Humphreys 11 is a homeopathic remedy that was once suggested to abort an unwanted fetus, according to Daily Kos. If a woman was late on her period, the advice was to buy a bottle at a pharmacy and take it with gin. However, this remedy does not induce abortion.
The actual effect of Humphreys 11 is to soften the cervix, and the reason women were intended to take it was to make the birthing process easier. The tragic part of this misconception is that many young women took Humphreys 11, only to have their pregnancies continue. When they went in for a medical abortion, the procedure ended up tearing their cervixes because they had softened with the medicine, reports Daily Kos.
Other herbal and homeopathic remedies that young women tried instead of Humphreys 11 included blue or black cohosh, an herb that causes bleeding and cramping that can be life-threatening, while others took quinine to try to induce an abortion. For a woman who has missed a period and feels she might be pregnant and does not want to carry the fetus to term, a medical abortion is the safest course of action. Herbal remedies come with different side effects, interactions and contradictions that can end up doing more harm than good, relates Daily Kos.