Another of my many misc. studies... Enjoy!
Vitex, also called Chaste Tree, has the effect of stimulation and normalizing pituitary gland functions, especially its progesterone function. Vitex may be called an amphoteric remedy, as it can produce apparently opposite effects (<I>though in truth it is simply normalizing</I>). The greatest use of Vitex lies in normalizing the activity of female sex hormones, and it is thus indicated for dysmenorrhoea, premenstrual stress and other disorders related to hormone function. It is especially beneficial during menopausal changes. And in a similar way, it may be used to aid the body to regain a natural balance after the use of the birth control pill.
Here are some quotes from an article "On Vitex" by Medical Botanist Christopher Hobbs: "In 1930 Dr. Gerhard Madaus conducted some of the first scientific research on the plant, and developed a patent medicine from an extract of dried fruits named 'Agnolyt'. Almost all of the studies on Vitex have been done with this preparation. He found it to have a 'strong corpus-luteum' effect, which increases porgesterone. Scientists think that it regulates the pituitary gland, which detects increased estrogen levels and tells the ovaries to make less of it."
Recent findings confirm that Vitex helps a normal estrogen-to-progesterone balance. It can not only ease, but with time, actually cure premenstrual syndrome, which has been linked to abnormally high levels of estrogen, especially if symptoms tend to disappear when menstruation begins. European herbalists also use it today to treat fibroid tumors and other female complaints. As the baby-boom generation passes into menopause, this herb will be rediscovered by women looking for a natural alternative to estrogen replacement therapy.
Herbalist David Hoffmann reports that the most important use of Vitex in England is for treating menopause symptoms, and that this is the only female health situation in which he uses Vitex by itself. For relieving symptoms such as hot flashes, he claims good results after 2 or 3 months of taking 2 ml of Vitex a day.
Several studies indicate Vitex can help control acne in teenagers, both among young women and men. Clinical research shows that Vitex may start working to treat imbalance after 10 days, but for full benefit it should be taken up to 6 months or longer. With PMS, a positive result may be felt by the second menstruation, but permanent improvement may take up to a year, or longer.
Vitex has no report of even moderate side effects in over 2,000 years of use.
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