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Vitex: The Women's Herb

Lori Ramsey


Vitex is also known as Chaste Tree Berry, Vitex agnus-castus or monk's pepper. It is a fruity herb plant that grows in Mediterranean countries and central Asia. Vitex is a natural remedy that aids women with problems in infertility, premenstrual syndrome, menstrual difficulties, acne, fibrocystic breast disease, and heavy menstruation.

Vitex helps to lengthen luteal phase defects and lower high prolactin levels, both of which cause infertility. However, vitex does not contain hormones. The benefits stem from its actions upon the pituitary gland, specifically upon the production of lutenizing hormone. This helps to increase the production of progesterone, thus helping to regulate the menstrual cycle. It also aids in decreasing prolactin levels. A breastfeeding mom, for example, would produce a high level of prolactin, the natural birth control affect. But in decreasing the prolactin levels, it may enable a woman to finally become pregnant.

I've heard it said both ways about when and how much vitex should be taken. Some say to take it from menstruation to ovulation, stopping once ovulation has been established and then continuing again if menstruation should occur. Others have said it is safe to take all month long, but stopping if pregnancy should occur. On this argument, the effects vitex have on a woman's hormones can benefit her throughout her entire cycle. Also, it may be a smart practice to discontinue any supplements during menstruation, to allow the body to completely cleanse itself. I would suggest reading the bottle, and asking a health professional about the dosage and time to take vitex.

Vitex is not a fast acting herb, and may take several months to build up in your system. I have read that when using vitex to treat infertility, you can take it up to 12 to 18 months, or until pregnancy occurs. Should pregnancy not occur in that time span, seek the advice of a health care professional for the next steps in achieving pregnancy. Another note of caution--you cannot take vitex while taking the fertility drug Clomid, or any drug like Clomid. It seems that vitex and Clomid counteract each other.

I took vitex for about 3 months last fall and really didn't see a difference. Perhaps I didn't give it enough time to build up in my system. However, I do know a few women who took vitex and became pregnant very quickly. Some women will not see any results, while for others, it may be just the positive answer they're looking for. Some swear by the affects of vitex, claiming that it eases the premenstrual symptoms and alleviates the menstrual cramping. This may be reason enough to take vitex, if for no other reason than to alleviate those pesky monthly symptoms. I suppose each woman is different and until you try it, should you want to try it, you'll find out if it indeed benefits you or not.

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My name is Lori Ramsey. My education consists of a diploma in Business Data Processing. I also successfully completed two courses with the Famous Writers School on Basic Writing and Fiction Writing. I am a mother of two children ages 4 and 2. I am currently pregnant with my third child, due to be born in early November.

Embarking on first conception then parenting, I realize how ignorant I was at the beginning. Knowledge is power and since I have literally devoured books, magazines, and online articles on the subject of conception and pregnancy. I honestly feel I know more than the average "public" about this subject. And was shocked at how little I actually didn't know before!

My hobbies, as such, revolve around being a mother and a wife. Being a writer has been a long time dream - even to the point that I have written 16 chapters in a fiction novel and numerous articles (non published). And at present, I am focused on my pregnancy, enjoying each moment and loving the expressions on my children's faces as my belly grows. I am involved in my church, working with the nursery and am one of the leaders of the worship dance ministry. And lastly, but certainly not least, I love surfing the web!

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