The choices for birth control options range from condoms to hormonal birth control pills to surgical permanent birth control, but you can also choose natural ways to reduce your fertility and reduce your chances of becoming pregnant. Proponents of herbal remedies report they can effectively and safely help you ward off pregnancy naturally and without hormones or barrier methods.
Queen Anne's Lace
An herb proven for its use as an herbal birth control is Queen Anne's Lace, also known as wild carrot. You can often find this herb growing wild, although the Purdue University Agriculture website notes that handling the wet foliage of this plant can cause irritation. It is the seeds of this plant that serve as a natural birth control. The site reveals that animal studies indicates a dose of 80 to 120 mg per day of Queen Anne's Lace seed extract taken orally four to six days after having sex may prevent pregnancy, although the University of Illinois at Chicago website reports that seeds should be chewed for maximum effectiveness. Local Harvest warns that you should not rely on Queen Anne's Lace for birth control if you have recently had an abortion, a miscarriage or a live birth or are coming off the birth control pill or hormone replacement therapy. Consult your physician or herbalist if you have a history of kidney or gallstones. No scientific evidence proves Queen Anne's Lace's effectiveness as natural birth control.
Taking blue cohosh can help you with a variety of gynecological issues, but it may also serve as an effective natural birth control. You may find this herb growing wild throughout the eastern part of the United States, according to the Discover Life website. The root is the useful part of this plant for medicinal uses. Botanical.com notes blue cohosh is unpredictable as birth control because a correct dosage is not known; however, the website recommends taking no more than 1 tsp. three times per day or no more than 300 to 400 mg on a daily basis. The Gentle Birth website notes that you should keep a chart of your menstrual cycle, keeping track of when your most fertile days fall. If you have unprotected sex during these days, a tea made of 1 tsp. of blue cohosh to 1 quart of boiling water may prevent pregnancy if sipped throughout the day until your menstrual period comes. Scientific research has not proved blue cohosh's effectiveness as a natural method of birth control.
You can use pennyroyal as natural birth control, but it should be taken cautiously as pennyroyal can cause liver and kidney damage, nervous system damage and a host of other less serious problems, according to Medline Plus. The Women's Health Center in Switzerland prescribes pennyroyal in combination with other herbs, most often blue cohosh, to stop pregnancy, according to the Orgone Biophysical Research Lab. The website recommends that you take pennyroyal immediately following unprotected sex and before implantation of a fertilized egg can occur for maximum effectiveness. Pennyroyal made into a tea should only be ingested for six days at most and should not be taken if your menstrual period is any more than 10 days late. There is no scientific research to prove that pennyroyal effectively prevents or stops pregnancy.