Fourteen: ArtsLab Group Exhibition

The Lunar Cycle

  • The moon waxes for fourteen days and then wanes for fourteen days.

  • The time interval between a full moon and the next repetition of the same phase, a synodic month, averages about 29.53 days.

  • Therefore, in those lunar calendars in which each month begins on the day of the new moon, the full moon falls between the 14th and 15th day of the lunar month

  • Is it coincidental that the human menstrual cycle is about the same length as the Moon cycle?

  • As the average length of women’s menstrual cycles matches the moon’s waxing and waning cycle, many cultures associated the moon with fertility.

  • The celestial body’s influence on humans biology had largely been dismissed as myth, but several recent studies have linked lunar phases with sleep and moods.

  • In a study, researchers analyzed long-term data from women and found that for some their periods synced with lunar light and gravity cycles at certain times in their lives.

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Plants and their relation to Women, Fertility, Menstruation, and Contraception

  • Maiden's Tea - This 1920 recipe for what was known as maiden tea is a charming relic from a romanticised feeling of being close to nature. However, we advise against relying on its effectiveness:

“A concoction made from rosemary, thyme, lavender, and myrtle should be taken during the menses to prevent fertility until the next period. The use of this preparation should be avoided between two periods, otherwise, gradual habituation to the ingredients and a resulting lack of effectiveness will result. Attempts have been made to investigate the use of this preparation, which is widespread in certain regions, and explain its effects in that consuming this tea hinders the development of the woman’s egg, which is then expelled during the menses.”

  • Acacia and Honey

 

One of the most popular ancient Egyptian birth control methods included the use of honey, acacia fruit, and acacia leaves as natural spermicides. Women would mix honey and acacia fruit and soak lint or cotton in the mixture. They inserted the lint or cotton into their vaginas before having sex, and the combination would kill some sperm before they reached the uterus.

  • Queen Anne’s Lace  

 

Queen Anne’s lace has been used as an effective form of birth control for thousands of years. It is considered one of the old forms of birth control, as some people still use it today as a contraceptive. Sometimes referred to as wild carrot, Queen Anne’s lace was famously described by Hippocrates more than 2,000 years ago as an oral contraceptive. 

 

  • Silphium 

 

In ancient Rome and Greece and the ancient Near East, women used an oral contraceptive called silphium, which was a species of giant fennel. They would also soak cotton or lint in the juice of this herb and insert it into their vaginas to prevent pregnancy. Silphium seeds eventually became so valuable that they were used as a form of weight-based currency, deemed even more valuable than silver. The plant became extinct in late antiquity.

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