Can you eat after drinking midwives’ brew?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “Can we eat after drinking midwives’ brew?” and discuss the aspects involved if you eat after drinking midwives’ brew. Furthermore, we will also approach how drinking midwives’ brew affects your health.

Can you eat after drinking midwives’ brew?

Yes, pregnant women usually eat after taking midwives’ brews. The main reason most people want to eat after drinking is because of the bitter aftertaste of the drink.

Nine months may seem like a quick time for many, but for those who are pregnant, just as it is a period to be remembered and lived intensely, it can also seem like an eternity when it is closer to the delivery date.

And it is this waiting that makes many pregnant women seek methods to accelerate the birth. However, not only the midwives’ brew but like any other method should always be reported to the doctor!

Imagine waiting nine months and putting it at risk for the anxiety of the moment of delivery. It is something to be considered and therefore it must always be accompanied by a medical authorization to do so.

In fact, midwives’ brew is not associated with a sensorially pleasant drink, quite the opposite! It is known to leave a bitter taste on the tongue, a fact that leads pregnant women to seek food after taking it, to try to get that taste out.

But what are midwives’ brews?

Midwives’ brew is an empirically elaborated drink (popularly / without proof or scientific knowledge), which aims to induce childbirth. It is a drink made up of natural elements. Reports indicate that the drink originated in Europe.

This drink is also known as the German Labor Cocktail. There is no scientific basis for this “mixture” of ingredients used and the real effects that it can bring. But many women have already reported its use and effectiveness, which is why it is so well known among pregnant women.

Is it safe to drink midwives’ brew?

As mentioned before, there is no scientific data in the literature on the actual safety of the drink.

However, there are known about the elements that form the midwives’ brew individually, and that is considered safe. The composition will be covered in the next topic.

However, an aspect related to the safety of this drink is the moment of taking it. In general, it is best not to take it before the minimum period of pregnancy, to avoid any harm to the health of the pregnant woman and the child.

In this sense, considering the pregnancy is considered complete, at 39 weeks, it is ideal to wait for this period to be minimally completed before taking the midwives’ brew, without putting your health and the baby’s health at risk.

What is the composition of midwives’ brew?

As it is not an industrially elaborated drink, what you can find are recipes on websites, especially on websites related to pregnancy and in general for tips for pregnant women.

But most of the recipes have in their composition:

  • Castor oil – contraction inducer
  • Lemon verbena (as tea or oil) – used to reduce possible nausea caused by castor oil
  • Apricot Juice and Almond Butter – are considered sources of vitamins and minerals, and reported for use as they potentiate the inducing effect.

The preparation of the drink basically consists of mixing all the ingredients until a homogeneous mixture is obtained, then it is ready to drink.

It is also considered to leave the lemon verbena with boiling water for approximately 10 to 12 min in contact and then mix it with the rest and then drink.

It is usually recommended that it be consumed hot and on an empty stomach. It is precise because they have an empty stomach that most people end up eating after drinking midwives’ brew. An alternative is also to drink it cold or with ice cubes.

Are there any side effects?

Each organism can react differently to taking midwives’ brews. Therefore, before taking this drink it is important to know the possibilities of side effects and the risks that may be involved.

Among the most commonly cited are:

  • Nausea and vomiting – are usually caused by the bitter taste of castor oil, which can be quite unpleasant for some people who are more sensitive to the taste
  • Diarrhea and dehydration – Castor oil is widely known for its laxative effect, so the high occurrence of diarrhea can lead to dehydration. That’s why it’s important to drink plenty of water.
  • Irregular contractions – generated by castor oil have already been reported in scientific studies to have the ability to induce labor (click here to learn more)
  • Almond or apricot allergy – if you are allergic to one of these ingredients, do not drink midwives’ brew, as this may cause allergic reactions.

How Long Does It Take to Work?

There is no exact time for midwives’ brew to work, to take effect. As a result, the ideal is to be prepared for delivery as soon as you drink.

There are reports of women who took approximately 24 hours for the drink to work, while others in up to 4-5 hours have already had a result.

In a study with castor oil (click here), it has already been reported that labor can occur within 12 h after the consumption.


In this brief guide, we answered the question, “Can we eat after drinking midwives’ brew?” and discussed the aspects involved if you eat after drinking midwives’ brew. Furthermore, we also approached how drinking midwives’ brew affects your health.


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