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Episode 7

Natural Contraception?  
All About Wild Carrot with Mischa Schuler

hosted by clinical herbalist & integrative health educator Kay'aleya Hunnybee

Natural Contraception?
All About Wild Carrot Seed

with clinical herbalist & herbal educator Mischa Schuler

Download on Apple | Download on Spotify | Download on Google Podcasts


Have you ever wondered about natural forms of birth control?

Or if herbal contraception actually works?

Maybe you’ve even heard about wild carrot seed but just weren’t totally sure HOW to work with it or who the heck you could trust to provide clinically-sound information on dosage and timing to ensure the best results.

If any of this is resonating, this episode is perfect for you.

Listen to my conversation with clinical herbalist Mischa Schuler to learn:

  • The basics on Wild Carrot, which is also known as Queen Anne’s Lace
  • How to identify this plant friend and differentiate from poisonous look-alikes (this is important, details below!)
  • How Wild Carrot is helpful for both conception AND contraception (what!? It’s true)
  • The nitty-gritty on the Wild Carrot seed contraception study that Robin Rose Bennet and Mischa worked on together 
  • Everything you need to know to incorporate Wild Carrot seed as a contraceptive ally
  • Why Wild Carrot seed sometimes doesn’t work, and who should definitely NOT use it
  • The exact time and dosage that will ensure best results for contraception 
  • How tracking the signs of your ovulation (as described in Episode 5) is essential practice for calculating appropriate timing of your wild carrot seed doses  
  • How to make Wild Carrot seed tincture for best effects
  • So much more!!

This episode gets a little nerdy and detailed at times and if it ever feels like too much, you can always return to it, listen again, or scroll down for the organized notes below for all the info you may have missed!

DISCLAIMER: This podcast and blog is for educational purposes only, I am not providing any medical advice, I am not a medical practitioner, I’m an herbalist and in the US, there is no path to licensure for herbalists, so my role is as an herbal educator. Please do your own research and consult your healthcare provider for any personal health concerns.

Wild Carrot 

(Daucus carota)


Common names: Queen Anne’s Lace, Bishop’s Lace, Bird’s Nest

Family: Apiaceae (same family as dill, carrot, fennel, cumin, etc)

Poisonous Look-alikes: Posion hemlock (!!) – smooth stem, often purplish streaks or splotches on stem, likes moister locations (see more details here or get yourself a plant ID book)

Identifying characteristics to be sure you’ve found Wild Carrot (and not Poison Hemlock!)

  1. Grows in sunny fields and meadows, is happy on drier land
  2. Has a “lacy” necklace
  3. Most important: has “HAIRY legs” - or what looks like little hairs along the green stem which can be felt if you run your fingers along the stem or look from the side in the light

Other characteristics: Biennial (will not flower until second year). Roots will smell and like small white carrots. 80-90% have the deep red or purplish red single flower in center of the flat topped flowerhead made up of many flowers. Flowers all originate from the same central point and form a flat surface, reminiscent of lace. 

Unknown: Could those with the red dot center be better for contraception and those that are all white be better for conception?

Reasons a person might add wild carrot into their lives: potential natural form of contraception (kind of like an herbal plan B), as a fertility and conception aid (YES!), to ease gas and bloating as what’s called a carminative, to support breastmilk production as what is called a galactagogue

Parts Used: Mostly, freshly dried seeds (this is what Mischa uses)

All about the Wild Carrot Study with Robin Rose Bennett:

  • 32 participants involved in the study for average of 5 months
  • Worked with both flowers and seeds, 1:1 flower to seed ratio
  • Only used 50% alcohol for tinctures due to desire for accessibility
  • Everyone went in knowing they might conceive, but not desiring that outcome
  • Found:
    • Wild Carrot seems to be an “anti-implantation” herb, an implantation inhibitor
    • When wild carrot is used prior to ovulation, it is not effective contraception
    • When wild carrot is used day after ovulation, it may be effective contraception as an implantation inhibitor
    • No impact on health of sperm
    • Wild carrot seems to enhance fertility if ingested before ovulation 
    • Wild carrot is NOT as strong as other contraceptive methods
    • Possibility that attraction/desire hormones can spark ovulation at completely unexpected time in cycle
  • Warning: A number of pregnancies did happen
    • May have been folks who ingested wild carrot prior to ovulation 
    • And/or included those who had previously conceived WHILE using another form of birth control (so, were they hyper-fertile?)
  • Imperfections in study:
    • People were not tracking their ovulation using cervical mucus, cervical position or basal body temperature so they were just estimating date of ovulation
    • Some participants ingested the wild carrot the day after intercourse vs. the day after ovulation!
  • Unanswered questions:
    • Does wild carrot increase estrogen/fertile fluids before ovulation?
    • Does wild carrot increase progesterone if used post ovulation?

Dosage & Timing (essential components to efficacy):

  • Tincture: 45-60 drops (1.5 - 2 dropperfuls) of high alcohol tincture (or 3 dropperfuls for those over 150 pounds) 
  • OR Seeds: 1 tbsp fresh seeds OR ¾ tbsp dried seeds
  • If you had potentially fertilizing intercourse during the fertile window, take the first dose the morning after ovulation
    • This would be the first “dry” morning after very fertile, stretchy, clear cervical fluid the day before (remember that ejaculate or arousal fluids can be confused with fertile mucus!)
    • AND/OR when the basal body temperature rises for the first time in the cycle
    • AND/OR when the cervix starts to move lower and be less open
    • If you need more information on HOW to track all of this, this guide will give you step by step instructions
  • Take a second dose about 12 hours later, in evening
  • If your intuition calls for it take a third dose the following morning
  • To sum it up - 
    • 1 dose the morning after ovulation (NOT INTERCOURSE)
    • 1 dose 12 hours later
    • 1 more dose the following morning if you feel a sense it would be helpful

How to Prepare Medicines:


  • Honor the plant first with intention and prayer
  • Kay'aleya's additional note: Make sure you have POSITIVELY identified the plant; if you are a new wildcrafter, go with someone experienced, get yourself a plant identification guide, AND be sure you know the poisonous look-alikes (poison hemlock is one) and can differentiate between the two! Look for the hairy stem and lacy collar.
  • Harvest after dew is gone
  • Harvest when turning from green to brown (not too green, not overly brown)
  • For tincture gather about 2-3 times what you think you’ll need for your jar
  • Pinch below seedheads at the lacy collar


  • After harvesting, can let dry for 12-24 hours
  • Either take seeds off of seedhead OR just use entire seedhead
  • Add seeds to jar and compress seeds gently but firmly to fill jar
  • Cover seeds with highest percentage alcohol possible (ideally 95%)
  • Fat soluble compounds will be extracted best in higher proof alcohol
  • Cover and let steep for 6+ weeks
  • Strain and bottle


  • Fresh seeds
    • Best to grind in herb grinder or can chew up as is, but they are hairy
    • Add some kind of fat to them (nut butter, seed butter etc) 
  • Dried Seeds
    • Let dry and then grind in herb grinder as ready to use
    • Add them to fatty substance for best absorption 

Alcohol for tincture

  • Take a bottle of vodka and place in freezer
  • Water will freeze first so you can pour out higher percent alcohol
  • Use that alcohol for higher quality tincture
    • Higher proof is better, if you have access to 95%, use that
    • If need to use lower proof alcohol 

Wild Carrot may communicate with the pituitary gland and/or have overall endocrine system impacts:

  • Southern Appalachian herbalist Phyllis Light uses Wild Carrot in 7 drop doses with black walnut for low thyroid conditions to sort of “wake up” the thyroid each morning
  • Mischa has worked with Wild Carrot as thyroid function support for folks who have sub-clinical levels of hypothyroid (eg not yet classified as hypothyroid but lab tests look to be going in that direction), and this seems supportive

Cautions (aka DO NOT USE wild carrot seed as contraceptive method IF):

  • On thyroid medications or have any thyroid conditions (see practitioner for help)
  • Using cortisone or steroids 
    • Possibility that higher cortisol levels will affect progesterone levels because they are related through a precursor called pregnenolone, may or may not work
  • Insulin-dependent or on insulin at all 
  • On any other hormones (because hormonal production can be impacted by changes in pituitary function)
  • If on a dose of antibiotics

Mischa’s personal and clinical experience and thoughts:

  • Has been incorporating Wild Carrot seed as contraceptive ally over a decade with good results
  • Robin Rose Bennett and others have worked with wild carrot as contraception for decades
  • Wild Carrot seems to increase cervical mucus production (i.e. increase estrogen in first half of cycle, before ovulation) which will increase chance of conception
  • Theory on how wild carrot may work as contraception – Wild carrot may SPIKE progesterone immediately after ovulation with the strong doses for 1-2 days and then potentially cause levels to fall quickly and basically trick the body into thinking it’s not safe to implant the egg
  • When taking Wild Carrot daily for a few months (which she does not suggest), she noticed breast tenderness after the second month (which is unexpected when progesterone is high so could it actually be decreasing progesterone? Unknown)
  • If this isn't clear yet: No matter when you've had intercourse in the fertile window, you'll have to take the wild carrot the day after ovulation!
  • There are no guarantees

Additional Tips: 

  • If an undesired positive pregnancy test DOES occur, 
    • 5 dropperfuls of wild carrot, up 3x/day, until menstruation
    • Best to also schedule an appointment at appropriate location in case this doesn’t have desired result 
    • Not guaranteed but is something to try if this is the route a person wants to go
    • wild carrot can be used in high doses from that time until the expected time of menstruation

Wild Carrot brings together the divine and sexuality. 

A connector between the sacred and sex.

A reminder of choice in relationship with the divine.


DISCLAIMER: This podcast and blog is for educational purposes only, I am not providing any medical advice, I am not a medical practitioner, I’m an herbalist and in the US, there is no path to licensure for herbalists, so my role is as an herbal educator. Please do your own research and consult your healthcare provider for any personal health concerns.

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