Doctor warns against LETHAL 'herbal abortion' recipes after they go VIRAL

Dr Josh Trebach, a medical toxicologist, has warned people about the use of herbal abortion recipes that have gone viral across Twitter and TikTok


                            Doctor warns against LETHAL 'herbal abortion' recipes after they go VIRAL
Dr Josh Trebach (R) has tweeted against the use of herbs and plants for abortion after several such abortion recipes went viral (Getty Images and @jtrebach/Twitter)
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The Supreme Court's decision to reverse the Roe v Wade ruling has led to an outburst on social media. Dangerous posts are being circulated online regarding herbal plants and teas that can cause abortion and how one can make it at home. Ever since the Roe v Wade ruling that legalized abortion across America was overturned, people on Twitter and Tiktok have been circulating recipes of home remedies that cause abortion. These home herbal remedies are made from some alleged "natural abortifacients".

Recently, a TikTok video went viral that promoted the use of pennyroyal and mugwort for self-induced abortions. On June 28, Josh Trebach, an Iowa-based ER physician and medical toxicologist replied to the tweet. He advised people not to take pennyroyal as a "herbal abortion" recipe, saying that it is highly dangerous and can cause problems like liver failures, and seizures and may even lead to death. 

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In a subsequent tweet, Trebach mentioned, "No herb/plants are safer or more effective for abortions than misoprostol," giving out a list of websites for useful information.

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As per Trebach's statements, it's better not to use herbal recipes for abortion without proper medical guidance. Study shows that there is not enough evidence to vouch for pennyroyal as being an efficient abortifacient. According to National Centre for Biotechnology Information, pennyroyal oil is highly toxic and can lead to acute liver diseases, which may cause death. Similarly, Mugwort is also considered to be toxic as it contains a substance called Thujone. It can cause allergic reactions and can increase asthma symptoms, such as coughing and wheezing.

In an interview with Newsweek, Dr Cara Delaney, Assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at The University of Connecticut, said, "I do not recommend using herbs or homeopathic methods to end a pregnancy when we have ways to end a pregnancy with misoprostol, with mifepristone, with doing the surgical procedure."

Despite the evidence against it, DIY abortion techniques have remained popular on social media. On June 25, a TikToker named Alyssa Foresman posted a video promoting a recipe "reputed to be a safe and efficient abortifacient." The recipe is from the American Colonial era that called for adding a tablespoon of brewer's yeast to a "freshly brewed cup of pennyroyal tea."

Another TikTok video claimed that pennyroyal could be used to cause abortions in addition to treating the common cold and bad energy. The user also advised using rue as a contraceptive. However, according to RxList, a medical information platform, Rue as a medication is thought to be dangerous with possible adverse effects that could lead to liver damage, renal damage, and death.

Dr Trebach's warning about the false information being circulated online regarding "herbal abortions" caused a wave of anger among netizens. Someone commented, "TikTok will kill people. Full stop. No hyperbole. The FDA needs to get in front of this type of messaging." Another comment read, "Yes. Please do your own research instead of just taking the word of someone on TikTok. I'm constantly doing research on what is safe versus what is toxic or even lethal. Plus, not everyone reacts the same to even safe natural herbs. You gotta be careful out there."

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Someone also commented, "In general, maybe don't take advice from TikTok!" True words have never been spoken.

This article contains remarks made on the Internet by individual people and organizations. MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and does not support claims or opinions being made online.

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