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Herbal Fertility Control



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If you have found this website, you are certainly looking for the very specific information as given below.

Herbal Fertility Control: Contraception and Abortion

An Ancient but Practical Approach for Women

Who Want to Take Charge of Their Reproduction and Fertility, and

Make Every Child a Wanted, Loved, and Planned-For Child!

Note: Please read our Cautionary Disclaimer near the bottom of the page.

Updated on 14 October 2017


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    There is a growing movement of self-determined women, to regain ancient knowledge about botanical herbs once widely used for the control of pregnancy. This knowledge was once widespread, perhaps even global in nature, but was largely wiped out in Western society during the "burning times", when the Christian church began a war against midwives and female healers, murdering millions of people who at that time "lived outside of the Church". While the power of the Christian Church has been dramatically reduced in the Western democratic nations over the centuries, the war against midwives was picked up and continued by the Western medical establishment, which today holds a power and authority position roughly equal to the old priesthood.
    Outside of the Western democracies, the situation is even worse, especially within the Islamic, Hindu, and Buddhist nations, where women's status is generally low, often at nearly slave-like conditions. And in communist nations, women's reproductive capacities are generally state-controlled. Women's power for self-determination at many levels may not exist in such nations, where an unplanned pregnancy can be a life-threatening disaster, especially for unmarried females, where it may provoke the outrage of dead-hearted dominant males (or equally fanatical and life-hating females) who consider a younger woman's sexual organs and female virginity to be a "badge of family honor". But it is exactly in those places where herbal methods for fertility control may be most suitable, as dominant males generally ignore women's health issues. A woman who carries about "medicinal herbs" for "women's problems" is likely to be ignored, confusing such herbs as "kitchen spices". In medicinal botanical textbooks, the same herbs may also be identified to assist in labor, or to help with irregular menses or other women's health issues, so their usage is not confined merely to fertility control. Under such circumstances, especially in nations where women's status is very low, or where contraception and abortive methods may be expensive or legally forbidden, the herbal-plant methods are most suitable.

    Here, we wish to alert all women, and their concerned male partners, about old methods for ending pregnancy in the early stages, mainly for restoring the onset of menstruation where it might be delayed, by use of simple herbal preparations.  The materials presented here should be viewed as a guide, a first-step into an ancient body of knowledge, and not as the sole information on how to proceed in the case of an unwanted pregnancy.

In addition to what is presented here, the reader is encouraged to also visit the various excellent web sites given below for even more information on the subject. Several excellent books on this subject are also recommended below, along with one scholarly PDF download, a compilation of additional materials on these subjects.

    Once you have educated yourself, it is up to you to make the decision on whether to try the herbal approach, or not.

Getting Started...

    The most concise discussion we have found of the subject of abortive herbs exists in a book by Rina Nissim, Natural Healing in Gynaecology: A Manual for Women (Pandora/Harper-Collins, 1996, currently out of print, but used copies often available from Amazon.com). Her book was originally written in French language, and has been translated all around the world. The English edition does not use the word "abortion" directly to describe specific herbs, possibly due to the more religious nature of American society as compared to Europe, and a natural desire that the book not inflame the substantial anti-abortion groups in the USA. However, the abortive herbs are discussed in the context of emmenagogues, which are substances known to bring on a delayed menstruation. Consequently, the herbs mentioned in her book appear suited only for terminating pregnancy in the very early stages. This means, if a woman is to take this botanical-herbal approach to control her fertility, she must follow her own cycles with some attention, know when to expect her bleeding to start, and have the essential herbs on hand and ready for preparation in advance, in case of a problem. There are herbal methods for producing abortion later in pregnancy, but these are not discussed here, left to the other websites where women are already engaged in serious discussions about what works, and does not work. For now, however, we can recite a few paragraphs from Rina Nissim's book, in a section on "Delayed Periods, 6 to 8 days overdue" (p.30-32).
    Her experiences come from the Women's Health Center in Geneva, Switzerland. Read Nissim's book for full details. Information on where to get it is given several pages down.


"Our Experience at the Women's Health Center
    We have obtained between 60 and 80 percent effectiveness among women who suspected an undesired pregnancy. Clearly this figure does not tell us much because we do not know how many of these women were in fact pregnant. The women always used two herbs at one time (most often using either pennyroyal or mugwort, plus one other herb). The best association has been shown to be pennyroyal - blue cohosh.
    These herbs seem to be very effective for small delays in menstrual bleeding.  Their effectiveness drops noticably after the 6th day of delay, but still can be useful as long as an inability to confirm the pregnancy makes abortion impossible.
    It might be mentioned that these herbs seem ineffective for periods delyaed after going off the Pill, and only slightly effective with irregular cycles.
    According to the research and experience of a collective of women in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a better result is obtained with cotton root bark than with pennyroyal.  We have therefore integrated this 6th herb into our practice.
    It is important to note that the earlier the herbs are taken [as tea infusions], the more effective they are. There is just one limitation: that the cycle be at its end.  Herbs are not effective just after ovulation because it is not possible to loosen mucus which is not yet 'mature'. You can therefore begin to drink infusions the day before the period would normally begin, the same day, or up until the 10th day thereafter. The percentage of success is very good (60-80 percent) the first 6 days. If you begin drinking the infusions only after the 6th day overdue, however, the percentage of effectiveness falls to 20 percent.
    For this reason, after our years of experience, we rarely propose infusions after the 6th day overdue.  On the other hand, for those who are among the 20 percent, it is worth it! The development of early pregnancy tests, however, will probably change our practice and permit a more precise study.
    What are the possible side effects? Essentially, contractions whose strength increases in proportion to the length of delay. Sometimes nausea or a light dizziness may result. It is recommended to eat lightly during these days.

Practically speaking
We always prescribe two associated herbs:

cotton root bark  or  pennyroyal  or  mugwort

to be used with

parsley  or  blue cohosh  or  black cohosh

    Using one teaspoonful of each plant, separately, per cup liquid - in infusion for the leaves (mugwort and pennyroyal), and in decoction for the roots (the others) - drink one cup of each of the 2 herbs three timesa day. This means 6 cups to drink each day for a maximum of 6 days. (more information below)
    BE CAREFUL: do not overdose. Do not continue treatment more than six days. Do not begin after the 10th overdue day. The better informed women are, the earlier they will begin.  It is not necessary to continue taking the herbs once the period has truly begun."

(Nissim, 1996)

--end quote--

    In fact, Nissim indicates the combination of pennyroyal with blue cohosh is the most successful, prepared as given in her book, and as summarized on this web page. Here are her recipies for the different herbs (remember, only two herbs are used, one from Group A, and one from Group B). The teas are prepared either as infusion (pour boiling water over the dried herbs, let steep for 10 minutes) or as decoction (cook dried herbs in a covered enamel pot for 10 minutes). Even if the method of preparation is different for the given herbal combination (like with pennyroyal and blue cohosh), the teas can be mixed together afterwards, and a full-days batch (of six cups of tea) can be prepared all at once without a problem.


"Group A (choose one):

Cotton Root Bark (Gossypium herbacetum)
Part used: bark of the root, cut and broken up like tea
Properties: emmenagogue, imitates oxytocin (childbirth hormone that triggers labor)
Preparation: decoction,1 teaspoon of bark per cup of water, 3 cups per day for a maximum of 6 days.
We suggest to use only organically-grown cotton root bark, as cotton plants grown for fabric production are heavily sprayed with pesticides.

Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium)
Part used: entire plant, broken up, dried
Properties: emmenagogue, aids gall bladder and digestive tract
Preparation: infusion,1 teaspoon per cup of water, 3 cups per day for a maximum of 6 days.
CAUTION:Do Not Use extracted pennyroyal oil, which is toxic and potentially lethal! The tea recipe as given above, consumed for that limited amount of time, is safe.

Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)
Part used: entire plant, broken up, dried
Properties: emmenagogue, antispasmodic
Preparation: infusion,1 teaspoon per cup of water, 3 cups per day for a maximum of 6 days.
CAUTION: Do Not Overdose! More than 40g per liter causes hepato-renal disorders and convulsions.
Contra-indications: uterine inflammation, recent pelvic inflamation.

Group B (choose one):

Parsley (Petroselium sativum)
Part used: entire plant, broken up, dried. Do Not Use the seeds.
Properties: cleanser, diuretic, stimulates menstruation
Preparation: decoction,1 teaspoon per cup of water, 3 cups per day for a maximum of 6 days.
CAUTION: Do Not Overdose! Parsley is toxic in high doses. The seeds are even stronger than the plant and should not be used because they are dangerous particularly to the kidneys.

Blue Cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides)
Part used: root, cut and broken up like tea
Properties: emmenagogue, imitates oxytocin, antispasmodic, diuretic
Preparation: decoction,1 teaspoon per cup of water, 3 cups per day for a maximum of 6 days.

Black Cohosh (Cimifuga raremosa)
Part used: entire plant incl. root, cut and broken up like tea
Properties: emmenagogue, antispasmodic, diuretic
Preparation: decoction,1 teaspoon per cup of water, 3 cups per day for a maximum of 6 days."

(Nissim, 1996)

--end quote--

    In different dosages, many of these same herbs have a history of use for easing painful menstruation, or for stimulating childbirth. Other herbs used as emmenagogues are mentioned, but without dosages or preparation being discussed. Consult the Nissim book for details.
   Remember! If you wait until you are pregnant to try and obtain these herbs, it might take you days or weeks to get them, and you will have missed the window of opportunity for their effectiveness. It is suggested to take the initiative before you are pregnant, and have all the ingredients on hand. From the cautionary notes given above, it should also be obvious that taking these herbs will usually produce some discomfort in the form of temporary cramping, and possibly slight nausea or dizziness. One should plan accordingly.

Where To Get the Herbs

    These herbs are available from various natural food cooperatives, herbal medicine stores, and mail-order catalogs. Check your telephone book and local area first, as fresh herbs are always better. Ask the people at your local health food store to see what's available. The herbs should be freshly dried, not older than 1 year, and in bulk form. Capsules or pills are less effective and unsuitable for tea preparations. Do Not Use tinctures or essential oils! The danger of overdose is too high, and most essential oils are toxic if ingested. Use only the raw herbs for making the teas!
    It is advised to obtain only organically-grown herbs, and best of all if you can get them wildcrafted - that is, harvested from wild and natural sources rather than grown commercially. Here are a few internet links for obtaining the herbs:

* Wild Weeds: http://www.wildweeds.com

* Mountain Rose Herbs: http://www.mountainroseherbs.com

* Other Sources: http://www.sisterzeus.com/herbshoppes.html

    Some women report that if they feel they might be pregnant, they will start taking Rutin 7 to 10 days before the onset of their period, dose of 500 mg per day (can be found at most health food stores). Rutin is an extract of Rue, a traditional abortifacient used historically all over the world. It works as a "morning after pill" by stimulating adrenaline and prolonging its action within the body, thereby decreasing capillary permeability in the uterine tissues and making them non-nutritive to the fertilized egg. Please consult the following website for more information and cautions about Rutin, which can severely stress the kidneys and liver if used on a regular basis. Rutin is therefore unsuitable as a regular contraceptive except as an emergency measure in case conception has occurred. Also, its essential oil is highly toxic and should never be used internally!
    NOTE:  As with any medicine or chemical compounds, caution is advised before simply going out and ingesting unfamiliar plants and herbs. You should NEVER use the extracted "Essential Oils" of some of these plants as can be purchased over-the-counter in small bottles of liquid. In that form, many are known to be deadly toxic. Even when fresh water-extracts are made from the original herbal formulas, the dosages are very important. For example, Spotted Cowbane Root, noted in several of the papers in the free e-book Reprint Package below, is potentially deadly in high doses. It is also known as Water Hemlock (Cicuta maculatum), one of the most poisonous plants in North America and related in its actions to the plant that killed Socrates. If you make the decision to try the herbal preparations, stick to the methods and dosages given in the Nissim book and other resources presented here for termination of early pregnancy - when you take responsibility for your own health and fertility, you also take responsibility for the risks involved!

    Furthermore, it is important to take into consideration that if the herbs have not worked in your case, for whatever reason, you must follow up with a surgical or pharmaceutical abortion, as the herbs are known to be damaging to the normal growth of the fetus, even if they failed to end the pregnancy! For termination of a confirmed and in-progress pregnancy, consult the above websites or contact the nearest offices of Planned Parenthood or the National Abortion Federation. The Food and Drug Administration recently approved the use of RU-486 "abortion pill" in the USA, making this step much easier - but the chemical abortion pill is reported to have side-effects more severe than the herbal methods discussed above. It also can only be administered by physicians, requiring several trips to the physician's office, driving the cost up significantly. The herbal method discussed here costs pennies by comparison. Nevertheless, the legalization of RU-486 provides an important back-up for any woman presently using herbal methods. If you are determined to end a pregnancy, and the herbal methods do not work for you, a pharmaceutical or surgical abortion may be the only final alternative, and become necessary also, as the herbs are known to be disruptive to the normal growth of the early embryo.

    Do not make casual or last-minute decisions about pregnancy, emmenagogues or abortive herbs!
    Be smart, educated, and prepared, and let no man or woman dictate your basic life decisions!

For More Information, read the following materials:

* Fertility Awareness, Herbal Contraception, Herbal Abortion: http://www.sisterzeus.com
This is the best web site on the subject anywhere!  Lots of excellent information.  Here are some sub-sections:

* Preventing and Ending Pregnancy by Alternatives:  http://www.sisterzeus.com/PregT.htm

* Herbal Abortion:  http://www.sisterzeus.com/Abortif.htm

* Sharing Our Wisdom:  http://www.sisterzeus.com/Sharing.htm

* Also here is a website offering straightforward gynecological information:

Here is a free download link for a PDF of scholarly articles that Prof. DeMeo formerly provided to his students of World Geography. This item normally is sold for $5 through our on-line bookstore.

* Herbal Contraception and Abortion in Sex-Positive Cultures: Selected Reprints.  Gathered by James DeMeo, PhD. Includes reprints of 16 different published and unpublished Scholarly Articles from old anthropology, ethnobotany and pharmacology journals on the subject, clearly demonstrating that so-called "primitive" peoples had known how to control their fertility long before Western science.  Also includes information on other books and web sites giving explicit details on herbal abortion methods.  This information once brought a death-sentence by burning!  c.250pp.   Click the above link.
Includes the following scholarly reprints:
* Attitudes of Four Peruvian Jungle Tribes Towards Plants Employed as Oral Contraceptives, Nicole Maxwell, unpublished monograph, 1970.
* "Contraceptive Plant Drugs", V. J. Brondegaard, Planta Medica 23(2):167-182, 1973.
* "Antifertility Agents of Plant Origin", J. R. Price, from A Symposium on Agents Affecting Fertility, C.R. Austin & J.R. Perry, Eds., Little, Brown & Co., 1965.
* "Alleged Antifertility Plants of India", R.C.D. Casey, Indian J. Med. Sci., 14:590-600, 1960.
* "Plant Materials Used by Primitive Peoples to Affect Fertility", H. deLaszlo & P.S. Henshaw, Science, 119:626-631, 7 May 1954.
* "Cherokee Belief and Practice with Regard to Childbirth", F.M. Olbrechts, Anthropos XXVI:17-19, 1931.
* Plants Used by the Indians of Mendocino County, California, by V.K. Chesnut, US Nat. Herbarium, VII(3), Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1902, pp.344 & 367.
* "Vegetable Antifertility Drugs of India", B.S. Malhi & V.P. Trivedi, Quar. J. Crude Drug Research, 12:1922-1928, 1972.
* "Plants as Oral Contraceptives in the Northwest Amazon", R.E. Schultes, Lloydia, 26:67-74, June 1963.
* "Some Native Herbal Remedies at Present in Use in Mashonaland", H.Wild & M. Gelfand, Cent. African J. of Med., 5(6):292-305, June 1959.
* "Physiological and Medical Observations Among the Indians of the Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico", A. Hrdlicka, Smithsonian Institution Bureau of Am. Ethnology, Bulletin 34, 1908, pp. 163-166.
* "Some Sex Beliefs and Practices in a Navaho Community", F.L. Bailey, Papers, Peabody Museum of Am. Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard U., 40(2):23-27, 1950.
* "Potential Value of Plants as Sources of New Antifertility Agents I & II", N.R. Farnsworth, et al, J. Pharmaceutical Sci., 64(4):535-598, April 1975 and 64(5):717-754, May 1975.
* "Inhibition on Glucagon After In-Vitro Mixture with Lithospermum", W.R. Breneman & M. Carmack, Endocrinology, 62(5):627-636, May 1958.
* "Action of Lithospermum Ruderale on Ovulation in the Hen", F.J. Zeller, W.R. Breneman & M. Carmack, Poultry Science, 37(2):455-459, March 1958.
* Plants Suggested as Possible Oral Antifertility Agents, source unknown, pp.1-19.

Highly Recommended, Important Books to Get:

* James DeMeo, PhD: "Contraceptive Plant Materials Used in Sex-Positive Cultures". This article is contained as a Chapter in the book Saharasia: The 4000 BCE Origins of Child Abuse, Sex-Repression, Warfare and Social Violence, In the Deserts of the Old World (Natural Energy Works, Ashland, Oregon, 2006) Saharasia covers a much broader set of topics than merely contraceptive plants, going deep into subject areas such as the historical decline in women's status, the harsh abuse suffered by children and adolescents world-wide, how patriarchal authoritarian societies crush down women and men, with a lot of new findings on the origins of patriarchal authoritarian societies and origins of human violence and war questions.

* CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE the comprehensive book Saharasia: The 4000 BCE Origins of Child Abuse, Sex-Repression, Warfare and Social Violence, In the Deserts of the Old World, by James DeMeo, PhD 464+ pages, over 100 maps and illustrations, with comprehensive bibliography and index. NOW SHIPPING THE REVISED and UPDATED SECOND EDITION!

You can also purchase Saharasia from Amazon.com.

* Natural Healing in Gynaecology: A Manual for Women, Rina Nissim, Harper/Collins, 1996.   An essential reference book giving women the power of choice in their own healing and reproduction.  Covers the limits of modern allopathic medicine, contrasting them to healing alternatives from both Western and Eastern cultures.  The author was a founder of the Dispensaire des Femmes, a women's health centre collective in Geneva, Switzerland, and has worked with women and health groups in the USA, Central America and India.  234 pp.
Below are some Amazon.com links to obtain this book, which is now out of print. If these links merely return Amazon advertisements (as sometimes happens with different browsers) try refreshing this page, or just go to Amazon and do a search on the author name and book title to find them.

Nissim 1996 1986 Softcover 1986 Hardcover Spanish Ed.

(NOTE on Above Books: Amazon sometimes inserts advertisements instead of the book link. If you see that, refresh this webpage several times until the proper links show up.)

A German-language edition is also available from Amazon.de Use their book-search feature to look for all titles by "Rina Nissim", and also for this title: Naturheilkunde in der Gynaekologie
This important book may also be available in other world languages. If you learn of another edition, please let us know about it!

Other Published Resources:

* "Oral Contraceptives in Ancient and Medieval Times", J. Riddle & J.W. Estes, American Scientist, 80:226-233, May-June, 1992.

* "Ever Since Eve: Birth Control in the Ancient World", J. Riddle, J.W. Estes & J.C. Russell, Archaeology, March/April 1994, pp.29-35.

For those wishing to carry a child to full-term pregnancy and birth, see our on-line bookstore selection of excellent books on the following subjects:

* On Contraception, Birth and Parenting,

* On Health, Healing and Medical Controversies.

* On Human Sexuality.

* On AIDS Mythology: Debunking "Infectious HIV" Theory.

* On Ending Genital Mutilations.

* On A.S. Neill and Summerhill School.

* Or just go here for Our Full On-Line Shopping Cart of Excellent Books, DVDs, "Electrosmog" Meters, and Health-Related Products.

Cautionary Disclaimer

The information contained on this website is gathered from previously-published and on-line sources, gathered and presented here for historical and educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional healthcare advice. Should you have any healthcare related questions, please call or see your physician or other qualified healthcare provider promptly. You should never disregard verified advice from a healthcare provider, nor delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. Any action on your part in response to the information provided on this website is at the reader's discretion. We are not liable for any direct or indirect claim, loss or damage resulting from use of the information presented on this website and/or any website(s) linked to/from it.

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