Benefits of Castor Oil for Pregnancy to Induce Labor

Updated on February 10th, 2020
Castor Oil during Pregnancy

Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful phases of a woman’s life. When a little life is growing inside you, nobody wants to take the risk regarding its health. After crossing the 40 weeks mark, most pregnant women feel contractions of labor. However, if it doesn’t happen, it may be necessary to induce labor artificially.

One effective way is adding a little castor oil to your diet. For centuries, labor pains are induced using castor oil. It stimulates bowel movements and causes contractions in the uterus. Castor oil for pregnancy can be used to prevent stretch marks, strengthening hair, cleansing skin, massages and to keep nails healthy.

Types of problems during pregnancy

pregnancy problems

Pregnancy is beautiful as well as critical time in women’s lives but sometimes, pregnancy can cause some common problems such as:

  • Constipation
  • Cramps
  • Urinary frequency
  • Discomfort
  • Birth trauma in babies due to delayed labor
  • Restlessness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches

Causes of pregnancy problems

The many factors that lead to distress during pregnancy are:

  • Hormonal changes
  • Low blood pressure
  • Low sugar
  • Pressure on intestines
  • Increase in weight
  • Hair loss

Symptoms of pregnancy problems

The various signs and symptoms of common pregnancy problems are –

  • Morning sickness
  • Headaches
  • Backaches
  • Fatigue
  • Indigestion
  • Stretch marks

[Read: Castor Oil for Stretch Marks]

Castor oil for pregnancy

Castor oil for pregnancy

Castor oil is a thick vegetable oil extracted from castor seeds of the Ricinus communis plant. It is a multi-purpose vegetable oil with medicinal, industrial and pharmaceutical benefits. Hair growth and repair, skin care, constipation, and pain relief is possible using this oil. One of the lesser known benefits of castor oils is for pregnancy-related problems. During pregnancy, a woman’s body goes through many changes, some of which can be very painful and then the excruciating pain of labor is very difficult to bear.

With help of the healing properties of castor oil, one can address many problems associated with pregnancy. As it is a natural remedy, it offers significant relief from the pregnancy-related problems in very less time. But it must also be noted that you must not use castor oil(1) in unregulated quantities during pregnancy. Expert opinion must be sought to determine the quantity of castor oil to be used during and after pregnancy suitable for your requirements.

Castor oil Uses for pregnancy

Pregnancy is a significant part of women’s lives, and one must take the utmost care throughout the nine months. There can be a variety of problems during pregnancy including constipation, stretch marks, headaches, backaches, fatigue, and constipation. Once a woman reaches the 40-week mark, uneasiness and discomfort increases; and she may need to induce labor. According to health experts, certain compounds present in castor oil result in contractions in uterus and help in inducing labor, naturally.

It is a natural laxative nature which cures constipation. It helps induce labor by increasing stimulation in the intestines which results in contractions in the uterus. Stretch marks are a common problem faced by pregnant women during pregnancy. Castor oil is high in protein and vitamin E(2) and helps prevent stretch marks. Due to an increase in weight, some women face backaches and leg cramps. Castor oil can help soothe this pain and has a relaxing effect on muscles. Castor oil is rich in many nutrients, and its external use is beneficial in pregnant women.

How to use castor oil during pregnancy?

There are different ways you can use castor oil in pregnancy-related problems that are:

  1. For stretch marks: Apply castor oil on breasts, belly, and thighs and wrap the area in saran wrap. Apply heat to the area for 20 minutes. Repeating this method helps prevent stretch marks.
  2. To induce labor: Take a small tablespoon of castor oil every 3-4 hours. You can mix the oil with some juice to avoid the overpowering taste. Make sure to stay hydrated.
  3. For strengthening hair: Due to fluctuation in hormone levels during pregnancy some women suffer from hair loss and dry hair. Mix 3 tablespoon castor oil and one tablespoon jojoba or coconut oil. Use this mixture to massage the scalp to get strong, smooth hair.
  4. For curing muscle pain: A pregnant woman goes through a lot of pain in back and legs. Using castor oil for massage not only relaxes muscle tension but also helps relieve the pain.
  5. Due to hormonal changes, your skin suffers a lot. The result can be dry skin and even acne. Castor oil is rich in fatty acids and helps in hydrating skin through regular use.
  6. For treating nail fungus or merely keeping them healthy, you can use castor oil.

Dos and Don’ts

  • Store Castor oil in cool and dry places. It can be harmful to kids, and therefore you should store it away from the reach of children.
  • Drink plenty of water before taking castor oil for inducing labor pains. Stay near the toilet in case of loose motions.
  • After consulting your health expert, it should be taken only in small amounts about 1-2 tablespoons in 24 hours.
  • For inducing labor, it is advised to wait at least 40 weeks before its use.
  • In case of complications in pregnancy, consult health care expert first before using castor oil.
  • Do a patch test before using castor oil for external use.
  • It should not be used to accelerate the labor as that can cause pain and discomfort.
  • If you have any side effects and unusual symptoms by its usage, always consult your health care expert.


  • The main thing to keep in mind is that castor oil should not be used in early pregnancy. Although there are no proven results, castor oil might result in abortion.
  • Due to its laxative nature, castor oil might result in speeding up of the pooping process in an unborn child. The feces might block the baby’s respiratory airway and might result in serious complications.
  • Always consult a health care expert before ingesting Castor oil as it might have different effects on different women.
  • Drink plenty of water before and after using castor oil as it may cause dehydration.

[Read: How to Cure Circumvallate Placenta]

Home remedies for pregnancy-related problems

Here are some of the home remedies which can be used to relieve difficulties during pregnancy and also for inducing labor, naturally:

1. Exercise

Pregnancy Exercise

Taking a long walk or some light exercises increases heart rate. It is also an excellent way to relieve stress.

2. Sex

Having sex before the water breaks is a very effective way to start labor as it results in the release of oxytocin can trigger uterine contractions.

3. Sandalwood and turmeric

Applying a paste made from equal amounts of the two ingredients for 5-6 months can remove stretch marks which are very common in pregnant women.

4. Ginger:

Ginger for pregnancy

Ginger is instrumental in neutralizing stomach acids. Many health care experts advise taking ginger ale to cure morning sickness.

5. Fiber-rich food:

Many women experience constipation during pregnancy. Take foods rich in fiber such as fruits and vegetables, chia seeds, whole grains, and beans to have better bowel movements.

6. Chamomile tea

Chamomile tea for pregnancy

Some women find it difficult to sleep at night. Taking this tea might relax your muscles and help you sleep(3).

Also, pregnant women are advised to take small, frequent meals to relieve morning sickness and nausea. Some other home remedies to induce labor are acupuncture, acupressure, spicy food, and red raspberry green tea. Stay hydrated and do light exercise throughout pregnancy to reduce headaches and backache.

[Read: Multivitamin for Women]

Castor oil for pregnancy is useful in many ways for pregnant women. It induces labor in women who have reached their 40-week mark already. Its massage helps relieve back pain and sore muscles. It also helps remove or prevent stretch marks during pregnancy. It also fights many symptoms related to hormonal changes like strengthening hair and cleansing skin. However, take it with all precautions and use the oil according to the advice of a health care expert. Make sure not to ingest without medical consultancy. Proper use of castor oil can relieve pregnancy problems to a great extent.

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