vitex question - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 11 Old 04-22-2003, 07:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know what several of the herbs in vitex are usually used for, but how do ladies here use the vitex preparation? I saw one comment about taking it during menstruation. What is the vitex being used for and how?
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#2 of 11 Old 04-23-2003, 01:27 PM
 
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Well, this is based on the incomplete and confusing information I've managed to glean, but...

I've been taking vitex because it's supposed to encourage proper functioning of the reproductive system, and also because it's supposed to reduce PMS breast pain. German scientists think it acts on the pituitary or hypothalamus to regulate hormone production.

I started last May, taking the dried ground herb in capsules. I just took the dosage suggested on the bottle. But then, each time I needed to buy more, I couldn't find the same brand again, and every brand recommended a different dosage! :

My midwife researched it, and all the dosage recommendations he felt were reliable referred to the alcohol extract. He told me to take the extract at 40 mg/day. (This is much less than the dosage recommended on that bottle!) I've only been doing that since Feb., so it's hard to say if it's working. I did have less breast pain than usual during my last PMS, but that was a period induced by progesterone suppositories, which are supposed to act locally and not cause so many side effects, so that might be the explanation.

Sorry I can't be of more help! Let us know if you learn anything useful!

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#3 of 11 Old 05-13-2003, 07:53 AM
 
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I was going to post a vitex question but then I searched and found this thread...

Does anyone have any more information about vitex?

I have searched on the internet and I can't find anything. My ob/gyn said he doesn't work with herbal supplements because he doesn't know much about them : (yet another reason I am looking for a new doctor/midwife).

I'm going to e-mail one of my friends who is an herbalist and she what she can tell me. If I learn anything, I'll post it here.

In the meantime, if anyone else has anything to add to the vitex mystery....I'd love to hear it!

Thanks!

~Erin
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#4 of 11 Old 05-13-2003, 10:32 AM
 
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Here's an online source for buying vitex tincture. http://www.kerrysherbals.com/tinctures.shtml It's the last one on the page. I've talked with the site owner for other matters and she is very helpful and knowledgeable, you could e-mail her for more info. I personally know several people who lengthened their luteal phase with vitex and conceived.
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#5 of 11 Old 05-13-2003, 01:35 PM
 
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Here's a good resource.

Rereading the first post, I noticed you mentioned "several of the herbs in vitex". Vitex actually is the name of one herb.

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#6 of 11 Old 05-13-2003, 02:56 PM
 
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Thanks!

~Erin
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#7 of 11 Old 05-16-2003, 02:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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vitex is the name for chaste tree berry, but the preparation "vitex- elixir for women" contains many herbs, including butterbur, mugwort, red raspberry leaf, and others. as the directions read "not to be used during pregnancy," i would like to hear how it's generally taken to increase fertility; one of the websites listed above says that it lengthens the luteal phase and decreases pms symptoms when taken between ovulation and menstruation.

thanks!
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#8 of 11 Old 05-17-2003, 08:24 PM
 
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This is a snippet from www.kellymom.com, which I think she got from Kelly's Herbals:

"Vitex is a very useful herb for PMS symptoms, as well as for moms who are breastfeeding and are desiring to conceive again, and are having problems with their cycles returning or becoming regular enough to sustain a pregnancy.

Vitex works by stimulating the production of luteinizing hormone (LH) and suppressing the production of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). This in turn causes the corpus luteum to secrete more progesterone. Progesterone suppresses the production of prolaction. Also, vitex has components that bind to the dopamine receptor sites of the pituitary, inhibiting prolactin secretion."

Hope it is ok to post that...

I just got the tincture of it, Wild Oats variety.
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#9 of 11 Old 05-18-2003, 02:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the responses. But I am still curious as to how people take it. Do you not take it between menstruation and ovulation, and then take it after O and before the next period (or not, if trying to conceive)? I've seen some women here mention taking it the first day of AF. Would taking it early in the cycle, or through the whole cycle, suppress ovulation?
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#10 of 11 Old 05-19-2003, 11:58 AM
 
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Ah, well I probably can't help you since I don't remember when I took it when ttc ds, but right now I just take some everyday because I am still waiting for the first PPAF. I am taking that and drinking red clover and red raspberry leaf tea just to kinda tone things up in there, and prime my body for good cycles once AF decides to return!
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#11 of 11 Old 05-20-2003, 04:04 PM
 
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I take Vitex daily... started it back in Feb. Its shortening my follicular phase a few days each cycle... yay. I started on caps, taking 2 per day. Then ran out of those and switched to extract (got tired of taking so damn many pills, now i put all my extracts in a shot glass and shoot them). I take 1 dropperful (about 30 drops) every day. Its safe to take during pregnancy, so my plan is to take it until we concieve, and probably a few months into conception so as to not shock my body by suddenly stopping.


Joy
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