Vitex: beware!!

Evil Vitex
Warning: severe side effects

So I was doing somewhat better. Then over the weekend, I crashed. Badly. I started to consider taking my own life. Seriously consider it. The pain and the overwhelm was just too much.

In the middle of all this, I remembered I had felt like this once before. I felt like this when I tried to use the ring and then the patch for birth control. At that time, I went on antidepressants, went to a therapist, and well, wasted a lot of money until I figured out the source. Too many damn female hormones. The dose of hormones in the birth control were making me crazy. Literally.

Too much progesterone in your body will make you depressed. Most women are not as sensitive as I am, but it is a known effect.

Flash forward to yesterday, and I realize there is one herb I have been taking that is intended to mess with my hormones: Vitex. Or, the devil as I will now be calling it. I am an information addict, so as I start to research this herb, I learn it messes with progesterone, and that many other women have had the same reaction as I.

Vitex is often recommended by Chinese herbalists to regulate menstrual cycles. It should not be taken with the pill as it may increase the side effects and decrease its effectiveness. Needless to say it increased the side effects x100 for me. I am no herbalist or doctor, but if you tend to react badly to the pill or hormones in general then please stay away from this one. If you do take it, please be aware that it may affect your moods severely and quickly.

Many women have taken this with no problems, but with my reaction being this extreme, please beware. Vitex can be very dangerous!

Frankly, the lack of information about adverse reactions to this herb concerns me a lot. I know it has helped many women, but there is hardly any information out there about the potential side effects.

Vitex alternative:

Dopamine helps prevent PMS and irregular cycles. Rather than risk the side effects of Vitrex, you can take vitamins to increase your dopamine levels. The Vitrex is essentially a band-aid, not a cure for low levels of dopamine which causes PMS and irregular cycles.  Vitamins are safer, and they are less expensive. Win-win, I say.

Here’s what you should take: Magnesium citrate 600 mg/day, B6 (in a complex of 25-50 per B vitamin) and Zinc (40 mg/day) for 6-12 weeks.

(This information is used in part from here:

54 thoughts on “Vitex: beware!!

  1. Hi, I came across your blog while I was doing some research on the less than favorable side effects of vitex/chasteberry. I had the same experience on vitex (actually I was on Fertilaid). After taking it 3x a day for about a week and a half, I had a sudden onset of depression and apathy. The only other time I’ve experienced these feelings was several years ago when I was toying around with switching birth control pills.
    I’m curious, how long after stopping the Vitex did you begin to feel normal again? I stopped cold-turkey several nights ago and am feeling a bit better each day. I am still feeling some anxiety and was wondering if you had any lingering symptoms after you stopped and if so, for how long?
    Thanks! Hope you’re feeling better!

    • Hi,

      Thanks for the post, and yes I am feeling better. Once I stopped taking the Vitex the extreme symptoms subsided after abou 48 hours. However, it increased my abdominal pain significantly—it took nearly 2 weeks for that pain to subside. It took about 5 days for the other symptoms to subside: bloating, cramping, mood swings, anxiety, tenderness, etc.

      Hope you are feeling better as well.

    • Me too! I’m having the same issues, so I stopped taking it cold turkey as well. I’m a bit nervous because I have no idea how long it’ll take for the lingering symptoms to go away. I have been experiencing acute anxiety and panic attacks. These side effects just started around my period during the second month of taking the pills. The first month was great! Lots of energy, no cramping, no breast tenderness or bloating. But the second month (Now) before and during my period I started getting panic attacks– while on vacation. Plus, breast tenderness, and cramping this time. Not sure whats going on. If you get any answers let me know.

  2. Hi, I took magnesium and B complex for my PMDD but, also I took vitex for about a month. Two days ago I have a panic attack with a very bad derealisation. (during my menstruation). for vitex and anxiety and I found this post. I stop vitex for 2 days now. But I am a little depressed and a little anxious. I hope I feel better soon.
    Thanks for posting this!!!

  3. I just wanna let u now that vitex really helped me a lot so don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. It helped with regulating my cycle and instead of the usual 25-26 day cycles ive been having my entire life, my cycle days were regulated to 28-29 days. A lot of my friends whom I have suggested to use vitex have also came back with extremely good feedback in terms of their period and cycle days. So I don’t really buy all the negative talk about vitex. Besides, it has been used since and during ancient times to promote fertility in women.

    Although I took many other fertility supplements to help me conceive, I am positively sure that vitex was one of them that helped and on 15th January 2011 I finally got a BFP!!! I conceived some time around 29-30 December 2010.

    I would really recommend vitex, royal jelly, red raspberry leaf capsules and cordyceps. Do not be afraid of taking many fertility supplements at any one time because they function differently yet synergistically. I would suggest to take vitex and royal jelly first thing in the morning on empty tummy upon rising and take the red raspberry leaf capsules and cordyceps (together with a pre natal supplement with adequate folic acid) right after lunch.

    This recipe worked for me and I hope it does for u too!!! All the best!

  4. Um, Pomme, did you not read the post?!? She DID try it and had extreme physical and mental side effects. I am glad Vitex helped with your fertility, but please don’t negate other people’s bad experience with it.

  5. That wasn’t negating anything Amy G. Some ppl might have had bad experiences with vitex n other herbs but that itself doesn’t necessarily mean that the percentage is high. Most people do not get adverse reactions using vitex, only some do maybe due to the already high progesterone present in the body. But certainly a few bad experiences cannot scare ppl off vitex or any other herbs for that matter. Maybe u shud learn to read my entire post in the present context before jumping into conclusion that a good experience negates some unfortunate soul’s bad experience!

  6. Pomme, I did read your entire post. You wrote “I just wanna let u now that vitex really helped me a lot so don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.” From this sentence it seems that you didn’t read her post. That’s all I was saying.
    I said nothing about high percentages of success or failure on Vitex. All I was asking is to respect her experience as a negative one and not necessarily jump to prescribing a mix of herbs including one that has made her ill.

  7. I am glad that I found this… I thought I was going crazy!
    I started taking vitex this month to regulate my cycles. My husband and I have been TTC our 3rd child for 7 months now with no success. Along with that, my cycles have gone wacky, anywhere from 29-39 days and it have been really bothering me… so this month I started vitex 3 times a day and soy (CD5-9 only for the soy), and I ACTUALLY ovulated on CD15! I couldn’t believe it! I was so excited, plus I didn’t seem to be having any side effects… fast forward another 4 days and they have hit me like a ton of bricks!
    I started about 2 days after O, my skin broke out like it hasn’t since I was 15yrs old (I am 31), then I started to notice that I was extremely bloated, followed by tiredness, very sore breasts, and weird depression like symptoms… 2 days ago, I could hardly get out of bed and when I did, I ended up crying all afternoon… Finally today, I almost had a panic attack. I took my last Vitex last night and I DON’T plan to take another. I started it shorten my cycle and relief some of my PMS symptoms, and this is worst month I have ever had…
    I know that it does work for some people, but you need to also be careful. The first couple of days, I thought these might be pregnancy symptoms, but now, at 9DPO, I am pretty sure they are not… I will update this if anything changes!

  8. Thank God I found this post. Have been taking Vitex, to help with perimenopause, and have felt worse. I mean like I have been taking crazy pills! I’ve never had depression, or anxiety, this bad. And like the other person above just feeling spaced out. Could not figure what was going on, felt like long-term PMS! Thanks so much for posting, because all I could find were links on how there are really no side-effect. I guess some people are just sensitive to it.

  9. How long were you on the Vitex? Sometimes symptoms can get worse before they get better as the hormones regulate. How much vitex did you take? It is advised to start out with low doses.

  10. been taking vitex for 3 months – great at first period – less breast swelling, cramps and bloating – but since then – WEIGHT GAIN!! NO THANKS! fell very off, had the worst period of my life last month, and i’m 39! i haven’t taken it for 2 days now and hope it just gets out of my system soon – anyone else experience weight gain? just hope it doesn’t screw up my system coming off it….

  11. I just want to throw in my two cents concerning the negative side-effects with Vitex. Blessings to those of you who are experiencing success with the herb. Everyone is unique and has a unique blend of hormone levels. I am now coming to an understanding that if you don’t have a problem with your progesterone levels and you rarely miss a period, you probably shouldn’t take it. I had a period until I took myself off of it (10 days). I felt like I was going crazy.

    I certainly don’t want to knock the good experiences. Some ladies do need help with progesterone levels and, in my humble opinion, natural is best. However, it has been months since I took the herb… trying to conceive a second child. My hormones have never returned to normal and I am now working on finding out what is causing increasing pain in my lower abdominals and irregular bleeding. As with everything, please use more caution than I did before you try this herb. Some are stronger than others. I was working under the assumption that “It’s just an herb, it can’t do any harm.” I am now being diagnosed with possible hyperthyroidism, endometriosis and possible cysts. It is my fault for taking the herb without properly researching it and asking my dr. I don’t know that the herb caused all these problems. All I know is that these issues did not start until I took it. I just want to add to the warnings, because when I researched prior to my first dose, I didn’t find anything concerning negative side effects. Now I’m concerned that I may never be able to conceive again.

    Once again – – blessings to those of you who are finding help with this herb. It just didn’t work with my chemistry. Please look into this carefully before trying this particular herb.

    • Same! I took it for about 3 weeks earlier in the year and fast forward to October (about 7 months later) and I still have spotting from day 21 on a 24-25 day cycle. What is good for one isn’t good for all. Please research if it will be of benefit to you before taking as like every medicine, it won’t be suitable for everyone.

  12. Glad I stumbled upon your post. Have been taking 100 mg of Vitex for 3 months (started out with 50 mg per day). Noticed the higher dosage was definitely contributing to really really bad PMS symptoms (mood swings, irritability, depression and higher appetite) and caused spotting before my period. For those of you seeking immediate relief in getting you back to “normal” you may want to schedule a session with a skilled acupuncturist. I just came back from my visit with may acupuncturist and feel so much better now (and yes, will be stopping vitex for good).

  13. Interessting. I tried Pro meno with Wild yam cream and vitex and comfrey in it. Within hours I feel like I can’t move and so so depressed. I have used the cream for 3 days. I remember trying it back in December and got so depressed. Almost suicidal. No more for me.

  14. I’m 21, and started taking Vitex (in tincture form.. perhaps this makes a difference?) for about a year around 2-3 years ago. The first week that I was on it, I had a couple of panic attacks (I’d never experienced anxiety and anything more than a mild depression before this), but I stuck with it and within a month, noticed nothing but positive changes in my mood and cycle.

    I’ve recently had some issues with hypoglycemia-related panic attacks, but have been treating them with diet and relaxation techniques. I’ve noticed that the anxiety/suicidal thoughts only recur 3-4 days before my period starts, so I’m wondering if this is like a very mild form of PMDD?

    Anyway, I’m reconsidering starting with Vitex again as soon as my period starts and I’m not in this weird, perpetual state of anxiety anymore. I’m expecting panic attacks/anxiety for the first week or so, but its effects on my awful cramps are too good to pass up.

    I wonderful product that I would recommend to anybody with anxiety is Serenagen by Metagenics. I have no idea whether it’s effective when used in conjunction with Vitex, but it’s a wonderful, non-prescription herbal supplement that calmed me on days when I wanted to curl up and die from the constant waves of panic. It’s too bad that there is so little information available on Vitex, since it has has been such a positive herb for me, but I too had no idea that it could cause panic attacks until I was right in the middle of one.

  15. I can’t tell you how relieved I am to see this post. I’ve been spending the better part of my night trying to scan the internet for side effects. I have been taking a similar product like Vitex for two months. I started to cut the pills in half because I felt so hyperfocused and odd. At first everything was great, my period improved the first month. (breast tenderness, pms, depression) all gone! But then a few days ago while on vacation I had horrible acute panic attacks, accompanied with the constant need to urinate, as well as irrational thoughts and anxiety. My period did start during this time, but this time I felt breast tenderness bad cramps which also seemed odd, as these symptoms had been alleviated by the pills the month prior . I’ve stopped taking these pill and felt better the next day, but still have lingering panic attacks. Any idea of how long it takes to reset your system after stopping use of this pill? I’m worried that this anxiousness and panic attacks will never go away. Perhaps the pill masked these symptoms, and discontinuing it’s use during my period has made things worse hormonally? Any ideas?

    • I’m in the same boat now!!!

      You posted this a while ago, so how are you feeling now after you got off Vitex???

      wishing you well

      x Tracy

  16. Hi Ladies, just to let you know I have been trying for a baby for 3 yrs. My friend recomended vitex, I started it in January and got really bad side effects, bloating, farting non stop, severe headaches, and light-headness. Guess what, I reduced the dose and continued. I fell pregnant, I’m 8months pregnant at 42, and its my first baby. I am a Dr. every medicine has side effects and adverse effects/allergies etc. People die from nuts or Penicilin allergies or sometimes they have severe side effects. This does not mean Penicilin is not good and must not be used. One mans food is another man’s poison, use what works for you and leave those who tolerate vitex to do so. My 39 yr old friend is now fibrous free, vitex and raspberry tree shrunk everything. She is 7 weeks pregnant. Vitex works, its a miracle drug, a proven fertility drug. I have stocked up for my next baby.

    • Hi there,can you please let me know the dose you started on,and reduced to before falling preggies??I’m trying for baby number 5

  17. I want to thank you Unicornandi for getting this message out there. I had seen wonderful reviews about Vitex. I looked up side-effects. I seen minor effects but nothing about depression. Yes, everything said it helps with even that! So I began Vitex 3 months ago. The first cycle was great! Went from a 35-40 day cycles to a 23 day cycle. First cycle was 27 days. I was impressed. Breast were tender, tons of ewcm, anxiety was gone and felt wonderful! No really bad symptoms except insomnia. I didn’t even know I was going to start that day.. Stopped taking Vitex during period. Second cycle was 26 days and this is where everything went wrong. I spotted the whole tww. I had NO sex drive or ewcm. Insomnia all month long. The depression hit me hard. I was having suicidal thoughts to the point of visualizing and planning it. This scared me. Third cycle was 23 days and everything the same as last cycle but worse. Except there was no spotting. This is when I decided that I couldn’t possibly wait for this herb to hopefully balance me out. There ARE people out there that AT LEAST deserve to know the potentially dangerous side-effects of this herb if these symptoms arise. ALERT: IF YOU SUFFER FROM DEPRESSION NORMALLY DURING NORMAL PMS TIME DO NOT ATTEMPT TO TRY VITEX. Alot of sites say that it will help with anxiety and depression but here we are telling you that it will not. You will not curb this one. No matter how many months you invest. I will be going back to Blessed Thistle and Damiana. This helped me before.

    God Blesses us all in our journey ttc.

    • Dear Desi,
      I hope that you are able to read this message. I took Vitex for 3 months and stopped after horrible side effects, headaches, stomach upset, depression although the worst is insomnia. I stopped taking it a week after symptoms began. it’s been 3 weeks since I stopped taking it and i’m still suffering from insomnia. You said you had insomnia for a month too, was it after stopping or during Vitex use. How long did it take you to recover?

      PLEASE respond.

  18. Thank you so much for this post. I really believe it helped save my marriage and possible my life. I have been trying to conceive for about 15 years with one miscarriage possible more. I have PCOS but I have always had regular periods but don’t know if I always ovulate. I started taking Vitex about 2 to 3 months ago and my emotions are so crazy. I have always been sensitive and had a little anxiety but this pill magnified it 1000 times. When you want a baby so badly I guess you are willing to try anything. I am happy that it has worked for so many others but if you do try Vitex monitor your emotions. I was always fighting with everyone especially my husband and of course I thought it was his fault but it was just my hormones and me going crazy. Thanks again for the post I only wish I would have realized the side effects earlier because I just went off Vitex today and I don’t know how much damage it may have caused.

  19. Well, I don’t know if it’s good or bad — I did a really low dose using the tincture. First couple of days, i took about 250 mg and then dropped it down to 225mg and a week later down to 175 mg and remained at that for about 3 weeks, with a one day break just because I didn’t feel like taking it.

    At lower doses, I read that it’s more likely to regulate your cycle it (lengthen it if that’s what’s needed; or shorten it if that’s what you’re looking for). I started it just before my period started and must say that the first day I took it, I noticed having incredible energy, which was great because I’ve been really struggling with energy. Imo, my cycles are too close together, so I was looking to lengthen it. And was thrilled that it also shortened my period.

    And then I noticed I was feeling weepy. Not suicidal or anything, just weepier than normal. Also developed breast tenderness and noticed I wasn’t sleeping as well through the night. Didn’t gain weight but also noticed a little bloating.

    Fast forward 10 days after finishing my period and I decided I needed to stop just to see if my mood would improve. And then I realized I was breaking out. Nothing major but how I break out just before my period starts. But that couldn’t be because my period isn’t supposed to start for another 11 days. And then I wake up on day 14 and my period starts. I have a horrible horrible headache (whether from lack of sleep or the vitex, i don’t know) and the worst period I’ve had in eons. Why? That’s all I can think. It seems odd considering I was at such a low dose.

    I don’t know what to do now…continue taking it or just stay off the vitex… I’ve been under lots of family-related stress the last year…so maybe that’s not helped. But I was so hoping this would work… My normal cycle is every 19 or days (which is a little too short). Until I started my first round of birth control, I had a period every 28 days and it lasted 3 or 4 days, which was awesome. Birth control ruined that for me and I was hoping to return my cycle to what it used to be. But instead, Vitex shortened it even more. : (

    Any advice / opinions?

  20. I think that Vitex is great for people with low progesterone, others should beware. I had very low progesterone, vitex is helping to increase it. It is also causing some mood swings, but progesterone pills cause the same, if not worse. That’s because changes in progesterone do cause mood swings. High progesterone is the cause of mood swings in pregnancy. If you have low progesterone and increase it either via Vitex or progesterone supplements you are likely to have mood swings until you get used to it. But the good thing about vitex is that it is causing your body to produce its own progesterone.

  21. From what I have read, women who are progesterone dominate typically do poorly on Vitex.
    However many of us are estrogen dominant and it usually helps (but not always).

    It really depends on who you are, and what your hormones are doing whether or not Vitex will work for you. It’s not a cure all.

    The only reason it’s recommended so much is more of us in the United States are estrogen dominant due to being overweight, PCOS, diabetes, xenoestrogens, or menopuase (where progesterone typically decreases much faster than estrogen).

    If your hormones are over all too high (such that you cannot take contraceptives) it’s possible the magnesium helps support your liver so it can excrete the excess hormones. Just a thought.

  22. PLEASE READ!!!!!!!
    Her post is bias. I was doing research on Vitex, as many women who find this site are. I had heard only good things about it until reading this post. After reading it I was bummed and was reconsidering taking this herbal supplement. I then saw that the author, UNICORNANDI, never responded when someone asked her specific questions. She was asked:
    (How long were you on the Vitex? Sometimes symptoms can get worse before they get better as the hormones regulate. How much vitex did you take? It is advised to start out with low doses.
    Were you on the pill? Any medication?) I then still didn’t make that much of it because people get busy and can’t answer all the questions on a thread.

    I decided to read the UNICORNANDI’s blog. In doing that I discovered that the author who I will call Uni, has personal things going on in her life that have affected her. In turn her bodies response to this herb are not the norm I should say. I don’t want to fully divulge the details of Uni’s story but her story does affect her review of this product. I wish she would have disclosed some of her info so people won’t read this and assume that she is speaking from an average person’s experiences. As I see that people have assumed she was, who wouldn’t. People have also shared personal experiences but people need to take a full look at their history and be thorough and accurate. Any drug you take will react differently if you have underlying issues.

    All I’m saying in posting this is the review on this product is inaccurate due to lack of all the information. I am NOT negating the fact UNI had a negative reaction from taking it, but that is due to all the other stuff she has going on and she should have disclosed such info. She obviously is open about her life and medical history because she has posted it on her blog. So she should be accurate when writing a review. People will be directed to this review via google and not everyone will do the research to authenticate the validity of its author. Who should have to. People just need to be honest.

    Tags to Uni’s other posts in relation to Vitex:

    I personally still have not tried the product because I am doing my research. But I found this and had to speak up!! I can not speak on the women who have since replied and had similar experiences as UNI. My advice is to make sure you know what’s going on with you before you start so you can clearly see its side effects.

    UNICORNANDI I wish you the best of luck and I hope you find happiness. Everyone deserves it.

    • I think this is about how much information there is out there about this drug. Anything that interacts causing differences, in this case, hormones; is a drug. Regardless of it being made naturally. Even a herb can have adverse side effects.

      There seem to be 2 groups of people; one who have tried it for their PMS and the other who have tried it to conceive. Seems to me that people who have had trouble conceiving get their hormones corrected by this drug. However the ones who have taken it for PMS have come away either feeling better or much worst.

      I took it for PMS, my period is like clockwork but I often get moody/ angry for a week before my period. But after having been on it for just 12 days I have been feeling what I can describe as extreme anxiety. Been a healthy person all my life. My mental health is good as well.

      What needs to be done is a randomised controlled trial. I think what the people trying to say on this site is that Vitex might not be all that good for people who get these adverse side effects. And there is NO documentation of these effects.

      I have been in my bed feeling so anxious trying to figure why I feel this way. It has been ten days since I stopped Premular. I don’t believe the side effects have been covered at all in the information sheet. And that this ‘herb’ has gotten away with the rigidities that a non-herbal drugs would have had to go thru. Because its only answers and information that enable people to form an understanding on what has gone wrong.

      Thank you for this post, this has not been about trying to conceive for me but my PMS and I am happy to know that I have found am answer.

  23. Hi, all please research Vitex before taking it. I so regret my choice. Took it for 3 months. Almost exactly to the date I started I began with insomnia depression and crazy headaches. I have had insomnia for 2 weeks now. headaches are gone or very minimum compared to when I first got them. Afraid I might have permanently damaged my sleeping cycle and my ovaries. I called natures way and asked about side effects and they said absolutely none. I’m so upset at myself and the situation I put myself in. Just praying to God that I get out f this one.

  24. I’ve been taking vitex to deal with perimenopause symptoms for a year and half now and have only good things to say about it. I started on a low dose and worked up to 3x per day at one point. Am now down to 2x per day and considering cutting that in half again. The only side effects I have experienced are headaches sometimes. SO worth an occasional headache – which may not even be related to the vitex – for relief of pms, terrible anxiety, and getting my cycle back on track. And I never stop taking it – even during my periods. It helped to very slowly get rid of the terrible “internal shaking”, buzzing, twitching feelings that come with hormone imbalances. I was a miserable crying, shaking, mess before starting this herb — it SAVED MY LIFE. So not every medication or herb will affect people the same way & that’s why I felt the need to share my positive experience.

  25. The persons who do best on vitex are the ones who have low progesterone as evidenced by short cycles like the lady posting here who said it lengthened her cycle and helped her conceive. If you are a younger woman with normal length cycles, it could drive your progesterone too high. So it needs to be used appropriately, not haphazardly for anyone with a hormonal problem. Some problems don’t involve low progesterone. And for the record, nutritional supplementation that you mentioned doesn’t totally alleviate problems for everyone. I have taken the supplements you mention at those dosages for years and still had low progesterone and short cycles. Now that I am in perimeno this is even more pronounced. Many women in peri and meno are going to need something more than supplementation because their adrenals are not functioning well enough and need more support. I have had mostly good results with vitex.

  26. It’s nice to hear the experiences of others re: Vitex. I was experiencing incredible fatigue, a head full of pressure and anxiety as a result of a hormone imbalance (which I’m told is normal during perimenopause). I started taking Vitex tincture (dosage according to instructions on the label). Felt relieved at first and then slowly better and then gradually it seemed to me that the symptoms I was trying to get rid of were slowly creeping back in. To the point that I’m having difficulty focusing, being happy etc…. I stopped taking Vitex today and the pressure in my head is lessening, but I still feel not quite right and have anxiety waiting in the wings…I was on Vitex for one month.

    I am going to try taking the vitamins suggested in the blog post. I don’t think they’ll help with regulating cycles as this perimenopause thing means irregular cycles anyways, but they are the same vitamins my Doctor has suggested to relieve symptoms and help the adrenal glands produce hormones.

    Anyone else have success going the vitamin route?

    • Wow, I’m glad I stumbled upon this site. My local herbalist suggested Vitex to help me with my perimenopausal symptoms. I’m 45 (almost 46). I’ve been having two full “cycles” a month for four months and been fairly irregular for a few months before that. Prior to that, PMS and frequent migraines (like 12 a month) have been an issue. She said that she had four clients with similar health histories who swear that Vitex helped them and that I really should give it a try. I’ve been taking two 500 mg capsules for a month and a half. This month I skipped my period though I still had the cramping, bloating and a terrible bout of migraine days. Now, over the last 5-6 day, I’ve started experiencing sleep difficulty (and I can always fall asleep) as well as crazy anxiety unlike anything I’ve had in a very long time. I will mention that a while back, my OB had me try two different birth control methods to help with my migraines. Both of them made me feel like I was going crazy. Maybe I’m just another one of those who are more sensitive to the affects of the Vitex. After reading many of your experiences, I think I’ll stop the Vitex and see if it the anxiety and sleep issues go away. The vitamin route seems to make the best sense for me. I’ll focus on that. I’ve already got diet and exercise under control. I wish you all the very best.

  27. Ditto on the bad reaction to vitex. I started taking it for low progesterone, on a naturopath’s suggestion. Took it for three months, and I just stopped a few weeks ago when I realized how terrible I was feeling. Worst mistake I have ever made herbally, and I have made quite a few throughout the years. My breasts have been sore for weeks. I’m having cramps and I shouldn’t even be starting my period for a few weeks. It made me a swollen, emotional wreck. I managed to gain all the weight I lost this year over a few short months, while still eating really well and exercising. I love herbs, and I am grateful for their support. However, I should never have taken vitex.

  28. for me. Vitex work , I have high prolactin and low progestron , from what I read , My question is why are u taking it in the first place ? Did u go for any hormone check before u start it?

    • I took vitex a while back to help me conceive and had terrible reactions to the herb. I have friends who have used it with very positive results so I’m definitely not knocking it. What I found out later might be interesting to some others of you who have serious reactions to the herb. I also supplemented ( after taking the herb and reacting badly) with transdermal progesterone that was compounded for me to suit my individual needs. Again… terrible reaction. When I saw my doctor again, I was in an awful state. Turns out I was having a mild thyroid storm related to several autoimmune diseases. Initially I tested positive for Graves and then later Hashimoto’s, Sjögren’s and lupus. Some women actually have an autoimmune reaction to their own progesterone production. I know this sounds crazy, but if you are reacting severely to this herb and we’re taking it to alleviate other symptoms, you might want to have your doc do a panel to test for autoimmune disease. There are multiple supplements that help, but the best medicine is a calmer lifestyle, more sleep and a diet free of grains and any other foods that you are unable to tolerate. Foods can be reintroduced later to test for reactions. Micronutrient deficiency testing can also help point you to the right supplements. Hope this helps!

  29. I’ve been using Chaste tree for two months now. I’ll continue on it for a while yet. My body creates little to no progesterone so I’m doing well. I’ve always been regular. I’m 40 and have never skipped a menstrual unless pregnant. My issue for the past ten years has been weight issues off and on and extreme pain during ovulation.
    I noticed this time around that about 20 minutes after I took the Chaste tree that my pain subsided! That excites me because even pain killers couldn’t take that pain away. So, all day I take a pill about 3 1/2 hours. Once I got that 4 hour mark I start to feel pain.
    Just wanted to give a positive opinion.

  30. I took vitex for 3 weeks the depression was horrible, I felt ill and could not figure out why. This product should not be sold over the counter it is too strong and dangerous. I am still bleeding and I am not sure when it will stop. I am praying that I have not damaged myself.

  31. Don’t be so scared, unfortunately everything reacts differently for everyone. For all of you wondering if you have permanently damaged your bodies you haven’t. The biological makeup of the herb is not such that that can happen. It will take some time to leave your system and for things to return to what they once where. The other big thing to remember is that feeling emotionally strange is to be expected when playing with hormones until a balance if reached and maintained. The people having suicidal thoughts, I recommend stopping immediately and seeing your Dr straight away.

    There are always going to be two groups of thought on a matter but the only way to know for YOU is to try it and see. Warn your loved ones of the possible side effects you have learned of etc and that way you have a solid support system in place.

    Another good thing to do is go to your Dr and ask them to measure your hormones. ONLY take Vitex if you are progesterone low or wonky in the LH FSH stage of your cycle (like I am). Otherwise the bad effects are more likely to happen.

    Good luck ladies, and remember if in doubt, stop and seeking medical advice ASAP.

  32. I’m 45, take NO drugs whatsoever, and have a med/large uterine fibroid making my life a living hell since Oct. After reading online that Vitex is used by millions of women successfully to shrink fibroids, I gave it a try. I do not suffer from depression at all but my PMS can feel very extreme sometimes. I do not have access to a gyno or have insurance at present. Maybe someday I will find a charity clinic here that will help me but so far, no luck. Anyway, I studied herbalism (Western) for 14 years, worked alongside doctors and therapists, holistic and clinical, and now work in a nursing field. I strongly believe there is NOT ENOUGH documentation on the negative side-effects of taking Vitex. It has devastated my life. I’ve never felt so bad in my life. Crying every day all day, suicidal thoughts, pelvic pain, had a period for a month, weight gain, and days lost unable to walk lumped on the couch in a fog. The day after I stopped taking it (tincture twice a day) I felt normal again, I was stuck at work for 15 hrs, forgot to take it that night, then was called into the hospital with an emergency. 24 hrs later, all emotional and physical problems are resolving, however, the painful pelvic cramping sensation is still there. I wish I could take this for 6 mnths to shrink this fibroid, but I won’t survive another week of this, so, looking at nutritional supplementation and green juicing as an alternative now. The headache was so intense I thought I would need an ambulance. If you have these symptoms after taking Vitex, stop immediately. Wait a week and try again. If you feel the same negative side-effects, consider other alternatives, because THEY ARE OUT THERE!

  33. I would like to try your alternative…can you please briefly explain your reasoning for the vitamin cocktail?
    I’m 42 and was having bad mood swings so my dr. told me to try 250 mg Vitex and I have been on it for almost a month. I was thrilled about the natural alternative, but now I’m starting to have flashbacks of how I felt when I decided to go off the pill in my twenties.
    My boyfriend went to someone from WF that sold him 1000 mg (per Vitex pill) and the bottle says take 2 in the a.m. 2000 mg??? That seems nuts. He figures I need to up the dosage, I guess. I am weary of even being on it, let alone upping the dosage.
    Just want to try the vitamin approach, but would like to better understand what the vitamin combo helps with…thanks for the post!
    Maybe I’m not so crazy afterall :/

  34. Background: I’m 5’3 weighting 171.1lbs I gained about 40lbs while on depo which I started mid august of 2012 my last injection was July 2013 I started TTC January 3rd 2014 but my period has just started to become regular around July or August 2014 I don’t think I ovulate after almost a year of false pregnancy symptoms I decided to start VITEX but let’s rewind before I started VITEX i had pelvic pain to the point I couldn’t walk and lower abdominal and back pains I started VITEX on October 17 2014 been taking 2 500mg CHASTEBERRY every day once in the morning and night . I had so many pregnancy systems that after the first day of taking the 2 pills I stopped because I had intercourse on Oct10,2014 which is the day I was suppose to ovulate i would pee every hour , be extremely tired or sometimes I wouldn’t be able to fall asleep , runny and stuffy nose , boobs would hurt they look as if they grew , abdominal and lower back pain , pelvic pain , nausea etc but I started bleeding light pink for about an hour October 24,2014 then it became darkish bright red with slight clots (TMI) and I figured it’s just my period coming early I usually don’t start till the 28th or 29 and it would last from 5-6 days and will just spot then stop but I been bleeding for a week and it’s no sign of stopping what could be wrong ? Sorry for the long story just a background and I took a pregnancy test it came out negative . I haven’t took VITEX since November 2nd and I stoped bleeding around 7 or 8 pm November 3rd. I think the VITEX caused it I hope and pray I am able to have kids that’s all I want 😦

  35. I was taking vitex because i have irregular menstrual cycle and horrible pms with breast pain,so i thought this might help.Taking this herb was the worst nightmare!!! Im glad i stoped after 3 weeks but still i have mood swings and my cycle is not regular.This might work for some but for me not only that it didnt work it made my hormones worse.

  36. I started taking Vitex a month and a half ago. I didn’t link it at the time, but I had the onset of severe anxiety very soon after I started taking it. It also has messed totally with my cycle. I bled for 2 weeks straight before going off it, and since going off it, I’m bleeding heavier! I hope that it stops soon and leaves my system as soon as possible.

  37. I am so glad to find this post to confirm my suspicion of negative side effects of vitex. I was recommended by my doc to take vitex for my pms. I took 1000mg vitex for 4 days and already I felf like not myself – lightheaded, slow in thinking and less responsive, mildly depressed, difficult to focus and very bad memory; plus physical discomforts like bloated stomach, constipation, breast tenderness and acne outbreak. I searched the web high and low but all articles did not mention the side effects that I experienced, till this post. I just decided not to take vitex and hopefully the side effects will go away quickly and not mess up my coming period. I am lucky to bump into this post and got out fast. Thank you all for sharing your experience.

    • same here!!! startted taking 1000mg about 2 weeks ago and felt fine, then 2 weeks later i startted having cramps which ive never had before mid cycle!! week after very lightheaded, very very bloated,very spaced out and tired. i excercise and eat well but i felt awful and all my clothes were tight!! yesterday i saw my doctor – today tests came back and all is ok with a negetive pregnancy test and so it must all be the vitex. – such a shame as i had such hopes. glad its worked for some of you ladies. best of luck to all. i stopped taking 4 days ago and do feel bit better, herbals usually take a while to work but also to stop working. ill get back to health soon – as i’m sure all you ladies will too. xxx

  38. Did anyone experience a cessation in their period. I took Premular (vitex) for approximately 3 weeks and ceased it as my period did not arrive and I was feeling odd. I am 37 days late and not pregnant, I am 46 and was taking it for PMS. So worried I have thrown my system into early menopause by taking this.

  39. I wish I had found this before trying it! I have been on it for three months. It lengthened my cycle by a week and delayed ovulation. At this point, my temperatures are so unclear, I have no clue if or when I really did ovulate. My cycle was fine before. I also have been severely depressed! Cannot concentrate, cry all the time, and I don’t want to do anything or get out of bed. I have the constant feeling of falling down a black hole at this point. Reading your article just gave me an aha moment. I’m going to ween myself off this week and hope to start fresh. Can you tell me how long it took to get back to normal cycles and moods after this?

    • This was several years ago, but as I remember my mood started to improve in a few days. It took a few weeks for it to stabilize. I was on the pill at the time, so my cycles didn’t change much other than my PMS was much worse. Hope you feel better soon.

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