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    Birth Control
          by Mayatana

    Learn to identify Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota), also called Wild Carrot. The tiny white flowers form a flat, lacy cluster, often with a dark purple floret in the center. It grows wild in fields and along roadsides around here in North Carolina, and this year there is a lot of it.

    As the flowers die, they curl up and form baskets or "birds' nests" full of seeds. When the baskets are all brown and dry, usually in late Summer and into the Fall, pick them. Empty the seeds from the baskets, spread them out to dry completely, and pick out the bits of dead stalk, bugs, and spiders. When the seeds are dry, store them in a closed jar in a cool, dry place. Take one teaspoonful within twenty-four hours after intercourse to prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the womb. If you're very sexually active, you might want to take one teaspoon a day during ovulation.

    You'll need lots of liquid to swallow the seeds with, especially at first, as the seeds have little "hairs" on them and feel prickly on the throat. I just mix them in a glass of water and drink fast! The only side effects I've noticed are burps that taste like carrots, and stinky farts if taken on an empty stomach. There are no guarantees, but this is an old, ancient method of preventing pregnancy and it must have worked for somebody. It offers no protection from disease, though. Know your partner and take precautions! Condoms! Condoms!

    Editor's note: It is best to consult the advice of a qualified herbalist when identifying this (and other plants), as there are many poisonous look-alikes, including Water Hemlock. For more information concerning herbal birth control and other reproductive issues, two interesting and insightful resources are:

    Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Years by Susun S. Weed. Ash Tree Publishing, Woodstock, NY, 1986.
    Herbal Abortion: the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge by Uni M. Tiamat. Sage-femme! Press, Peoria, Illinois, 1994.