Herbs with medical uses can be taken in different forms such as capsules or tablets, tea, extract, or tincture. They are used for treating various conditions and diseases but can be taken to induce labor as well. Women have been using certain herbs to induce labor for centuries.
Pregnant women should be aware of several precautions concerning herbs and herbal supplements:
- Herbs shouldn’t be used during the first tree months of pregnancy since they can affect development of fetus.
- Some herbs and herbal preparations contain foreign matter that can be harmful for both mother and baby.
- Always read label before you start using any herb.
- Before taking any herb, consult your physician.
- Don’t try to induce labor until 37 gestation weeks.
Use of herbs and safety is not widely known in medical circles. Only verified herbalists and some midwives can tell you which herb is safe to use during pregnancy and to induce labor. Also, everyone reacts differently on herbs. Someone can experience side effects and adverse reactions from the herb that other used without problems.
Herbs for Inducing Labor
The Natural Pregnancy Book lists several herbs that can be used for inducing labor but they mustn’t be used before 37 weeks. These herbs include:
- Black cohosh. It is used to ease irregular contraction and to induce strong contractions. You should stop using black cohosh in case you experience nausea or dizziness.
- Blue cohosh. It acts as uterine tonic. Blue cohosh can also relieve labor pain and make birth process quicker. Side effects include nausea and dizziness.
- Chamomile. This herb relaxes and can be used during pregnancy in last two trimesters but in case of bleeding it must be discontinued.
- Cramp bark. This herb alleviates uterine cramps and encourages relaxation. Women suffering from hypertension mustn’t use cramp bark.
- False unicorn root. It increases uterine tone and promotes production of hormones. False unicorn root is also effective against morning sickness.
- Partridge berry. Relieves the tension and backache, eases childbirth and relaxes the uterus.
- Motherworth. This herb has relaxing effect and it is also used as uterine tonic. Motherworth can stimulate breast milk flow.
- Evening primrose oil. It is rich in fatty acids that encourage releasing of prostaglandins hormone which stimulates uterine contractions and readies cervix for labor.
- Red raspberry leaf – act as uterine tonic. It promotes shrinking of uterus after childbirth. All in all, women shouldn’t take any of these herbs on their own because of possible severe consequences. They should always consult herbalists concerning safety and dosage of any herb.