Is Using Castor Oil to Induce Labor Safe | Risks and Side Effects

Are you looking for a natural way to make your labor process move smoother and faster? Many women want to find a simple way to make the process of having a baby go a little quicker. They may begin to ask the question, Is using castor oil to induce labor safe?

Before you start to use castor oil to help with your pregnancy, there are a few things that you need to know about and understand how it works. Let’s take a closer look at whether is it safe to use castor oil and induce labor as well as the risks involved in the process.


In this article:

  • Can Castor Oil Speed Up Labor?
  • Is it Safe to Use Castor Oil to Speed Up Labor?

Can Castor Oil help in Stimulating Labor?

By the time your ninth month rolls around, most women are ready to bring for the baby into the world. You may have already heard every trick and tactic in the book for inducing labor early and helping to speed the entire process along.

One of the most common suggestions is taking a spoonful of castor oil to induce labor much sooner.

Can Castor Oil Speed Up Labor? | Castor Oil Guide

Castor oil is most commonly known to cause diarrhea whenever it is ingested. While this will certainly happen if you are pregnant as well, it is thought that these constant bowel movements may somehow kickstart the uterus into having contractions sooner.

It’s thought that with each intestinal spasm, you may have more contractions that can lead to the fast delivery of the child.

The research is relatively clear that taking castor oil does not really have much effect on the overall time that your labor takes. One large study found that castor oil had very little effect on the overall time involved with the labor or the beginning of contractions.

Risks of using castor oil to induce labor

While the research shows that this method isn’t all that effective, many people will still attempt it. However, you need to avoid this home remedy.

Ingesting castor oil can lead to a lot of uncomfortable side effects as you are ingesting a laxative, there is a good possibility that you will suffer from dehydration after a while.

Not to mention, having contractions and frequent diarrhea is not a health condition you should put yourself in (Especially during the ending of your pregnancy period).

Can Castor Oil Speed Up Labor? | Castor Oil Guide

The following are some side-effects of ingesting castor oil during pregnancy.

  • Cramping
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle cramps or weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Confusion

It can be extremely dangerous to ingest castor oil, even if you want to try to speed up your labor. We would highly recommend that you avoid this old wives’ tale! Always consult a professional with any concerns or questions.

Final Thoughts

So coming to the conclusion: is it safe to use castor oil and induce labor pain?

Unfortunately, there is no real research that concludes that castor oil can speed up labor. You should avoid ingesting any castor oil in an attempt to make your baby come sooner!

Dr Helen Smith
Dr. Helen Smith provides food and nutrition consultation and treatment for obese as well as health-conscious patients. She holds B.S in psychology and completed her M.S in nutrition sciences from California State University. She has over five years of experience in advising and helping patients with the right nutrition and diet. Her mission is to make nutrition information accessible to everyone and help people follow a healthy lifestyle.

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Our articles are written and reviewed by medical experts who have extensive experience in nutrition, health, and essential oils.

Every information we share is research-backed, including the claims and statistics. The numbers in the parentheses (1,2 and 3) represent the scientific references so that you can study the topic in brief.