Okra water is a phenomenon that has been around for several years, but is just starting to make its way across the US. It is credited to have originated in Japan, where it is very popular.
Okra water is rumored to help increase fertility, aid in labor, and prevent pregnancy complications later on. These claims have not been scientifically verified, however.
How does one make this special water? It’s easy! You simply steep a few slices of okra in a glass of water for about five minutes. That’s all!
Many people keep the pitcher in the fridge so it is cool and refreshing to drink. Some people drink it throughout the day to keep their body prepared for pregnancy and childbirth, while others just drink it during labor.
How does it help with labor?
The slime coating that surrounds the seeds of the okra plant helps with labor in two ways. Firstly, it helps to soothe and soften the lining of the uterus, or the endometrium.
This is important as the endometrium is what thickens and prepares the uterus for labor. If this layer is too thin, labor will be more difficult or take longer.
Secondly, the slime can help protect the lining of the uterus from bacteria. This is important as any infection in the body can cause issues with pregnancy and during labor.
By helping to protect the endometrium, slime from okra can help facilitate easier transitions into labor. It can also aid in preventing any complications due to an infection.
For those who are having early contractions that are not too frequent yet, having some slime from okra may help slow down contractions, helping to regulate them.
Where does it come from?
Okra water comes directly from the toilet. Yep, you read that right. It is water that has been recycled from the toilets in your home or public restroom.
Toilet water is collected and sent to a sewage treatment plant where it is treated and purified. It is then returned to your community for agricultural use, such as irrigation.
This process is called indirect potable re-use or indirect drinking re-use. It is not considered drinking water, but it is safe for agriculture use.
Because the original sewage has been treated at the plant, the water that is returned to your community and used for agriculture has very few contaminants in it. The plants won’t suffer from lack of nutrients either because all of the nutrients have been removed at the treatment plant.
Who invented it?
In Africa, women have been discovering that drinking water mixed with the juice of the okra vegetable helps to ease painful labor. Many women who have given birth before have attested to its effectiveness.
For many years, doctors and other medical professionals have not believed in the power of natural remedies. Fortunately, in more recent years, there has been more of a focus on incorporating natural remedies into medical practices.
This is great news for those that prefer natural remedies!
Unfortunately, it is hard to prove that something is effective unless it is a pharmaceutical drug. This is one of the reasons that doctors do not often suggest natural remedies – they are not proven to work!
However, you can always try them for yourself and see if they work for you.
Is it effective?
Yes, it is very effective. According to research, 75 percent of women who labored with help of okra water had shorter labor times.
As mentioned before, hormones that regulate blood volume and blood pressure are affected by eating okra. This is why there is an increase in urine production and frequent bathroom trips.
Your body uses more water to dilute your fluids, which includes sweat and urine. This helps prepare your body for birth by reducing weight gain during pregnancy.
The theory behind this is that a lighter weight mother and/or child will be easier to deliver. Due to the increased water intake, the risk of dehydration is a concern after birth. Make sure to drink plenty of other fluids to counter act this.
What else can I use to help with labor?
Other natural remedies to consider include olive leaf, uva ursi, and grape seed. All of these supplements can be purchased at most health stores or online.
Research how to combine them to ensure they are working effectively. Most sites will list which other supplements work well with them.
Olive leaf is a longer-term treatment that can be taken for several months. Uva ursi is a short-term treatment, typically taken for a few days up to a week. Grape seed is taken daily until labor begins, then can be stopped or continued if the baby needs extra help breaking down the membranes around the baby’s lungs.
All of these herbs work by targeting different parts of the pregnancy process, from thinning the cervical mucus to fighting bacteria in the uterus.
Who should not use okra water?
Although this treatment is very safe, it is best to consult your doctor before using it. If you are experiencing abnormal bleeding or cramping, contact your doctor immediately.
Although this treatment is very safe, it is best to consult your colonel before using it. If you are experiencing abnormal bleeding or cramping, contact your colonel immediately.
It is also important to note that if you are experiencing excessive blood loss during labor, the use of herbs may prolong the process. This is because herbs take a while to work and may not completely take away the pain.
For these reasons, people who have high blood pressure or those who have undergone surgery due to problems with their blood flow should avoid using this treatment. It is also important to note that herbs may interfere with medications taken for blood flow issues.
Again, it is always best to talk to your doctor before taking any herbal treatments.
What is in it?
The liquid that creates the gel in okra water is called mucilage. It is made of glucose (sugar) and lignin, a plant compound. Mucilage is not the same as latex, which is what some people are allergic to.
The gel formation in the water is due to the interactions between the mucilage and the water. The more concentrated the mucilage, the thicker the gel will be.
The theory behind why it helps with labor is that it helps soften and dilate the cervix. This allows for dilation of the uterus, which prepares a woman for labor.
Some sources recommend using green leafy okra instead of white slimy ones to make the water more effective. Green okra contains vitamin B6, which helps with collagen production in your body. This may help with softening of your tissues (such as your cervix) during labor.
Is it safe?
Yes, drinking okra water is safe. There are no known side effects of consuming it. However, there are some warnings about eating raw okra.
Although it is a vegetable, people with diabetes should be careful because it contains carbs. People with keto should also avoid it as it is a high-carb vegetable.
Those with gallbladder problems should avoid eating raw okra as it increases bilirubin, a substance in the bile that makes up what’s called the pigment of urine. This can create a yellowish hue in the urine and stool.
Pregnancy warning: Although there are no known adverse effects on pregnancy, you should always consult with your doctor before changing your diet in any way. They will be able to help you determine what foods are safe for you and your baby and explain any nutritional needs you have during this time.