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Contraceptive Herbal Birth Control

Herbal contraceptives date back to the Greek Empire (at least 3,000 years) or ancient times. Certain herbs proven by scientific research: Affective anti-fertility method. When taking an herb for contraceptive purpose, beware each herb taken differently, some are taken daily, and when needed during fertile time preventing pregnancy. Many women choose herbal contraceptive method for various reasons: Cheaper than modern contraceptive methods, alternatively fewer difficulties or no complications compared to modern contraceptives, and seeking a different contraceptive method. However, taking herbal contraceptives may risk exposure to health concerns, not always 100% effective, and should not be taken with prescribed medication or having an existing health problem. Taking herbal contraceptives long term may or may not cause a health concerns. Some herbalists don’t recommend herb for contraception, because potential unreliability. 1

During the Roman Empire, a coin depicted a picture of the contraceptive herb asafoetida (Devil’s dung, stinking gum, asant, food of the gods, hing and giant fennel 3) named by the Romans silphium. Greeks named the herb Silphion. 4 This perineal plant native to Iran. The asafoetida produces a pungent sulfurous odor. The plant made into a spice as a digestive aid, condiment and pickles. Reported in human tests asafoetida used as a contraceptive and substance that induces abortion. 3 Roman physician Soranus, antiquity’s foremost gynecologist wrote, regarding silphium, women drink the juice from the plant with water once a month, he said: “It not only prevents conception but also destroys anything existing”. 4

Queen Annes Lace (wild carrot) a biennial plant, in the second year, stems are erect and branched; both stems and leaves are covered with short coarse hairs, and reach height two to four feet. The plant strives growing in direct sunlight and well drained neutral to alkaline soil. Originally the plant was brought to the United States from Europe. It grows abundantly in western part of the Cascades in Oregon and Washington. Wild carrot attracts sheep as a source of food. During late 1980s scientists discovered Queen Annes Lace in mice, blocked the production of progesterone and inhibited fetal and ovarian growth .6 (In Chinese laboratory tests confirmed Queen Annes Lace seeds inhibited progesterone, required to fertilize an egg 5) According to a study …” in which twelve women from New York City used 1 teaspoon of QAL (Queen Annes Lace) seeds chewed well for 12 months for contraceptive purposes.”: According to a women’s menstrual cycle, wild carrots ingested induce contraception. The dosage increased to work more effectively for women above average height and weight. Wild carrot known side affect: Occasional slight constipation for a few women. Queen Anne’s Lace may not be recommended for women who have kidney or gallstones and herb should not be taken along with prescribed blood pressure and estrogen medication. 5

In the United States, black cohosh herb grows in shady woodlands of southeast, northern Oregon, Washington, and Ontario (Canada). The plant measures one to three feet long with white blossoms (June and July). The stout and root used for medicinal purposes. 7 Native Americans used black cohosh to treat sore throats and kidney problems. Also, the herb treats hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms 9 “Black cohosh has been used as an abortifacient”. 8 Also, the herb combined with Pennyroyal (herb) intensifies the abortifacient process. 2 In the United States, black cohosh sold as a dietary supplement but not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. The herb can cause stomach pain and headache. Also, herb rarely causes liver damage. Breast cancer patients should avoid taking black cohosh, unknown side effects. 9

Chinese Yam (Mexican yam or Dioscorea villosa 16) perennial vine: Native to China, and native herb plant (wild yam) grown in the United States. The herb roots and rootstock (rhizomes) provide herbal remedies, including treating menstrual irregularity, flashes and other symptoms of menopause (No available scientific evidence support these claims). Cream makers of the byproduct wild yam claim their product helps women lose weight, increase energy (stamina) and enhance sex drive. According to Chinese Yam herb users, claim to stimulate appetite, remedy for chronic diarrhea, asthma, fatigue and treat frequent urination, diabetes and emotional stress. 10 Reported in a magazine, midwife (Willa Shaffer) in Utah claimed wild yam effectively stopped getting pregnant during a year usage of the herb. She wrote a book: Wild Yam: Birth Control Without Fear (Woodland Health) (Paperback). However, no scientific documentation has proven her claim. 11 Large doses of wild yam may cause: Diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Rarely the herb causes these allergic reactions: Rashes, asthma, and other symptoms. Cream makers of Chinese yam, known to add progesterone, may cause adverse health concerns, including headache, breast tenderness, constipation, upset stomach, tiredness, and irritability. 10

In India, Neem Oil (extracted from Azadiracta Indica Juss tree 16) popular birth control choice for men and women. Besides the bark and roots of the tree offer many medicinal properties. Women use neem oil in vaginal creams and suppositories (Also available single injection of neem oil, producing up to 12 months block fertility. No apparent change in menstrual cycle or ovarian function.), and men ingest Neem leaf tablets for one month, effective antifertility. However, herb doe not effect sperm production or sex drive. Also, potency of the herb causes infertility, reversible after discontinuation. According to studies, vaginal cream killed sperms in the vagina within thirty seconds, and effective for up to five hours. Also, effectively prevents vaginal and sexually transmitted diseases.12 In India the Hyderabad – based National Research Development Corporation (NRDC), developed two types of Neem oil vaginal contraceptives.16 According to a research study conducted in India, twenty Indian married army men, took the oral dose of Neem oil, prevented pregnancy in each of their wives. (“The effect took 6 weeks to become 100% effective”). After discontinuing taking the capsules, within six weeks, reversed the effects of the herb contraceptive. 13 Neem oil vaginal cream not available in the United States. The Food and Drug Administration has not processed the contraceptive cream for safety and efficacy. 14 Also, Neem oil ingredient processed in India, formulate to make cosmetics (body hygiene creams, hand creams, soap, and hair products) and when diluted (water) used as a bio – pesticide. 15

Smartweed (Polygonum hydropiper) an herb plant produces flowers from July to September. It grows in light, medium and heavy soils containing neutral and basic alkaline soils. Also, herb requires wet soil and can grow in water. Smartweeds known by many herbalists to treat bleeding, skin problems, diarrhea, and other ailments. According to Chinese tests, a survey of 250 potential antifertility drugs, Smartwood ranked twentieth. 17 Susan Weed writes in her published book: ‘The Child Bearing Year’ (paperback) – how Smartweed terminates pregnancies or prevents fertilization during intercourse. Also, women ingesting the formulated prepared Smartweed leaves known to induce a missed period. 11

Pregnant women should be cautious taking or ingesting an herb supplement unaware of the potential side effects may interfere with a pregnancy. According to John M. Riddle (Written book: Contraception and Abortion in the West – paperback) told a true story regarding his wife’s miscarriage. Later, the couple learned the mint flavored herb pennyroyal (plant) they added to their tea, drank nearly every day, unknown to them is an abortifacient. 18

References:

1.) Herbal Contraception – http://www.sisterzeus.com/HContra.htm

2.) Blue Cohosh – http://www.sisterzeus.com/BlueCoh.htm

3.) Asafoetida – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asafoetida

4.) Herbal Contraception in Ancient Times – http://ancienthistory.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http://www.islam%2Donline.net/English/Science/2003/08/article02.shtml

5.) The Contraceptive Properties of Carrots – http://www.carrotmuseum.co.uk/cont.html

6.) Wild Carrot – Queen Annes Lace – http://www.carrotmuseum.co.uk/queen.html

7.) Black Cohosh – http://www.netrition.com/optimum_black_cohosh_page.html

8.) Herbal use – http://articles.gourt.com/en/Black%20cohosh

9.) Questions and Answers About Black Cohosh and the Symptoms of Menopause – http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/BlackCohosh.asp

10.) Wild Yam – http://www.cancer.org/docroot/ETO/content/ETO_5_3X_Wild_Yam.asp?sitearea=ETO

11.) Herbal Contraception – http://www.sisterzeus.com/HContra.htm

12.) Neem and Birth Control – http://www.sisterzeus.com/neem.html

13.) NEEM – A HERBAL CONTRACEPTIVE FOR MEN – http://www.sisterzeus.com/neem_men.html

14.) What is neem oil? Can it be used as a contraceptive? – http://www.barnard.columbia.edu/wwoman/qanda/protect/neem.html

15.) NEEM OIL KING – http://www.neemking.com/

16.) Neem Oil: India – http://www.lycos.com/info/neem-oil-india.html

17.) Polygonum hydropiper – L. Smartweed – http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Polygonum+hydropiper

18.) Eve’s Herbs: A History of Contraceptions and Abortions in the West – http://www.herbalgram.org/wholefoodsmarket/herbalgram/articleview.asp?a=763&p;=Y