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In the realm of pregnancy folklore, few concoctions hold as much intrigue as Midwives Brew. Expectant mothers seeking a natural means to induce labor often stumble upon this centuries-old remedy.

But what exactly is Midwives Brew, and is it a safe method to kickstart labor?

Let's delve into its origins, ingredients, recipes, safety considerations, and alternatives to demystify its reputation and explore its efficacy.

What Is Midwives Brew?

Midwives Brew, also known simply as "the Brew," is a traditional blend purported to stimulate labor contractions in pregnant women approaching or past their due dates. This concoction typically consists of natural ingredients, such as castor oil and almond butter, believed to have uterine-stimulating properties.

The Midwives Brew Cocktail is believed to have originated in Germany. Oftentimes a midwife would administer this during a stalled labor or a labor past its due date. This was an alternative to a medicated labor.

What Is the Midwives Brew Supposed to Do?

The primary aim of Midwives Brew is to initiate labor in pregnant individuals who have reached full term and are eagerly awaiting the arrival of their baby. Proponents suggest that the combination of specific ingredients triggers hormonal changes, leading to uterine contractions that may prompt labor to commence.

Midwives Brew Success Rate

While anecdotal evidence abounds regarding the effectiveness of Midwives Brew, scientific data on its success rate remains limited. Many who advocate for its use share personal stories of successful inductions shortly after consuming the brew. However, its efficacy varies widely among individuals, and outcomes can be unpredictable.

In an older study of 103 women who were at least 40 weeks pregnant, half were given castor oil and half had no treatment. Of those given castor oil, nearly 60 percent were in active labor within 24 hours. Of those who had castor oil–induced labor, more than 80 percent gave birth vaginally [*].

While another study published in 2009 gave a less optimistic result for castor oil. It suggested the oil’s effects are neither actually helpful nor harmful in inducing labor [*].

Finally, a 2013 review of studies remarked on the effectiveness of castor oil for inducing labor but showed concern that the quality of the studies may prove results to be questionable. Researchers also found that all women who took castor oil felt nauseous [*].

Is It Safe to Use Midwives Brew?

Despite its widespread use, the safety of Midwives Brew remains a topic of debate among healthcare professionals. Understanding the potential risks associated with this method is crucial for expectant mothers considering its use.

  1. Gastrointestinal Discomfort: The combination of potent ingredients in Midwives Brew may lead to gastrointestinal distress, including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Pregnant women, already susceptible to digestive issues, should approach the brew with caution to avoid exacerbating discomfort.
  2. Intense Uterine Contractions: While the goal of Midwives Brew is to induce labor, its efficacy in initiating contractions may lead to excessively strong or prolonged uterine activity. This heightened stimulation could potentially increase the risk of fetal distress and necessitate medical intervention.
  3. Dehydration: Some ingredients in Midwives Brew possess diuretic properties, which may contribute to dehydration, especially if adequate fluid intake is not maintained. Dehydration during labor can complicate delivery and compromise maternal well-being.

Midwives Brew Ingredients

Understanding the components of Midwives Brew sheds light on its purported mechanisms of action and potential benefits.

  • Castor Oil: Known for its laxative effects, castor oil is believed to stimulate the bowels and trigger uterine contractions by irritating the intestinal lining.

  • Almond Butter: Rich in protein and healthy fats, almond butter serves as a binding agent in Midwives Brew, enhancing its palatability and providing sustained energy.
  • Herbal Tea: Certain herbal teas, such as red raspberry leaf tea, are included for their purported ability to tone the uterus and promote efficient contractions during labor.
  • Spices: Spices like cinnamon and cloves not only impart flavor to the brew but are also thought to possess warming properties that stimulate circulation and uterine activity.

Midwives Brew Recipes

Several variations of Midwives Brew exist, each with its unique blend of ingredients and proportions. Below are three popular recipes to consider:

1. Classic Midwives Brew


  • 2 tablespoons castor oil
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 cup red raspberry leaf tea
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of cloves


  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth and well incorporated.
  3. Serve chilled and consume in one sitting.
  4. Follow with plenty of water to stay hydrated.

2. Spiced Midwives Brew


  • 3 tablespoons castor oil
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 2 cups red raspberry leaf tea
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cloves
  • 1 tablespoon honey (optional)


  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together castor oil, almond butter, and honey (if using) until smooth.
  2. Gradually stir in red raspberry leaf tea and spices until well combined.
  3. Pour into a glass and drink in one go.
  4. Relax and monitor for signs of labor onset.

3. Nutty Citrus Midwives Brew


  • 4 tablespoons castor oil
  • 3 tablespoons almond butter
  • 2 cups citrus herbal tea
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger


  1. Combine castor oil, almond butter, citrus tea, lemon zest, and ground ginger in a blender.
  2. Blend until creamy and frothy.
  3. Pour into a glass and consume promptly.
  4. Prepare for potential labor symptoms and stay hydrated.

Midwives Brew Alternatives

While Midwives Brew remains a popular choice for some expectant mothers, alternative methods for labor induction exist:

  1. Acupressure and Acupuncture: Stimulating specific pressure points and energy pathways may encourage the onset of labor naturally.
  2. Exercise and Movement: Gentle exercises like walking, squatting, and pelvic tilts can help promote optimal fetal positioning and encourage contractions.
  3. Nipple Stimulation: Massaging the nipples releases oxytocin, a hormone that plays a key role in initiating and sustaining labor contractions.
  4. Red Raspberry Leaf Tea: Raspberry leaf tea on its own may help reduce the intensity and duration of labor pain, making the childbirth process more manageable [*].
  5. Dates: Researchers concluded that eating date fruit in the last 4 weeks before labor significantly reduced the need for induction and augmentation of labor, and produced a more favorable delivery outcome [*].

Midwife Brew FAQ

What happens after you drink Midwives Brew?

After consuming Midwives Brew, expectant mothers may experience gastrointestinal discomfort, followed by potential onset of labor symptoms such as contractions and cervical dilation.

How quickly does Midwives Brew work?

The onset of labor following consumption of Midwives Brew varies widely among individuals, with some experiencing contractions within hours, while others may require additional doses or alternative methods.

Is castor oil safe to induce labor?

Castor oil is sometimes suggested as a home remedy to induce labor due to its potential laxative effects, which can stimulate contractions in the intestines and potentially affect the uterus. However, using castor oil to induce labor is not recommended without consulting a healthcare provider.

While some women believe that castor oil can help initiate labor, there are risks and potential side effects associated with its use. These include:

  1. Dehydration: Castor oil can cause diarrhea and vomiting, leading to dehydration, which is not ideal during labor.
  2. Fetal distress: The diarrhea and dehydration caused by castor oil can lead to electrolyte imbalances, which might affect the well-being of the fetus.
  3. Uterine hyperstimulation: Castor oil might stimulate the uterus excessively, leading to strong and potentially harmful contractions.
  4. Meconium aspiration: The baby might pass meconium (first stool) in response to the stress caused by the induced contractions, which can lead to complications if the baby inhales the meconium.

Given these risks, healthcare providers typically do not recommend using castor oil to induce labor. Instead, they may suggest safer methods such as walking, nipple stimulation, acupuncture, or medical interventions like membrane stripping or Pitocin (synthetic oxytocin) under medical supervision.

It's crucial for pregnant individuals to discuss any concerns about labor induction with their healthcare provider and to follow their guidance regarding safe and appropriate methods for inducing labor.

Does Midwives Brew work without castor oil?

The efficacy of the Midwives Brew, even with castor oil, is largely anecdotal, and there is limited scientific evidence to support its effectiveness. Some women report success with the brew, while others do not experience any significant effect.

As for whether the Midwives Brew can work without castor oil, it's challenging to say definitively. The other ingredients in the brew may have their own potential effects on the body, but there isn't robust scientific evidence to support their effectiveness in inducing labor.

Why is almond butter in Midwives Brew?

The specific reasons for including almond butter in the brew are not scientifically documented, but there are a few potential explanations based on the properties of almond butter and the beliefs surrounding natural remedies:

  1. Nutrient content: Almond butter is a source of various nutrients, including protein, healthy fats, vitamin E, and magnesium. Some proponents of natural remedies believe that these nutrients could potentially support the body during labor and help prepare the uterus for contractions.
  2. Energy boost: Labor is a physically demanding process that requires a significant amount of energy. Almond butter, being calorie-dense and rich in healthy fats and protein, may provide an energy boost to women in labor.
  3. Palatability: Including almond butter in the brew may improve its taste and make it more palatable for some individuals. Since the other ingredients, such as castor oil, may have unpleasant flavors, adding almond butter could help mask them to some extent.
  4. Traditional belief: The inclusion of almond butter in the Midwives Brew may stem from traditional practices or cultural beliefs associated with natural remedies for inducing labor. In some cultures, certain foods or ingredients are believed to have medicinal properties or to promote specific health benefits.

Can you use peanut butter instead of almond butter in Midwives Brew?

While almond butter is commonly used in Midwives Brew recipes, peanut butter can serve as a suitable substitute if allergies or personal preferences dictate.

What is the success rate of Midwife Brew?

The success rate of Midwives Brew in inducing labor is difficult to quantify definitively, as outcomes vary based on individual factors such as gestational age, cervical ripeness, and overall health.

What if Midwives Brew doesn't work?

If Midwives Brew fails to initiate labor within a reasonable timeframe, consult with a healthcare provider to explore alternative induction methods and ensure the well-being of both mother and baby.

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The Bottom Line

While Midwives Brew holds a storied place in the realm of natural labor induction methods, its safety and efficacy warrant careful consideration.

Expectant mothers intrigued by this age-old remedy should weigh the potential risks and benefits in consultation with their healthcare providers.

By staying informed and exploring alternatives, individuals can make empowered choices that prioritize maternal and fetal health during the journey to childbirth.

DISCLAIMER: THE INFORMATION ON THIS WEBSITE IS NOT INTENDED TO BE USED AS MEDICAL ADVICE.The materials and information contained on the MiracleCord website is provided for educational and informational purposes only, and is not intended to, and does not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis, and should not be used as such. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. If you are seeking personal medical advice, you should consult with a licensed physician. Always consult with a qualified health care provider regarding a medical condition.

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