Vitex has been shown to have a regulating and supportive effect on the pituitary gland, also known as the master gland, as
thisgland controls very important bodily functions including sending chemical signals to the ovaries as to how much hormone to make. This communication circle is known as the hormonal loop. Vitex helps in regulating the menstrual cycle and balancing the hormones.
Vitex increases the secretion of the hormone responsible for increasing the progesterone – the luteinizing hormone (LH). Vitex also lengthens the luteal phase. Vitex does not contain any hormone in itself but it helps the body in increasing the production of luteinizing hormone which boosts the production of progesterone levels during the luteal phase of the ovulation cycle.
Vitex boosts the formation of corpus luteum which is responsible for the secretion of progesterone. More than 80 percent of women responded positively to conceiving due to improved progesterone levels. Vitex is also used by gynecologists to help in treating mild endometriosis and also to prevent it from advancing. Vitex may also help in preventing miscarriages. Miscarriages usually happen due to low progesterone levels and Vitex helps in fixing or normalizing the progesterone levels. Vitex is considered a safe herb to be consumed during pregnancy, but one should consult one’s doctor before using the herb during pregnancy.
Vitex also helps in stabilizing the cycle and inducing ovulation after the estrogen-containing birth control pills have been discontinued. Thus Vitex helps in stabilizing the menstruation cycle after the birth control pills have been stopped for a while. Vitex also helps in stimulating a mother’s milk. It is suggested to consume Vitex after giving birth for about ten days or more depending upon the need.
Vitex is generally consumed on an empty stomach early on in the day. It is usually consumed once a day. It should be consumed every day without fail for more than six months or as desired. However, if Vitex is used in a blend form with other herbs, it should be consumed as directed or instructed by the doctor.
Forms of Vitex
Vitex usually comes in many forms like tea, powder, capsules or loose herbs. Capsules are preferred over the other forms as capsules offer consistent results due to controlled dosage. It is also not suggested to use Vitex in the tea form unless blended with other herbs as it tastes almost bitter. The bitter taste is also a reason why capsules are preferred over other forms of consuming Vitex.
Vitex’s ability to increase levels of progesterone is why it seems to help prevent miscarriages in women. However, this ability has not been tested and confirmed. It is only used on a traditional front as of now. According to a research conducted by the Germans, Vitex is believed to be safe to consume through the end of the pregnancy’s third month and helps in preventing miscarriages. Vitex is also safe to be consumed after the third month but is not recommended as it is believed that it might encourage the stimulation of lactation very early in pregnancy. Also, Vitex will not be needed after the third month in the pregnancy as that is the time when the placenta takes over the production of progesterone. If one decides to use Vitex during one’s pregnancy, it is suggested to consult with a midwife or an herbalist for proper guidance.
Vitex generally works for all adult women except for women who have less than ideal lifestyles. If one suffers from a weak immune system or has low energy reserves or if a person has been on antibiotics for a long time, one needs to make changes in diet and lifestyle in order for Vitex to start producing the desired effect.