Is Agnus Castus a miracle cure for PMT?

While we are used to countless treatments, there are plenty that might be able to save and change our life and which are still unheard of. When it comes to PMT (premenstrual tension), Agnus Castus is such a remedy, and it’s actually being heralded by some as a miracle cure because it seems to have the ability to remove the depression and temper issues that appear during a woman’s menstrual cycle.

However, this doesn’t mean that you should rush down to Boots or Holland & Barrett now, because there’s a catch. Agnus Castus is only an aid for PMT which is a result of high levels of oestrogen and low levels of progesterone.

While Agnus Castus is often viewed as a magic remedy for PMT, it is not best for PMT caused by high levels of progesterone. Because of this, some women have used it for the wrong symptoms.

So, it’s not universally helpful?

Agnus Castus is great for is in balancing hormones in women with low levels of progesterone.

Women who have high ratios of oestrogen to progesterone will have heavy periods and short cycles. Mood swings can also be experienced with their periods.

Those ladies who have low levels of progesterone often experience short cycles, about four weeks or less, and may find that they have heavy bleeding, severe cramps, irritability, tender breasts, bloating, and wild mood swings.

Women who have longer cycles with light bleeding and who find they are crying easily, are much more likely to have hormones going the opposite direction, with excess progesterone and low oestrogen. For these women, Agnus Castus won’t be a good option. If you’re in this category of women, you may get more relief from a product such as fermented soya isoflavones.

Aside from PMT relief, Agnus Castus can also provide relief for women who are entering menopause. How useful the herb actually is depends again on your particular hormone levels. It is ideal if you’re experiencing heavy bleeding leading up to menopause. When hot flushes and night sweats begin, the time when oestrogen levels are dropping, Sage Leaf tablets may offer more relief than Agnus Castus.

Who should avoid Agnus Castus?

All women that are using hormonal contraception – be it in the form of the pill or the coil – need to avoid Agnus Castus at all times. The plant will raise the progesterone levels and reduce the effectiveness of the drugs which could and actually result in some unforeseen problems like unwanted pregnancy! On top of that, all girls under the age of 18 should avoid using it because their cycle needs to stabilise before any PMS symptoms can be tackled with the herb.

How long do I need to take it?

Agnus Castus is very easy to administer, but the problem here is that you need to take it regularly, so you do have to be dedicated! You have to take it every day of your cycle, and it will require around 3 months until you get to see the effects. Even if you see a hormone rebalance, you should continue using it!

Photo Credit: TipsTimesAdmin/Flickr, CC BY

This post first appeared in 2015 and has been updated since.

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