By the end of pregnancy, you might be willing to try almost anything to get labor started. But before you start piling the ginger on all your food or downing gingerbread cookies, realize that the spice will not get labor started unless you were ready to go into labor anyway. Do not take any herbs or over-the-counter remedies to induce labor without your doctor's approval.
Ginger and Contractions
In alternative medicine, ginger has a reputation as a spice capable of bringing on a period. Ginger seems to increase peristalsis -- the intestinal contractions that move food through the gastrointestinal tract. There is no clinical evidence, however, that ginger can induce menstruation, cause a miscarriage or start labor. In amounts greater than 5 grams per day, ginger could cause diarrhea, which might irritate the uterus temporarily. However, diarrhea will not stimulate labor contractions unless your uterus is already gearing up for labor.
Other Pregnancy Effects
Ginger may be useful for reducing symptoms of morning sickness during pregnancy. However, in large amounts, it could worsen pregnancy-related heartburn by increasing stomach acid production.
- Pharmacology for Women's Health; Tekoa King and Mary C. Brucker
- Pain Management for Primary Care Clinicians; Arthur G. Lipman
- Cochrane Library: Interventions for Nausea and Vomiting in Early Pregnancy