Can agnus castus really make a difference to PMS misery?

How effective is agnus castus? Emma is on hand with a willing guinea pig to find out!

Qualified Nutritionist (BSc, MSc, RNutr)
Ask Emma

21 May 2015

Emma “The Guinea Pig” and her symptoms, pre Agnus castus….

My friend Emma (boy, has this created confusion throughout the years) is 44, a vegetarian – who follows a healthy diet, and who is neither a processed food nor a sweetie lover.

She has also never smoked, doesn’t drink other than being a social drinker and has suffered with PMS for over 20 years. Most months her symptoms include:

  • Sore breasts (starting two weeks before her period) which are so sore, she can’t even cuddle her own daughter properly.
  • Sugar/chocolate cravings – a huge desire for chocolate, as well as an increased need for high starch foods.
  • Irritability over things that wouldn’t have any effect the other three weeks of the month.
  • Severe mood swings – from being high one minute to very low the next.
  • Spatial awareness, when parking – goes out of the window.
  • Being totally drained of energy.
  • And even, occasionally, some months, having morbid thoughts about loved ones dying – this symptom, in particular, causes added upset.

Emma shows all of the symptoms of a classic high oestrogen dominance woman, and once her period actually arrives, most of the symptoms disappear, to be followed by 5 days of heavy bleeding.

After the birth of her daughter (Grace) 8 years ago, Emma – who breastfed and ate an even healthier diet throughout her pregnancy, and whilst nursing – noticed that her hormones had balanced themselves naturally.

Also, when her periods returned, most of the symptoms had either disappeared, or had greatly reduced, and her monthly period was no longer a dreaded event. This was mainly due to the fact that her hormones had now developed their own natural balance between oestrogen and progesterone.

Emma then went on to the oral contraceptive pill, which not only didn’t agree with her hormonal cycle, it altered the new found smooth balance and  whoosh……back with a vengeance came the monthly misery, accompanied by all of the previous symptoms.

Emma stopped taking the ‘pill’ and opted instead for the non hormonal coil, making her an ideal candidate for Agnus castus.

Three Months Later: Emma and her symptoms, post Agnus castus

So, was Agnus castus as good as we think it is? The answer was a resounding, yes.

Emma used Agnus castus for 3 months and has now been off it for over a month. This is how her symptoms have changed:

  • Irritability levels have been greatly improved and Emma is now a lot more tolerable just before her period.
  • Spatial awareness has been improved, thus making parking a breeze, and not a 5 minute manoeuvring nightmare.
  • Energy levels have improved tenfold.
  • Sugar and chocolate cravings have eased, as too has the monthly PMS surge in appetite.
  • Mood swings are now balanced. Extreme highs and lows seem to be a distant memory.
  • The morbid thoughts have much improved, making Emma feel much happier.

Emma was planning to continue with Agnus castus for another couple of months. Bearing in mind the severity and duration of her symptoms, she thought a longer spell on Agnus castus might be needed. As it turned out, Emma had problems with her coil and is now back on hormonal contraception meaning that she is no longer a suitable candidate for Agnus castus.

I will leave the final words of this blog to my dear old friend, Emma, as without her this would not have been possible…..

I would 100% recommend Agnus castus, and would have no hesitation in using it again  (contraception allowing) should I feel my PMS returning….go on, give it a go.”

Have you tried Agnus castus and found it helpful? Share your story in the comment section below.

Agnus castus


£ 10.50

Buy now

A traditional herbal remedy used to relieve the symptoms of PMS
More info

What's being asked

What is PMS?

PMS is a combination of any of around 150 recognised symptoms experienced in the run up to a ...
Read more >

What can I do to minimise PMS?

The good news is that almost anything you do to improve your diet, lifestyle or general health will ...
Read more >

I am experiencing period pains but nothing else. Could I be pregnant?

If your period is late then the best thing to do would be to take a pregnancy test. However, stress ...
Read more >

Here's what I recommend

As the A.Vogel Women's Health advisor, I recommend Agnus castus to help relieve symptoms such as menstrual cramps, breast tenderness and irritability.

Learn more

Healthy & nutritious dinner ideas

Get new recipes in your inbox every week. Sign up now

New! Passiflora Tablets & Spray - Learn more