I just wanted to share my experiences with castor oil.
Castor oil will only work if your body is ready to go into labor. I've taken it to "speed things along" for 3 of my pregnancies. I should mention that I usually have a long prodromal(sp.??) labor, I have many hours of contrax 10-15 min. apart off and on for about 4-7 days and finally get sick of it and take castor oil to get contrax regular. I also insert evening primrose oil capsules to help soften the cervix. So.....the first time I took the 1 oz in the OJ concoction (no vodka), brought on horrible cramping and a lot of diarrhea, and then strong contrax about 5 min. apart an hour later. The second time I took 1 tablespoon in OJ, brought on slight cramping, 1 diarrhea run, and strong contrax 5 min. apart about an hour later. Third time I took 2 tablespoons, (I wanted to take what I had taken the time before, but couldn't remember if it was 1 or 2 tbs. so I took 2 to make sure and boy, did I regret it!!) horrible cramping, lots of diarrhea, and contrax 5 min. apart about 3 hours later. All 3 labors were 6 hours start to finish (I didn't take anything with my 1st pregnancy/labor).
After doing a lot of research on castor oil and its use for bringing on labor contractions, for this, my fifth pregnancy/birth, I will not take castor oil again in any dosage, I think it can definitely pose some risks to the baby (I know, my last three babies were perfectly healthy, but, why take chances?). I will however take evening primrose oil, internally and inserted/externally and some blue/black cohosh if I get really impatient again, oh and I drink lots of rasberry leaf tea (made by Traditional Medicinals) throughout the pregnancy, I really believe it is helpful, especially during the recovery period. (Oh, and I walk lots & lots...... at the park, up and down stairs, around the block, at the mall, etc. ..... when I start getting all those contrax at the end of the pregnancy!)
edited to fix mistakes
Rachel ~ homeschooling mama to six.