Health Facts

Reduce PMS & Acne with Vitex

My Personal Experience with Vitex:

I’m obsessed! My first experience with vitex was when I was getting off birth control a few years ago to conceive our son. I thought it would take a few months to regulate my cycle, and I was pregnant the first month!

My recent experience was because I was experiencing a lot of PMS: cystic acne right before my menstrual cycle, severe irritability (seriously…no joke…ask my husband!), BAD cramps and heavy bleeding on day 1 of my cycle (which I never experienced before I had my son), and irregularity for the first time in my life. I didn’t know when it was coming, and it was stressing me out. I started vitex thinking it would take a few months. On month one, I was only 2 days late for my cycle and had less anxiety and no cystic acne. I thought hmm…maybe just a fluke?  Month two, I was exactly on time: to the hour! I ovulated at exactly 14 days and started my cycle at 28 days. I didn’t know it was coming (other than I had it marked on the calendar) because I had no cramping, cystic acne and mild irritability 🙂 I am LOVING vitex. It has improved my life SO much! I no longer want to rip my hubby’s head off for not taking out the trash, my cycles are pleasant and predictable again and NO breakouts- WHAT?! YES!! I’m not saying it will work this fast for everyone, but it may! I take 400mg in the morning on an empty stomach about 30 minutes before breakfast.

vitex

What is Vitex and How Does it Work?

Vitex or Chasteberry supports fertility and balances hormones.

From Mountain Rose Herbs:

“The chaste tree is a small shrub with lance shaped leaves and purple flowers. It is native to the eastern Mediterranean and has since been cultivated in temperate climates around the world. Its peppery fruit has been used for over two thousands years; at least since the time of the Greek physician Dioscorides who recommended it to help the wives of soldiers remain chaste while their husbands were in battle. The berry was used by both men and women in ancient Greece and Rome, and by monks during the Middle Ages in order to suppress sexual desire. Pliny the Elder noted that Athenian maidens would put the leaves under their beds during the festival of Thesmophoria to help preserve their chastity.”

Vitex balances the hormones by regulating the pituitary gland, which is the master gland for hormone production.  Studies have shown vitex to support the body’s natural progesterone and luteinizing hormone production. In other countries it is used to help reduce endometriosis. It is often prescribed by herbalists to help ease PMS, menstrual challenges and infertility.  Vitex is especially helpful for those with irregular cycles or those coming off of hormonal birth control (as it can take years for the cycle to completely regulate).

How long does Vitex take to work?

Vitex can take months (up to 6 months) to show effect, so it’s a slow process for some. However, some see the effects in the first month (I did!). The reason is because vitex is NOT a hormone in itself; it supports the body as it adjusts to your normal hormone production.

Who Should Take Vitex?

Women who experience irregular menstrual cycles, PMS, acne (especially cystic around the time of menstruation), infertility, menopause symptoms, amenorrhea, uterine fibroids. Please speak with your health care professional before taking vitex or any other supplements or herbs.

Who should NOT take Vitex?

Women taking birth control, currently pregnant or nursing. Those with hormone sensitive health conditions, such as endometriosis or breast cancer. A history of or Parkinson’s disease.  Vitex can interfere with some medications, including birth control, antipsychotics and estrogen supplements like those used with in-vitro fertilization treatments.  Please speak with your health care professional before taking vitex or any other supplements or herbs.

Recommended Doses. I recommend capsule form and you can purchase on Amazon here:

  • For PMS: 400 milligrams daily before breakfast
  • For uterine fibroids: 400 milligrams twice daily
  • For infertility: 160–240 milligrams daily
  • For acne: 160 milligrams daily
  • For endometriosis: 400 milligrams twice daily
  • For menopause: 160–240 milligrams daily

If you struggle with infertility or PMS, come see me! There are likely underlying reasons this is occurring and it’s important to find the root cause. thevitalmama@gmail.com.

Sources:

Vitex or Chasteberry, the Female-Friendly Fruit for PMS & More

http://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/hn-2181002

Pub Med: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12809367

 

Nutrition Consulting is not licensed by the State and is complementary to healing arts licensed by the State of Connecticut.  I do not diagnose or treat disease. If you ever have questions or concerns about the nature of my services, please contact me. Please inform your medical doctor that you are receiving Nutrition Consulting.

 

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