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September 2022

J Ethnopharmacol. 1979 Oct; 1(3): 241-61.

Plants used as abortifacients and emmenagogues by Spanish New Mexicans.

Conway GA, Slocumb JC.

Individuals of Spanish and Mexican descent in New Mexico have used a number of plants as emmenagogues and abortifacients. Of the plants used, cotton root bark (Gossypium sp.), inmortal ((Asclepias capricornu Woodson), poleo chino (Hedeoma oblongifolia (Gray) Heller), rue Ruta graveolens L.), wormseed (Chenopodium ambrosioides L.), and three species of Artemesia seem to be used most widely. Of these, the cotton root bark, when used as an abortifacient, seems to exhibit the lowest toxicity. Rue is notable because of its use independently within different cultures, but may exhibit toxic side effects when used as an abortifacient. Seven other plants are outlined on the basis of anecdotal and folkloric reports. Investigations are underway to look at use effectiveness, side effects, impact on fertility, and acceptance among cultures of the Southwestern United States.


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