Herbs have been used to control fertility for as long as there have been women who desired to do so. Our desire is as great as ever, but our knowledge base is far from large or strong. This article is both a sharing of what I know, and an open ear to hear what you know. May we reweave the healing cloak of the Ancients?
Many herbs have been used to minimize fertility, and modern scientific research has proved contraception effects in at least some of the herbs tested. Herbal birth control methods may never reach the level of contraceptive protection as the pill, but it offers alternatives for women who have difficulty with modern contraceptive options or who just want to try a different way.
Herbal birth control is most effective when combined with knowledge of your fertility cycles, selective abstinence, mental control, and barriers to sperm. You may choose herbs to cause temporary or permanent sterility, to prevent implantation of a fertilized egg, to bring on a late menstrual flow, or to empty the uterus if you believe that conception has taken place.
Each herb has to be taken in its own way. Some herbs are taken daily, while others are used on as needed bases, after potential exposure to sperm during a fertile time. Normally, herbs that are taken daily need some time to take effect, an alternative method of birth control should be used during the waiting period to provide protection.
If you choose to use herbal contraceptives you do so at your own risk because generally herbs contraception has lower contraception power than pills. But for some people who can not take modern contraceptives it could be the only choice.
"Temporary Sterility" Herbs include: Alum Root, Antelope Sage, Blessed Thistle, Blue Cohosh, Deer's Tongue, Desert Mallow, Dogbane, Geranium Root, Groomwell, Holy Thistle, Indian Paintbrush, Indian Turnip, Juniper, Milkween, Poverty Weed, Ragleaf Bahia, Thistle, Wild Geranium, Wild Ginger, Wild Yam.
"Permanent Sterility" herbs include: False Hellebore, False Solomon's Seal, Indian Turnup, Piri Piri, Spotted Cowbane, Stoneseed.
Herbal Implantation Preventers
Herbs which prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg do so safely and relatively painlessly by making the endometrium unsuitable for the growth of the embryo. They are taken before or after the unprotected fertilizing intercourse. Positive results are indicated by a normal menstrual flow at the normal time. Women say that when they have used these herbs their flow has been somewhat heavier and has contained more clots than usual, circumstantial evidence of a pregnancy that didn't take. As there's been no controlled study of possible side effects from long and regular use of these herbs, they should be used on a monthly basis. No known side effects accompany occasional use.
Wild Carrot seed
Queen Anne's lace (Daucus carota)
Rue (Ruta graveolens)
Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum)
Elder (several varietals of the elder tree)
Smartweed leaves (Polygonum hydropiper)
Uterine Contractors (oxytocin)
Birth root (Trillium pendulum); caution, do not use Aristolochia (birthwort)
• Blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides)
• Cotton root bark (Gossypium)
• Dosages, cautions
I would recommend using this information for information purposes only because there is still no scientific data and /or research confirming these methods work.
If you want to try it, you do it on your own risk.
Dr Irina Webster