"Information about Vitex in its Various forms."

Photo: Mama's Morning Vitex Syrup ( 8 fl. oz size)

This syrup is designed to bring balance to the female reproductive cycle. The main herb which is included in this formula, Vitex-agnus castus berries, has a good effect upon the pituitary gland, which produces a variety of hormones, most noteably: "Six important hormones pulus several less important ones are secreted by the anterior pituitary, and two important hormones are secreted by the posterior pituitary. The hormones of the anterior pituitary play major roles in the control of the metabolic functions throughout the body...Human Growth Hormone promotes growth of the entire body by affecting protein formation, cell multiplication, and cell differentiation. Adrenocorticotropin controls the secrtion of some of the adreno-cortical hormones, which in turn affect the metabolism of glucose, proteins, and fats. Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone controls the rate of secretion of thyroxine and triodothyronine by the thyroid gland, and these hormones in turn control the rates of most intracellular chemical reactions of the entire body. Prolactin promotes mammary gland development and milk production. And two separate gonadotropic hormones, called Follicle-stimulating hormone and Luteinizing hormone, control growth of the gonads as well as their hormonal and reproductive activities. The two hormones secreted by the posterior pituitary play other roles. Antidiuretic Hormone contols the rate of water excretion into the urine and in this way helps control the concentration of water in the body fluids. Oxytocin helps deliver milk from the glands of the breast to the nipples during suckling and possibly helps in the delivery of the baby at the end of gestation." Ref. 1 "Textbook of Medical Physiology 9th ed. pg. 933" by Guyton and Hall.

As we can see by the basic information about the hormonal activity of the pituitary gland above, this little gland controls many aspects of our bodily functions by producing the hormones named above, in various amounts. Because of the large number of hormones secreted by the pituitary gland as a whole, and their profound effects of regulation throughout our body, this gland has been referred to as "the master gland." Modern clinical experience and modern scientific research have shown what we refer to as "hormonal balancing effects", which can be experienced by using the herb Vitex over an extended period of time.

"Vitex has an unbeatable safety record. It has been used safely, with no reports of even moderate side effects, for over 2,000 years... Vitex should be used long-term for optimum effects. Clinical research indicates that vitex may begin working after about 10 days, but for full benefit it should be taken for up to six months or longer... It is important to remember that Vitex is creating a fundamental change in the cyclic hormonal balance -- and this takes time." Ref.2, Pg.17 & 18 "Vitex the Women's Herb" by Christopher Hobbs, L.AC.

Dosage information for various Vitex forms: The generally recognized effective dosage of vitex as a single herb is somewhere between 30 drops and 90 drops of the extract made from the small dried berries, with the most common amounts being between 40 and 60 drops. The amount needed is an individual matter, depending upon factors such as the persons constitutional nature or type, and their lifestyle and dietary habits. Also, since the alcohol-water extract is the most effective form, it is recommended over other forms, such as glycerites. Capsules of the herb may be taken, but if this is the preferred form, it is recommended (as with all herbs) that fresh, whole berries be obtained by the person wishing to take the herb, and then these would be ground into a powder and put into capsules, using an encapsulating machine. This process can be accomplished quickly and easily in a home kitchen, and will ensure that the herb is fresh, and will have its desired medicinal effects. The recommended medicinal dosage using size 00 capsules is 3 to 4 capsulesful, taken in the morning.

Herbs are only stable for a year in most cases, when stored away from light and air. When herbs are ground into a powder to allow encapsulation, the rate of breakdown of the medicinal constituents due to oxidation increases dramatically, in large part due to the tremendous increase in surface area which is exposed to light and oxygen.

Synergistic Herbs: Since the single herb Vitex is effective for so many physiological imbalances, which include: uterine fibroids, Irregular menstruation, Pre Menstrual Syndrome (PMS), and endometriosis, "on which German gynecologists have reported remarkable success" Ref. 2 "Vitex, the Women's Herb", it is logical that other herbs, when skillfully combined with Vitex, support and strengthen one or another particular aspect of Vitex's overall effects. An example of this would be in a case of an overabundant amount of estrogen circulating throughout the body. In order to modify this condition, (which is controlled largely by the pituitary gland), Vitex would begin to have a hormonal balancing effect. However if Dandelion root were added to the formula, the liver would be more strongly stimulated to filter out the over-abundant estrogen molecules. This "scouring" action by the liver would remove estrogens from the body causing overall levels of estrogen to be lowered, thus supporting Vitex's overall balancing effects with even more specific effects (from the added Dandelion root), which work to support and address the most specific problems of the person... (which in the above example, was to lower estrogen levels, thereby balancing the hormonal ratio).

So, vitex may be safely combined with other "synergistic"herbs to produce even more specific effects, which can be tailored or formulated to address the specific condition of each person, and which can lead towards re-establishing hormonal balance. Therefore, we refer to these herbs as "synergistic" herbs. Vitex can be taken safely through the first trimester of pregnancy, to help prevent miscarriage. It is also recommended to take it on the day of delivery, and for 10 days afterward in order to stimulate lactation, so that there is not a problem of insufficient milk for breastfeeding. Besides the symptoms which are normally thought of as "hormonally-related", teenage acne (in either males or females) may be helped by taking vitex and by modifying the dietary intake so the changes in direction move us away from sugars and junk foods .

For those who are new to the idea of using herbs as agents of action used to change some aspect of the body's physiological function, welcome! This concept of using multiple herbs in formulas, each working within the formula to support the action of the others, is nearly as old as herbal medicine itself. It is one of the main ideas underpinning the Chinese and Ayeurvedic systems of medicine, which are the two oldest, intact systems of herbal medicine on the Earth.

Now that you know some specific background information regarding Vitex, I would like to say a little about what I had in mind when I formulated "Mamas Morning Vitex Syrup". First, I have used several herbs rich in minerals which can be lacking in those with hormonal imbalances, and which may be one of the root causes of this condition (poor dietary intake). I included many of these herbs due to their high calcium content, since bone density loss may become a problem for many women after menopause. The herbs within the formula are ground up, and wetted with extracts of some of the same herbs contained in the dry herb blend. After an initial "digestion" period, during which the alcohol "loosens" the constituents within the herbs, their herbal properties are infused into a base of pure desert honey, where they are simmered at low temperatures for an entire week. Then, the herbs are pressed, squeezing the liquid out. The resulting syrup contains all the constituents which were formerly within the tissues of the plants. The herbs included are:

Wild Oats, (fresh plant extract), strengthens the nervous system, helping it to recover from stress.

Dandelion root stimulates digestive functions, and stimulates bile production. Dandelion stimulates the liver to break down and remove excess estrogens. This herb also helps to remove excess sodium due to its high potassium levels and diuretic qualities.

Raspberry leaf acts as a tonic, womens herb and has the well-known effect of toning the muscles of the uterus.

Ginger root stimulates blood circulation throughout the entire body. This root contains approximately 5% calcium. It also contains warming volatile oils which dilate blood vessels, helping all herbs contained in the formula to reach all areas of the body more easily. In addition, Ginger root helps improve digestion and relieve gas and bloating due to its carminative properties.

Ladys Mantle has been used extensively throughout history to tonify all the female reproductive organs.

Lemon Balm is one of the herbs which have gentle, calming effects upon the nervous system. Therefore, it can lessen stress. Lemon Balm is quite high in calcium, and has marked anti-viral properties.

Chamomile flowers are included because of their calming and anti-inflammatory properties. Their flavor combines well with the other herbs, and they are very high in calcium content.

Nettle leaf contains the highest levels of nutrients found in any land plant. These nutrients, which may be missing in large part from the modern food supply, play an important role in maintaining the health of every organ in the body. These same minerals also aid in the elimination of toxins from the body.

I have received many positive reports from women clients who continued to use this syrup for a number of months. Some positive effects which were reported include a normalization of menstrual cycles, diminished menstrual bleeding in cases of heavy menstruation, and a lessening of hot flashes. Many women reported feeling their low-energy conditons disappear as hormones once again moved toward their own natural balance. One of the most striking results were experienced by two pregnant woman who had been experiencing exema or psoriasis over most of their bodies in the first trimester. They both reported that all the skin eruptions and other symptoms had gone away completely by the middle of the second trimester.

This syrup is designed so that a medicinal dose of each herb is contained within a tablespoon of this tasty, concentrated syrup. The overall taste of the syrup is similar to blackberries. This is one herbal medicine you will find easy to take. It is recommended that 1 tablespoonful of the syrup be taken each morning on an empty stomach. The Mamas Morning Vitex Syrup is packaged in 8 fluid ounce bottles, which is a 24 day supply for most people.

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