On August 12, 1839, Sarah Tuttle drank nearly half an ounce of oil of tansy to cause an abortion.

While tansy teas and concoctions have long been popular herbal abortifacients — remaining popular even today among those who consider herbal abortions more natural than using pharmaceutical birth control — oil of tansy is highly toxic and is not meant for ingestion.

Sarah, not surprisingly, quickly went into violent convulsions. She was dead in less than 30 minutes.


  • untitled snippet, Carolina Watchman, Aug. 23, 1939