|CHASTE TREE - Vitex agnus-castus
Traditional use: female hormone & organ tonic, menstrual balancer, PMS, menopause
Most commonly used to bring balance and health to the female organs and their cycles, due to its progesterone content. Some conditions which have responded well to Vitex are excessive bleeding, irregular cycles, fibroids and other uterine or ovarian growths and inflammations, excessive cramps, and amenorrhea. Vitex can also be very beneficial to women who have stopped using birth control pills, to re-balance healthy hormonal function.
Because Vitex contains progesterone, it is most helpful for problems which occur during the second half of the cycle, from ovulation to menstruation. This is the phase during which the symptom package known as PMS occurs, and Vitex can help with all PMS-related problems- emotional upset, cramps, migraines, acne, swollen feet, etc. Although it works primarily on these second-half problems, Vitex should be taken throughout the entire cycle, supplemented by estrogenic herbs during the first half of the cycle.
For most purposes, it is necessary to take Vitex daily as a long-term therapy. Improvement is usually seen after the third cycle from beginning, but it is necessary to continue for many months to effect long-term re-balancing. Vitex should not be taken if the patient is taking prescription-type hormones, as it may interfere with their action. It has also shown some effectiveness in treating symptoms of menopause.