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Will Ginger Induce Labor?

author image Sharon Perkins
A registered nurse with more than 25 years of experience in oncology, labor/delivery, neonatal intensive care, infertility and ophthalmology, Sharon Perkins has also coauthored and edited numerous health books for the Wiley "Dummies" series. Perkins also has extensive experience working in home health with medically fragile pediatric patients.
Will Ginger Induce Labor?
No foods or spices have proven labor-inducing properties. Photo Credit: LiudmylaSupynska/iStock/Getty Images

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.

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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.

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