This is a root of an Acacia specie, it is a contraceptive used by Africans in Ancient times. It was chewed by women about once a week to prevent pregnancy. This method still works and there are no side effects.
Ancient Egyptian documents say that acacia gum prevents pregnancies if mixed with plant fibres and honey to form a pessary, a device worn in the vagina. Modern studies have shown that rats fed the plant's leaves or seeds did not become pregnant.
However, Dr J. Worth Estes, a professor of pharmacology and a historian of science at the Boston University School of Medicine, is sceptical. Dr Estes was asked to help evaluate the science behind ancient medicines and argues that most acts of intercourse do not lead to pregnancies, so without very careful studies, it can be hard to determine whether a substance prevented a pregnancy or whether there never would have been a pregnancy anyway.
Source:The New York Times: In Ancient Times, Flowers and Fennel For Family Planning
Silphium. In ancient Rome and Greece and the ancient Near East, women used an oral contraceptive called silphium, which was a species of giant fennel. They would also soak cotton or lint in the juice of this herb and insert it into their pores to prevent pregnancy.
Meet the pessary. It's the earliest contraceptive device for women. Pessaries are objects or concoctions inserted into the pores to block or kill . By 1850 B.C., Egyptians used pessaries made of crocodile dung, honey, and sodium carbonate.
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