When steeped in hot water for a while and consumed, this root can cause permanent sterility. Silphium once grew rampant in the Greek city of Cyrene, now Libya, on the northern coast of Africa. Silphium, a member of the giant fennel family, was used by ancient women during the seventh century B.C.E. 86% Upvoted. It was also used as an extremely effective form of contraception. It could also be used as emergency birth control, either orally or vaginally, as an abortifacient. Health Benefits of Silphium. Overall, it was the versatile commodity as each and every part of the plant was used from stem to roots. Demand for its contraceptive use was reported to have led to its extinction in the 3rd or 2nd century BCE. Silphium has a widespread reputation as both a contraceptive and an abortifacient. Makes me wonder what big pharma could do with it today? The resin from within the stalk would be used to treat nausea, fevers, chills, and even corns on the feet. However, it was used more like a contraceptive than for aborting the fetus. Silphium. It was also used as a menstrual regulator, a euphemism in many an ancient herbal book for abortifacient. It's a rare herb that was used by ancient women for birth control purpose. The plant only grew on a small strip of land near the coastal city of Cyrene (located in modern-day Libya) and all attempts to cultivate it elsewhere resulted in failure. The standard prescription was for a woman to drink the juice from a small amount of silphium, about the size of a chickpea, with water once a month. While silphium was considered to be the most effective herbal contraceptive of the classical world, not everyone could afford it and there were always other substitutes. Apart from being used as a poultice to cure headaches, sores, and boils, this amazing root was used as a natural contraceptive by Native Indians. In ancient Rome and Greece and in the ancient Near East, women used an oral contraceptive called Silphium, which was a species of giant fennel. Silphium herb belongs to the fennel family, mostly the giant fennels. The herb was very popular during ancient Roman times. It was reportedly effective for contraception when taken once a month as a tincture. Silphium was used in classical antiquity as a seasoning, perfume, aphrodisiac, and medicine. Other than the chance that the rampant use of an artificial contraceptive and abortifacient by Roman pagans could have contributed to the first Christian concept that in any approach block conception is the worst issue, Silphium has compact our society in another uncommon approach. Since the beginning of time, humans have engaged in sexual activity for other purposes than reproducing. By the second century CE, the plant had gone extinct, likely because of over harvesting. Coin from Cyrene, silphium. Also this seed is symbol of love mainly because in that period Silphium was the main ingredient for the most highly effective natural birth-control medicine and it was used as an herbal contraceptive or abortifacient. Silphium which once bud in the Cyrene was a giant fennel with small clumps of yellow colored flowers. As nouns the difference between contraceptive and silphium is that contraceptive is a mechanism or means by which conception as a result of sexual intercourse can be prevented or made less likely while silphium is a plant, thought to be extinct, used in ancient greece and ancient rome in cooking and as a contraceptive. The exact identity of silphium is unclear. This herb was always considered to be a contraceptive and hence was utilised for the purpose of birth control. Silphium once grew rampant in the Greek city of Cyrene, now Libya, on the northern coast of Africa. It also was used as a contraceptive by ancient Greeks and Romans. Silphium is a herb that may have not looked the most pretty or striking, but in the ancient city of Cyrene, the plant soon became as valuable as gold. Silphium is a kind of giant fennel whose juice was used a contraceptive to prevent pregnancies and abortions. Some say it originated with the shape of the fruit or seed of the long-extinct silphium, depicted on this ancient coin of Cyrene. This plant was used as a contraceptive and was incredibly popular in ancient Greece and Rome. Silphium had a host of uses in cooking and in medicine, and Pliny the Elder recorded the herb’s use as a contraceptive. effective in humans as a contraceptive and for inducing early abortion.7 Besides silphium and asafoetida, other plants were recognized as having both contraceptive and abortifacient properties by ancient women. save hide report. Another member of the Ferula species, asafoetida, which gives Worcestershire sauce its distinctive aroma, was also widely used (though considered less effective) since it was cheaper and more abundant. 108 Related Articles [filter] Asafoetida. A rare plant growing in a narrow 30 mile band along the dry mountain sides facing the Mediterranean Sea in northern Africa near the city of Cyrene, in what is now Libya. This herb was known to be an effective cure as well as prevention for issues such as cough, cold, gout or any such issues. What if it was preserved and farmed in safe quantities to this day instead of being overused to the point of not regrowing it? Helps Improve Immunity. Silphium has a widespread reputation as both a contraceptive and an abortifacient. After much debate on tobacco in Egyptian mummies, it seems mummies from China and Europe also indicate an extinct form of "old world" tobacco. No info available. 5 comments . However, the use of the familiar double-tear shaped heart symbol first appears in the historical record on the currency of Cyrene. share. Silphium, the ancient contraceptive herb driven to extinction ; Revealing the Ramesseum Medical Papyri and Other Remarkable Finds from the Temple of Ramesses II ; Sex Pottery of Peru: Moche Ceramics Shed Light on Ancient Sexuality ; Tutankhamun’s condom, identified via DNA residue. Over-cultivation of the plant led to its eventual extinction. Silphium was used for cooking as well as medicine, and became a such prominent part of the economy that by the 1st century BCE it was worth “more than its weight in silver.” Many Greek, Roman, and Cyrenean coins featured an image of the plant. I tried this question at Worldbuilding SE, and was told that perhaps this place would give me a better chance at an answer. It was also used as an extremely effective form of contraception. According to the Greek researcher Herodotus, who lived in the fifth century BCE, the Greek city of Cyrene was founded in a year that we call 632 BCE. It was also used as a menstrual regulator, a euphemism in many an ancient herbal book for abortifacient. But experiments using crude extracts of a widely used substitute and silphium relative asafoetida, showed that it ­inhibited implantation of fertilized ova in rats at rates of up to 50 percent. Some historians said one possible origin that is a type of fennel (The Silphium), which seeds are distinctly heart-shaped, but has been extinct over the Millennium. note.] Sponges were widely used as contraception in the early 1900s. Silphium (also known as silphion, laserwort, or laser) was a plant that was used in classical antiquity as a seasoning, perfume, as an aphrodisiac, or as a medicine.wikipedia. 100% (1/1) asafetida hing Ferula assa-foetida. It could also be used as emergency birth control, either orally or vaginally, as an abortifacient. They would also soak cotton or lint in the juice of the plant and insert it into their vaginas to prevent pregnancy. Silphium was used widely in Europe as a contraceptive. It not only acts as an effective contraceptive, but it can also be used to induce an abortion in pregnant women. for contraception. Silphium had a host of uses in cooking and in medicine, and Pliny the Elder recorded the herb’s use as a contraceptive. It is commonly believed to be a now-extinct plant of the genus Ferula, perhaps a variety of \”giant fennel\”. Pour ces deux raisons, le silphium était souvent associé à l'amour et à la sexualité. Silphium had many uses — perfume from its flowers, food from its stalk, and medicine from its juice (or resin) and roots. Perhaps one of the most famous ancient forms of birth control was the silphium plant, native to North Africa. The resin from within the stalk would be used to treat nausea, fevers, chills, and even corns on the feet. The standard prescription was for a woman to drink the juice from a small amount of silphium, about the size of a chickpea, with water once a month. ( Image: gallivantrix.com ) Pessaries. The undeniable shape, which is believed by most to be a reproduction of the visual appearance of the silphium seed, has some people wondering if the origin of the modern symbol for romance and love is in fact quite a bit older than the Middle Ages. Contraceptive sponge. Silphium, or silphion, was a fennel-like herb that grew along the coasts. The Silphium was a plant that the Romans loved and it got to the point where it was as valuable as gold. According to some YouTube clips I've seen lately, there were a lot European plants that are now extinct. It also was used as a contraceptive by ancient Greeks and Romans. Silphium, which is now extinct, cannot be tested. This contraceptive sponge is made of rubber, and such sponges - essentially a cervical blockage - … Le silphium, également appelé silphion, était une plante condimentaire et médicinale, ... et le silphium était très largement utilisé comme contraceptif. It was reportedly effective for contraception when taken once a month as a tincture. Silphium (also known as silphion, laserwort, or laser) is an unidentified plant that was used in classical antiquity as a seasoning, perfume, aphrodisiac, and medicine. TIL Laser, also known as silphium or laserwort, was a plant used as a contraceptive in Roman times. It got used to extinction and was a plant that was like the modern pill to prevent pregnancies. It had been used for years by locals as a cure-all for various ailments. By the second century CE, the plant had gone extinct, likely because of over harvesting. Silphium (also known as silphion or laser) was a plant of the genus Ferula. 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