Is your life disrupted by PMS each month? If so, youâ€™re far from alone â€“ almost half of all women are affected to some extent during their reproductive years.
Whether you experience physical symptoms like fluid retention, breast tenderness or period pain, or emotional disturbances such as tension, irritability and unstable moods, PMS is definitely not â€˜all in your headâ€™.
In fact, it can have a substantial impact on your wellbeing, and may also interfere with your work life, personal relationships and other activities.
Vitex has been the subject of numerous clinical studies, which have shown that it helps reduce the frequency and intensity of many physical symptoms of PMS, including breast tenderness (mastalgia), fluid retention, abdominal bloating, and feelings of pelvic congestion and pain. At the same time, it may also be beneficial for emotional symptoms such as tension, irritability and unstable moods.
These effects are believed to occur because Vitex has an inhibiting effect on the hormone prolactin, elevation of which may be at least partially responsible for PMS symptoms. In addition, Vitex also appears to have pain-relieving and mood-regulating effects via other pathways, including helping to offset premenstrual declines in endorphins.
Aside from its effects on the female reproductive cycle, Vitex can help aid the management of mild-to-moderate acne, where it works by helping to prevent the blocked pores that can lead to blackheads and pustules. In these circumstances it is suitable for use by both men and women, and may be taken in conjunction with antibiotics under the supervision of your healthcare professional.
Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist consult your healthcare practitioner.