Chasteberry Supplement Review

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Chasteberry
  Evaluated for:
Effectiveness Rating Effectiveness Rating
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
+3 (Strong Evidence)
Breast pain
+2 (Moderate Evidence)
irregular menstrual cycles
+2 (Moderate Evidence)

PRO

  • Chasteberry appears to affect hormone activity, showing a biological benefit for improving premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms.
  • Women who take chasteberry experience significant PMS relief compared to placebo.
  • Women with severe PMS experienced a similar improvement in mood with chasteberry as with the antidepressant fluoxetine (Prozac).
  • Chasteberry improves cyclical breast pain when compared to placebo.
  • Chasteberry is inexpensive and has relatively few side effects.

CON

  • The placebo effect for PMS is also very good, meaning that the psychological benefit of taking chasteberry is significant, although chasteberry improved symptoms even further.
  • Future studies are needed for the treatment of cyclical breast pain.
  • Though there is currently no research to support their claim, some researchers are concerned that chasteberry may decrease the effectiveness of oral contraceptives (birth control pills).

* *ADVISORY* *
Due to insufficient safety data, women who are pregnant or nursing should not use chasteberry. Since chasteberry itself decreases prolactin levels, it should not be taken by people who are already on other medications for high prolactin levels (hyperprolactinemia). Chasteberry may also interfere with birth control pills. If you are taking any medications, please check with your healthcare provider to avoid potential interactions.

DOSAGE: The dosage of chasteberry varies depending on the method of preparation and the manufacturer. We recommend following the nstructions on the label.

CONCLUSION: We conclude that chasteberry is a safe and effective product for premenstrual syndrome relief, irregular cycles, and cyclical breast pain. If you elect to try it, remember to include it in your list of medications when you visit your doctor and other health care providers.

REFERENCES
“Chasteberry.” Natural Standard –The Authority on Integrative Medicine. Natural Standard, 2013.
“Vitex Agnus-Castus.” Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Therapeutic Research Faculty, 2013. 8 November 2013.
Chasteberry. EBSCO CAM Review Board (2010) 1-4
Atmaca, M. et al. Fluoxetine versus Vitex agnus castus extract in the treatment of premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Hum Psychopharmacol Clin Exp (2003) 18:191-195
Ma, L. et al. Treatment of moderate to severe premenstrual syndrome with Vitex agnus castrus (BNO 1095) in Chinese women. Gynecological Endocrinolody (2010) 26(8): 612-616


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