With about 75 percent of women experiencing PMS, it’s a health topic on a lot of minds. If you suffer from PMS, you are among the many women who experience several unpleasant physical and emotional symptoms each month that last anywhere between two to 14 days before your period. The symptoms of PMS can greatly be reduced or even eliminated by trying to get your hormones in proper balance. Vitex is one of the top — if not the top — herbal recommendations when it comes to natural PMS relief.
After being treated with vitex for three menstrual cycles, 93 percent of patients reported a decrease in the number of PMS symptoms or a complete end of PMS complaints.
For women, inappropriately increased production of prolactin may be a factor in cyclic breast tenderness and other PMS symptoms. Vitex is believed to work well at reducing PMS symptoms because it suppresses the release of prolactin from the pituitary gland. Numerous studies suggest that chaste berry may help reduce symptoms of PMS, including breast tenderness, headache and irritable mood.
The medicinal ability of chaste berry to positively affect hormonal health issues appears to be derived from dopaminergic compounds present in the herb. How exactly does vitex encourage hormonal balance? While it doesn’t supply hormones to the body, it does act directly on the hypothalamus and pituitary glands.
Reduces Uterine Fibroids
Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous tumors found within the uterine walls, often resulting in a change in the size or shape of the uterus as well as several unpleasant symptoms. A key way to prevent and reduce uterine fibroids is to maintain a proper balance of hormones. Chaste berry can help to balance the ratio of estrogen to progesterone.
Vitex & Infertility
Vitex has been shown to improve fertility, particularly for women with luteal phase defect (shortened second half of the menstrual cycle). These women have trouble because their ovaries don’t release enough progesterone.
In one trial, 48 women (ages 23 to 39) who were diagnosed with infertility took chaste berry once daily for three months. During the three-month trial period, seven women became pregnant and 25 women experienced normalized progesterone levels, which can increase the chances for pregnancy.
Another study evaluated 52 women with luteal phase defects due to latent hyperprolactinemia (higher than normal levels of the hormone prolactin in the blood). Each woman received a daily dose of 20 milligrams of Vitex preparation or a placebo. The study was aiming to prove if it could reduce the elevated pituitary prolactin and normalize the deficits in luteal phase length and luteal phase progesterone synthesis.
Results were excellent. After three months, the women treated with vitex had a reduction in prolactin release, shortened luteal phases were normalized and deficits in the luteal progesterone synthesis were eliminated. Two women in the treated group also got pregnant during the course of the study, and no negative side effects of were seen. These results show chaste berry can be utilized as a natural infertility treatment in women.
Endometriosis is an often-painful disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus grows outside your uterus. It most commonly involves your ovaries, bowels or the tissue lining pelvis. No one is sure of the exact cause of endometriosis, but some contributing factors include hormonal imbalances and genetics.
There is nothing to do about the genetics factor, but the hormonal imbalance can possibly be overcome with the use of vitex. To naturally treat endometriosis, chaste berry is usually taken long term (12 to 18 months) for maximum effectiveness.
Vitex and Amenorrhea
Amenorrhea is a medical condition in which a woman of reproductive age has her menstrual cycle stop suddenly.
Amenorrhea can be caused by a number of factors with one possibility including having too much prolactin in your body, which can cause hypoestrogenism or estrogen deficiency. Vitex supplementation can help to modulate prolactin and get a healthy balance of estrogen and progesterone back on track.
Vitex and Menopause Symptoms
Menopause is the permanent end of menstruation and fertility, defined as occurring 12 months after last menstrual period. It can happen in 40s or 50s.
Studies found that an herbal supplement containing chaste berry provided safe and effective relief of hot flushes and sleep disturbances in pre- and postmenopausal women, in addition to that supplements containing vitex as a key ingredient was able to reduce severe menopause symptoms.