Women’s magazine Marie Claire has been criticised as “irresponsible” by medical experts, after suggesting that women can insert parsley into their vaginas to induce periods.
According an article that has since been deleted, parsley can help “kick-start your period” by softening the cervix and levelling hormonal imbalances that may be delaying the period.
The reason is supposedly because parsley is an emmenagogue, a substance that stimulates or increases menstrual flow.
“If you’re struggling to find a dish based on parsley, don’t panic – the most effective forms are said to be parsley tea and parsley vaginal inserts,” the article states.
However, doctors strongly advise against inserting parsley into the vagina – as it can lead to numerous health risks.
Dr Shazia Malik told The Independent: “There is no evidence of any benefit to a woman of doing this, and clear risk of significant harm as deaths have been reported.
“I would urge women not to insert anything unless they have taken proper medical advice.”
Dr Sheila Newman reiterated the warning to avoid putting parsley in the vagina, telling us: “That is not something that is recommended by gynaecologists.
“There are only a few things that should go in your vagina and vegetables generally aren’t one of them.”
Additionally, Dr Newman said: “There are ways to manipulate your menstrual cycle and avoid having your period at certain times but they should be discussed with your gynaecologist” and that the advice published by Marie Claire is “irresponsible.”
In addition to non-medically backed claims that parsley can induce periods, the herb has also been touted as a method of inducing at-home abortions – which can lead to infection and be potentially fatal.
There are also “no evidenced-based practices,” that this works, Dr Newman said. “We have safe and effective ways to terminate an undesired pregnancy.”
In August, a woman died from septic shock and infection after reportedly using parsley to induce miscarriage in Argentina.
A spokesperson for Marie Claire 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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