I’ve written before on the highly effective use of fertility herbs in women. I myself used herbs to encourage fertility with my first pregnancy as my husband and I did not attempt to start a family until I was well into my 30’s.
Once we discovered the wonders of Traditional Diet, however, I no longer needed any herbal assistance with later pregnancies. Herbs are also highly effective at dampening fertility in order to naturally and safely prevent pregnancy. When would such use of natural birth control be beneficial?
For one, herbal birth control would be helpful to use between pregnancies in order to space children 3-4 years apart. This allows Mom to adequately replenish her nutritional stores so that later children are just as healthy, smart and capable as the first. Spacing children a minimum of 3 years apart (birthday to birthday) was rigorously practiced in ancestral cultures. It preserves Mom’s health and prevents exhaustion and nutritional deficiency for her too.
Natural methods of birth control are always preferable to chemically based agents such as spermicides, contraceptive patches, and IUDs which emit synthetic hormones, or the contraceptive pill which decimates the balance of gut flora and can lead to autoimmune disease in the mother and any children born later.
Even IUDs that emit only copper instead of hormones to prevent pregnancy should be avoided as copper toxicity is a very real and dangerous side effect of using these devices. According to Theresa Vernon, LAc author of the article Metals and the Mind:
If adrenal function becomes impaired, the copper builds up in the liver, brain, joints, and lungs. When this happens, you see very specific problems, including mental problems, liver problems, and detoxification problems. Phase II liver impairment is often made worse by copper toxicity, if not actually caused by it.
You also see a lot of copper toxicity with asthma and breathing problems, including emphysema. Copper also tends to build up in the joints, leading to arthritis. Chronic skin problems are also an indication of copper toxicity.
Low adrenal function is an epidemic in our modern society. If you doubt this, just walk into any convenience store and notice the enormous display of energy shots and drinks that are available for sale. Not to mention that a Starbucks or other coffee shop is virtually on every corner of most major cities. Americans have serious adrenal health problems. As a result, many are addicted to caffeine and sugar as a way to make it through the day. This makes any excess copper in the system a huge health problem!
Artificial contraception may be tempting in the short term. However, it is clearly not a great idea if preserving your long term hormone and gut health is important to you.
Herbs for Natural Birth Control
The use of anti-fertility herbs along with a simple barrier method such as the female or male condom that is not treated with chemicals (such as natural lambskin) works very effectively for preventing pregnancy. This option is especially attractive for health-conscious women who are not particularly turned on by the thought of charting their cycles, taking their basal metabolic temperature every morning, checking the stretchiness of their vaginal secretions and practicing selective abstinence a la Natural Family Planning which for some ladies over analyzes and saps the spontaneity out of what should be a very natural, uncomplicated and enjoyable event.
So if herbal birth control appeals to you, here are the different types and how they work as outlined in the very helpful book Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year. Please note that if sourcing your own herbs is new to you, a well-respected herbalist or acupuncturist in your area can put together a bag of herbs to assist you with natural birth control for an extremely reasonable cost. These professionally sourced herbs mixed in the proper proportions can then be used to prepare a cold or a hot herbal infusion that you drink periodically to keep fertility in check and under your control.
Sterility Promoting Herbs
Stoneseed Root. Women of the Dakota Indian tribes used this extremely powerful herb as a root infusion steeped in cold water for several hours. They then drank a cup every day for 6 months. The Dakota women also practiced breathing in the smoke of the plant as it burned to induce permanent sterility.
The Shoshone tribes concentrated in Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, and Montana also used this root for permanent sterility purposes.
Jack in the Pulpit Root. This root is less powerful than stoneseed root and is prepared by mixing one tsp of the dried powdered root in a half cup of cold water. The liquid is then strained and was consumed by women of the Hopi Tribe. Conception was prevented for one week by doing this.
Thistles. The Quinault Indians used thistles to induce temporary sterility by placing the entire plant in boiling water. The very bitter, strong tasting liquid was then consumed.
Herbs that Prevent Pregnancy
Wild Carrot Seed (Queen Anne’s Lace). This oily and strong tasting but not unpleasant herb is particularly useful if an “oops” occurs and unprotected relations take place during the fertile time. One teaspoon of carrot seeds is taken immediately and continued each day for another 7 days.
The women of Rajasthan, India use carrot seed for this exact purpose. While wild carrot seed is not commercially available, cultivated carrot seeds can be substituted but be sure to check that they haven’t been treated with chemicals or other toxic substances.
Research in mice has proven the effectiveness of carrot seed to prevent implantation.
Smartweed Leaves. A common weed that grows all over the world, smartweed contains rutin, quercetin, and gallic acid. All of these substances interfere with the initiation of pregnancy.
An infusion of one ounce of dried leaves (or 4 ounces of fresh leaves) in a quart of boiling water is consumed liberally until menstruation begins.
Like carrot seed, smartweed may also be used after relations occur on fertile days or to bring on menstruation if the period is late.
Rutin. This phenolic compound can be purchased in tablet form. A minimum of 500 mg should be taken daily for several days before and following ovulation. Another option is to consume rutin after sexual relations and continue each day until menstruation begins.
Herbs Which Initiate Menstruation
Ginger root. Ginger is perhaps the fastest acting menstruation initiating herb you can use. Put 1 tsp of powdered organic ginger root into a cup and pour boiling water over it. Drink when the water cools to a temperature which is still hot but comfortable. Drink up to 4 cups per day for no more than 5 days.
Vitamin C. While plain ascorbic acid is not the natural form of Vitamin C, it can be used therapeutically on occasion to bring on menstruation if necessary. Take 500 mg every hour for 12 hours each day for up to 6 days maximum. The use of ascorbic acid in this high dosage may also produce loose bowels as a side effect.
Sources and More Information
Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year
Human life isn’t that special- if we didn’t have gigantic neo cortexes that made us worry about the past and future, we wouldn’t be that concerned with death. Personally, if I hadn’t spent so much life acquiring education, emotional healing, and nearly paying off my college loans, I wouldn’t feel death was much of a loss. If my mom didn’t feel capable of having me I would gratefully leave before I had to deal with having an awful life from not being wanted. Life itself is full of abortions, and gardens are full of seeds that don’t grow. What’s the big deal?
This article and so many of these comments just break my heart. I have lived with infertility for many years. The first few years when I would become pregnant, I worked so hard just to get my baby to implant. I was very careful not to use any herbs or supplements or even to put anything on my skin that might harm my baby or prevent implantation. Finally, I was able to achieve implantation! What a celebration! But I always miscarried at some point.
I can tell you all that losing a baby before implantation hurts just as much as it does afterwards. Each pregnancy produced at least one unique individual with his or her own hair color and eye color, etc. I am looking forward to meeting them all in heaven one day!
And I consider it my responsibility as long as I am fertile to watch carefully what I eat and drink and put on my skin- just in case I might be pregnant. I do not even take large doses of vitamin C.
Can I mix some sugar with the ginger root lol 🙂 or will that make the root less efficient?
I think everyone has a right to their own opinion. Saying that, everyone has the right to disagree with that opinion. What I don’t believe people have the right to do is go into the webpage, house, or any other personal space and start an argument about what the owners’ opinions are. This is an information website for those women who wish to not get pregnant and don’t wish to introduce laboratory made chemicals into their system. I applaud Sarah in her effort to put this information out there so these women can access it. It sickens me to read these horrid comments from both sides of the fence. If you don’t wish to use this information for whatever reason you have, it’s very simple, don’t. Start up your own website saying how horrible this information is, if it pleases you. When on someone else’s property, either conduct yourself as a guest, or leave. (Yes, a webpage IS private property)
I agree HLRose :). Thank you for your comment. We need people who give unbiased advice and who are just. On the other note I wanted to say the best thing to do is ignore those types of people who like to argue for infinity, extremists etc. Its just wasted energy. We can acknowledge but we don’t have to get involved when we do we created a vibe that doesnt feel good and will bring whats not good. This is great page Sarah. Thank you so much :).
I think that at times we tend to overreact. Yes, abortion and the prevention of pregnancy will always be hot topics, yet it was not for either or these reasons that I visited this site.
As a writer, I do extensive I research, and in my field of writing – historical – they did not have scientific or synthetic preventative methods, they used herbs.
Sites, or posts, like this make it easier and often points one in the right direction, or serves as a conformation which herds or plants could have been used (logistically speaking – if you live where they are found). Therefore it has its use, and should be viewed from the perspective of: It is what one does with the information you are provided, that raises the debate. It is not the information itself that is immoral.
Funny how people fight about what is pro-life and such nonsense, but yet somehow they all ended up on this site…. Planning on getting your fix of how to prevent pregnancy also? But I have to admit…. by the logic stated above birth control IS abortion…. most of them never prevents an egg from being fertilized…. they simply force your period to regulate and come at particular times. Some you you have probably been pregnant hundreds of times, but simply keep flushing out your fertilized eggs~ lol
The real fact is if you are so “holier than thou” , then you shouldn’t try to prevent any kind of pregnancy… and personally I find that silly. I just consider it population control… because you have to consider the quality of life future generations will have if we didn’t control our birthrates.
Pro-life rallys/ organizations, though they stand for a good cause, can be just as fundamentally unsound as anarchist groups…. in the end… a lot of their plans and methods sound great on paper… but just isnt realistic.