Vitex not for PMS.
So OK, we've all been taught that vitex (Vitex agnus-castus) helps the progesterone part of the cycle.
- Henriette wrote:
> Paul Bergner has looked into this: "Magnesium citrate 600 mg, B6 (in a complex of 25-50 per B vitamin) and Zn (40 mg/day) for 6-12 weeks may help." - if you want to butt in here, Paul, please do.
Vitex probably affects the hormones by stimulating dopamine in the hypothalamus. This in turn suppresses prolactin and favors progesterone. That's the best we know from science, though there may be more to come. So the question is why is somebody dopamine deficient in the first place. The following are all required for dopamine manufacture:
Magnesium, B-6, Zinc, essential fatty acids, vitamin C, and iron. In our clinic we have repeatedly corrected hormonal imbalances with such a fundamental dietary and supplement program, within 2 cycles, and this also helped with addictions, which may also be related to low dopamine.
And, BTW, chocolate and orange juice are also dopaminergic, so by all means include that in your program. A 1-ounce dose of dark chocolate affects dopamine.
Taking vitex so solve the problem makes as much sense as taking caffeine to cure fatigue. It will worsen the underlying problem while masking it.
I had a student with bleeding around ovulation who had followed an herbalists advice to take vitex for the problem. She ended up within two cycles bleeding for 28 days straight. Many other cases reported of vitex disrupting the cycle and making matters worse or at least making them strange and unusual.
Favoring progesterone, vitex can also lead to the common side effect of progesterone -- depression. I had two cases of women with premenstrual depression who took vitex and the depression worsened severely enough for one of them to seriously contemplate suicide and the other to go on antidepressant drugs. Neither related it to the vitex, but on removal in the case of the suicidal woman, the suicidal ideation went away. This is not a wise woman herb.
Gotta love this stuff. Thanks Paul!
Hmmm, addictions. Wonder if that's why Vitex has been so good for the "gimme (whatever), gotta have it now!" shakes? Drop doses as needed work wonders; of course, for addicts who are trying to drop their habit I've also included loads of supplements, including the ones Paul outlined above, so while they took the Vitex for the immediate symptom they also helped the cause of that symptom - the deeper deficiency.