how to take this
by Jen on May 7, 2013
I'm glad you filled me in on what you're doing for yourself. I have similar situation. How do you take it and do you combine with other herbs?
Credited as a hormone balancer
by Jackie on Mar 3, 2013
(Excerpt taken from "The Woman's Handbook of Healing Herbs" by Deb Soule: Also known as Vitex Agnus-Castus (from the Verbena family). [Chasteberries received their name because the berries were used as a food spice in monasteries throughout the Roman Empire to decrease the monks' sexual desires.....For women, vitex appears to replenish the body's life energy, or vitality, and increase feelings of exuberance.....It helps restore hormonal balance and regulate an irregular or short mentstrual cycle. Some herbalists report that the berries are most effective when taken consistently over three to six months or longer for easing premenstural and menopausal depression, anxiety, and mood swings, and for eliminating breast tenderness and water retention. The berries regulate the proper levels of progesterone and estrogen by affecting two pituitary hormones, FSH (follicle stimulating hormone), and LH (luteinizing hormone). Various uncomfortable symptoms such as depression, extreme irritability, breast tenderness, heavy bleeding, water retention, and acne can arise when estrogen levels are two high. Daily use of vitex berries over three to six months helps balance hormone levels and redue or eliminate these symptoms, unless other health problems are involved.... To learn more about Chasteberry, refer to a small booklet called "Vitex", written by herbalist and botanist Christopher Hobbs.]
~a personal note, I am taking this to try to balance my pituitary and thyroid hormones, and to naturally and more importantly, safely help raise my DHEA, which is a precursor to androstenedione and estrogen, testosterone hormones. Women need testosterone as well as men, but in much lower doses. Without proper levels of DHEA, it is impossible to have proper levels of estrogen and feel good. Good cholesterol, which comes from healthy exercise and diet and low stress, leads to pregnenolone, which leads to progesterone and 17-hydroxypregnenolone, the two hormones under pregnenolone that balance all the other hormones we need for our bodies to function well. If estrogen is high, our progesterone will be low. If our cortisol is high and our DHEA is low, most likely stress, sleep deprivation, overexertion, poor nutrition, and the like have taken a toll on us. Hormone replacement therapy is not the best solution. It is best to let our bodies heal, and let herbs and essential oils aid our bodies in their own natural healing processes. Interestingly, many of the hormonal imbalances and problems that occur in menopausal women of industrialized societies do not occur in more primitive cultures, where xenoestrogenic substances (petrochemicals and other environmental pollutants) and constant elevated stress) take their toll. Processed foods, sedintary lifestyles, lack of sleep, etc. can all take a serious toll that no pill can fix. I hope this information will be beneficial to those who are looking for a natural remedy for balancing their female hormones. Blessings.