Some people believe that vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, can induce your period. But there is not reliable scientific evidence to back up this claim.
It’s thought that vitamin C can elevate your estrogen levels and lower progesterone levels. This causes the uterus to contract and the lining of the uterus to break down, leading to the onset of menstruation.
A 2016 study observed that vitamin C was associated with increased progesterone and decreased FSH levels. However, the authors of the study note that additional research is needed to better understand the potential role of antioxidants in fertility and how they can affect reproductive hormones.
To try this method, you can take vitamin supplements or simply eat foods that contain vitamin C. Citrus fruits, berries, black currants, broccoli, spinach, Brussels sprouts, red and green peppers, and tomatoes are all good sources of vitamin C.
If taking supplements, be careful to stay within the recommended safety limit — too much vitamin C can be dangerous.
Pineapple is a rich source of bromelain, an enzyme believed to affect estrogen and other hormones.
A 2017 study suggests bromelain may help reduce inflammation. This means it could help causes of irregular periods related to inflammation.
However, there’s no scientific evidence that suggests pineapple or bromelain supplements will induce a period.
Ginger is a traditional remedy for inducing periods and is believed to cause uterine contractions. However, this remains unproven by scientific research.
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Ginger may have anti-inflammatory properties, and it is used to treat stomach pain and menstrual pain, according to a 2015 review.
In a 2016 review, researchers determined that ginger may be effective in treating heavy menstrual bleeding and menstrual pain.
Ginger can be unpleasant to eat raw, so the easiest way to take it is to make ginger tea. To use this method, boil a fresh piece of peeled, sliced ginger in a pan of water for 5 to 7 minutes. Strain and sweeten the tea to taste, if needed, before drinking.
Parsley contains high levels of vitamin C as well as apiol, which may help to stimulate uterine contractions. However, apiol is also toxic in certain amounts and is especially dangerous to pregnant people. You shouldn’t drink parsley tea if you are pregnant, nursing, or have kidney problems.
To make parsley tea, simply pour a cup of boiling water over a couple tablespoons of fresh parsley and allow it to steep for about 5 minutes before drinking.
Turmeric is another traditional remedy believed by some to be an emmenagogue. It’s supposed to work by affecting estrogen and progesterone levels, although scientific research is lacking.
There are many ways to include turmeric in your diet. You can add it to curries, rice, or vegetable dishes. Or you can add it to water or milk with other spices and sweeteners for a warming drink.
Dong quai, also known as female ginsing or angelica sinensis, is an herb native to China and a popular herbal remedy that’s been used for hundreds of years to relieve symptoms associated with menopause and menstruation. It’s thought to help induce a period by improving blood flow to the pelvis as well as by stimulating the muscles in the uterus and triggering uterine contractions.
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It may not be safe to consume in large doses or if you are pregnant or nursing.
Dong quai may be made into a tea and is frequently sold in mixtures with other herbs.
Black cohosh is another herbal supplement that may help regulate the menstrual cycle. It’s said to help tone the uterus and promote the shedding of the uterine lining.
However, studies have not shown any consistent effect on the follicle-stimulating hormone, estrogen, or the tissues of the female reproductive tract. Additional studies are needed to determine the health effects of black cohosh.
Short-term use of this herb appears to be safe.
Black cohosh is known to interact with many medications. It’s not recommended for people who are on blood pressure or heart medications or who have a history of liver problems.