Agnus castus: The balancing herb for PMS

How much do you know about Agnus castus?

Emma Ross

23 June 2014

Your menstrual cycle

There are two main hormones which control the cycle, oestrogen and progesterone. During the first half of your cycle, your oestrogen levels rise, you ovulate and its levels start to fall. Progesterone levels start to rise during the second part of your cycle and this is when your PMS symptoms can start to make their effects felt if your levels aren’t sufficiently high – hello to mood swings, headaches, sore breasts etc.

So, how will Agnus castus help with this?

Well, it will balance the hormone levels as it helps to increase progesterone, thus thwarting the oestrogen dominance that’s contributing to the monthly PMS miseries experienced by so many of us ladies.

Fantastic, I hear you say, so a few drops of Agnus castus each month and PMS will be banished – it’s good, but it’s not that good. It needs to be taken every day of the month, and it can take up to 3 months to reach its full effect. However, if you think about it, that’s only 3 cycles and fortunately, the majority of women notice improvements within 1-2!

Agnus castus can be taken long term, however, once improvements are felt then there may no longer be the need to continue – you can always start to take it again should the improvements no longer be felt.

Remember that Agnus castus cannot be used alongside any other hormone-balancing products, such as the Pill or the Mirena coil, for example.

The reason for the contraindications is that contraceptives work by deliberately creating in imbalance in your hormones. Clever old Agnus castus will most likely rebalance them and in doing so, will prevent the medication from working.


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  • Michelle 's photo avatar
    Michelle — 04.12.2017 12:15
    Hi Emma, I used to take Agnus Castus Tincture and I really found it worked but I am reluctant to take it again due to being unsure if it effects the contraceptive pill - please can you advise thanks


    • emma's photo avatar
      emma — 04.12.2017 14:13
      Hi Michelle Unfortunately, Agnus Castus is not recommended with any hormonal contraceptives, sorry. What are your symptoms and I may be able to suggest something else for you.


    • Michelle 's photo avatar
      Michelle — 04.12.2017 15:09
      thanks for confirming Emma, my symptoms are sever mood swings, snapping at people, anxiety, anger and some mild depression


    • emma's photo avatar
      emma — 05.12.2017 11:36
      Hi Michelle Low magnesium is often a factor in these symptoms so you may find a supplement called Magnesium OK helpful - you can get this from most independent health shops. Also, dehydration and low blood sugars can be contributory factors so make sure that you are drinking plenty of plain, still water and eat little and often. Caffeine, fizzy drinks and fruit juices should be avoided as these can make symptoms worse!


  • jo's photo avatar
    jo — 03.12.2017 10:45
    hi, is there anything else i can take for pms while i am on the pill? i've just stopped taking AC (because i started the pill) and the mood swings are so bad...i'm so low. thanks


    • emma's photo avatar
      emma — 04.12.2017 14:13
      Hi Jo You could try a supplement called Magnesium OK which is often recommended for PMS, you can get this from most health shops.


  • Anita's photo avatar
    Anita — 14.11.2017 13:14
    Hi. I am thinking about taking Agnus Castus. I have servere pain during menstruation and severe bleeding. The pain lasts about 36 hours and the bleeding approximately 3 days and then it is over. But the pain is very annoying and ruins my days. Will there be help for me with Agnus Castus? I have no other symptoms of anything being wrong. Does not take contraceptive pills because I am sterilized.


    • Emma's photo avatar
      Emma — 14.11.2017 14:33
      Hi Anita, thank you for your questions, I have replied to you privately via email.


Agnus Castus


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Helps maintain normal healthy balance of female hormones in younger women.
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