Benefits of Agnus Castus
Benefits of Agnus Castus (Vitex agnus castus):
A) MENSTRUAL IRREGULARITIES
Agnus castus is known to influence the increased production of the pituitary hormone luteinising hormone, whilst reducing prolactin levels, and has therefore been studied for its affect on the menstrual cycle. Research suggests a role for agnus castus in the normalisation of the reproductive cycle, particularly where progesterone levels are low. Agnus castus may be helpful in amenorrhea (lack of menstrual periods) where the herb's influence on luteinising hormone and prolactin may help by triggering ovulation, and therefore the subsequent build up and loss of the endometrium.
B) PRE-MENSTRUAL SYNDROME
Agnus castus may be of benefit in PMS, particularly where there is oestrogen excess/progesterone deficiency. Double blind, placebo controlled studies have had reported success in the reduction of symptoms including pre-menstrual breast tenderness, cramping and headaches.
Preliminary studies suggest that agnus castus may be helpful for women with infertility. This may be especially relevant where amenorrhea is a factor.
D) HORMONE IMBALANCE
Agnus castus may be helpful in cases of oestrogen dominance such as endometriosis and uterine fibroids. This is thought to be due to the progesterone enhancing properties of the herb, which occur as a result of increased luteinizing hormone release by the pituitary gland.