Herbs for Labor

Evening Primrose Oil

What it is:

Native to North America, the Evening Primrose is so named because its yellow flowers bloom in the evening. This plant's oil is extracted from the seeds and placed in capsules.

How it works:

Evening primrose oil helps to soften the cervix by providing prostaglandins and the components the body needs to make prostaglandins. This can help to ripen a cervix to help encourage labor or to speed labor.

How to use it:

Evening primrose oil can be taken internally near the end of pregnancy. It can also be massaged directly onto the cervix if ripening is desired.

NOTE: Evening primrose oil should not be taken until after 36-37 weeks of pregnancy.

Integrating it into labor:

Daily massage after 37 weeks: Squeeze oil out of capsules. Apply the oil to a clean finger and carefully insert in vagina to rub the oil onto the cervix.

After the 37th week, take one 500 mg capsule orally three times a day.

In early labor, massage the cervix with a finger dipped in evening primrose oil.