There are many forms of birth control, many of which employ the use of hormones. If you are afraid of the side effects that come with hormonal contraception, herbal birth control may be a good option.
Contraception using herbs: Is it the real thing?
While some herbs promote fertility, others may have a hindering effect on it. That’s why many herbs can be used for contraceptive purposes. Some prevent the fertilized egg from implanting into the uterus. Some induce uterine contractions. Some even promote sterility.
Herbs that promote sterility
- Stoneseed root. The Dakota tribe women put the root in cold water for hours. Then, they consume it daily for six months at a time to avoid getting pregnant.
Jack-in-the-pulpit root is used in a similar way by the Hopi tribe women.
Thistles were boiled in water by the Quinault tribe women to make a tea that could promote sterility temporarily.
Herbs that prevent implantation
Queen Anne’s lace, or wild carrot seed, is a form of herbal contraception that originates in India. After unprotected sex, the woman is supposed to take these seeds for 7 days to prevent implantation.
Smartweed leaves are believed to prevent implantation thanks to its high amount of rutin, quercetin, and gallic acid.
Side effects of herbal birth control
Herbs come with both medicinal power and side effects. Common side effects of herbal contraception include:
Low blood pressure
Excessive sedation or depression (possibly resulting from interaction with other drugs)
Increased photosensitivity (possibly resulting from interaction with other drugs)
Kidney irritation and inflammation
- Enhanced sedative effects of other supplements
Different herbs may cause different side effects. Also, different individuals react differently to herbs. It’s important to talk with your doctor before taking any herbal supplements and strictly follow the direction (on the label or from your doctor) to avoid side effects. Keep track of your symptoms in case you need to discuss with your doctor. You need to be extra careful when using herbs because herbal supplements are not regulated by the FDA like other kinds of medication are.
Risks associated with herbal birth control
If you are taking any medication (either prescription or over-the-counter), you need to talk with your doctor first to avoid drug interaction. You may still get pregnant while taking herbal contraception. If that happens, stop using the herbs immediately and seek medical help. Some of the herbs may be harmful to a developing fetus. If you are taking an herbal supplement and you need surgery for a medical condition, inform your doctor about what you are taking since some herbs may interact anesthesia.
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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.