Vitex is one of the best herbs for balancing hormones and relieving symptoms of PMS, infertility, and pre- or peri-menopause. Vitex is most helpful to menopausal women who are still cycling. Also, women have reported that Vitex has worked better for them than other herbs for menopause in relieving hot flashes and other menopausal complaints.
Vitex works on the pituitary gland, which is responsible for signaling the body to make certain amounts of each hormone, therefore, it helps to bring balance at the core of the issue. This is why this herb is so successful at balancing female hormones regardless of which way a woman is out of balance.
Pregnancy and miscarriage prevention: Vitex is not recommended for use during pregnancy, simply so that the pregnancy hormones can do what they need to do naturally. For women who tend to chronically miscarry or who have had a history of miscarriage, however, Vitex is safe and is recommended for use through the first trimester to help support hormonal balance, thus possibly helping to prevent further miscarriages. Once the first trimester is over, the placenta is well-formed and has taken over the job of hormone production and management. Vitex can now be discontinued.
Vitex while nursing: Although Vitex is considered a prolactin-inhibitor, studies have shown that it actually helps support and even increase milk production in breastfeeding mothers. This makes it the perfect herb for breastfeeding women who are experiencing PMS or hormone imbalance. Keep in mind that if the menses has not returned after birth, Vitex may cause it to start (If you are a nursing mother who would like to conceive again, Vitex in conjunction with Shatavari is extremely beneficial.)
Note: Vitex works extremely well, but it can be a little slow-acting. It may take several weeks of use (4-12) before the best results are achieved. The longer a woman has had hormone imbalance, the longer she may need to use Vitex. For those trying to conceive, it is recommended to use the herb until pregnancy is achieved.
Drug contraindications: Do not use Vitex in conjunction with the birth control pill or hormone replacement therapy (HRT). It may render each less effective and may result in pregnancy.