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Can Tea Induce Labor? Delivering the Truth to You

December 1, 2021

There are mixed results on whether tea can induce labor. You should also be aware of the possible complications of this remedy.

My pregnant patients who are overdue and uncomfortable have asked me can tea induce labor. After all, there are numerous reported remedies passed down from generation to generation. Thus, I decided to investigate.

In this post, I will determine whether traditional home remedies work as well as give you some additional information about using these teas. Let’s begin!

An Important Notice About Tea and Pregnancy

You should be aware that anything that you consume while pregnant can be transferred to your baby. Therefore, you need to be careful about anything that you eat or drink and this includes natural or herbal ingredients as well.

Due to the sheer number of plants and herbs available, it is difficult for doctors to know exactly how a particular ingredient can affect your baby. This is why they will often tell pregnant individuals to give up herbal teas and other supplements, especially during the earlier stages of pregnancy.

There is also the fact that you can’t be completely certain of how even natural substances may affect your pregnancy. The last thing that you want is for anything that you consume to cause miscarriage or make it difficult for your body to carry a baby to term.

This is why you should always consult your doctor before taking any kind of teas or concoctions. And, if you have had a difficult pregnancy or have previously had miscarriages, it is best to steer clear of anything that can cause any complications.

Woman smelling her cup of hot tea

What Kind of Tea Induces Labor?

When it comes to the literature surrounding teas that induce labor, there are only really two mentioned – raspberry leaf tea and chamomile tea. Let’s check out how they hold up…

Raspberry Leaf Tea

Raspberry leaf tea is a tradition that has been around for ages. Nevertheless, very little scientific research has been done about this remedy.

In one study, raspberry leaf tablets were given to pregnant individuals. There appeared to be no adverse effects for either the adult or the child. Furthermore, this remedy was not as effective as hoped. There were no changes to the first stages of labor.

As such, it appears that this remedy doesn’t really hold water.

It should also be noted that in one animal study that raspberry leaf was noted to have an increased risk for the unborn child. 

Chamomile Tea

Now, how about chamomile tea?

In one experiment, one group was given 1000mg of chamomile every 8 hours for a week. The other group was given a placebo. By the end of the week, over 92 percent of the group receiving chamomile went into labor. This was compared to the 62.5 percent of the placebo group.

One thing to be aware of is that this experiment was based on chamomile extract. Chamomile tea contains far less potency. There is no guarantee that you will experience the same results with the brew.

There are some health professionals that do believe that chamomile tea isn’t safe for pregnant individuals. Thus, this is something that you should clear with your doctor first.  

Fresh raspberry tea along with red fruits and flowers

Is Tea Good for Labor?

While raspberry leaf tea may not do much to induce labor, it may work to shorten it. This herb may not have any impact on the first stage of labor but can help to shorten the second one. Therefore, this may potentially ease some of the discomfort associated with labor.

Once again, it is important to speak with a medical health professional before taking any kind of tea or supplement. 

There you have – some teas can induce labor, but there isn’t any certainty. What’s more, you do need to be careful of taking any herbal teas or supplements. It is key to always get medical advice beforehand.

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About the Author
Dr. Dheena Sadik
Dr. Dheena Sadik is a consultant Nutritionist and Dietician. She has over a decade of experience in the health and fitness industry.
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