” Emmenagogues “
are herbs which stimulate blood flow in the pelvic area and uterus, some stimulate menstruation. Women have used plants such as mugwort, parsley and ginger to prevent or terminate early pregnancy. Others use emmenagogues to stimulate menstrual flow when menstruation is absent for reasons other than pregnancy, such as hormonal disorders
They can work in a variety of ways, but the end result is menstruation. Its action can be mild or strong depending on the herb.
Most abortifacient herbs have been classified as emmenagogues since the 1400’s by authors who for whatever reason did not want to be direct when describing the herbs abilities. Most often this was to avoid persecution during the witch hunts, when possessing such knowledge could be fatal.
While most abortifacient herbs are classified as emmenagogues. Not all emmenagogues will cause abortion. These two categories of herbs are difficult to separate because in truth they do overlap. An emmenagogue is an herb which encourages menstrual bleeding, and abortifacient herbs do this as well, but when dealing with pregnancy many emmenagogues are not strong enough to cause the pregnancy to abort, they can however in individuals with a weak constitution, or where the fertilized egg is not healthy and likely to abort on its own. When menstruation is delayed for reasons other than pregnancy, often mild emmenagogues are enough to get the flow going again.
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