Castor oil, blue cohosh, flax seed oil, black cohosh and evening primrose oil are a few of the herbs and oils used to naturally induce labor.
Some women use castor oil for naturally inducing contractions. Castor oil is derived from the seed on the castor oil plant and has many different uses. The uses of castor oil range from treatments for hair growth to therapy for constipation. When castor oil is used to bring on contractions it is usually done under the direction of a practitioner.
Usually castor oil is used to induce labor when labor doesn’t start on its own after about a week. Castor oil is one of the natural remedies used when the intention is to speed up labor.
Induced labor is used when a woman’s water breaks but labor doesn’t start. There are many other conditions, including preeclampsia and gestational diabetes, which require that labor be induced and this may be done using natural remedies. These natural remedies are used to ripen the cervix. When the cervix ripens, it becomes thin and soft and opens to allow the fetus to pass.
A large percentage of births are induced each year. The number of cases involving induced labor increases every year in many different countries. When doctors attempt to induce labor, if the attempt is not successful, the mother will have to undergo a caesarean section (C-section) in order to deliver her baby. Naturally inducing labor successfully is the aim of the practitioner at the last stage of pregnancy when labor is long overdue.
Castor oil induces labor by stimulating contractions in the abdomen and uterus. It works for some women but not all. It is best to not ingest the oil orally. If a midwife, doctor or other practitioner uses castor oil to induce labor by stimulating contractions, they can rub the castor oil onto the woman’s stomach or feet.
A woman can also use castor oil to induce labor by inserting a castor oil capsule vaginally.
Castor oil has side effects such as diarrhea and vomiting. The drug pitocin is used to induce labor and may be a better alternative for women who are uncomfortable with the side effects of castor oil.