The life changing herb Vitex has been used for generations in India and Europe and is the angel herb for calming and balancing hormonal problems in women and those teens, male or female who are prone to acne. Barely a day goes by when we are not offering Vitex.
Vitex, also known as Vitex Agnes Castus or Chaste Tree, helps relieve premenstrual symptoms such as nervous tension, moodiness, bloating, fluid retention and breast pain collectively known as PMT or the far more disturbing PMMD. Those who experience PMDD are often unable to function at their normal capacity while symptoms are present and need a broad naturopathic approach to balancing their hormones and general health.
By regulating the menstrual cycle, an increase in the happy hormone dopamine occurs which has a positive effect on the hormonal system and may induce a better quality of sleep.
Vitex or Chaste Tree helps improve general wellbeing primarily by lowering high prolactin levels and may help with the following symptoms:
- support healthy prolactin and progesterone levels in the body
- encourage healthy menstrual cycling
- ease tension, fluid retention and mood changes associated with premenstrual syndrome
- support normal reproductive function in women
- address non-cystic mild acne
- premenstrual mastalgia (breast tenderness)
- corpus luteal insufficiency that may affect fertility and the maintenance of a pregnancy
- benign breast tumours
- pms symptoms for those on oral contraception
The Therapeutic Dose
Historically the dose was administered each morning as a tea, tincture and more recently in tablet form. However recent advice suggests any time during the day is useful. However, a morning and evening dose of Vitex may have a positive effect on sleep.
For a more thorough explanation here is a quote from the Materia Medica of Western Herbs by Carole Fisher.
“The dopaminergic effect, which inhibits prolactin, is the most thoroughly studied aspect of Vitex. There is also suggestion of its effects on oestrogen receptor binding, progesterone receptor expression (by reducing prolactin secretion), opioid receptor activity and more recently melatonin release. If sleep disturbance were related to hormonal disturbance I would divide the doses into am and pm.”
A selection of other supplements that assist women in general include – Magnesium, Vitamin B Complex and specifically Vitamin B6 – (also useful for women prone to nausea in pregnancy), essential fatty acids, zinc and more. Come and talk to our naturopath Bridget, she will get you back feeling on top of the world. And as always if symptoms persist, consult your healthcare professional.