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Marie Claire UK suggested women put parsley in their vaginas to induce their periods in a now-deleted article

Julia Naftulin , Business Insider US
 Jan 27, 2020, 05:07 PM
Using herbs to induce an abortion is a known method, but experts have warned against the practice because of its toxic effects.
  • A now-deleted Marie Claire UK article claimed the herb parsley, when inserted into the vagina, could soften women's cervixes to induce their periods early.
  • Gynecologists are now warning women against the practice since it can lead to life-threatening bacterial infections. There's also no scientific proof the practice can induce periods.
  • In August 2018, a woman died after inserting parsley in her vagina in an attempt to have an at-home abortion.
  • For more stories go to the Business Insider South Africa homepage.

Gynecologists are warning women against putting the herb parsley in their vaginas to induce their periods after Marie Claire UK offered the advice in a now-deleted article, The Independent reported.

The article said parsley can help "kick-start your period" because it has ingredients that can "help to soften the cervix and level out hormonal imbalances that could be delaying your cycle, helping your period come faster." Inducing one's period early could be appealing for planning purposes.

The article also suggested women insert the herb in their vaginas, rather than eating it, to get the best results.

Now, gynecologists are warning women to ignore the advice because doing so can lead to infections and even death.

"There is no evidence of any benefit to a woman of doing this, and clear risk of significant harm as deaths have been reported," Dr. Shazia Malik told The Independent. "I would urge women not to insert anything unless they have taken proper medical advice."

One woman died after putting parsley in her vagina

In August 2018, a 34-year-old woman from Argentina attempted to have an at-home abortion using the practice, Science Alert previously reported. Using herbs to induce an abortion is a known method, but experts have warned against the practice because of its toxic effects.

After inserting parsley into her vagina at home, the woman ended up in the emergency room with a bacterial infection in her vagina that was so severe, doctors had to remove her uterus. A day later, the woman died.

Following her death, Argentinian citizens protested, saying a government outlaw of abortions led to the situation.

Gynecologist Dr. Sheila Newman told The Independent that just like with using parsley for period induction, there's no proof that the herb is an effective or safe way to have an abortion.

Following the deletion of the article, Marie Claire UK told The Independent: "Marie Claire prides itself on well researched beauty and lifestyle stories, with advice sought from appropriate industry experts - sadly this feature does not reflect those standards and we have removed the article. It was misguided and we are sorry our usual care and stringency was not followed."

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