Image of a person handling household herbs, showcasing culinary or medicinal herb use in a home setting.

Many of you may have seen recent articles or social media posts around the use of various herbs and botanicals for abortion.

The list of “herbs for abortion” includes common herbs or teas, such as pennyroyal, mugwort, wild carrot, cinnamon, peppermint, among others. None of these products have been proven safe or effective for inducing abortion, and many of these products are considered toxic. Below are answers to common FAQs and important safety information on these claimed “herbs for abortion”.
Are any herbs or botanicals safe or effective for inducing abortion?

There are no safe, effective methods of inducing abortion with herbs or botanicals. Herbs, herbal teas or any other botanical are not held to the same regulatory standards as FDA approved drugs. Additionally, these products may contain harmful impurities that are not stated on the ingredient labels.

As a result, some of these products may cause serious medical outcomes in overdose. This could include potentially causing harm to the pregnant person or fetus, and could result in miscarriage.

What are the dangers of using some of these herbal remedies?

Many of these herbal remedies contain toxic ingredients that have not been thoroughly evaluated for their safety as substances to induce abortion. Little is known about medications or medical conditions they may interact with. This includes herbal products such as:

  • Pennyroyal
  • Mugwort
  • Wild carrot
  • Peppermint
  • Black cohosh
  • Blue cohosh
  • Rue
  • Wormwood

Common symptoms of overdose from these herbal products include nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Some of these remedies cause more serious complications, including seizures, liver damage, kidney damage, hallucinations, coma, and death.

What should I do if I am pregnant and/or taking herbal remedies?

We recommend individuals use pharmaceutical products or herbal remedies under the supervision of a trained healthcare professional. People who are pregnant should also seek medical help from a trained medical professional or trusted reproductive health resources.

What should I do if I have used one of these products and experiencing symptoms?

If you have questions or someone has used one of these products or are experiencing symptoms call Poison Help at 1-800-222-1222 to reach your local poison center or find your regional poison center and chat or text with a poison expert.