Natural Birth Control Herbs

Long before you decided that you wanted children, you have also committed to making sure that it was planned. You want to become sexually active, but just the possibility of an unplanned pregnancy is unthinkable, and you're now exploring the different birth control options that are currently available to you. From hormonal birth control pills, surgical birth control implants, and barrier methods, the choices are many. However, did you know that there are also natural birth control herbs that can reduce your fertility and chances of becoming pregnant?

Natural Birth Control Herbs

Birth control herbs can be used to stimulate menstruation, prevent conception, and inhibit implantation. Long before there were condoms, pills, and vaginal rings, there have been herbs to control unplanned pregnancy. Following is a list of herbs that have been known to reduce your risk of pregnancy:

1. Queen Anne's Lace

The seeds from Queen Ann's Lace act as an abortifacient by blocking progesterone synthesis and disrupting a fertilized egg from the implantation process. Queen Ann's Lace, taken within 6 to 8 hours of being exposed to sperm, and again daily for a week, can help prevent an unwanted pregnancy. Take a teaspoon of the seeds and chew them for the maximum benefit, or prepare them in tincture or tea form.

  • Caution: May cause an allergic reaction in people who are allergic to birch, mugwort, and celery.
  • Possible side effects: Vaginal dryness, and constipation.
  • Warning: Women who have a history of kidney or gall stones, and mothers who are breastfeeding shouldn't use Queen Ann's Lace.

2. Blue Cohosh

The root of this plant can be used to stimulate menstrual flow. The root contains two important substances, oxytocin and caulosaponin, which causes the uterus to contract. The best time to use blue cohosh is about 5 days before menstruation is due. However, it can also be used as an abortifacient if you’ve had sex, and you’re not using any contraceptives.

  • Caution: Drink the tea slowly, a maximum three times daily, until your menses returns.
  • Possible side effects: Allergic reaction, and arterial narrowing.
  • Warning: It's not recommended for those who have kidney or heart problems, including heart attack, heart disease, stroke, and women who have high or low blood pressure.

3. Pennyroyal

Pennyroyal is a plant in the mint genus that promotes menstrual flow and is a well-known abortifacient causing the uterine muscles to contract. It's most effective as a hot tea, and fresh leaves might be more effective. Drink the tea immediately after having unprotected sex and before a fertilized egg has a chance to implant for maximum effectiveness.

  • Caution: Don't drink more than three cups of pennyroyal tea within a 6 day period.
  • Possible side effects: Nausea and vomiting.
  • Warning: Too much pennyroyal is toxic and the essential oil is deadly. Women with kidney damage or disease should not use Pennyroyal.

4. Neem

Neem is one of the natural birth control herbs used by both men and women. In women, neem oil or cream is used as a spermicide that kills sperm in the vagina within a half minute, and is effective for up to five hours. Neem is safer and easier to use than chemical based spermicides, causes no irritation or discomfort and is nearly 100% effective. In men, neem leaf tablets taken daily can offer temporary and reversible sterility.

  • Caution: If you have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar carefully.
  • Possible side effects: Neem may cause a more active immune system, and might increase the symptoms of auto-immune diseases.
  • Warning: You'll need to consult with a medical professional before taking neem and diabetic medication, immunosuppressants, or lithium.

5. Buckwheat

Buckwheat tea can be used to disrupt pregnancy, and as an emergency contraceptive. Buckwheat contains a compound called Rutin, a bioflavinoid, which stimulates adrenaline and prevents implantation. Rutin prolongs adrenaline's action and causes abnormal capillary permeability in the uterine tissues, which causes it to become non-nutritive to the fertilized egg.

  • Caution: Some women are allergic to buckwheat.
  • Possible side effects: Women with diabetes need to monitor their blood sugar levels when taking buckwheat.
  • Warning: Stop taking buckwheat at least 2 weeks before any scheduled surgery.

6. Stoneseed Root

Stoneseed root is one of the very powerful natural birth control herbs and can render a female sterile for long periods of time. The active ingredient called Lithospermic Acid (LA) in low concentration acts by suppressing the production of hormones. The use of stoneseed root causes a suspension of the estrous cycle, and inhibits the secretion of estrogens and androgens (sex hormones). Add cold water to stoneseed root and steep several hours, drink one cup daily.

  • Caution: Some women may be allergic to Stoneseed root.
  • Possible side effects: Change in menstrual periods, dry puffy skin, feeling cold, swelling in the front of the neck, and weight gain.                                                                                      
  • Warning: Women who have a thyroid disorder or other hormone disorder should not take Stoneseed root.

7. Smart Weed Leaves

Smart weed leaves belong to the category of herbs known as emmenagogues, and they are distinguished by their ability to stimulate blood flow in the uterus. Some women use them for preventing ovulation and pregnancy, regulating menstrual irregularities, and for inducing abortion. To take as a tea, bring 4 cups of water to a boil and add 4 oz of fresh smart weed leaves. Continue drinking the tea until menstruation starts.

  • Caution: May cause stomach irritation.
  • Possible side effects: Smart weed leaves can irritate the tissues that line the stomach and intestines.
  • Warning: Avoid using smart weed leaves if you have ulcers or other GI disorders.

8. Angelica/Dong Quai

The American and European herb is called Angelica, while the Chinese herb is called Dong Quai. Angelica has a powerful action over a woman's reproductive system to promote menstruation and to terminate pregnancy. It is also useful for bringing on delayed menstruation. Dong Quai has contradictory effects on the uterus. It can both stimulate the uterus and inhibit its contractions. When the desire is to stimulate strong, coordinated, regular contractions, stimulating delayed menstruation and causing abortion, then capsules, a decoction or tincture is used.

  • Caution: Some women may have allergies to this herb. Women with diabetes need to monitor their blood sugar closely.
  • Possible side effects: Dong quai may affect blood pressure, cause drowsiness, increased risk of bleeding and abnormal heart rhythms.
  • Warning: Discontinue the herb at least 2 weeks prior to any surgery.

A Quick Note

Always consult an herbalist or a doctor before using any natural birth control herbs. Stop immediately if you develop any problems. Even though you can use herbs and other natural methods for birth control with success, this post, or any part of it, cannot make any guarantees.

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