Castor Oil & Adhesions

Transcript of video:


Over the years of doing this work, I have consistently gotten a lot of questions about whether or not castor oil, castor oil packs, or just using castor oil to massage in the belly area, can dissolve abdominal adhesions or scar tissue.

Unfortunately, there is no evidence for it … and it’s been tried. I’ve read some literature where they’ve tried to evaluate the effects of castor oil on adhesions and scar tissue but, basically, there is no evidence that it works at all.

That said, over all of these years that I’ve been doing this, which, at this point, is well over a decade, I have heard from some people for whom castor oil packs have been extremely helpful. And I think that that is partly because of the heat involved, and potentially some of the chemical interactions of the castor oil with our bodies that haven’t been quantified.

So, some people have found the castor oil packs to be very helpful. In my practitioner brain, I think the heat can be really nice, and the saturation of the moisture can be really helpful in the work that we do hands on. It softens it up, it helps to make breaking up those adhesions more comfortable, and maybe a little easier. Those two things combined – the moisture and the heat – can be really helpful. 

I’ve also heard from people for whom castor oil packs do nothing. They don’t cause any distress or anything, they just don’t help.

I’ve also heard from maybe one person over all of these years for whom the castor oil packs made them feel worse. It’s trial and error, as so much of this work can be. Especially when we’re working on ourselves and trying to figure out what’s going to work, and what’s not going to work.

I always encourage people that I think castor oil packs are benign at the worst, so it’s worth giving it a try. See how it feels for you and your body, and go from there!

As always, I recommend keeping logs of everything, because memory is notoriously fallible. Give it a try, and let me know how it goes for you! 

Leave any comments or questions down in the comments area. And something I probably don’t say often enough, if you enjoy the blog, I hope you’ll tell other people about it. 

Thanks for being here! See you in the next blog post.

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Isabel Spradlin
Isabel Spradlin
Isabel Spradlin is a Registered Nurse (RN), Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), and abdominal adhesion specialist in Portland, OR. She specializes in educating people about manual treatment (massage) for abdominal pain and dysfunction, especially when it is adhesion related. Please see the "Programs" page to see her offerings.

8 thoughts on “Castor Oil & Adhesions”

  1. Just like to share my experience. I have found that low light laser has helped immensely to get rid of adhesions. afte trying massage, castor oil packs etc, my Dr had been to a conference in Germany re Low light laser and sugested I try it. I had adhesions emanating from mesh inserted for a hernia, the adhesions had spread, were attached to my bowel and up to my liver. I found a practitioner who had a very expensive laser machine and what she achieved in 2 treatments was equivalent to all the massage I and practitioners had been doing for 2 years. My doctor suggested that I could buy a small laser machine to use myself which I did. At first I used it every day moving it over all the knotty parts of my abdomen and after about 6 months most of the knottiness had gone. I now use it a couple of times a week especially around the main scar tissue of the mesh and when I start getting any pain or discomfort and it works. The small machine cost about $650 Australian, I have been using it for several years now and it is like a miracle. Perhaps you and your reader may benefit from this

    • Hi Michele, thank you for sharing this information. I have certainly heard of the LLL being effective for soft tissue inflammation, so it makes sense that it could work for adhesions as well. I am so glad to hear it’s been so effective for you. I also know there is a very wide variety in the quality of the machines – my understanding so far is that only the high-end machines are able to penetrate the tissues deeply enough for a therapeutic effect and it sounds like you purchased quite a good one. Thank you for being respectful of this space and not trying to sell a product – and I do know that people will be interested to know the name of the machine you bought, so feel free to share that if you’re willing.

    • I was reading about natural treatments for Peyronie’s disease, Also called: penile fibrosis. It said to apply castor oil daily with a gentle massage. I used an entire 16 oz. bottle over the course of a year. For me it worked and I avoided surgery. I hope this is helpful for others!

  2. I had major exploratory laparotomy June of 2021 to determine cause of repeated partial small bowel obstructions. Many adhesions, most likely from emergency hysterectomy in 2004, and Crohn’s disease (in remission) were found and removed as much as possible. About 6 weeks afterwards, symptoms returned. I knew it was up to me to deal with the pain and inability to eat. I started castor oil packs/heat daily, along with abdominal massage and visceral massage by PT. It has helped so much and now if I even get a hint of obstruction, I return to more castor oil packs. I use a heating pad and also a hot rock for even more direct relief.

  3. Hello I am so excited to see this page. I have had a bowl obstruction due to scar tissue build up from privious surgery’s . It’s been over a year and I am worried about the scar tissue build up happening again. I have been reading about castor oil packing and wanted to give it a try. How often and how long is recommend for this treatment. Any guidance is greatly appreciated.


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