Agnus Castus – the miracle cure for PMS?

If you’re one of the millions of women suffering severe PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) caused by low levels of progesterone, Agnus Castus is the little-known herb that just might change your life.  Those familiar with it’s ability to ease the irritability and clear away the clouds of depression associated with PMS have gone so far as to think of it as a “miracle cure” and a “marriage saver”.

Don’t run off to Boots or Superdrug just yet, though. Agnus Castus is only helpful for PMS caused by excess oestrogen and insufficient progesterone.

While Agnus Castus has been seen as a universal remedy for PMS, it is not well suited to PMS caused by excess progesterone.  As a result, some women have used it for the wrong symptoms.

How do I know if Agnus Castus can help me?

Where Agnus Castus shines is in balancing hormones for women with low levels of progesterone.  Women who have high ratios of oestrogen to progesterone experience heavy periods, short cycles, and mood swings often associated with their periods.

Women with low levels of progesterone often have short cycles, about four weeks or less, and may experience heavy bleeding, severe cramping, irritability, breast tenderness, bloating, and mood swings.

Women who experience longer cycles with lighter bleeding and find themselves crying easily are more likely to have hormones going the opposite direction, with excess progesterone and low oestrogen.  For these women, Agnus Castus will not help.  If you’re in this group, you would get more relief from fermented soya isoflavones.

Agnus Castus can also work well if you’re not suffering PMS but rather entering menopause.  Again, however, this depends on your particular hormone levels.  It works well if you’re experiencing heavy bleeding leading up to menopause.  When hot flashes and night sweats begin, indicating a drop in oestrogen, sage will offer more relief than Agnus Castus.

Agnus Castus has been shown to help with additional symptoms associated with hormonal imbalances in addition to its effects on hormone balancing. Taking Agnus Castus can provide some women with relief from their acne, breast discomfort, and headaches. Women who struggle with infertility because of low progesterone levels may also benefit from it. Before beginning any new supplement, you should always get medical advice, especially if you have any underlying health issues or are already taking medication. They can assess your individual hormone levels and advise you on whether Agnus Castus is the best choice for you. It’s also crucial to keep in mind that while Agnus Castus may help for some ladies, it may not work for everyone because everyone’s body reacts differently to supplements.

Who should avoid Agnus Castus?

If you’re using any type of hormonal contraception such as the pill, Agnus Castus can reduce its effectiveness, potentially resulting in an unwanted pregnancy.  This is because most hormonal contraceptives work by increasing oestrogen and/or lowering progesterone.

Women under 18 should also avoid taking Agnus Castus.  It is important not to stimulate hormones artificially while a young woman’s body is still adjusting.

How long do I need to take it?

Taking Agnus Castus ofr PMS is not complicated, but you must be consistent.  It has to be taken every day to get the best results.  If you only take it when you have symptoms, you may not notice much difference.  It can take as long as three months of consistent use to effect noticeable change.  It is not necessary to take Agnus Castus indefinitely, some women stop taking it when symptoms indicate their hormones are more balanced, though you may need it again in the future.

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This post was originally published in 2015. It was last updated in July 2023.

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