Perhaps the most renowned domestic preparation [to induce abortions] is Beeham's Pills.  Some contemporary (1974) varieties of Beecham's Pills still contain 0.7 mg oleum juniperi [the pine-needle derived additive also found in English gin].  [ . . . ] Florence writing in 1930 about the first five years experience at the pioneer family planning Cambridge Women's Welfare Clinic, describes one patient thus: 'She often took gin and Beecham's Pills to bring about a miscarriage and thinks some of her children were born frail and weakly for this reason.'  She had 12 pregnancies and two abortions. [ . . . ]

        Van de Warkle tested his collection of  nineteenth-century emmenogogues on himself--and on his dog.  His description of savin [the active compound in oleum juniperi] is particularly vivid: 'A violent pain in the abdomen, vomiting and powerful cathartic action, with tenesmus, strangury, heat and burning in the stomach, bowels rectum and anal region; intoxication, flushed face, severe headache . . . salivation is often present.  Its odor is clearly evident in the urine, which is increased in quantity and passed more frequently . . . distressing hiccup is very generally present."  --Malcolm Potts, John Peel, and Peter Diggory, Abortion (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1977).