How To Induce Labor With Castor Oil?

castor oil

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Pregnancy is definitely a difficult phase when you tend to become overdue. This means that you have to continue being pregnant for an additional one or two weeks, just because you have not yet got your labor pangs.

Labor pangs or contractions mean that your baby is ready to be born. However, in some cases where there is a lack of contractions on the required hour, methods of inducing contractions are applied.

Castor oil is known as one of those age old labor pang inducers. But is it safe to use castor oil to induce labor?

Induce Labor With Castor Oil:

Castor oil has a lot of general uses. It is a vegetable oil that you get out of castor beans. The oil has the following uses:

  • It is known as a great remedy for easing constipation. In large amounts it may also cause diarrhea.
  • It is also known to induce vomiting when required.
  • It is believed to stimulate and irritate the uterus and therefore, lead to contractions.

[ Read: Constipation During Pregnancy ]

From the personal accounts of some women:

  • Castor oil is prescribed by a lot of midwives as a home remedy for inducing labor. Not much is known about its effectiveness.
  • Castor oil when used to induce labor and aid the dilation of the cervix can have very messy results. As it is known to cause diarrhea.

How Does Castor Oil Induce Labor?

It is widely known that castor oil functions as a laxative.

  • Ingesting castor oil leads to contractions of the abdominal muscles.
  • The intestines also contract and these contractions usually move on to the uterus as well.
  • This leads to contractions that may or may not lead to an active labor pain.

[ Read: Pineapple To Induce Labor ]

The Effects Of Castor Oil:

Taking castor oil to induce labor or induce it when you are overdue can lead to certain complications:

  • Castor oil can lead to diarrhea and taking it during and before your labor can cause problems.
  • Since everybody reacts differently, in many cases, using castor oil has resulted in nausea and vomiting that can worsen the situation.
  • Castor oil can also draw out the process of labor and make it even more painful. Because of the uterus contractions combined with abdominal muscle contractions.

All of these are the side-effects of using castor oil. However, these may vary from person to person. A lot of women are known to benefit from the use of castor oil.

[ Read: Vomiting During Pregnancy ]


  • Castor oil is known to take an average of five to six hours to induce active labor.
  • In some cases a single dose of castor oil is known to yield results.
  • Whereas, in some other cases, a repeated dose is required before any result is observed.
  • There a number of recipes doing the rounds amongst pregnant women to take castor oil. It is essentially unpleasant tasting, but the flavor can be disguised with the help of these recipes.

With the advancement of medical science, many foolproof methods of inducing labor are available. However, if you wish to stay away from all those methodologies and use natural home remedies to induce labor, you first need to get a go ahead from your doctor to use castor oil.

We hope that this article proves useful to you and help you deal with the situation effectively.

Share your labor story with us and let us know if you used castor oil in pregnancy.

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