Herbs for menses.

Newsgroups: alt.folklore.herbs
From: hrbmoore.rt66.com (Michael Moore)
Date: 22 Nov 1995 02:58:36 GMT
Subject: Re: birth control

> >My partners says she's heard of some herbs that can induse menstration...but as far as birth control...please be more specific.
> >>Do you mean abortion?
> I think that's definitely what the writer means. Most of the menstruation-inducing herbs (and others) are abortifactants, *not* contraceptives. I'm sure, however, that taken in large enough doses for a long enough period of time, any of these would throw one's ovulation completely off balance. But this certainly isn't the safe, healthy, wise or recommended thing to do. Barring the onion method, I'd put my faith in Planned Parenthood and some really low estrogen BCP if it isn't contraindicated. Science isn't all bad . . .

I would stronly take exception to the statement "Most of the menstruation- inducing herbs (and others) are abortifactants, *not* contraceptives".

The better emmenagogues either stimulate the secretions of the endometrium (uterine lining), thereby increasing heparin, lysozyme and fluid volume (thereby facilitating a better menstrual flow), act as peripheral vasodilators (thereby increasing blood in the capillary beds, and supply more raw material for secretions), act as oxytocin agonists (and help "pinch" of the specialized spiral arterials that have to be constricted before non-hemorrhagic menses can occur), act to excite receptors for certain prostaglandins and/or Vasoactive Intestinal Polypeptide, or a combination of various of the previous.

Inducing suppressed menses to flow is a VERY different process than attempting to induce a miscarriage with herbs (or at least should be). For a century male Ethnobotanists have perused the Natural World, trying to find out, amongst other things, what herbs women use for women stuff. Many, if not most, traditional societies maintain strong, rigid and well-delineated boundaries between She-things and He-things, therefore the women won't talk to the ethnobotanist, and the men don't know squat about the Women Societies...and we see this long, tiresome tradition of MALE ethnobotanists ALWAYS seeming to presume that the consept of menstrual stimulation is a hidden code-word for "abortifacient".

I have spent my adult life in the company of women: 2-3 times a year EVERY ONE of them has had late, suppressed, clotty, or post-flu menses...and usually end up pounding on my ever-bald head, demanding something to shake the period loose, and threatening bodily harm if I FAIL to help them.

Emmenagogue = Abortifacient??? Turkey Boogers, in my humble opinion.