Joining a long list of herbs and vegetables you should not put in your vagina comes parsley. Doctors have had to warn that putting the herb up your vagina is dangerous, just as they did with cucumbers last year. What a time to be alive.
Marie Claire published an article on how to bring on your period (which has since been deleted) that contained a concerning herb-based recommendation.
"Parsley can help to soften the cervix and level out hormonal imbalances that could be delaying your cycle, helping your period come faster," they wrote. So far, so not concerning. Parsley isn't going to harm you as long as it goes in your mouth. If only they'd stopped there.
"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."
Googling "parsley inserts" throws you down a rabbit hole of dangerous advice. Quickly enough, you'll come across a page titled "How to induce a miscarriage herbally (and safely)", which takes you through the horrifying steps, and includes the instruction that the parsley should be organic.
"Fresh parsley (preferably organic...I don't want pesticides in my vagina, so I go organic)," they write in advice that you definitely should never follow. "Insert a fresh sprig of parsley as far as possible into the vagina. (parsley induces contractions, yum) Change every 12 hours. When soft, it may be difficult to remove, but this is not dangerous," they advise, even though it is dangerous.
Putting any kind of fresh produce into your vagina risks bacterial infection, with potentially life-threatening consequences.
“There is no evidence of any benefit to a woman of doing this, and clear risk of significant harm as deaths have been reported," Dr Shazia Malik told The Independent. “I would urge women not to insert anything unless they have taken proper medical advice.”
A woman died last year after inserting parsley into her vagina, Science Alert reports. The 34-year-old used the method in a desperate attempt to abort her pregnancy. She lived in Argentina where abortion is illegal.
The herb brought on a serious infection, which eventually killed her a day after surgeons took the drastic step of removing her uterus.
As well as being dangerous no matter what purpose you are using it for, inserting parsley into your vagina will not bring on your period.
“It can’t work," gynecologist and author Dr Jennifer Gunter told IFLScience. "To think it could would reflect a belief in magic.”