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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  • Natalie's photo avatar
    Natalie — 20.09.2017 22:48
    Hi Emma, I'm considering trying AC in order to help balancing my progesterone and oestrogen levels. I had to take an emergency contraceptive a few times this year and although my periods come regularly they are quite weak. Besides I started losing lots of hair. Can AC help me? PS. I had blood tests done. And my iron level is fine, so is thyroid hormone.


    • Emma's photo avatar
      Emma — 21.09.2017 12:18
      Hi Natalie, thank you for your comments, I have replied to you privately via email.


  • Debra's photo avatar
    Debra — 03.09.2017 22:55
    Can Agnus castus been taken alongside A.Vogel's menopause support and menoforce supplements. I am in the perimenopausal stage and still having heavy periods and PMS together with night sweats and flushes.


    • Emma's photo avatar
      Emma — 04.09.2017 12:53
      Hi Debra. Although this can be a confusing time, we don’t often recommend that Agnus castus is taken alongside Menopause Support. Often a good rule is if you are still having regular, heavy periods coming every 28 days or sooner, Agnus castus may be the herb for you. If, however, your periods have started to become more irregular, together with other typical menopausal symptoms, the Menopause Support may be more suitable. Although periods can become heavy during the menopause, this is quite common, we would say that a gentle iron tonic would be useful as you are at a greater risk of becoming anaemic. Your doctor may also be able to prescribe medicine such as tranexamic acid if you need an extra helping hand to get heavy bleeding under control. If you still aren’t quite sure which product might be suitable for you, please feel free to get in touch directly at and I’d be happy to discuss your situation in more detail.


    • Debra's photo avatar
      Debra — 04.09.2017 14:14
      Thanks Emma, I am already on tranexamic acid so will continue with that and the menopausal support and menoforce for the night sweats and flushes.


  • Catriona's photo avatar
    Catriona — 25.08.2017 22:50
    Hi there, I have not had a period in 18 months since coming off the pill. I've been told I've got polycystic ovaries, and I'm not ovulating. Would agnus castus help in getting me to ovulate? Many thanks


    • Emma's photo avatar
      Emma — 29.08.2017 12:38
      Hi Catriona, often our advice for PCOS is to make some dietary and lifestyle changes first, before considering herbal remedies. Very often blood sugar regulation and insulin sensitivity can have an impact on our hormones in PCOS, so this is often a useful first step. Feel free to have a read of the information and advice on our webpage on this, and please do get back in touch if you have any questions regarding this


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