You are now 40 weeks pregnant but still waiting for your baby to arrive. You should be in labor by now and might be wondering if you could do anything to induce labor. Of course, you can always opt for a medical induction, but that may not be that appealing. Alternatively, you can try a natural option like using castor oil. While castor oil may prove effective, you should know how much castor oil to take to induce labor. Let's find out more about how castor oil works and how much to use.

Does Castor Oil Work to Induce Labor?

Commonly known for its laxative effects, castor oil has also been used to induce labor for ages. It works for women who have already reached their due date. To induce labor, you need to do something to smooth up the intestinal muscles and castor oil can do it effectively. The question is, "How much castor oil to take to induce labor?" Well, only a small amount will do the trick!

When your intestinal muscles become smooth, it directly triggers your uterus muscles that get tight and start the contraction. Many studies have shown that castor oil really helps induce labor. In a study, 100 mothers consumed about 60ml of castor oil before going to labor and about half of them went on labor within a few hours of taking castor oil. Many of them reported an active labor in 24 hours of taking castor oil.

While castor oil certainly has its effects, it is important that you do not use it when not in full term. Similarly, mothers with pre-existing medication conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes, or kidney problems should also avoid using castor oil. Use it only when you are 40 weeks pregnant and have signs of labor.

How Much Castor Oil Should I Take to Induce Labor?

Many women wonder if castor oil consumption is a good option, then how much castor oil to take to induce labor safely. You may have to take 2-4 oz. of castor oil every 12 hours to induce labor. You may experience vomiting and nausea if you take castor oil alone, and that is mainly because of its unpleasant taste. You can mix it with 6 oz. of orange juice and a tablespoon of baking soda.

Some women experience better results from taking castor oil shots – you will be consuming 2oz of castor oil followed by lemon sucking, quite like with tequila shots. Lime or lemon sucking helps remove that bad taste of castor oil and keeps you from feeling nauseous. You can also take ¼ cup of milk and add 2 oz. of castor oil with 2 scoops of ice cream to it.

Is It Safe to Use Castor Oil to Induce Labor?

Most women ask, "How much castor oil to take to induce labor?" but not many seem to worry about how safe this option is. You should know that while castor oil has been used to bring on labor contractions for ages, it might not be safe for every pregnant woman. To be on the safer side, use it only when you are past your due date.

Experts are of the view that the use of castor oil would make your baby have meconium inside the amniotic fluid – there are other experts with a view that meconium is from being overdue. Nevertheless, castor oil seems to help induce labor.

It is important to bear in mind that physicians usually do not believe that castor oil consumption is a good way for labor induction because they are concerned about its side effects, such as diarrhea, abdominal cramping, vomiting, and nausea. These side effects can hurt both mother and baby, so be sure to follow your doctor's advice if you have already reached your due date.

How to Use Castor Oil for Inducing Labor

You can simply drink castor oil or use it in food. It is usually not easy to drink it alone because its smell and flavor are very pungent. You may consider drinking it by mixing with another beverage. You can mix it with fruit juices, add to cold food, or put in a smoothie. It works more effectively when kept cold.

You can find castor oil in drug stores. Its dosage ranges from 2 tsp. to several ounces. Midwives believe you should be having at least 2 ounces of castor oil that you can mix with another drink to improve its overall taste. You need to continue taking the castor oil until you experience bowel cramping. Be sure to drink some water after castor oil consumption to help wash out any oil left in the mouth.

You are like to experience the effects of castor oil in 2-6 hours. You may experience cramping for 1-6 hours. Labor contractions may start 5-24 hours after the initial cramping has stopped. You may have to take another dose if you do not notice any contractions even after 24 hours.

Castor Oil Recipes

As mentioned already, the taste of castor oil is not very pleasant, so you will have to consume it with something else. Thankfully, you can find several castor oil recipes and you can also tweak those recipes to suit your own taste. Be sure to talk to your doctor on frequency, dosage, and the optimal time to ingest castor oil. Here are some recipes to consider:

  • Smoothies: You can mask the pungent taste of castor oil by putting it in a smoothie. Simply add the appropriate dose of castor oil into a blend of frozen fruit, juice, and yogurt. The coldness of the smoothie really makes it easier to consume castor oil without having to deal with its pungent oily taste.

  • Shots: Take a small glass, put 1 oz. of castor oil into it, and drink it all at once. Then, go for a fruit juice chaser immediately to cut the pungent taste. You can also have a cup of hot tea to help get rid of that pungent oily taste.

  • Omelet: Whip eggs together using castor oil – do not exceed the recommended dose. Pour it into pan and make an omelet. You can make it taste even better by topping with salsa. While you may not experience the unpleasant taste of castor oil in this recipe, it may not work that well because the heat can lower its effectiveness.


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