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Beat Perimenopause Symptoms with This Fruit

by Barbara Minton
See all TBYIL articles by Barbara Minton

(The Best Years in Life) Vitex (vitex agnus-castus), the fruit from the chaste tree, can be the best friend of women during perimenopause, the transition period between the fertility of youth and the end of fertility that is menopause. When hormone levels have begun to drop and have become out of balance, using Vitex can not only bring relief from an array of symptoms but also restore hormone balance. The use of Vitex can also eliminate many of the disorders that plague women during this time in their lives.

Vitex, which sometimes goes by the nickname Monk’s pepper, has stood the test of time, helping women through this passage for thousands of years. Here are some of the female complaints that can be successfully treated with Vitex

  • Acne associated with the female cycle

  • Abnormal absence of menstruation

  • Painful menstrual periods, cramping

  • Excessively heavy periods

  • Abnormal cycles

  • Digestive problems

  • Endometriosis

  • Fibrocystic breasts

  • PMS

  • Itchy skin

  • Water retention

  • Sore and painful breasts during second half of the cycle

  • Headaches

  • Post partum depression

  • Problems during the birth process

  • Excessive discharge or buildup of mucous

  • Difficulty falling asleep, sleep disturbance

  • Female infertility

  • Nausea

  • Other skin disorders

  • Fibroid cysts

Natural healers throughout history such as Hippocrates and Theophrastus used Vitex for many conditions, such as stopping hemorrhages following childbirth. Decoctions of the fruit and plant were used in a sitz bath to hasten recovery after childbirth and to treat diseases of the uterus.

In parts of Europe where herbal traditionalism has continued to flourish, Vitex remains the most commonly used herb for the regulation of hormones and the maintenance of homeostasis in women. In the U.S. the use of Vitex is increasing as people have begun to realize that conventional medicine has little to offer women at this stage of their lives except toxic hormone substitute drugs.

Although there is plenty of anecdotal information about Vitex, the workings of its therapeutic effects are only now being researched to any great degree. Recent studies have revealed the presence of compounds in Vitex able to balance female hormones and spur the release of luteinizing hormone while inhibiting the release of follicle stimulating hormone, a combination that can increase fertility. James and Phyllis Balch, authors of the widely distributed book Prescription for Nutritional Healing have noted that Vitex contains an abundance of plant progesterone and testosterone that can be used to create hormone balance and restore communication in the body.

Testosterone is the primary hormone in women, just as it is in men, and it is one of the balancing hormones for the aggressive tendencies of estrogen. However, testosterone begins to decline when women are in their late 20s. By the time a woman is the throes of perimenopause, usually in the mid 30s, progesterone levels are also in serious decline, leaving estrogen to run the show alone. This condition is known as estrogen dominance, and it does not mean a woman has too much estrogen. Instead it means she does not have enough of the hormones that balance estrogen. Many of the disorders mentioned above are the result of this situation, as is the beginning of breast cancer.

Vitex can work its magic as long as women are still able to produce estrogen, progesterone and testosterone of their own, and they just need a boost. After the entrance to menopause, Vitex looses much of its power and bioidentical hormones are needed to maintain hormonal balance and body communication.


Recent research documents some of the benefits of Vitex

Disturbance in the metabolism of fats and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease are two frequently associated conditions seen with hormone decline and dysregulation. In research completed this spring, estrogen deficient rats that were treated with Vitex extract showed significant reductions in body fat, and abnormal liver function, as well as increased level of antioxidant enzymes.

When hormones decline receptors for them are open for the docking of environmental hormones such as those found in car exhaust and air pollution. Another study completed this spring investigated several natural plant substances for their ability to dock into human hormone receptors, thus blocking the docking of environmental hormones. They found that Vitex exhibited five strong docking compounds, meaning it is able to block open receptors preventing the docking for environmental hormones.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a prevalent and complex disorder characterized by polycystic ovaries and several other unpleasant symptoms.

In a study published in late 2014, researchers reviewed 33 earlier studies to determine what plant medicines may be effective against the disease. They found that Vitex and five other herbal medicines displayed significantly beneficial effects.

In August 2014 researchers evaluated Vitex for anti-cancer potential. They found that Vitex exhibited a dose and time dependent ability to kill cancer cells and inhibit their ability to multiply. In addition it was able to influence gene expression toward the destruction of tumor cells and influence pathways leading to leading to positive outcomes. Its antioxidant abilities were instrumental in some of these actions.

Vitex is available in healthy image stores and online without a prescription.

See also:

Herbs That Alleviate Menstrual Cramps

Ginger Stops Menstrual Pain, Pregnancy Nausea and Much, Much More

Addressing Heavy Menstrual Periods Naturally

Natural Help for PMS

For more information:

About the Author:

Barbara is a school psychologist and the author of Dividend Capture, a book on personal finance. She is a breast cancer survivor using bioidentical hormone therapy, and a passionate advocate of natural health with hundreds of articles on many aspects of health and wellness. She is the editor and publisher of AlignLife's Health Secrets Newsletter.

See other articles by the Barbara Minton here:

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