How to Use Queen Anne’s Lace for Birth Control

Using Queen Anne’s Lace as a sort of birth control is an old Appalachian remedy. Women would add the seeds to water and drink after sex. (You can also just chew the seeds.) [1]

It is thought to prevent the fertilized egg from implanting in the wall of the uterus.

One study conducting by herbalists have found its effectiveness rate to be 90-100%, [2] which actually makes it better than some other birth control methods out there?

It would be even more effective if you’re also tracking which days your fertile days are. There are apps for this like Flo). You can also find devices that check and track your basal body temp so you can tell for sure for sure when you’re ovulating. There’s one called the Daysy, but if you can’t afford the $300+ price tag, (WHO CAN, REALLY?!) you can get an el cheapo version for like $39.

How to Tell Queen Anne’s Lace from Poison Hemlock

Caution: The other big thing about Queen Anne’s Lace is that if you’re collecting it yourself, you should be dead certain that you identify it correctly. QAL can be confused with Water Hemlock, which is poisonous.

The way to tell the difference is that QAL is a flower on a single stem. The look-alikes are a stem that branches out into other stems that contain other flowers. Water hemlock also has leaves with a toothed/serrated edge close to the head of the flower.

Queen Anne’s Lace. Note the single stem with a single flower head on top (or compound flower, if you want to be technical)
Water (poison) Hemlock. Note the branching, multiple flower heads and serrated leaves on the stem.

A third possibility of confusion is with yarrow, but yarrow at least isn’t going to kill you. XD Yarrow also has a stem that shoots off into other stems. It also has leaves, but they look more like ferns.


It needs to be taken three separate doses eight hours apart. (With Appalachian remedies, the number 3 is significant. )

Dose 1: Begin taking about 1 tsp. of seeds 8-12 hours after sex.
Dose 2: Take a second teaspoon 8 hours after that.
Dose 3: Eight hours after the second dose, you will take the third teaspoon.

For example: If the last time you had sex was at 4pm, you’d want to take the first dose at midnight (or between midnight and 3am). The second dose you would take at 8am. The last dose you would take at 4pm. This totals a full 24 hours.

I’ve seen some people say that you could take a teaspoon per day for a week but that seems like overkill considering women are only fertile for a couple days out of the month XD.

Cautions & Contraindications

  • As mentioned earlier, you should be absolutely positive that you correctly identify this plant. It looks similar to poison Hemlock, which can kill you, as well as yarrow (will not kill you but might help your inflammation?)
  • Since it has an impact on progesterone, do not take if you are already pregnant or lactating (as the drop in progesterone could induce a period.)
  • Use caution when using with other medications, especially sedatives and mental health medications. Although the herb alone may have a positive effect on mental health, the interactions between the two could be disastrous.
  • Do not use for an extended period of time.


[1] Featured Photo by Alison Bogart on Unsplash
[2] Message board?
[4] Photos of QAL and Hemlock I stole off of Google (for science)

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