Chinese women suffering from moderate to severe premenstrual syndrome (PMS) were studied in a prospective, double-blind, placebo controlled, parallel-group, multi-center clinical trial. A Vitex agnus castus extract, contained 4.0 mg of dried ethanolic (70%).
The mean total Premenstrual Syndrome Diary (PMSD) score decreased from 29.23 at baseline to 6.41 at the end of the third cycle for the Vitex group and from 28.14 at baseline to 12.64 at the end of the third cycle for the placebo group. The difference in the PMSD score from baseline to the third cycle was significantly lower in the treatment group than in the placebo group. The Premenstrual Tension Syndrome Self-Rating Scale (PMTS) decreased from 26.17 at baseline to 9.92 for the treatment group and from 27.10 to 14.59 for the placebo group; similar positive results to the PMSD scores.
Comments: I’ve long used Vitex for the treatment of PMS and in my opinion, it is the single most important plant for the treatment of PMS. The effect of Vitex is on the hypothalamus-hypophysis axis and results in an increased secretion of luteinizing hormone which then favors a progesterone effect. Several other placebo controlled studies have found that Vitex reduced a variety of PMS symptoms. The current study adds to the clinical relevance of this plant in the treatment of moderate to severe symptoms of PMS.
He Z, Chen R, Zhou Y, et al. Treatment for premenstrual syndrome with Vitex agnus castus: A prospective, randomized, multi-center placebo controlled study in China. Maturitas 2009; 63:99-103