3 Simple Ways to Use Castor Oil to Induce Labor Naturally

castor oil to induce labor

We can consider castor oil to be a stimulant laxative which results in the contractions in the bowels, which in turn arouses uterine contractions. Similar to the other natural induction methods, this will only lead to labor if your body is ready for it.

How Does Castor Oil Induce Labor?

  • Castor oil arouses bowel contractions, which in turn results the body to release prostaglandins. It is the Prostaglandins which results in intestinal muscles which can contract.
  • It can also result in uterine contractions since they are of the same type of muscle tissues as the intestines and referred to as smooth muscles.
  • When your uterine muscles start to contract, labour begins.
  • Castor oil is what results in mild dehydration, which causes uterine contractions.(1)

In What Ways Does Castor Oil Work To Induce Labor?

Are you nearing your pregnancy life cycle? You may be wondering as why use an oil that causes vomiting and diarrhoea can be helpful in inducing labor. It is for centuries that the women have actually been using this oil for assisting in the labor process along. You can consult your doctor before using castor oil.(2)

  • In order to use castor oil, you will have to get a good night of sleep. It also becomes necessary for you to drink plenty of water before you go to bed.
  • Take multiple small doses of one tablespoon of castor oil every three – four hours.
  • Castor oil may feel better, if you mix the oil with orange juice to mask the taste.
  • Hold your nose while drinking the mixture as in this way you will no longer need to taste it.

Is It Safe to Use Castor Oil to Induce Labor?

  • There are lots of women who have been using castor oil to induce labor contractions for quite some time. It has however never been proven to be a safe way to induce labor.(3)
  • At times when the women are past their due date, they choose to use castor oil. In this situation the baby in the womb releases meconium inside the amniotic fluid. There is a thought as to whether meconium is being overdue or from castor oil.
  • Usually, physicians will not advise you to take castor oil for labor induction. The reason for this is of the risks and side effects that can affect the mother as well as the baby. If you intend to use castor oil to induce labor and stimulate contraction, then it also comes with possible side-effects such as diarrhoea, abdominal cramping, vomiting and nausea.
  • You should take into consideration the fact that you should never take castor oil for any reason before the 37th week of pregnancy. You should leave the decision of how to induce labor to your doctor.

How to Use Castor Oil to Induce Labor

  • Castor oil is a fluid which should be taken orally via liquid or used in food. The smell as well as the flavor is very pungent.
  • You may also find it difficult to drink alone straight from the bottle. There are lots of women who drink it mixed with another beverage.
  • You can mix castor oil with fruit juices, in smoothies or mixed into any cold food.
  • You will find that castor oil works better when kept cold.(4)

Availability Of Castor Oil

You can purchase castor oil very easily as it is sold over-the-counter and all drug stores. You can take castor oil in dosage 2 teaspoons to as much as several ounces. The midwives will tell you to drink two ounces blended with another drink so as to enhance the pungent taste.

You need to take castor oil until your bowel cramping is felt. It will certainly be easier to take the entire dose at once. You can later on follow it with another beverage for best results. In order to wash down the oil that remains in the mouth you should drink some water. This should be followed with a hot beverage in the form of a tea can help remove the oil, as well.

When you have ingested the castor oil, you will start feeling the effects within two to six hours. If you are feeling any cramps they will last for about 1 to 6 hours. Later on it can take another 5 to 24 hours to start labor contractions.

1. Orange juice and Castor oil to induce Labor

Women use castor oil to induce and ease labor which they have been using for a long time and it is proven effective in most cases. You should never use castor oil all by itself as it may enhance the chances of you facing side effects. This is why it becomes necessary for you to mix it with a stomach soothing ingredient like orange juice.

Here is how you can make castor oil and orange juice to induce labor:

  • 1 tablespoon of Castor Oil
  • 4 ounces of Orange Juice

Combine both of these ingredients together and drink it slowly. It will start working when castor oil boosts the dilation process.

2. Hot Tea and Castor Oil to Induce Labor

  • In a small glass pour an ounce of castor oil and knock it all back.
  • Then pour in some a hot beverage like tea to help rinse out the oil.

3. Pineapple and Castor Oil To Induce Labor

  • When you take a single pineapple to induce labor, it will not work because a single pineapple will not contain a lot of bromelains to induce labor.
  • If you juice it out and mix it with some castor oil then you will need a minimum of six pineapples.
  • You should however take this drink during last month of the gestational period.

Pros And Cons Of Castor Oil To Induce Labor


  1. Castor Oil Enhances Labor Onset: Based on a study women were more likely to go into labor within 24 hours of taking castor oil.
  2. Taking castor oil before delivery will help you to start your labor fast
  3. When you take castor oil before delivery it helps to keep constipation, which is common especially after a C-section, at bay.
  4. If you have gone through vaginal delivery with an episiotomy, it helps in ensuing bowel movement.(5)

Side Effects:

  1. Diarrhoea: Being a laxative this is a very common side effect.
  2. Vomiting: There are many women who also vomit because of the strong effect of the oil.
  3. Cramping: Because of the laxative effect of the castor oil the bowel usually cramps. However, not everyone will feel it.

How Much Castor Oil Should I Take To Induce Labor

  • You should never take too much of castor oil.
  • You should not consume more than 1-2 tablespoons within a 24-hour period.
  • You should also be drinking lots of water since castor oil is a laxative and it can dehydrate you. Don’t induce early.

To Conclude!

  • Drink lots of water and an electrolyte drink to keep you hydrated.
  • Eat several small snacks.
  • Pinch your nose or hold your breath while drinking.
  • Take castor oil in the morning after a good night’s sleep.

Scientific Evidence:

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