Silphium sounds like one of the coolest contraceptive options from the annals of history. It’s basically a giant fennel plant, but this fennel was more popular in a liquid state as a form of contraception than, say, shaved in a salad — at least for the ancient Greeks and Romans who relied on it to prevent conception and end pregnancy. In fact, they liked it so much as an effective population control method that they used the rare plant into extinction.
But what about the contraceptives in history that weren’t so successful — or were sometimes successful in spite of themselves? Let’s begin. And please, don’t try any of these.