You've walked until your feet ached, had sex more times in a day than you thought possible, and even downed a few spoonfuls of castor oil for good measure — and still no contractions. Trying to get childbirth moving without medical intervention can be quite an experiment in both patience and creativity, but all you need is for one thing to stick and you're golden. So close your legs and forget the funky tasting oils, because a simple recipe that utilizes the one spice in your pantry that could kickstart labor may be all you need.
Whether you're a fan of spicy foods or not, cayenne pepper may be the ingredient that takes you from zero to 10 in the dilation department. For generations, aunties and grannies have been telling pregnant women to chow down on five alarm flavors if they want to induce labor at home. But this old wives tale may have some merit. According to Baby Center's website, it's thought that certain dishes induce labor because spicy food increases production of the hormone prostaglandin, which the female body makes once labor begins. So sprinkling cayenne on everything from your morning oats to your nighttime tea might get the childbirth party started.
Another benefit to cayenne is that it helps the body release mucus, according to Reader's Digest. This powerful property may be the encouragement the mucus plug needs to release from the body and allow labor to begin. The reason cayenne can do what it do so well is thanks to it's secret ingredient: capsicum. This hidden property not only gives cayenne it's flavorful bite, it may also be the reason why some women find themselves in the delivery room just hours after eating a plate full of tacos [raises hand]. Since capsicum is known to stimulate the digestive system, it's thought that the uterus can be stimulated as well, according to Pregnancy magazine.
Waiting around at the end of your pregnancy for the baby to come along can feel like it's dragging on forever. So if you're trying to send your womb a message (release the baby!) then don't knock the cayenne until you try it. That common spice just might be the final push your uterus needs.