A Mysterious Herbal Prescription Controls Fetus' Gender

August 6, 2007 Updated: August 6, 2007

The Chinese Morning Post reported on August 1 that in Guizhou Province, in an area known as the “mysterious state,” there is a minority race that controls a fetus' sex with an herb named the “Huanhua (Switching) Herb.”

The report indicates that the mysterious herbal prescription's use had been widespread for generations in Zhanling Village in southeastern Guizhou. It is made from more than a dozen varieties of herbs. If a pregnant woman takes the formula during her second pregnancy, the newborn's sex will be opposite of the firstborn child.

The gender of each family in the village is therefore very balanced. Each family has a boy and a girl. According to the local Family Planning Bureau, a statistical analysis covering 25 years from 1980 to 2005 shows the average birth statistic of 94 boys and 93 girls in Zhanling Village.

Although this mysterious herbal prescription has drawn the attention of many domestic and international institutions and experts, the formula remains a mystery. The masters that inherited the recipe will not reveal its secret ingredients. They believe that the recipe will lose its magic if known to the public. The ancient recipe has been passed down through many generations with strict rules, “to females only, within the family,” meaning among their group.

There are also many what's considered as magic happenings in this mysterious area. The Tong race, for example, has a local “witch doctor” that treats bone fractures with a glass of clean water and a magic incantation. After covering the wound with some plants for a few days, the fracture is healed. The locals say, “It seems unbelievable, but this indeed happens here.”

The birth control news was also published at News.163.com. There were hundreds of messages posted by Internet users. One user responded, “I saw a similar thing when I was in Guizhou. In April of 2004, a guy fell at a construction site and his arm had a 10-centimeter cut. You could see the bone and there was very severe bleeding. I told him to go to the clinic right away, but he just went home. The next day when I saw him, his wound had already healed. He mentioned he just used some local herbal medicine.” Today, however, these Internet messages have been removed.