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Vitex/ Agnus Castus & Evening Primrose Side Effects?


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#1 WishClean

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 11:08 PM

Hi everyone. I have been browsing the forums for over a year now but haven't really posted much because I was still experimenting with various holistic approaches to healing my acne after going off BCP (to treat PCOS) 5 years ago. This is the forum I visit the most, and there is some solid advice being posted so thank you for that.
I've had success with agnus castus/vitex and evening primrose combination but I found that after a while they stop working and the flare ups begin again. I tried to slowly reduce the agnus castus dosage and eventually stop taking it because I thought my body no longer needed it, but then a few weeks later I get acne flare ups & inflammation again. I took a break from agnus castus & primrose for a year, then resumed taking them with ok results for a few months, but now I have been having lots of breakouts again so I stopped taking them. I also notice more facial and body hair while taking agnus castus in particular - has anyone had this effect? I thought the opposite is supposed to happen because it counteracts the symptoms of PCOS.
Anyway, I have now quit both agnus castus and EP but my naturopath says it's the only regiment that will clear my skin....
I'm currently trying out taurine, vitamin D3, and a neem oil tinture (taken orally). Any thoughts on this combination of supplements?

#2 firefox1476

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 06:29 PM

Hey there! I actually joined this forum searching for info re: vitex and acne. Here's some background on my experience with vitex: I started taking it roughly two months ago to mitigate some minor lady issues I'd been having for a few weeks, and stopped taking the vitex a month later because it did ungodly things to my hormones. Essentially, the vitex caused massive headaches, anxiety, excess hair growth, body acne (which I have never previously had), and a crazy persistent case of acne all over my chin/jawline (also of a magnitude I have never before experienced). Happily, nearly a month after stopping the vitex, the excess hair growth has ceased, but the acne is so much worse than it's ever been in my life.

What I have since learned about vitex is that it's a very powerful herbal supplement, and depending on what your hormone levels are before taking it, it can either help or hinder hormone balance. Vitex is an anti-estrogenic herb; ergo, if you are someone with high estrogen (i.e. someone coming off of years of estrogenic birth control, for example), it may help you balance your hormones. However, if you are someone with high progesterone, it will boost your progesterone and enhance whatever hormonal issues you're having. In addition, if you are someone who generally has balanced hormones (which I was, prior to taking vitex), it will shift your hormones in favor of progesterone.

Also, the reason many women take it for PCOS is because many women who have PCOS are estrogen-dominant; however, it tends to exacerbate the symptoms of PCOS sufferers with high progesterone.

So, in other words, vitex might work for you, depending on your hormone levels. It might also destroy your body, depending on your hormone levels. Has your naturopath measured your hormone levels? (Is that something naturopaths do?) Because vitex won't do anything at all to clear your skin if you've got even relatively high progesterone. Judging from your experience with vitex so far, I would highly recommend that you stay the hell away from it.

#3 WishClean

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 03:53 PM

Hey there! I actually joined this forum searching for info re: vitex and acne. Here's some background on my experience with vitex: I started taking it roughly two months ago to mitigate some minor lady issues I'd been having for a few weeks, and stopped taking the vitex a month later because it did ungodly things to my hormones. Essentially, the vitex caused massive headaches, anxiety, excess hair growth, body acne (which I have never previously had), and a crazy persistent case of acne all over my chin/jawline (also of a magnitude I have never before experienced). Happily, nearly a month after stopping the vitex, the excess hair growth has ceased, but the acne is so much worse than it's ever been in my life.

What I have since learned about vitex is that it's a very powerful herbal supplement, and depending on what your hormone levels are before taking it, it can either help or hinder hormone balance. Vitex is an anti-estrogenic herb; ergo, if you are someone with high estrogen (i.e. someone coming off of years of estrogenic birth control, for example), it may help you balance your hormones. However, if you are someone with high progesterone, it will boost your progesterone and enhance whatever hormonal issues you're having. In addition, if you are someone who generally has balanced hormones (which I was, prior to taking vitex), it will shift your hormones in favor of progesterone.

Also, the reason many women take it for PCOS is because many women who have PCOS are estrogen-dominant; however, it tends to exacerbate the symptoms of PCOS sufferers with high progesterone.

So, in other words, vitex might work for you, depending on your hormone levels. It might also destroy your body, depending on your hormone levels. Has your naturopath measured your hormone levels? (Is that something naturopaths do?) Because vitex won't do anything at all to clear your skin if you've got even relatively high progesterone. Judging from your experience with vitex so far, I would highly recommend that you stay the hell away from it.


Hey, thanks for the response. I posted pics of my current mess of a face in a new post here: http://www.acne.org/...-pics-included/
Are those the kind of breakouts you had? I think you are right about the progesterone levels, I will need to look into that. Vitex has cleared me almost completely the first time I started taking it, coming off of birth control pills and the breakout that followed. So , first time it worked great in combination with asidophilus and evening primrose, with the exception of unwated facial and body hair. Second time it worked temporarily but then the breakouts started again, along with occasional hives and facial hair.
Do you have any recommendations for alternative herbs I could start taking instead of the vitex? How are you trying to manage your acne?
The naturopath doesn't measure hormone levels and unfortunately medical tests are expensive and my health insurance doesn't cover them. I am seeing an acupuncturist that helps keep me balanced most of the time, but the clinic was closed over the holidays and so I haven't had a chance to go recently. I feel that my hormones are so fragile that the slightest thing can set me off balance (Posted Image

#4 Green Gables

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 11:16 AM

It sounds like you had some estrogen dominance after coming off BCP but the Vitex pushed your estrogen too low.

Have you tried an anti-androgenic herb instead? E.g. stinging nettle, pygeum, pumpkin seed oil, saw palmetto.

The other thing to consider is that evening primrose oil is an omega 6 fatty acid. Most of us already get too much omega 6 in our diets. When your balance of omega 3s and omega 6s and omega 9s are imbalanced it can lead to breakouts.

I had TERRIBLE breakouts on EPO. It's one of the few things that I can point to and say that it definitely caused a massive flare...more than once.

Edited by Green Gables, 09 January 2013 - 11:20 AM.


#5 WishClean

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 12:51 PM

It sounds like you had some estrogen dominance after coming off BCP but the Vitex pushed your estrogen too low.

Have you tried an anti-androgenic herb instead? E.g. stinging nettle, pygeum, pumpkin seed oil, saw palmetto.

The other thing to consider is that evening primrose oil is an omega 6 fatty acid. Most of us already get too much omega 6 in our diets. When your balance of omega 3s and omega 6s and omega 9s are imbalanced it can lead to breakouts.

I had TERRIBLE breakouts on EPO. It's one of the few things that I can point to and say that it definitely caused a massive flare...more than once.


Hi GreenGables, thanks for responding. I'm mostly vegetarian and have also been almost gluten free for about a year now, but I have incorporated some fish into my diet to get more nutrients that way instead of supplements. I also drink flax milk that contains omega 3 and linoleic acid, so maybe as you said I was overdoing it by also adding EPO. It's interesting that you had a terrible reaction to EPO - I used to think it helped with PMS but now I'm starting to think that some of the flareups might have been triggered by it. The main positive outcome I noticed from taking it was that my skin was glowing and looked healthier, but the acne was still there.
I tried spearmint tea as an anti-androgen just to see if that was the problem and while I was drinking it daily (for about a month last year) I got bloated and felt like I was on BC! It certainly had a strange effect on me and it didn't help with my acne.Which one of the anti-androgen herbs you recommended do you think might be the most effective? I tried saw palmetto tea (4 cups a day) and didn't notice much of an improvement but then again I didn't stick with it for long or in high dosage.
Do you think my issue could be low progesterone? I seem to have some of the symptoms for it. I'm getting my hormones checked but I never trust western medicine 100% so I will see what they say and take it with a grain of salt.

#6 Green Gables

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 06:39 PM


It sounds like you had some estrogen dominance after coming off BCP but the Vitex pushed your estrogen too low.

Have you tried an anti-androgenic herb instead? E.g. stinging nettle, pygeum, pumpkin seed oil, saw palmetto.

The other thing to consider is that evening primrose oil is an omega 6 fatty acid. Most of us already get too much omega 6 in our diets. When your balance of omega 3s and omega 6s and omega 9s are imbalanced it can lead to breakouts.

I had TERRIBLE breakouts on EPO. It's one of the few things that I can point to and say that it definitely caused a massive flare...more than once.


Hi GreenGables, thanks for responding. I'm mostly vegetarian and have also been almost gluten free for about a year now, but I have incorporated some fish into my diet to get more nutrients that way instead of supplements. I also drink flax milk that contains omega 3 and linoleic acid, so maybe as you said I was overdoing it by also adding EPO. It's interesting that you had a terrible reaction to EPO - I used to think it helped with PMS but now I'm starting to think that some of the flareups might have been triggered by it. The main positive outcome I noticed from taking it was that my skin was glowing and looked healthier, but the acne was still there.
I tried spearmint tea as an anti-androgen just to see if that was the problem and while I was drinking it daily (for about a month last year) I got bloated and felt like I was on BC! It certainly had a strange effect on me and it didn't help with my acne.Which one of the anti-androgen herbs you recommended do you think might be the most effective? I tried saw palmetto tea (4 cups a day) and didn't notice much of an improvement but then again I didn't stick with it for long or in high dosage.
Do you think my issue could be low progesterone? I seem to have some of the symptoms for it. I'm getting my hormones checked but I never trust western medicine 100% so I will see what they say and take it with a grain of salt.


Saw palmetto is the most commonly used, I believe it is the strongest of those herbs, though it's anti-androgenic power doesn't hold a candle to something synthetic like spironolactone. Saw palmetto is only effective at higher dosages (at least 320mg a day, but more like 600mg a day) and the form you use must be standardized extract 85%-95% plant sterols.

Sorry I have no idea about spearmint tea, never tried it. It seems that its anti-androgenic power would be pretty weak. It sounds to me like something else about the tea was giving you problems.

It seems that low progesterone is much more common and at much younger ages than it used to be. Theories on this vary. I'm not anywhere near menopause yet I have seen benefits from regular progesterone use (days 12-26 of your cycle if you're pre-menopause, day 1 is when your period starts). It's certainly something to try.

I haven't been tested for hormones, mostly because of the cost, but also because I really don't care if I'm within some average range or not. I care about my symptoms. The ranges have changed quite a bit over the years anyway. There's still so much we don't know about hormones.

Edited by Green Gables, 09 January 2013 - 06:41 PM.


#7 WishClean

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:41 PM



It sounds like you had some estrogen dominance after coming off BCP but the Vitex pushed your estrogen too low.

Have you tried an anti-androgenic herb instead? E.g. stinging nettle, pygeum, pumpkin seed oil, saw palmetto.

The other thing to consider is that evening primrose oil is an omega 6 fatty acid. Most of us already get too much omega 6 in our diets. When your balance of omega 3s and omega 6s and omega 9s are imbalanced it can lead to breakouts.

I had TERRIBLE breakouts on EPO. It's one of the few things that I can point to and say that it definitely caused a massive flare...more than once.


Hi GreenGables, thanks for responding. I'm mostly vegetarian and have also been almost gluten free for about a year now, but I have incorporated some fish into my diet to get more nutrients that way instead of supplements. I also drink flax milk that contains omega 3 and linoleic acid, so maybe as you said I was overdoing it by also adding EPO. It's interesting that you had a terrible reaction to EPO - I used to think it helped with PMS but now I'm starting to think that some of the flareups might have been triggered by it. The main positive outcome I noticed from taking it was that my skin was glowing and looked healthier, but the acne was still there.
I tried spearmint tea as an anti-androgen just to see if that was the problem and while I was drinking it daily (for about a month last year) I got bloated and felt like I was on BC! It certainly had a strange effect on me and it didn't help with my acne.Which one of the anti-androgen herbs you recommended do you think might be the most effective? I tried saw palmetto tea (4 cups a day) and didn't notice much of an improvement but then again I didn't stick with it for long or in high dosage.
Do you think my issue could be low progesterone? I seem to have some of the symptoms for it. I'm getting my hormones checked but I never trust western medicine 100% so I will see what they say and take it with a grain of salt.


Saw palmetto is the most commonly used, I believe it is the strongest of those herbs, though it's anti-androgenic power doesn't hold a candle to something synthetic like spironolactone. Saw palmetto is only effective at higher dosages (at least 320mg a day, but more like 600mg a day) and the form you use must be standardized extract 85%-95% plant sterols.

Sorry I have no idea about spearmint tea, never tried it. It seems that its anti-androgenic power would be pretty weak. It sounds to me like something else about the tea was giving you problems.

It seems that low progesterone is much more common and at much younger ages than it used to be. Theories on this vary. I'm not anywhere near menopause yet I have seen benefits from regular progesterone use (days 12-26 of your cycle if you're pre-menopause, day 1 is when your period starts). It's certainly something to try.

I haven't been tested for hormones, mostly because of the cost, but also because I really don't care if I'm within some average range or not. I care about my symptoms. The ranges have changed quite a bit over the years anyway. There's still so much we don't know about hormones.


Thanks, that's good advice. I will definitely look into saw palmetto. Are there any brands you would recommend? I usually go by Solgar because the capsule ingredients don't cause me allergies or anything (plus, their supplements are usually dairy and gluten free, and vegan).
Also, are there any side effects to saw palmetto, especially with long term use? I think I read something about that, that it's not recommended for a long period of time.

#8 Green Gables

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 11:12 PM




It sounds like you had some estrogen dominance after coming off BCP but the Vitex pushed your estrogen too low.

Have you tried an anti-androgenic herb instead? E.g. stinging nettle, pygeum, pumpkin seed oil, saw palmetto.

The other thing to consider is that evening primrose oil is an omega 6 fatty acid. Most of us already get too much omega 6 in our diets. When your balance of omega 3s and omega 6s and omega 9s are imbalanced it can lead to breakouts.

I had TERRIBLE breakouts on EPO. It's one of the few things that I can point to and say that it definitely caused a massive flare...more than once.


Hi GreenGables, thanks for responding. I'm mostly vegetarian and have also been almost gluten free for about a year now, but I have incorporated some fish into my diet to get more nutrients that way instead of supplements. I also drink flax milk that contains omega 3 and linoleic acid, so maybe as you said I was overdoing it by also adding EPO. It's interesting that you had a terrible reaction to EPO - I used to think it helped with PMS but now I'm starting to think that some of the flareups might have been triggered by it. The main positive outcome I noticed from taking it was that my skin was glowing and looked healthier, but the acne was still there.
I tried spearmint tea as an anti-androgen just to see if that was the problem and while I was drinking it daily (for about a month last year) I got bloated and felt like I was on BC! It certainly had a strange effect on me and it didn't help with my acne.Which one of the anti-androgen herbs you recommended do you think might be the most effective? I tried saw palmetto tea (4 cups a day) and didn't notice much of an improvement but then again I didn't stick with it for long or in high dosage.
Do you think my issue could be low progesterone? I seem to have some of the symptoms for it. I'm getting my hormones checked but I never trust western medicine 100% so I will see what they say and take it with a grain of salt.


Saw palmetto is the most commonly used, I believe it is the strongest of those herbs, though it's anti-androgenic power doesn't hold a candle to something synthetic like spironolactone. Saw palmetto is only effective at higher dosages (at least 320mg a day, but more like 600mg a day) and the form you use must be standardized extract 85%-95% plant sterols.

Sorry I have no idea about spearmint tea, never tried it. It seems that its anti-androgenic power would be pretty weak. It sounds to me like something else about the tea was giving you problems.

It seems that low progesterone is much more common and at much younger ages than it used to be. Theories on this vary. I'm not anywhere near menopause yet I have seen benefits from regular progesterone use (days 12-26 of your cycle if you're pre-menopause, day 1 is when your period starts). It's certainly something to try.

I haven't been tested for hormones, mostly because of the cost, but also because I really don't care if I'm within some average range or not. I care about my symptoms. The ranges have changed quite a bit over the years anyway. There's still so much we don't know about hormones.


Thanks, that's good advice. I will definitely look into saw palmetto. Are there any brands you would recommend? I usually go by Solgar because the capsule ingredients don't cause me allergies or anything (plus, their supplements are usually dairy and gluten free, and vegan).
Also, are there any side effects to saw palmetto, especially with long term use? I think I read something about that, that it's not recommended for a long period of time.


I haven't seen much clinical data on long-term usage, however if you look at hairloss forums you will see that people have been on them for 3+ years with little to no negative reports. Elevated androgens can cause baldness and prostate issues in men, saw palmetto is often their first herbal choice for that issue.

I haven't really used Solgar. Although most supplements now seem to be "free" of everything (dairy, gluten, shellfish, vegan friendly) etc. I just went through my medicine cabinet with multiple brands and they were all free of those things.

My favorite brands are NutriGold, Life Extension, and NOW. Life Extension makes a Super Saw Palmetto that is pretty good.

The brands I have had bad experiences with are Source Naturals and Natrol. For supplements where you can "feel" their effect, those brands didn't deliver, leading me to believe they were selling products with inactive ingredients.

#9 firefox1476

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 09:44 AM


Hey there! I actually joined this forum searching for info re: vitex and acne. Here's some background on my experience with vitex: I started taking it roughly two months ago to mitigate some minor lady issues I'd been having for a few weeks, and stopped taking the vitex a month later because it did ungodly things to my hormones. Essentially, the vitex caused massive headaches, anxiety, excess hair growth, body acne (which I have never previously had), and a crazy persistent case of acne all over my chin/jawline (also of a magnitude I have never before experienced). Happily, nearly a month after stopping the vitex, the excess hair growth has ceased, but the acne is so much worse than it's ever been in my life.

What I have since learned about vitex is that it's a very powerful herbal supplement, and depending on what your hormone levels are before taking it, it can either help or hinder hormone balance. Vitex is an anti-estrogenic herb; ergo, if you are someone with high estrogen (i.e. someone coming off of years of estrogenic birth control, for example), it may help you balance your hormones. However, if you are someone with high progesterone, it will boost your progesterone and enhance whatever hormonal issues you're having. In addition, if you are someone who generally has balanced hormones (which I was, prior to taking vitex), it will shift your hormones in favor of progesterone.

Also, the reason many women take it for PCOS is because many women who have PCOS are estrogen-dominant; however, it tends to exacerbate the symptoms of PCOS sufferers with high progesterone.

So, in other words, vitex might work for you, depending on your hormone levels. It might also destroy your body, depending on your hormone levels. Has your naturopath measured your hormone levels? (Is that something naturopaths do?) Because vitex won't do anything at all to clear your skin if you've got even relatively high progesterone. Judging from your experience with vitex so far, I would highly recommend that you stay the hell away from it.


Hey, thanks for the response. I posted pics of my current mess of a face in a new post here: http://www.acne.org/...-pics-included/
Are those the kind of breakouts you had? I think you are right about the progesterone levels, I will need to look into that. Vitex has cleared me almost completely the first time I started taking it, coming off of birth control pills and the breakout that followed. So , first time it worked great in combination with asidophilus and evening primrose, with the exception of unwated facial and body hair. Second time it worked temporarily but then the breakouts started again, along with occasional hives and facial hair.
Do you have any recommendations for alternative herbs I could start taking instead of the vitex? How are you trying to manage your acne?
The naturopath doesn't measure hormone levels and unfortunately medical tests are expensive and my health insurance doesn't cover them. I am seeing an acupuncturist that helps keep me balanced most of the time, but the clinic was closed over the holidays and so I haven't had a chance to go recently. I feel that my hormones are so fragile that the slightest thing can set me off balance (Posted Image


My breakouts look pretty much exactly like yours, with the exception that mine are completely concentrated in my chin/jawline area. I noticed that you mentioned you sometimes get hives from vitex, too? I've also been getting itchy hives, mainly all along my arms and wrists. The hives seem to flare up at the same time the acne is at its worst.

I decided to treat my acne by switching to a birth control pill with less progestin and bumping up my dosage of spironolactone (as Green Gables mentioned, a hormonal treatment that will suppress androgen activity), but those are both prescription options. I know not everybody wants to go that route.

I don't know a ton about saw palmetto. I've heard a lot of conflicting information about its effectiveness as an acne treatment (much like vitex and evening primrose oil).

#10 Ind1g0

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 09:52 AM

Hey there! I actually joined this forum searching for info re: vitex and acne. Here's some background on my experience with vitex: I started taking it roughly two months ago to mitigate some minor lady issues I'd been having for a few weeks, and stopped taking the vitex a month later because it did ungodly things to my hormones. Essentially, the vitex caused massive headaches, anxiety, excess hair growth, body acne (which I have never previously had), and a crazy persistent case of acne all over my chin/jawline (also of a magnitude I have never before experienced). Happily, nearly a month after stopping the vitex, the excess hair growth has ceased, but the acne is so much worse than it's ever been in my life.

What I have since learned about vitex is that it's a very powerful herbal supplement, and depending on what your hormone levels are before taking it, it can either help or hinder hormone balance. Vitex is an anti-estrogenic herb; ergo, if you are someone with high estrogen (i.e. someone coming off of years of estrogenic birth control, for example), it may help you balance your hormones. However, if you are someone with high progesterone, it will boost your progesterone and enhance whatever hormonal issues you're having. In addition, if you are someone who generally has balanced hormones (which I was, prior to taking vitex), it will shift your hormones in favor of progesterone.

Also, the reason many women take it for PCOS is because many women who have PCOS are estrogen-dominant; however, it tends to exacerbate the symptoms of PCOS sufferers with high progesterone.

So, in other words, vitex might work for you, depending on your hormone levels. It might also destroy your body, depending on your hormone levels. Has your naturopath measured your hormone levels? (Is that something naturopaths do?) Because vitex won't do anything at all to clear your skin if you've got even relatively high progesterone. Judging from your experience with vitex so far, I would highly recommend that you stay the hell away from it.


I thought vitex worked in a way that stimulated one's pituitary gland to produce the natural balance of hormones. I didn't think it had any specific hormonal correlation- I am taking it because I assumed it would "tailor to my individual needs" and correct my own personal imbalances.

#11 firefox1476

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 11:11 AM


Hey there! I actually joined this forum searching for info re: vitex and acne. Here's some background on my experience with vitex: I started taking it roughly two months ago to mitigate some minor lady issues I'd been having for a few weeks, and stopped taking the vitex a month later because it did ungodly things to my hormones. Essentially, the vitex caused massive headaches, anxiety, excess hair growth, body acne (which I have never previously had), and a crazy persistent case of acne all over my chin/jawline (also of a magnitude I have never before experienced). Happily, nearly a month after stopping the vitex, the excess hair growth has ceased, but the acne is so much worse than it's ever been in my life.

What I have since learned about vitex is that it's a very powerful herbal supplement, and depending on what your hormone levels are before taking it, it can either help or hinder hormone balance. Vitex is an anti-estrogenic herb; ergo, if you are someone with high estrogen (i.e. someone coming off of years of estrogenic birth control, for example), it may help you balance your hormones. However, if you are someone with high progesterone, it will boost your progesterone and enhance whatever hormonal issues you're having. In addition, if you are someone who generally has balanced hormones (which I was, prior to taking vitex), it will shift your hormones in favor of progesterone.

Also, the reason many women take it for PCOS is because many women who have PCOS are estrogen-dominant; however, it tends to exacerbate the symptoms of PCOS sufferers with high progesterone.

So, in other words, vitex might work for you, depending on your hormone levels. It might also destroy your body, depending on your hormone levels. Has your naturopath measured your hormone levels? (Is that something naturopaths do?) Because vitex won't do anything at all to clear your skin if you've got even relatively high progesterone. Judging from your experience with vitex so far, I would highly recommend that you stay the hell away from it.


I thought vitex worked in a way that stimulated one's pituitary gland to produce the natural balance of hormones. I didn't think it had any specific hormonal correlation- I am taking it because I assumed it would "tailor to my individual needs" and correct my own personal imbalances.


Everything I've read (on the web and in medical encyclopedias) has said that vitex boosts progesterone, albeit indirectly. Vitex doesn't release progesterone, but it does stimulate the pituitary gland to create more progesterone. This is why vitex is recommended for problems related to PMS: bloating, cramping, water retention. It's meant to mitigate the effects of estrogen dominance, and it's definitely progestogenic.

There are definitely a lot of people who have found that it helps them tremendously, especially in the long term. There are also a lot of people who already have sufficient levels of progesterone, and so maybe shouldn't take vitex. It also seems like some people start getting acne from vitex and see it clear up after a few weeks, and other people struggle with acne as long as they take it. Seems like a really tricky supplement. The side effects I suffered from it (the relentless migraines and raging acne, among others) were enough to tell me to ditch vitex. But, you know, if you seem to be doing okay with it, stick with it, I guess? It works for some people.

#12 WishClean

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 03:55 PM

Thanks everyone for the input.... it's given me a lot to think about. Saw palmetto might be an option. I'm going to check my hormones at the clinic just to see if the tests detect anything off balance, although my acupuncturist has already detected issues that I think are valid (e.g potential candida symptoms). So, I'm going to see what these hormonal tests say but, as some of you here, I'm hesitant to take any prescription drugs until I have exhausted all holistic options.
About the vitex, I thought the same thing that indigo thought....I believed that it would balance my hormones according to my individual needs but I found out it doesn't work that way unfortunately. I also think that long term intake (over 1 year) can undo some of the progress it makes if you take it for a lesser period of time. Whenever I tried to go off of vitex, however, by reducing the dosage slowly, I got some nasty flareups that took months to clear. Moreover, I got some facial and chest hair that I never had before...I was surprised because I thought vitex was supposed to help with unwanted hair, not cause it to grow in new places (meanwhile thinning out the hair on my head). It was difficult to know when it's ok to stop taking it slowly, but I just assumed that my skin had cleared so balance was restored (the first round) and the second round I stopped because I started getting hive-like bumps and allergies that I never used to get before.
My naturopath recommends vitex to all women with PCOS as a magic solution and I must admit that the first time I started taking it I blindly trusted him because I was desperate not to go back on BCP.

Edited by WishClean28, 10 January 2013 - 04:00 PM.