Herbs have been used for thousands of years to gain control over the menstrual cycle or prevent pregnancy. Though many people would like to tell us that this isn’t possible, several herbs are known for their ability to stop menstruation and suppress the cycle completely. Using herbs often produces few side effects and is a safe, natural method.

Stopping Menstruation

There are several herbs known to reduce severe bleeding and stop menstruation altogether, or at the very least reduce severe bleeding. Many of these can be taken at the onset of menstruation or during it. The time it takes to affect the cycle from the point of ingestion will differ; some may produce results within hours, while others may take days. Herbs, such as Amaranth, were used by Native Americans, and would stop the bleeding if taken after it started. Desert Lavender, Bayberry and Tien Chi Ginseng (female gingseng) all contain antihemorrhagic properties that may reduce or stop the blood flow. Shepherd’s Purse is also another powerful antihemorrhagic that is often used to control the blood flow during menstruation.

Suppressing the Cycle

There are a number of herbs known for their ability to suppress the menstrual cycle completely. While most homeopathic physicians agree that you shouldn’t rely solely on herbal remedies for this, there is some evidence that these herbs are effective.

Squaw Mint, or American Pennyroyal, was used frequently by Native American women to stop the menstrual cycle altogether. It’s found from Nova Scotia to the Dakotas, where it spread south with the dry soil. This highly aromatic herb could be made into a pleasant tea, frequently taken to delay or suppress the cycle.

According to Daniel F. Austin and P. Narodny Honychurch’s book, Florida Ethnobotany, several Native American tribes also employed a plant known as Skevish, or the Philadelphia Fleabane, to accomplish this same thing. Its ability to reduce pain of all sorts, handle head colds and respiratory illnesses made it a very popular and versatile herb.

You should note that while these herbs may suppress the cycle, they may not eliminate other discomforts, such as pain or bloating. Likewise, tampering with your natural cycle may cause irregular or more painful cycles.