Vitex Agnus Castus making PMS worse?

Commented on May 04, 2016
Created May 02, 2016 at 1:35 PM

Hi there,

I'd love to get feedbacks from ladies who tried Vitex to treat PMS, especially psychological symptoms (like feeling crap a few days-a week before menstruation). Men are welcome, too, if they have some knowledge to share here!

I suffer from PMS since the age of 15 (I'm 29) No physical symptoms, no cramps, no migraines,.... Just feeling very depressed before my menstruation. By making lots of changes in my diet and life, I experienced what it is to be happy with myself, to be in a constant state of joy no matter the circumstances.

Things are getting better but I still have bad PMS from time to time. As my blood test always show I have too much estrogen AND not enough progesterone, I decided to give vitex a try as it is supposed to balance hormones by raising progesterone levels.

I started vitex mother tincture at day 14 of my cycle and I started to feel depressed progressively, it was like having my PMS symptoms too early! I stopped after 6 days and I found my joy back almost immediatly.

Does anybody have an explanation for that? Ladies, if you tried vitex what was your experience? Is there any contraindication? Some people say that symptoms can get worse before it got better... But if it's to suffer for no reason, I don't see the point of it! Thanks in advance.

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on May 04, 2016
at 07:49 AM

Hi Tonia

I was wrong when I told I started to take vitex at day 14 of my cycle. I realized it was day 8 ! I took 20-30 drops of the tincture for 9-10 days. I did so after being told it was okay to take it everyday and just to take a higher dosage 6 days before the first day of my menstruation. But I felt so bad I stopped at day 17.

So maybe taking vitex too early in my cycle could be the reason of the bad effects? What do you think?

Thanks for the advices. I found that red meat actually helps a lot, too. It has a calming effect. Coffee seems to give me a good mental boost during PMS. Spending time with friends, being surrounded by people who care and in general not staying alone if it's going too wild in my head :) Recently I started to put magnesium oil on my skin. Not sure if it helps.

I have always been thin, not skinny, and well proportioned. I have some symptoms of estrogen dominance like water retention in my thighs, irregular menstrual periods, PMS obvisously!, cold hands... My iridologist told me I had hormonal imbalances but that my thyroid was ok.

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on May 02, 2016
at 10:14 PM

Hi Cheval,

What dose did you take and when did you take it?

I have been struggling with PMS since a teenager, and started fiddling with supplements (Magnesium) on the advice of my ORL when I was 25. Here is what works for me (I am in my 40’s so as you’re younger you may need slightly higher doses):

throughout my cycle, 1 capsule of Mg taurate (125 mg) every morning. Good for ‘pounding heart’. If back/muscle pains, 1 capsule of Mg malate (125 mg) in the evening.

7-10 days before my periods are due, start taking 1 capsule of Agnus Castus (400mg) in the morning and take Mg malate every evening. Just before my periods start, try and get more sleep (if I’m lucky and it’s the weekend, I will get 12-14 hours sleep). Try and avoid coffee and tea. Eat a little more red meat than usual and have black pudding at least once.

Stop the Agnus Castus on day 2 or 3 of the periods depending on how I feel.

Apart from mood swings etc. what other symptoms do you get? I had all the symptoms of oestrogen dominance at one point, but that was because I was about 1 stone overweight (this was pre-paleo: lots of bread, biscuits, pastries etc.). It sorted itself out once I had gone paleo and lost the extra weight. I still have mood swings about 1 week before my periods are due to start (I can get very angry) and I crave sugar and junk food (pizza etc.). This time round, I had two small bags of boiled sweets! I also feel light headed (a bit like after a blood donation), feel my heart rhythm more than usual, and I tend to get very vivid nightmares. But at least the cramps are gone, thanks to the Mg, all I get is really bad back pain.

You may want to have a look at menstrual cups: I got one (well, two, from different brands, but one of them wasn’t comfortable) about 3 years ago and it really changed my life!  They are really handy if you are going to be away from home for long periods: you can put it on at 6am, go to work/go sightseeing, and wait until 8pm to empty it. As most public toilets and office toilets do not have washbasins in the booths…

Best wishes.



on May 04, 2016
at 01:25 AM

I didn't find vitex agreed with me particularly well. I was also prescribed it at one stage for PMS and while it made the PMS different (I wouldn't say better), it made for the most horrendous periods ever. I think I do tend towards estrogen dominance too and found that vitex (and also wild yam) made me gain weight quite quickly. It came off again (the first time, not this time sadly) when I went on an estrogen reduction protocol + paleo. 

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