Herbal Remedy for Premenstrual Syndrome?

EXTRACTS OF the chaste tree berry may help relieve the monthly discomfort and mood swings of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), report researchers at Huttenberg, Germany's, Institute for Health Care and Science. The investigators recruited 170 women previously diagnosed with PMS. Each took either 20 milligrams of chaste tree berry extract (the standard dose) or a placebo pill daily for 3 months. The women assessed their own symptoms of PMS--irritability, anger, mood alterations, headache, breast tenderness, and bloating.

After the 3 months were up, the women who took the herb reported markedly milder symptoms compared with the women who took the placebo. Only the degree of bloating wasn't affected by chaste tree berry treatment.

But before you run out and buy the herb, note that it can interfere with the effectiveness of hormone-based medications, including birth control pills. Furthermore, there have been no long-term studies. While no harm was seen after 3 months, no one knows what would happen after, say, 3 years.

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