In this study, 128 women were randomized to receive 40 drops of Vitex extract or matching placebo administered for 6 days before their menstrual cycle for 6 consecutive cycles. The mean ages were 30.77 years in the active group and 30.89 (SD=4.02) years in the placebo group. Participants answered a self-assessment questionnaire about headache, anger, irritability, depression, breast fullness and bloating, and tympani before and after 6 menstrual cycles. Each item was rated using a visual analogue scale (VAS). There was a significant difference in the variables in both groups before and after the study (P<0.0001), as well as between groups (P<0.0001). Researchers concluded that Vitex agnus may be an effective treatment for controlling symptoms associated with mild and moderate PMS, and that larger studies are warranted.
van Die MD, et al. Hypericum perforatum with Vitex agnus-castus in menopausal symptoms: a randomized, controlled trial. Menopause. 2009;16:156-163.
Chasteberry in combination with St. John’s wort was evaluated for effects on menopausal symptoms in a double-blind, randomized, controlled trial (RCT). A total of 100 women who were either late-perimenopausal or postmenopausal and experiencing hot flushes and other related symptoms received either chasteberry 500 mg twice daily and St. John’s wort 300 mg 3 tablets daily, or placebo. The combination regimen was determined by referring to previous RCTs and current popular usage of these herbs. Frequency and severity of hot flush episodes was used as the primary endpoint, with secondary endpoints including Greene Climacteric Scale scores, Hamilton Depression Inventory scores, and Utian Quality of Life Scale scores. Among 93 women who completed the study, there were no significant between-group differences for any endpoint over the 16 week period, and no significant differences at interim weeks 4, 8, or 12 for daily weighted flushes or secondary endpoint scores. However, across the treatment phase, both placebo and active treatment groups did experience significant improvements for these endpoints, leading investigators to conclude that this herbal combination was not superior to placebo in treating menopausal symptoms. The active treatment regimen was also well tolerated among participants.