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Ancient abortion measures

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Probably the Roman goddess of birth Lucina
Probably the Roman goddess of birth Lucina

In antiquity, salt, resin, honey and mouse droppings were considered abortives. At the Queen’s court, Cleopatra VII also used extracts of white poplar, juniper berries and fennel. Interestingly, modern medicine has confirmed the strong contraceptive properties of these plants.

The Greek scientist Theophrastus of Eresos recalled that the plant silphium, or sylphion, had strong contraceptive properties. There was a plant that was extremely popular in ancient times. Its juice was one of the main exports of the ancient Greek colony of Kyrene (today Libya), and it was known and used throughout the Mediterranean.

Willow juices, dates and pomegranates were also believed to have a strong contraceptive effect.

  • Stacy Schiff, Kleopatra, Warszawa 2010
  • Richard G. Lipsey, Kenneth Carlaw, Clifford Bekar, Historical Record on the Control of Family Size, 2005

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