Over the years, I’ve read various books and theories on herbal birth control and contraceptives that might have been used to prevent embryonic implantation or as old-fashioned ‘morning after pills’ in the years prior to modern hormonal birth control options.
There have been novels where the characters have tried a variety of folklore options: high doses of vitamin C or even citrus suppositories (lemon wedges appropriately wedged!), pennyroyal remedies and tea infusions (though this is more technically an abortifacient in actual practice and not birth control), sheeps-gut condoms tied with tourniquet-style strings, wild carrot seed, rutin, etc.
These options were not full proof, despite literary claims to the contrary.
Today, however, in a random web search about something else, I saw this article about an apparently extinct Mediterranean fennel plant with the English name laserwort (despite the fact that it has never actually existed during the era in which English has been spoken). More creditably called silphium by contemporaries, it was highly regarded for its contraceptive properties.
It allowed people to freely express their love for each other.
In the end, whatever the reason, the plant ceased to exist, and we are left with only drawings and this infamous symbol of love. Long may you remember it is associated not with that organ in your chest, but with a woman’s freedom to express her affection and sexuality.