The oral contraceptive pill (OCP) can be a combination of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. It is often a good idea to check whether any herbal supplements you may be taken will interefer with the absorption and utilisation of the OCP.
PHYTOESTROGEN HERBS AND FOODS
The following is a list of phytoestrogen herbs and foods:
- Herbs: Mexican Wild Yam, Black Cohosh, Red Clover, Licorice, Sage, False Unicorn, Maca
- Legumes: Soybeans
- Seeds: Flax Seeds, Sesame Seeds
HERBS WHICH MODULATE HORMONES
Herbs which have a hormonal modulating effect on the Pituitary gland (the master hormone gland in the brain) are:
- Vitex, Dong Quai, Paeony, Blue Cohosh, Raspberry, Black Cohosh, False Unicorn, Maca, Blessed Thistle, Beth Root, Saw Palmetto, Shatavari, Ashwaganda, Ladys Mantle
These herbs are not directly contraindicated with birth control pills, however it is recommended to seek the advise of a Healthcare professional if you want to take any reproductive herbs. Some can be used safely and successfully in conjunction. The herb St Johns Wort does not have hormonal modulating effects or phytoestrogen properties, however it is contraindicated for use while taking the OCP, this is because this herb and the OCP are absorbed through the same enzyme pathway in the liver. Taking them concurrently may decrease the effectiveness of the OCP.