Herbs to Avoid while on Birth Control or Hormone Replacement
Disclaimer: I am not a professional herbalist or physician. Always consult with your private physician when considering herbal supplements. If your doctor recommends you take any of these herbs, do not discontinue use. If you are concerned, speak with your doctor about the possible side effects and use additional birth control measures. Once again, this is not professional advice. I am simply sharing what I have learned in my own research.
I have seen a lot of excellent posts out there with people recommending natural herbal remedies for a whole host of maladies. While I am a firm believer in holistic medicine, herbal supplements can have some serious side effects. One that I think is incredibly important to learn is the interaction of some herbs with hormonal therapies such as birth control and hormone replacement.
Here is a short and incomplete list of popular herbal supplements that can interact negatively with hormonal prescriptions (Feel free to add more):
- St. John’s Wort recorded cases of unintended pregnancies when taken with birth control
- Fenugreek blocks the absorption of medications, including birth control
- Black Cohosh creates hormonal interaction with birth control and hormone replacement therapy
- Blue Cohosh while I didn’t find anything specifically about interactions with birth control, it appears to cause uterine contractions and was used to induce labor, or abort early pregnancies. Because of it’s effects on the reproductive system, it may be unwise to take concurrently with any hormonal prescription.
- Fennel may decrease effectiveness of hormonal birth control and estrogen therapies
- Hops may interact negatively with hormonal birth control
- Licorice taken medicinally, affects reproductive hormones, steer clear if on birth control or hormone replacement therapy
- Soy while not an herb, can imitate estrogen, thus interfering with hormonal medications
- Red Clover may decrease effectiveness of birth control and hormone replacement therapy