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Chasteberry for Severe PMS Cary NC

Read more about Chasteberry Proves Useful for Moderate to Severe PMS.

Beverly Moore Harris, MD
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Medical School: East Carolina Univ Sch Of Med, Greenville Nc 27858
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Medical School: Kasr El Aini Fac Med Cairo Univ, Cairo (915-02 After 1/1971)
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Michael Lamar Anthony, MD
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Chasteberry for Severe PMS

Chasteberry Proves Useful for Moderate to Severe PMS.
Date: Monday, June 29, 2009
Source: Maturitas
Related Monographs: Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), Chasteberry
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Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a cluster of physical and emotional symptoms associated with the menstrual cycle. Most women experience some degree of PMS at some point in their menstrual history, although symptoms vary significantly from woman to woman. Reproductive hormones and neurotransmitters are thought to play a central role in the etiology of PMS. Five to ten days prior to menses, plasma estrogens rise and progesterone levels decline. These changes are accompanied by an increase in follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) six to nine days prior to menstruation, and peak aldosterone levels two to eight days before menstruation. Prolactin levels are elevated in most PMS patients. There are many theories around what causes these major changes to occur and why they are more dramatic in some women and less dramatic in others. One theory is that the way that the body uses vitamins and minerals may be a factor. Another hypothesis is that there is some deviation in the viscosity or thickness of the blood along with a change in the amount of water within the red blood cells during the menstrual cycle.

The chasteberry tree finds its origins in the Mediterranean. Its fruit is harvested and dried for medicinal purposes. It has a long folk history of use in women's health. Chasteberry (also known as Vitex agnus castus) has been recommended for use in mild to moderate complaints, especially in endometriosis, menopause, and PMS symptoms.

A recent study sought to determine whether chasteberry is a safe and effective treatment for moderate to severe PMS. The double-blind, placebo controlled, parallel group, multi-center clinical trial included 270 women who were randomly assigned to receive chasteberry extract (40 mg) or placebo for up to three menstrual cycles. Of those enrolled in the study, 202 women completed the treatment phase of the trial. The mean total PMS-diary scores decreased from 29.23 at baseline (0 cycle) to 6.41 at the termination (3rd cycle) for the treatment group and from 28.14 at baseline (0 cycle) to 12.64 at the termination (3rd cycle) for the placebo group. The difference between the treatment group and the placebo group was deemed statistically significant. There were no adverse effects reported in either group. These findings suggest that chasteberry extract appears to be a safe, effective and well-tolerated treatment for women suffering from moderate to severe PMS.1 

1 He Z, Chen R, Zhou Y, et al. Treatment for premenstrual syndrome with Vitex agnus castus: A prospective, randomized, multi-center placebo controlled study in China. Maturitas. 2009;63(1):99-103.

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