Locally applied Contraceptives for men and women

(A) Sesame oil & rock salt

The tome, Haramekhala, details the following family planning method: Smear sesame oil on a small piece of rock salt and place it at the cervix (mouth of the uterus; garbhashaya vadana). Interestingly enough, this procedure is still used in many parts of the world.

1.Notably, this preparation has been mentioned in many other ancient Indian classics on sexology, medicine and religion. Mention may be made of Brihannighantu ratnakara, Brihad-yoga-tarangini and Yogaratnakara.

2. This local contraceptive incapacitates the sperm.

3. The Rasa-ratna-samuchchaya explains that the sesame oil-smeared rock salt dissolves or breaks into pieces the sperm (shukra).

4. This process does not have any adverse effects on the woman’s ovulation process. Nor does it affect the menstrual cycle. On the other hand, it stops conception.

5. The Brihad-yoga-tarangini recommends this method after coitus. A tampon holding a rock salt smeared with sesame oil should be inserted into the vaginal tract. It has to be kept there for at least a minute. It is most effective when carried out immediately after a sexual intercourse. The procedure nullifies any accidental ejaculation from the penis within the vagina.

6. Several other classics recommend the procedure before coitus.

(B) Margosa wood fumigation

This procedure is mentioned in the Brihad-yoga-tarangini and Yogaratnakara. It is also referred to in the Tantrasara sangraha; but has a slightly different recommendation.

1. The prescription is for women. First, burn a piece of margosa wood. Then, fumigate the genital tract with the smoke of margosa wood.

2. This is done once the menstruation cycle stops following sexual intercourse.

3. It prevents conception.

The Tantrasara sangraha also prescribes this method. However, the process is slightly different. The fumigation is to be done during the fertilization process or during the menstrual cycle (ritu).

(C) Paste of honey, ghee & seeds of Butea monosperma (Palash tree)

This prescription is mentioned in the Brihad-yoga-tarangini. It also has reference in the Bharata-bhaishajya-ratnakara. The preparation and application techniques mentioned in both the treatises have slightly varied versions. This recipe is also mentioned in the Haramekhala.

The Brihad-yoga-tarangini prescribes this medication to check conception. First, it recommends the preparation of a paste of the ingredients (ghee, honey and seeds of Butea Monosperma). Then, a sufficient quantity of the paste needs to be applied within the vagina.

The Bharata-bhaishajya-ratnakara especially recommends that the concoction should be a fine paste to prevent irritation in female genital tract.

The Haramekhala prescribes the application of the paste in the vagina several times during the entire fertilization period. This totally obviates any possibility of conception.

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