My interest in herbs that correct female hormone imbalances started a good while ago, when I first discovered that the modern allopathic medicine does not really have an answer for my problem: serious skin condition (acne), headaches, mood swings right around the hormonal peak periods of my menstrual cycle. I was offered Vitamin A (Retinol) products by my dermatologist among other things, that were aiming to treat the symptoms, not the cause, and also I was prescribed birth control pills by my gynecologist to get things under control. But that’s not the kind of control I was looking for, so I put these medicines away and started looking for a more gentle solution.
Vitex agnus-castus (Chasteberry) has been used for centuries in Europe for hormonal imbalances in women. It acts on the hypothalamus and pituitary glands by increasing luteinizing hormone production and mildly inhibiting the release of follicle stimulating hormone. The result is a shift in the ratio of estrogen to progesterone, in favor of progesterone. The ability of Vitex to raise progesterone levels in the body is an indirect effect, the herb itself is not a hormone, it only induces slow hormonal changes in the body. Recent findings confirm that Vitex helps restore a normal estrogen-to-progesterone balance.