Teas that induce a period will typically cause uterine contractions and prompt the uterus to shed its lining. Although these teas have not been scientifically proven to be effective in humans, some have been studied and proven to be effective in lab rats, and many are frequently used in traditional medicine in some continents (especially in South America, Africa and Asia)
Before trying any of these types of teas, it is important to complete a pregnancy test to ensure you are not pregnant, as these teas can impair pregnancy and affect fetal development.
1. Ginger tea
Ginger tea is considered to be safe for consumption during pregnancy, as long as it is taken in low doses (1 to 3 grams, or 1/3 to 1/2 of a teaspoon, for a maximum of 3 to 4 days). In higher doses, this root has the ability to cause uterine contractions.
Ginger can be used close to your period start day to stimulate menstruation.
- 2 to 3 cm (about 1 inch) of sliced fresh ginger root
- 1 cup of hot water
Place the sliced ginger in the cup of hot water and allow it to soak for 5 to 10 minutes. Strain the infusion using a mesh sieve. You can drink this tea 2 to 3 times per day.
The sliced ginger root can be reused for 2 or 3 additional teas as long as you carve small cuts into the roots before you re-soak them. This allows for release of higher ginger concentrations.
2. Senna tea
Senna is a natural plant with laxative properties, but it can also cause uterine contractions. Senna contains substances that stimulate contractions of the smooth muscle, which are found in both the intestine and uterus.
In addition to treating constipation, senna tea can also be used by women to start their period.
- 2 grams (about 1/2 a teaspoon) of senna leaves
- 1 cup of hot water
Place the senna leaves in the cup of hot water and allow them to soak for 5 to 10 minutes. Strain the infusion using a mesh sieve. You can drink this tea 2 to 3 times per day.
Because it is a known laxative, it is normal to experience diarrhea with senna tea, especially when you didn't have constipation to begin with. Ideally, this tea should not be used for more than 3 days, as it can cause abdominal discomfort and lead to dehydration or loss of electrolytes due to diarrhea.
3. Radish iced tea
Studies on radishes have shown that iced tea made with radish leaves can stimulate the uterus and induce menstruation. This effect is likely to be related to the saponins and alkaloids found in these leaves. These substances can stimulate contractions in the smooth muscle of the stomach, intestines and uterus.
- 5 to 6 radish leaves
- 150 ml (or about 5 oz) of water
Place the radish leaves and the water in a blender, and blend at a high speed until you obtain a homogenous mixture. Strain the liquid through a mesh sieve. You can drink 2 to 3 cups per day
Radish leaves are safe to consume and are actually very nutritious. They contain high quantities of vitamin C and other antioxidants that help to keep you healthy.
4. Oregano tea
Oregano is an aromatic herb that is used in some cultures to improve circulation to the uterus and stimulate uterine contractions. Sometimes it is used at the end of pregnancy to help with an easier delivery. Due to its properties, oregano can also be used to start your period.
- 1 tablespoon of oregano
- 1 cup of hot water
Pour the cup of hot water over the oregano and allow to soak for 5 minutes. Let it cool, then strain the infusion through a mesh sieve. You can drink this 2 to 3 times per day.
Who should not drink these teas
Teas that help to start periods alter regular blood flow to the uterus and to the uterine muscles. Therefore, these teas should be avoided if there is a possibility of pregnancy, as these can seriously impact fetal development.
Because some of these teas also have a laxative effect (due to their ability to stimulate the smooth muscle), these teas should also be avoided by children or older adults, unless under the supervision of a doctor.
Causes of late periods
The most common reason for late periods is pregnancy, however late periods can also be caused by hormonal changes, stress, or a high intake of caffeine (e.g. chocolate, coffee, soft drinks). Disorders like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) can also result in late or early periods. Learn more about the causes of late periods.
If you suspect you are pregnant, these teas should definitely be avoided.
When to see the doctor
Late periods are relatively common and occur at least once in almost all women. Most of the time, periods are late due to small hormonal changes that resolve within a few days.
Nonetheless, if your period is late by over one week, or if you are also experiencing cramping or intense abdominal pain, you should consult a gynecologist for assessment.