Contraceptive intrauterine devices, injections and implants, condoms, diaphragms, the pill – there’s a lot of options that already exist for having safer sex. Yet some absolute dingbat’s tweet offering a list of hippy trippy “home remedies” to replace normal methods contraception has gone viral, garnering over 12,000 likes.
You don’t have to have a degree in biology to realise these “remedies” are bullshit. Not only are they totally ineffective of doing the thing they say they do – preventing pregnancy – some of them are toxic, and the ones that aren’t could cause side effects like vomiting, irritation, and you know… pregnancy.
The dumb tweet is also riling up botanists, with James Wong tweeting: “As a botanist I can tell you this tweet with 1000s of shares could result in the deaths of women. It needs taking down, fast.”
I would like to think the tweet is being shared so widely because people are taking the piss but nothing would surprise me at this point.
Some of the birth control methods the tweet suggests include eating papaya twice a day for two to four days after having unsafe sex. Honestly I’d probably rather just use a rubber than have to eat Satan’s filthy sock fruit for days on end. Bonus: eating the seeds of the papaya can reduce the sperm count in males. Apparently.
The graphic also says that a top tip for guaranteeing a woman won’t get up the duff for a whole year is to inject (yes, inject) Indian Lilac oil from the neem tree into the ‘uterine horns’. First, a clue to why this is a terrible idea might lie in the fact that this native to north-eastern India plant has been introduced in Australia to produce insecticide. Second, I had to Google where my ‘uterine horns’ are I was convinced it was a made up body part, but they do exist and apparently they are located where the uterus and fallopian tubes meet. Third, just… how. So many questions. Leave your uterine horns alone, ladies.
Then there’s pennyroyal, which the graphic says, “Promotes menstrual flow and helps initiate self-abortion. Often it is prescribed with other herbs to prevent pregnancy. Boil 8 ounces of distilled or spring water.” A killer idea in theory… and practice, as the reality is that too much pennyroyal can cause liver damage, seizures and is a sure way to abort your own life.
Also, why subscribe to more traditional methods of birth control when you could use wild yams to prevent pregnancy? I mean, I understand being adverse to hormonal birth control options, but eating yams twice a day for two months before having a root seems like a lady boner killer.
If you’re more of a fig person, the tweet says that one of the best contraceptives on the fruit and veg block is eating two to three dried pieces of fig after having unsafe sex. Figs are delicious and they sure aren’t dangerous, but these rich in fibre fruits are more likely to relieve constipation than prevent conception.
Seriously though, it’s 2019 and there are loads of different types of contraception available. If your current method isn’t doing it for you, avoid the temptation to twice daily yams and injecting insecticides into your loved one's uterine horns, and take a trip to Family Planning.