Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome Genetic? 

 

It is possible. There is a link to early life exposure to stress affecting the bodies natural response to stress. So, your exposure to stress in utero or fetal programming4 as well as  experiences as a young child can pre-program you into a maladaptive, unhealthy response to stress, changing the way that your hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) functions5. These are the master organs that balance the regulation systems of your body, most responsible for the way your body deals with stress.

 

In a nutshell, if your mother was dealing with stress, or she was just a stress-head like mine was (and my grandmother, and grandmother before that – may they all rest in peace) while she was pregnant with you or if high stress was the norm in your household, it is possible that it set you up to have a weaker ability to adapt to stressors. Because remember, everything is about practice. If your stress response was over practiced in an unhealthy way in this formative time in your life, this could definitely be a precursor to irritable bowel syndrome and…

 

IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT, BUT IT IS UP TO YOU TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

 

The Regulatory Systems Impacted In Irritable Bowel Syndrome 

 

When you are under stress, whether it be emotional or physical stress, the body does not have the ability to differentiate6. Two processes occur in the body to try and maintain balance. The inflammatory arm of the immune system activates to try and burn off the stressor. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (a combination of the hormonal and nervous system7) also activates to turn off less important mechanisms that don’t deal with immediate life right now.

 

These three regulatory systems of the body, the immune, nervous and hormonal system’s goal in health is to keep everything in balance, everything functioning well. But under stress, they shut down non-vital functions for preservation of life. Therefore there’s dysregulation in these systems with IBS8. We also see an elevation of glucocorticoids and inflammatory markers.

 

So don’t be surprised if you find yourself with multiple conditions on top of your IBS. For me, I had both irritable bowel syndrome as well as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). These are often conditions that respond to an elevation of the bodies’ immune inflammatory messengers and the neurohormonal glucocorticoids.

 

Hormone Problems and IBS

 

Is this a coincidence then, that I, like many who have IBS, also have PCOS? No it is not, because the body can only balance so much. In PCOS there are elevated levels of leptin, a hormone that affects food intake, energy balance and fat tissue stores but is also pro-inflammatory to the intestinal tract. Research shows that with irritable bowel syndrome there is also this elevated level of leptin in the intestine9.

 

When there is stress, many of our non-vital systems like being being fertile, having regular periods, or having a healthy metabolism go into preservation mode, because the infinite intelligence of our bodies doesn’t want to use up resources because it has no idea how long the stressor will last.

 

Another co-existing hormonal problem that is common with IBS type symptoms, like constipation, is hypothyroid10.

 

Immune System Problems and IBS

 

The immune system is regulated by the MICROBIOME. The ever important home of billions of bugs that live on our mucosal membrane and skin.

 

Healthy, friendly probiotics help to improve the mucosal immune system11, whereas conbiotics™, as I like to call them, or pathogenic bacteria cause total dysfunction of the immune system12.

 

This leads you susceptible to constantly getting sick. Overreacting to foods as your gut’s reaction to foods is based on the immune system. It is well known that people with IBS react to many foods such as lactose13, gluten14 and other components of wheat to name a few. This is a complex subject on its own–check out our blog on ‘How Food Allergies, Sensitivities and Intolerances are Messing with Your IBS’ here.

 

Nervous System Problems and IBS

 

Google IBS and you will soon find many links that discuss the coexistence of depression and anxiety with IBS, but also as a coexisting factor with most chronic conditions. Many say that it may be in response to the condition, but it very well may be the cause of the condition, (is it the chicken or the egg, which came first?) as stress significantly alters the bodies’ regulatory homeostatic mechanisms15.

 

Is Stress the Cause of IBS?

 

Stress is a root cause of many conditions and chronic diseases. It is likely that it is a root cause of IBS, as the overlap of anxiety, depression, hormonal disturbances and immune variations are all linked to irritable bowel syndrome.

 

Treatments for Irritable Bowel Syndrome 

 

It’s no surprise that at present the majority of treatments and medicines for irritable bowel syndrome are tools that mediate the functions of these three regulatory systems of the immune, nervous and hormonal systems, as the gut is the main hub for all three.

 

Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications have been used for IBS, as well as antibiotics such as Rifaximin, as a way to improve the gut microbiome16.

 

My Choice for Treatment 

 

When I was diagnosed, I was already doing all the supplements, I had done rounds of antibiotics, I wasn’t interested in taking anti-anxiety drugs or antidepressants because I didn’t feel that I was deficient in them. I felt better supported if I would take multivitamins, a B-complex and other vitamins and minerals known to be low in people with anxiety, which for me was also a coexisting problem. The problem was I wasn’t getting any better.

 

Fix the FOUNDATION, Don’t Palliate the Problem

 

So I choose to look at things from a different, more foundational perspective, and this is how I got relief of my symptoms. Not by looking at what I could take to fix the problem, but what I could do and practice that would prepare my body to be in the best shape and target the regulation of the 3 systems that weren’t in balance. The immune, hormonal and nervous systems of my body. This was my 3 step plan to set the foundation for my healing of irritable bowel syndrome, and what become the foundational plan for all of my patients in clinical practice where I have treated thousands, improved their irritable bowel syndrome and healed their guts.

 

So I Just Got An IBS Diagnosis – What Now? 

 

These are the three steps to start with. 

 

1. KNOW YOUR STOOLS 

 

Your stools say everything about you. It’s no surprise that irritable bowel syndrome is classified based on the form according to the Bristol Stool Scale and Frequency.

 

After years of living with IBS, inspecting my stools, then becoming a naturopathic doctor I realized that there was so much more to learn from your stools than just a diagnosis.

 

I found out that stools could tell you how your hormonal system, immune system and nervous system was working.

 

They could also tell you key nutrient deficiencies that were implicated in problems with those systems, like magnesium being low in hormonal problems and zinc deficiency in nervous system problems, as an example. They tell about B-vitamins and other necessities to keep the foundation of our bodies functioning in harmony.

 

I discovered 11 factors of our stools, I call them the Golden Nuggets about your poo. They can tell you about how your digestion is working and so much more. It’s a wealth of information to the extent that if I sat with a patient, I would know exactly what I needed to do just by what they told be about their stools.

 

This is the most important place to start, because as Maya Angelou said, “When you know better, you do better.”

 

It’s time for you to know better. Download my free guide called the 50 Shades of Poo that is the first step in understanding what your poo says about you. This will set you up with an excellent practice so you can take control of your irritable bowel syndrome!

 

 

2. ADDRESS YOUR STRESS

 

Stress plays such a key role in IBS and the problem is we are constantly bombarded with stress. Massages and acupuncture are great ways to balance our stress levels, but we can only do them from time to time because cost is prohibitive and we are so busy, it’s hard to go to an appointment.

 

I was told for years to do a castor oil pack. A legendary health practice that has been in existence since biblical times and practiced by all systems and cultures of medicine. Indian, Chinese, Greek, Mediterranean, Caribbean, etc.

 

This tool is predominantly used to practice the pause, or the relaxed state17. It is the staple of my clinical practice, the very first prescription before anything else. Because in the relaxed state you can heal. Your gut microbiota is healthier, your inflammation is down, you cleanse better and your bowels move (these are also all the things the castor oil pack does, independently of helping you to practice the pause). This is the tool that was the MISSING LINK for me in my treatment, as I was doing everything else ‘right’. A healthy diet, good quality supplements, and regular exercise… but once I did this my world changed.

 

 

3. FIX YOUR SLEEP 

 

Sleep resets the body and it undeniably helps with cleansing and calming, so that the nervous, hormonal and immune systems have a fighting chance.

 

One way to improve your sleep is simply by wearing an eye mask. Like the castor oil pack placed on the liver, the eye mask stimulates the pituitary gland to produce melatonin naturally18. This is a supplement-free way to help your body sleep and it’s amazing how a simple strategy can help to improve the bodies’ ability to heal overnight.

The Beauty Sleep Eye Kit™ contains an eye mask as well as a 100ml Cosmetic Castor Oil and cosmetic brush for application of castor oil to the eyelash and eyebrow areas.

So there you have it. Those are the first three things that need to be done once you know you have been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome. Had I known about these at the beginning of my journey, I would have had a much easier time. My hope is that you take these and let them help you to  make a difference in your life. Because you don’t need to suffer. You need to learn and do what will help you to get your best body balance.

 

If you want to learn more about the re-setting your gut and how to become your best ‘digestive self’, order my book “Oh Sh*t, The 3 Stress-Less Steps to Connect, Clear and Calm Digestion” online here!

 

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1 Padhy SK1, Sahoo S1, Mahajan S1, Sinha SK2. Irritable bowel syndrome: Is it “irritable brain” or “irritable bowel”? J Neurosci Rural Pract. 2015 Oct-Dec;6(4):568-77. doi: 10.4103/0976-3147.169802.

 

2 Paul Enck,1 Qasim Aziz,2 Giovanni Barbara,3 Adam D. Farmer,2 Shin Fukudo,4 Emeran A. Mayer,5 Beate Niesler,6 Eamonn M. M. Quigley,7 Mirjana Rajilić-Stojanović,8 Michael Schemann,9 Juliane Schwille-Kiuntke,1 Magnus Simren,10 Stephan Zipfel,1 and Robin C. Spiller11 Irritable bowel syndrome  Nat Rev Dis Primers. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2016 Aug 26.Nat Rev Dis Primers. 2016; 2: 16014.PMID: 27159638

 

3 Fabiane Klem,1,2,* Akhilesh Wadhwa,1,* Larry Prokop,1 Wendy Sundt,1 Gianrico Farrugia,1 Michael Camilleri,1 Siddharth Singh,3 and Madhusudan Grover1,# Prevalence, Risk Factors, and Outcomes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome After Infectious Enteritis: a Systematic Review and Meta-analysisGastroenterology. 2017 Apr; 152(5): 1042–1054.e1.PMID: 28069350

 

4 Mariann A. Howland,1 Curt A. Sandman,1 and Laura M. Glynn1,2 Developmental origins of the human hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axisExpert Rev Endocrinol Metab. 2017 Sep; 12(5): 321–339.PMID: 30058893

 

5 Miranda van Bodegom, Judith R. Homberg, and Marloes J. A. G. Henckens* Modulation of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis by Early Life Stress Exposure. Front Cell Neurosci. 2017; 11: 87. 10.3389/fncel.2017.00087PMID: 28469557

 

6 Vanja Duric, * Sarah Clayton, Mai Lan Leong, and Li-Lian Yuan Comorbidity Factors and Brain Mechanisms Linking Chronic Stress and Systemic Illness Neural Plast. 2016; 2016: 5460732. PMID: 26977323

 

7 Kate Ryan Kuhlman,1 Jessica J. Chiang,2 Sarah Horn,3 and Julienne E. Bower1 Developmental psychoneuroendocrine and psychoneuroimmune pathways from childhood adversity to disease Neurosci Biobehav Rev. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2018 Sep 1.Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2017 Sep; 80: 166–184.PMID: 28577879

 

8 O’Malley D1. Endocrine regulation of gut function – a role for glucagon-like peptide-1 in the pathophysiology of irritable bowel syndrome. Exp Physiol. 2019 Jan;104(1):3-10. doi: 10.1113/EP087443. Epub 2018 Dec 10.

 

9 De-Rong Liu, Xiao-Juan Xu, and Shu-Kun Yao Increased intestinal mucosal leptin levels in patients with diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome World J Gastroenterol. 2018 Jan 7; 24(1): 46–57.PMID: 29358881

 

10 Anant D. Patil Link between hypothyroidism and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2014 May-Jun; 18(3): 307–309.PMID: 24944923

 

11 Salvucci E1,2. The human-microbiome superorganism and its modulation to restore health. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2019 Mar 7:1-15. doi: 10.1080/09637486.2019.1580682. [Epub ahead of print]

 

12 Shi N#1, Li N#2, Duan X2, Niu H1. Interaction between the gut microbiome and mucosal immune system. Mil Med Res. 2017 Apr 27;4:14. doi: 10.1186/s40779-017-0122-9. eCollection 2017.

 

13Bayless TM1,2, Brown E3, Paige DM3. Lactase Non-persistence and Lactose Intolerance. Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2017 May;19(5):23. doi: 10.1007/s11894-017-0558-9.

 

14 Rej A1, Sanders DS1,2. The overlap of irritable bowel syndrome and noncoeliac gluten sensitivity. Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 2019 Feb 12. doi: 10.1097/MOG.0000000000000517.

 

15 Vanja Duric, * Sarah Clayton, Mai Lan Leong, and Li-Lian Yuan Comorbidity Factors and Brain Mechanisms Linking Chronic Stress and Systemic Illness Neural Plast. 2016; 2016: 5460732.Published online 2016 Feb 8. doi: 10.1155/2016/5460732PMID: 26977323]

 

16 Emanuele Sinagra, Gaetano Cristian Morreale, Ghazaleh Mohammadian, Giorgio Fusco, Valentina Guarnotta, Giovanni Tomasello, Francesco Cappello, Francesca Rossi, Georgios Amvrosiadis, and Dario Raimondo New therapeutic perspectives in irritable bowel syndrome: Targeting low-grade inflammation, immuno-neuroendocrine axis, motility, secretion and beyond. World J Gastroenterol. 2017 Sep 28; 23(36): 6593–6627.PMID: 29085207h

 

17  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)

 

18 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

 

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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 date 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 enjoy drinking on cleanses. Get Purasanas Lemon Rooibos Cleanse tea here in our Queen of the Thrones™ CANADIAN online shop!

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 10-12 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 2-3 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 1-2 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, N.D. 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, N.D.’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.

 

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