Oestrogenic herbs / 1994

Botanical name: 

Date: Fri, 29 Apr 1994 00:42:00 BST
Sender: "Medicinal and Aromatic Plants discussion list"
From: Christopher Hedley
Subject: Oestrogenic herbs

Some time ago there was a request for info on the use of oestrogenic plants for contraception.

I don't know of any modern use, but the ancient Greek plant Silphion was used as such. This plant seems to be extinct- perhaps it was overused. It was related to Fennel, which is oestrogenic, but has no use as a contraceptive, that I know of.

Plants used by the South American natives for contraception are mostly of the Araceae - the central spathe is dried, ground to a powder and sprinkled on food. I can't find any scientific data on these plants.

I suspect that the cultural context is as important as the plant itself.

I don't recomend experimentation, but perhaps someone has more data on the subject. It would make an interesting discussion.

Christopher Hedley MNIMH


Date: Tue, 3 May 1994 10:05:46 EDT
Sender: "Medicinal and Aromatic Plants discussion list
From: Amy Dean
Subject: Re: Oestrogenic herbs

There is an article on this subject in a recent issue of Archeology (Feb or Mar 94, I think) where they discuss the various plants used for this purpose in antiquity. Silphion is one of the plants mentioned and when it became extinct. Another source was/is Queen Anne's Lace (Wild Carrot) seeds. Various scientific studies are cited as verification of the contraceptive properties and what the particular mechanism is for the individual species.


Date: Fri, 6 May 1994 00:40:44 BST
Sender: "Medicinal and Aromatic Plants discussion list
From: Christopher Hedley
Subject: Oestrogenic herbs

thank you for the info on silphion

wild carrot seeds sounds interesting

slightly off the subject

garden sage (salvia spp) is oestrogenic and very helpful at cleaning up and getting hormones back to normal following abortion or miscarraige.

christopher hedley mnimh


Date: Mon, 30 May 1994 01:26:50 BST
Sender: "Medicinal and Aromatic Plants discussion list
From: Christopher Hedley
Subject: oestrogenic herbs

oestrogenic herbs commonly used in the UK

*this information can cause endless confusion*
**you can't make a direct crossover between oestrogenic herbs and the use of oestrogen/synthetic oestrogens as drugs* so the following herbs should be checked in any good herbal for their overall activity picture and used on that basis..
ie. which herb speaks most clearly to your condition.

*dosages vary a lot between the herbs, check before use*

Hops (Humulus lupus), Garden Sage (Salvia officinalis), Red Clover (Trifolium pratense), Marigold (Calendula off), Fennel seed/herb (Foeniculum off), Fenugreek seed (Trigonella foenum-graecum), Beth root (Trillium erectum), Helonias (Chamaelirium luteum), Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa), Blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides), also pine kernels and pomegranates.

more information by email, if requested.