Vitex dose and contraindications

by Paul Bergner

Medical Herbalism 04-30-94 6(1): 12

The Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism regularly publishes extensive herb monographs, sometimes as many as three per issue. In a recent review of chaste berry (Vitex agnus-castus), author Cheryl Du Mee reviews reports of contraindications and dosage. She suggests that vitex is not appropriate for children, postmenopausal women, or when hormones are being prescribed for birth control or estrogen replacement. The only side effects she reports are possible increase in menstrual flow volume, and rare but dose-dependent persistent headache. She recommends a daily dose of 3-10 mL of a 1:5 tincture per day taken as a single dose each morning throughout the cycle. If a larger dose is needed, a second dose can be taken at 4PM. Prolonged high doses should be avoided. Normally, vitex prescriptions should be persisted in without break for six months, even if benefits are noted in the first few cycles.

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