Both women and men wish to have control over when to become parents. Making choices about birth control methods isn’t easy.
There are many types of birth control methods, also referred to as contraception and fertility control, to prevent pregnancy.
Some common options are abstinence, natural family planning or the rhythm method, barrier methods like female or male condoms, hormonal methods like oral contraceptives, implantable devices and emergency contraception, such as the ‘morning after pill’. Those who do not want to have children may opt for a permanent sterilization solution.
There is no best method of birth control. Each has pros and cons and even the most effective birth control methods can fail, with the exception of abstinence.
Some herbal solutions also can be used for birth control. Certain herbs have the ability to interfere with implantation, which means the herbs make it difficult for a fertilized egg to implant or maintain its grip on the uterine wall. If the egg is unable to implant on the uterine wall, it begins to break down and menstruation will occur as usual.
There are four herbs that are quite effective natural birth control methods.
1. Queen Anne’s Lace
Another herb that is used as a natural birth control is Queen Anne’s Lace, also known as wild carrot. Mainly the seeds collected from the flower head of this herb work as a contraceptive. The seeds block progesterone synthesis, disrupting implantation, and are most effective as emergency contraception.
Several studies on wild carrot seeds as effective birth control have been encouraging. The extracts of the seeds disrupt the implantation process, and a fertilized egg will find implantation very difficult.
Some people may experience mild side effects like constipation for a few days when using Queen Anne’s Lace. Plus, it may not be suitable for those with a history of kidney or gallstones.
- Take one teaspoon of wild carrot seeds within eight hours of being exposed to sperm and continue once daily for another seven days. Chew the seeds for maximum effectiveness.
- Queen Anne’s Lace can also be used in tincture or tea form.
Note: Do not use Queen Anne’s Lace if you are breast feeding. Do not confuse this herb with similar-looking deadly plants like poison hemlock and water hemlock.
2. Blue Cohosh
The root of the blue cohosh plant is used as an effective natural birth control. Blue cohosh contains two uterine-contracting substances, one that mimics the hormone oxytocin, and the other a saponin called Caulosaponin. In case you are not using any protective measures, drink some tea made from blue cohosh soon after.
- Add one teaspoon of blue cohosh to one quart of boiling water.
- Steep for five minutes.
- Sip this tea slowly, no more than three times per day (or no more than 300 to 400 mg daily) until your menstrual period starts.
Note: Blue cohosh has some side effects, so it is best to use this herb under the guidance of an herbalist.
Pennyroyal is a plant in the mint genus that has been used as birth control by the ancient Greeks and Romans. This herb works as an emmenagogue to promote menstrual flow and as an abortifacient to initiate self-abortion.
Pennyroyal can be taken in combination with other herbs to stop pregnancy.
Both fresh and dried leaves of this herb can be used for birth control. Pennyroyal tea can help induce menstruation and abortion.
- Boil eight ounces of spring or distilled water.
- Remove from heat and add one teaspoon of dried pennyroyal to the boiling water and allow it to stand for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Strain and add a little honey if desired.
- Drink the tea immediately following unprotected sex and before implantation of a fertilized egg can occur for maximum effectiveness.
Note: Pennyroyal as natural birth control should be taken cautiously as it can cause liver and kidney damage, nervous system damage and a host of other problems. Do not drink more than three cups of pennyroyal tea within a six-day period. Do not drink this tea if your menstrual period is more than 10 days late.
Neem, also called Indian lilac, is a popular herb used extensively for birth control for women as well as men. As a birth control method, neem leaves, neem leaf extract and neem oil are used.
Neem has spermicidal action. For women, a single injection of a minute amount of neem oil in the uterine horns (the points where the uterus and fallopian tubes meet) will create a reversible block in fertility for a year without causing changes in menstrual cycles or ovarian function.
Researchers have found that neem oil can slow the motility of sperm, preventing their ability to reach their destination and fertilize the egg. In fact, neem oil can kill sperm in the vaginal region within just 30 seconds.
For men, ingesting neem leaf tablets for one month produces reversible male anti-fertility. Even daily oral doses of neem seed oil in gelatin-capsule form can also be taken as birth control. Using neem as a birth control method does not affect sperm production or libido.
Along with preventing pregnancy, neem also provides protection from vaginal and sexually transmitted diseases due to its antibiotic, antiviral and immune-stimulating properties.
If herbal birth control appeals to you, be sure to use the exact herb and follow the proper proportions. Along with these anti-fertility herbal remedies, it is essential to use a simple barrier method like the female or male condom to prevent pregnancy.