Herbal Abortion Helps African Women

Researchers at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, have examined a number of plants which are used for illegal abortions in Tanzania. The lab tests show that several of the plants can make the uterus tissue contract and that the plants therefore can be used to stop lethal bleedings after birth. This new knowledge is now to be conveyed in rural Tanzania where access to medicine often is difficult.

Every year around 350,000 women die globally due to post partum bleedings – blood loss during child birth. On the African continent, one in 16 women die during their pregnancy and in some countries the number is as high as every eighth woman. The reason is poor access to medical assistance often because the women either lack money or because they live to far away. The knowledge about herbs, which can help the uterus contract after childbirth is therefore often the only life saving opportunity in remote rural areas.

Danish researchers have therefore tested 22 abort inducing plants in the lab on rat tissue, and several of the plants had close to the same effect as the control drug acetylcholin.

“Half of the plants we tested made the uterus tissue contract strongly whereas 11 of the extracts induced contractions with short intervals. Continue reading