Wednesday, March 3, 2010

herbal contraceptive: queen anne's lace

wow. i really wish i had known that queen anne’s lace was an herbal contraceptive. when i lived in appalachia i used to pick the flowers in the spring and summer and put them in water next to the window sill for decoration. they reminded me of oversized dandelions.

i also really love this herbalist’s methodology. dedicating years to understand this one plant.

so queen anne’s lace, aka wild carrot, aka daucus carota(Dc):

It appears that taking wild carrot is the ultimate “withdrawal” method, because withdrawing it (stopping the dosage) is every bit as crucial as taking it in the first place. The women who use Dc this way are the only ones reporting a 100% success rate. Yes, I said 100%!I can now say with confidence that the most consistently successful method of using Daucus carota for natural, conscious contraception is the safest, easiest method of all. It is to use wild carrot one to three times after sexual intercourse, taking the first dosage within 8-12 hours and then repeating that dosage twice more every 8-12 hours.

and here she talks about the theory of why queen annes lace works as a contraceptive with the aforementioned method:

Phyllis Light is adamant that it is progesterone’s effect that is at work and that this is why it is key to give Dc and then take it away. She said “one way that doctors help complete a miscarriage is to give a woman progesterone for three days, and then withdraw it.” There are also some birth control pills that rely on progesterone for their effect. I noticed, too, that in at least two of the scientific studies, pregnancies were maintained by giving doses of progesterone to the rats that were being given extracts of Dc.3 Lise Wolff said that all the women she knows who are using Dc tincture report a copious increase in vaginal secretions within five minutes of taking the tincture, “almost like fertile mucous.” Interesting!Peter Holmes writes that estrogen stimulants tend to inhibit progesterone, but lists Artemesia vulgaris (Mugwort/Cronewort) as both an estrogen and progesterone stimulant. I think that Dc may fit into both categories, too. James Duke’s web site lists Dc seeds as containing the anti-estrogenic chemical, quercetin. I believe that taking Dc and then removing it causes the internal environment of the woman to become inappropriate for conception, perhaps by causing her estrogen/ progesterone balance to change temporarily. This could be from Dc’s tonic effects on the pituitary and thyroid glands. The plant has a history of promoting both healthy contraception and healthy conception. Of course it makes perfect sense that this is true, it is reflective of the essence of plant medicines – which is to naturally nourish and tone whole systems, rather than being aimed at artificially producing one specific, controlled and controlling effect as drug therapies try to do.

and susun weed reminds us that a healthy digestive system may make the queen annes lace more effective:

Herbalist and author Susun Weed stated that if it is hormonal action that makes Dc effective, then healthy digestive flora is necessary to turn the hormonal precursors of this (or any other plant) into actual hormones. This is a caution to be heeded by a woman taking antibiotics, for example. (The same warning is true for a woman mixing hormonal birth control pills with antibiotics.) One way to nourish the digestive flora is to eat organic whole milk yogurt.

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