Ancient Minoans, Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks liked silphium. They used this fennel-like plant to ease bloated stomachs, season their meals, fragrance their our bodies, and stop being pregnant. For six centuries, ladies drank the plant’s heart-shaped seeds as some type of juice as soon as a month for a pure contraceptive. Girls additionally put wool soaked within the plant’s juice into their vaginas to stop being pregnant. Silphium (additionally known as laserwort) was precious and vital to the traditional Mediterranean buying and selling financial system, and Cyrenians put a picture of a silphium seed on their foreign money.
Students don’t know the way silphium labored or how efficient it was as a contraceptive?one 1985 research discovered that the extract of a possible relative of silphium prevented rat pregnancies when administered orally, and but the identical dosages had been ineffective in hamsters?however the contraceptive plant might have contributed to Rome’s low delivery charge. Historical farmers had been unable to domesticate silphium?it solely grew close to Cyrene, in present-day North Africa?and the plant went extinct between the first and 2nd centuries CE.