USA Today reported Thursday that Google searches for do-it-yourself abortions have skyrocketed since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade late last month. Specifically, searches for herbs like “pennyroyal” and “mugwort” have spiked. Users on Facebook and TikTok claim these herbs can be used to end a pregnancy. Experts are reportedly warning that using these methods to have an abortion could have dangerous effects.
“One video showing how to muddle these herbs into a drinkable tea has reached more than 250,000 views,” USA Today noted.
Dr. Melissa Simon, a physician and vice chair for research in the obstetrics and gynecology department at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine told USA Today she hopes “people don’t take home remedies to accomplish an abortion,” adding that “it’s extremely dangerous.”
USA Today noted that it’s nearly impossible to know if a wild plant is safe. Many have toxic compounds.
Pennyroyal contains pulegone, a highly toxic substance that can be particularly damaging to the liver, said Julie Weber, a pharmacist and president of the American Association of Poison Control Centers.
Ingestion can cause gastrointestinal distress such as nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain, according to the National Capital Poison Center. It also can lead to liver and kidney failure, resulting in bleeding, seizures, multiple organ failure and death.
The American Association of Poison Control Centers says it hasn’t seen an increase in call volume related to pennyroyal or other herbal abortifacients, yet, but continues to monitor the National Poison Data System.
Although herbal remedies may appear safe, many plants have toxic compounds, said Norma Fowler, professor in the department of integrative biology at the University of Texas, Austin.
Before ingesting any type of wild plant, Fowler said it’s important to know it’s the right species. For the average American, that’s nearly impossible.
This is an excerpt from Townhall.
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