Aug 30, 2011
Posted in Contraception

Herbs That Can React with Birth Control Pills

The following herbs can react with birth control pills and make them partially or completely ineffective.


ConsuChasteberryming chasteberry while on contraceptive pills might result in unintended pregnancy. The other name for this herb is vitex. The ingredients of vitex might affect the FSH and LH levels in a woman’s body, which in turn increase the production of progesterone. Excess production of progesterone makes women more fertile by encouraging ovulation. The other feature of chasteberry that might decrease the effects of contraceptive pills is its ability of working as phytoestrogen; phytoestrogens are compounds that act in the same way as estrogen.

Dong quai:Dong quai

The scientific name of ding quai is Angelica sinensis. This herb belongs to the family of celery. Dong quai is primarily grown in the Asian countries like Korea, Japan and China. This herb is known for its estrogen-like properties. Intake of dong quai might manipulate levels of the female hormones and reduce the efficacy of birth control pills.

Red clover:Red clover

The other common names of this herb are wild clover and cow clover; it belongs to legume family. Like chasteberry, red clover also contains phytoestrogens. These phytoestrogens acts like estrogen and makes the contraceptive pills less effective.

Black cohosh:

This herBlack cohoshb is referred to with many other names like black snakeroot, bugwort, bugbane and rattleweed. Black cohosh contains chemicals that modulate the levels of hormones in a woman’s body. This makes it an effective remedy for PMS and menopausal symptoms; however, consuming black cohosh while taking contraceptive pills must be avoided as it is known to reduce the effects of these pills.

St Jhons Wort: St Jhons Wort

The yellow flower grown in this plant is used as a treatment of mild or moderate cases of depression. A study conducted in the 2005 showed that the effects Loestrin (a form of contraceptive pill) when consumed along with this herb drops by as much as 15%.

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