Agnus Castus/Chasteberry and the medical conspiracy
Not so long ago a pharmacist gave me a box of Chaste berry tablets (4mg) for period cramps saying I should take 1 each day for 3 months. I am not really the person to take any meds/supplements blindly so I did quite a lot of research on the subject and discovered that it seems to be quite a miracle worker, curing PMS symptoms, acne, promoting hair growth, weight loss and even getting some ladies pregnant (since it balances your hormones, makes sense). Each and every one of them (or almost) noticed these changes as soon as in 2 weeks/1 month time, but they also are using different dosages, 20mg a day being the minimal amount (some take even up to 400mg). So I kinda get the feeling I must be doing something wrong with my sorry 4mg a day.
I read a blog entry where one lady was complaining that now in the pharmacy you can not buy the 20mg pills anymore, only 4mg and that is due to the medical industry trying prevent this herb actually helping anyone since it does not work in such a small dosage.
That seems to be a reasonable complaint, been taking the herb for a month now, every day and I really do not notice anything being different at all. I usually gain some water weight as a part of PMS, i noticed that is not the case this month, however that could also be due to the fact that i exercise more and also consume more water in general (it's very hot in Germany right now!)
Another thing I acquired is swollen lymph nodes under my armpits (that's a first one for me), they cleared up on one side quite quickly, appeared on the other side. That might have many different reasons, so I am not sure if the Chaste berry is to blame?
So my question is, for those of you who have tried this herb - how much, how often, for how long and in what form have you taken it for the best results? Should I try out the tea or simply a higher dosage (probably have to buy that online anyways).
I'm taking Chaste berry for PMS. I start taking it from about day 14-16 so second half of my cycle when my mood starts to become unsteady.I take a daily 400mg dose which I obtain from a health food shop (presume there is an similar type of shop in Germany). I have felt that this has been really positive for balancing my hormones and my apparent sensitivity to hormonal changes.
For period pain I add Feverfew the day before my period is due to start and continue that whilst I'm bleeding and that really helps alleviated the cramping sensation.
Retrospective you have highlighted on of the main reasons herbal medicines are regraded with some scepticism by the medical establishment. there are no standard dosages and it makes it so had to get good quality evidence about their effects.
I am not an expert in herbal medicines (despite being a pharmacist!) so I cannot answer your query but I am glad it was on of my colleagues who made the recommendation. I wish more of my colleagues studied herbal medicines . Have you considered going back to see if the pharmacist can give you some answers to your questions?
I've just started taking chaste berry. I bought it as a tincture. I'm 48 and have been experiencing some peri-menopausal stuff (restless legs at night, skin itching and a very annoying period two weeks earlier than it should have been - and I haven't much tolerance for that).
It's too early to say if it's working with regard to my periods, but I'm sleeping better and haven't had restless legs/itchiness.
I chose the chaste berry tincture because I prefer tinctures - they seem more 'alive' than tablets. Also, they're cheaper and I'm convinced they do a better job (no valid scientific reasoning for this !). I'm not taking the full recommended dose as I wasn't sure if it was causing me to have headaches - still not sure. Sometimes it's difficult to know whether it's the weather, the homrones or the medicine!
When you use herbal it really need some time, because the effect doesn't work like western medicine. But if you like you can search about Chinese Medicine that combine a group of herbal that contain Vitex (Man Jing Zi). The Combine Herbal in Chinese Medicine give more power while it can also minimized the side effect compare when you using single herb