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

anonymous asked:

And you have no concerns about your overly processed "meat" alternatives? I have no objections to veganism (aside from how aggressively it can be thrown in non-vegan's faces, but only half the vegans I know are so rude) but to recommend genetically engineered (especially soy) and heavily processed alternatives is not a healthful way to go about erasing animal products, and truly does significant harm to the environment on its own- particularly with use of horrendous chemicals.

Most of the Genetically Modified Soy is used directly to feed animals, not humans. :

“About 85 percent of the world’s soybean crop is processed into meal and vegetable oil, and virtually all of that meal is used in animal feed.  Some two percent of the soybean meal is further processed into soy flours and proteins for food use… Approximately six percent of soybeans are used directly as human food, mostly in Asia.” [x]

Secondly soy is derived from the soya bean, a cholesterol-free legume that is high in protein and low in saturated fat. Soy has a high-fiber content and contains an abundance of vitamins and minerals, including calcium, iron, potassium and zinc. Soy is rich in B vitamins and a good source of omega-3 essential fatty acids. It is present in many foods, including meat products, cereals and baked goods.

There are a lot of myths around soy. Take a look at this article about a doctor debunking the myths.

Almost everything “omnivores” eat has soy in it, vegans can avoid soy very easy. There are organic soy and most of the products made of soy made for vegans most of the times are GMO-free.