How Long Does It Take for Chasteberry To Work In PMS?
hasteberry is the fruit of the chaste tree that was believed to promote chastity. Middle age monks reportedly consumed these fruits to decrease their sexual desire. Chasteberry was also used to treat several reproductive disorders.
Also known as ‘monk’s pepper’, the chaste berry is touted as protection against insect bites and some types of cancer and to offer several health benefits. Other parts of the chaste tree are also used as herbal remedies to treat several ailments. Currently, chaste berry supplements are used to treat menstrual issues, menopause symptoms, and premenstrual syndrome.
What is Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)?
PMS is a condition that affects a woman’s emotions, behavior as well as physical health during certain days of the menstrual cycle, usually a few days before she starts menstruating.PMS is very common and is encountered by over 90% of all women in the menstruating age.
What does PMS feel like?
It has a wide variety of signs and symptoms including mood swings, irritability, breast tenderness, fatigue, and depression.3 out of every 4 menstruating women have been through some form of premenstrual syndrome, says the Mayo Clinic. Although the symptoms of PMS might occur in a predictable pattern, it can still vary from slightly noticeable to intense levels.
Here’s a list of potential signs and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome:
- Mood swings
- Social withdrawal
- Depression, anxiety and crying spells
- Food cravings
- Change in libido
- Muscle pain
- Abdominal bloating
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Alcohol intolerance
- Breast tenderness
You might only experience some of the above-mentioned symptoms.
For some of you, the toll that PMS takes on your physical and emotional health could be severe enough to affect your daily lives. But regardless of what your PMS symptoms are, they generally disappear within 3-4 days after you have your period. If you have been experiencing PMS, be informed that you don’t have to let it control your life. You can opt for treatments and lifestyle modifications that can help you manage PMS signs and symptoms.
How does chasteberry help treat PMS?
Chasteberry has long been touted as a remedy for several reproductive problems including PMS. Numerous studies also discussed how chaste berries can be incorporated into clinical practice to treat PMS and other ailments. Apart from conventional drugs like serotonin reuptake inhibitors and oral contraceptive, alternative medicine like chasteberry supplements have been used by a lot of women who experience premenstrual syndrome.
A 2017 study that sought to determine the efficacy, tolerability and acceptability of chasteberry preparations to treat PMS revealed positive effects of Vitex Agnus cases (chasteberry) on PMS symptoms. And another study conducted in the same year reviewed randomized controlled trials that used chasteberry extracts for treating Premenstrual symptoms as well as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). The findings of the study demonstrated that chasteberry extracts were a safe and effective alternative that should be considered for the treatment of PMS and PMDD symptoms.
A 2001 study that aimed at comparing the efficacy and tolerability of chasteberry fruit extract for women with PMS reported improvement in PMS symptoms including irritability, mood alteration, breast fullness, headache, bloating, etc. A 2012 randomized clinical trial also revealed that chasteberry extract was both effective as well as well-tolerated treatment to relieve mild and moderate premenstrual syndrome symptoms.
How should I take chasteberry for relieving PMS symptoms?
You can avail of chasteberry in liquid, tablets, and capsule forms.
How much chasteberry should I take for PMS relief?
Most clinical trials used a dosage of around 20 to 40 mg per day. But it is recommended that you discuss it with your healthcare provider before considering chasteberry supplements to relieve PMS symptoms.
Should I take chasteberry supplements during periods?
You should take chasteberry supplements first thing in the morning before your breakfast. That is when your pituitary gland is most responsive to chasteberry’s prolactin-lowering effects.
How does chasteberry work?
It boosts the neurotransmitter called ‘dopamine’, promotes ovulation, and thereby lowers the hormone ‘Prolactin’ that is responsible for inhibiting ovulation. It also helps relieve several other symptoms of high prolactin including breast pain and unwanted facial hair. It also helps calm the nervous system and relieve sleep problems and anxiety.
Do Chasteberry supplements induce periods?
While you can consider taking chasteberry supplements to bring on a period within a couple of months, it might not work for everyone. For those with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), it can also make periods less regular by elevating the levels of the ‘luteinizing hormone’, which is already high in women with PCOS.
How long should you take chasteberry supplements to find PMS relief?
Since it is a relatively slow-acting herb, you might need to commit to consuming it for up to 6 months to see desirable changes in your symptoms. Within two to six menstrual cycles, these supplements can help reduce PMS symptoms, especially ones like breast pain, headaches, mood swings, and constipation. Typically, it could take a couple of cycles to notice the effects on your cycle as well as PMS symptoms. You can however achieve desired effects of ovulation, reduced PMS symptoms, and a regulated cycle within six months. You can take it for 2-3 months and reassess what effect it has on your symptoms and the menstrual cycle.
Do not take it for too long. If chasteberry works for you, it will do so within the first three to four months itself. And when that does, you can stop it and still maintain ovulation and healthy periods with diet and other lifestyle modifications. It is important to take a break after a couple of months before returning to the herb.
What are the Side effects of chasteberry supplements?
- Stomach pain
- Skin itching
- Irregular periods
- Increased acne
- Heavy menstrual flow
- Skin rashes
Who shouldn’t take chasteberry supplements?
Teenagers, pregnant women, nursing mothers, and those who have been using birth control pills, IVF or fertility drugs, teenagers should not take chasteberry supplements. They could also interact with hormone therapy and antipsychotic drugs. Therefore, those who have been taking these drugs should also refrain from taking chasteberry supplements to get rid of PMS symptoms.
When taken alongside ovulation-stimulating drugs, chasteberry supplementation can lead to a serious condition called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome which is an exaggerated response to excess hormones. It causes the ovaries to swell and get painful. Also, those who have a history of depression should refrain from taking chasteberry supplements because it can worsen their depression symptoms.
Do chasteberry supplements cause weight gain?
Yes, weight gain is one of the possible side effects of taking chasteberry supplements. Although chasteberry supplements can be effective, it will not be completely effective if it is the only thing you can change about your everyday habits. You should indulge in healthy eating habits, regular physical activity, and manage stress to improve your health.
Nevertheless, if you are planning to take chasteberry supplements to get PMS relief, be sure to buy them from a reputable supplement company like Zenith Nutrition so that you know you are getting a potent formulation without fillers.