Detoxification: Castor Oil

Insulin Clearance with PCOS
The liver is a toxin clearing house of the human body. It converts toxic substances into a form suitable for expelling from the body. Some toxins are converted into a water-soluble form that is expelled by the kidney. Fat-soluble toxins are flushed out by the bile, a secretion of the liver through feces. Imbalances in the elimination process can cause a toxic build-up in the body affecting the overall health of the person and decreasing efficiency of the liver. For more on this topic, refer to the post on detoxification.

One function of the liver is to clear the insulin in blood after it has served its target cells. If the liver does not function efficiently due to toxic wates in the body, excess insulin remains in circulation. We have seen in an earlier post that PCOS patients are very sensitive to excess insulin; some of the excess insulin is converted to testosterone which is responsible for hirsutism, acne, alopecia areata, etc. So, women with PCOS cannot afford a sluggish liver! A cleansing program to detoxify the body and stimulate the liver is a must.

Remedy: Castor Oil
Castor Oil is one of the best detoxifying and curative agents. It is a thick and viscous oil with a nauseating taste. Based on its mode of application, it can cure a host of ailments. Most commonly, it is used for cleansing the liver, colon and bowels through its use as an oral laxative. Other uses include external application (directly or though oil-pads) to the abdominal area for detoxification, to the scalp for hair-growth, to the skin for controlling acne/breakouts/rashes, to joint/muscles for improving circulation, etc.

Treatment Methodology
We will look at some of the applications useful in treating PCOS.

Oral consumption - Gentle Cleansing Program
Some of the rigorous cleansing programs advocate consumption of several ounces of the oil; this can be quite strenuous for some. A gentler way is to be on a short-term (about 2 months) but a more frequent cleansing program. Here the patient should
- ingest a teaspoon of the oil on an empty stomach.
- follow it up with sips from a cup of hot water for about 10-15 minutes.
- walk briskly/run/jump to agitate the mix in the stomach for 5-10 minutes.
- follow this procedure once every week.

Within an hour or two the bowels will clear out. After a 2-month period, the patient may gradually reduce the frequency of this treatment to once a fortnight. This is extremely effective in relieving chronic constipation and clearing out toxins. Once the cleansing begins, other herbal medicines that support fertility will show more potent action and aid faster recovery. Many report weight loss within a month of starting the treatment.

Oral consumption - Gentler Cleansing Program
For those with smooth and normal bowel movements, castor oil is not required in the form of an oral laxative. It can be ingested in a gentler way without causing the bowels to empty forcefully. Here is how :
- Add 1/2 tsp. of castor oil to 1/2 tsp. of warm milk.
- Keep mixing with finger or a stirrer for 4-5 minutes till it forms a homogeneous mixture; see pictures before and after mixing them.
- Ingest before bed-time; avoid ingesting on an empty stomach.

Some may experience forceful clearance of the bowels the first few times (4-8 times) after which the body adjusts very well to the treatment.

External Application - Treating acne, alopecia areata
Regular (at least 4-5 times a week) external application of castor oil in the following ways can reverse acne and hair-loss.
- Rub 1/2 tsp. of castor oil on to the center of the head (as shown) at night until it is absorbed well by the scalp; rinse in the morning with shikakkai/herbal shampoo.
- Drop oil into both eyes and close the eyelids; wipe the excess oil and wait for 2-3 hours for the oil to get completely absorbed.
- Apply castor oil on the area of skin affected by acne and rub gently to facilitate absorption.

- Use good quality castor oil without additives (such as mint/chocolate).
- Care must taken when using castor oil with other laxatives as it may potentate their action.

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