African Journal of Biotechnology

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Observations on antifertility and abortifacient herbal drugs

GM Shah, MA Khan, M Ahmad, M Zafar, AA Khan


This communication presents first hand information gathered on 36 medicinal plants belonging to 23 families traditionally used by the tribal and rural women of northern areas of North West Frontier Province (NWFP), Pakistan for birth control. Study provides information on local names, mode of administration and dosages as `practiced by rural and tribal women. Most effective plant species to induce abortion include: Artemisia maritime L., Boerhavaia diffusa Auct. Plur., Buddleja asiatica Lour, Chrysanthemum parthenium (L.) Bernh, Justacia adhatod L., Ricinus communis L., Zingiber officinale Roscol., Daucus crota L., Momordica charantia L., Plumbago zeylanica L., Sapindus mukorossi Gaertn., Plantago ovata Forssk, Tanacetum vulgare and Arctium lappa L. The most widely used contraceptives are: Amaranthus viridis L., Achyranthes aspera L., Ricinus communis L., Mentha arvensis L., Nepeta cataria L., Cuscuta reflexa Roxb., Curcuma longa L., Foeniculum vulgare Miller., Butea monosperma (Lam.) O. Kze., Albizia lebbeck (L.) Bth., Ficus religosa L. and Mentha longifolia (L.) Huds. The tribal
population of the region primarily depends upon these plants for family planning. They use herbal drugs to induce abortion and as contraceptives. Further studies on chemical and pharmacological
actions are suggested to validate the claims.

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