In this randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study conducted on Chinese women with moderate to severe premenstrual syndrome, the effectiveness of Vitex extract (also known as Chasteberry) was judged by the daily scoring of four symptom factors: negative emotional affect water retention, food cravings, and pain.
Sixty-seven patients were enrolled and randomly assigned to receive one tablet of Vitex extract or a placebo once a day. The premenstrual syndrome diary (PMSD) sum score decreased from 29.38 score points at the beginning of the study to 4.28 at the 3rd cycle in the treatment group. All the four symptom factor scores were significantly reduced by the 3rd treatment cycle. Premenstrual syndrome diary scores decreasing by 60% was defined as efficacy, and the efficacy rate in the treatment group was significantly higher than that in the placebo group at the 3rd treatment cycle.
The study authors concluded:
“Vitex agnus castus extract (BNO 1095) is effective in treating moderate to severe PMS in Chinese women, especially in symptoms of negative affect and water retention.”