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Using Vitex to Support FSH, LH and Thyroid Health

Using Vitex to Support FSH, LH and Thyroid Health

The amount of information available on Vitex or Chastetree berry (Vitex agnus castus) is so much so that many women come to us confused, concerned and/or interested in its proper use. Below are common questions we receive about the benefits Vitex offers and its proper use.

Q1: “How to incorporate Vitex when I’ve stopped birth control?”

A: Typically, we suggest starting to support the body naturally after stopping birth control by doing a Fertility Cleanse. Cleansing helps “clean the slate” and detoxify excess hormones and toxins in order to help the body better utilize herbs, nutritional supplements, and natural therapies. When cleansing is complete, herbs that support hormonal balance like Vitex could be started. It is easily combined with other herbs, nutritional supplements, and natural therapies as shared in our guide How to Balance Your Hormones After Birth Control.

Q2. “Good day I was told by your advisors to use vitex throughout the month as I’m TTC. But if Vitex inhibits FSH why am I taking this before ovulation. In women, this hormone stimulates the growth of ovarian follicles in the ovary before the release of an egg, is this correct?”

A: Vitex has a nourishing and balancing effect on the pituitary, hypothalamus and organs of the endocrine system. This, in turn, helps to balance the delicate hormonal system, which then causes FSH, LH, Progesterone, Testosterone, etc. to be secreted in proper amounts at the correct times.

FSH is only partially responsible for the production of the ova (eggs).

Vitex is known to encourage luteinizing hormone (LH) production while mildly inhibiting the release of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) when needed. This indirectly boosts progesterone production which is necessary for a healthy endometrial lining in the luteal phase in order to achieve and maintain pregnancy. This is why it is taken before ovulation.

Our site’s founder Hethir Rodriguez, through her research and use of Vitex with clients, has learned that Vitex is best taken all cycle long without taking a break.

Q3: “I recently purchased & received three bottles of vitex, which all remain unopened. Recently, I’ve learned that vitex can raise LH levels. This is not a beneficial for women such as myself who have PCOS with already elevated LH. It is disappointing that this was not mentioned in any of the vitex literature or videos that I reviewed on your website.”

A: Vitex works to balance the hormonal feedback loop, promote ovulation and regular cycles. Vitex has a regulating effect on the pituitary gland, which supports the regular production of and distribution of hormones where the body needs it. This helps in shifting the estrogen to progesterone ratio, which many women with PCOS need. Vitex can also improve cases of androgen (male hormone) excess. The hormone shifting will happen differently for each woman and happens only if needed. We do not know Vitex to cause the body to produce less or more of a hormone that does not need to be adjusted, including luteinizing hormone (LH) and not all women with PCOS have LH excess.

Q4: “A word of warning on Vitex They are not advised if you are hypothyroid :(” (clarify this…)

A: While we understand some herbs and natural therapies are not for everyone, Vitex is not contraindicated for those who have an underactive thyroid (hypothyroid). Vitex offers endocrine support via its actions on the pituitary gland. Vitex helps balance out our “happy hormone” dopamine preventing the ovulation-inhibiting hormone prolactin from being too high. When prolactin is too high the ovaries aren’t likely to properly release progesterone. Without proper progesterone levels, women often experience more PMS and lower thyroid function and many other fertility issues. So, Vitex may actually be beneficial for women with low thyroid function. Every Woman’s Guide to Hypothyroidism and Fertility is a very thorough resource if you are interested in learning more.

Using Vitex for fertility…
Vitex is truly an amazing female fertility boosting herb! It is one of the most popular and beneficial herbs for female hormonal balance and menstrual health. Be sure to seek reputable resources for information on using Vitex and its actions. Here are four guides and a video, as a place to start, if you are interested in learning more:

Vitex… Fertility Super Herb?
Vitex – The #1 Herb for Female Fertility
Top 5 Ways Vitex Boosts Fertility
Vitex: Ancient Symbol of Chastity Helps You Get Pregnant
Video: How to Use Vitex for Fertility

Dr. Christine Traxler M.D., OB/GYN
Dr. Christine Traxler M.D., OB/GYN

Dr. Traxler is a University-trained obstetrician/gynecologist, working with patients in Minnesota for over 20 years. She is a professional medical writer; having authored multiple books on pregnancy and childbirth; textbooks and coursework for medical students and other healthcare providers; and has written over 1000 articles on medical, health, and wellness topics.  Dr. Traxler attended the University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences and University of Minnesota Medical School,  earning a degree in biochemistry with summa cum laude honors in 1981,  and receiving her Medical Doctorate degree (MD) in 1986.

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  1. Avatar

    HI! I have PCOS and my LH level is twice higher than FSH, even though I have no excess of LH (it is between the limits). Will Vitex help me?

  2. Avatar

    I guess I’ll have to do that 🙂 Thx Elizabeth!

  3. Avatar

    Thanks Elizabeth 🙂 I was wondering if I could take only one 600 mg high strength turmeric with pepper capsule/ day instead of twice as recommended by the manufacturer. Will that be enough to have any positive effect?

  4. Avatar

    Hello Elizabeth! I want to start taking turmeric capsules on top of all the other supplements I am already taking. Is that alright? There’ll be no negative interaction between them? Is one 600mg capsule a day enough? And when is the best time to take it? Thanks!

    • Hello again Sakura,

      Vitex, Royal Jelly, Maca, a multivitamin, Omega 3, Ashwagandha and herbal tea are all fine with Turmeric. Recommended use of turmeric:

      Capsule: 400 to 600 mg three times a day
      1:1 Liquid Extract: 5-14 ml per day taken in 4-5 equal doses throughout the day
      Powdered rhizome: 1 teaspoon (approx. 4 g) 1-2 times a day added to your fertility diet.

      It can be taken any time of day throughout the entire cycle.

  5. Avatar

    Dear Elizabeth, thank you so very much for your precious help. I followed your advice and bought a bottle of bee pollen 500 mg. It is suggested to take one to two tablets per day preferably with meals. Given all the other supplements I am already taking, I decided to have one tablet/ day in the morning between vitex and maca. I hope it will be sufficient to do its job! Thank you 🙂

  6. Avatar

    Thank you Elizabeth, you’re so helpful. Would one 500mg tablet a day of bee pollen be enough or should I take two? And when should I take it during the day bearing in mind all the different supplements I am taking. Thank you!

    • Dear Sakura,

      You are welcome!

      There is no standard dose of Bee Pollen. Most resources will say 1/4 teaspoon a day, increasing over time to a teaspoon daily, but that said it’s best to follow the suggested use of the manufacturer you purchase it from.

  7. Avatar

    Thanks Elizabeth for your response. The capsule is filled with powder so it will be tricky to take half. Besides, I am taking Maca, a multivitamin, Omega 3, 300 mg ashwagandha and 1 or 2 cups herbal teas a day. Either raspberry leaf, tulsi, fennel and/ or nettle tea. This latter I started recently, is it fine to take with all the supplements I’m taking? I want to balance my hormones and especially to lower my FSH levels. Am I taking the right approach supplements-wise? Is it fine to add royal jelly on top? I used to take it everyday but was told that I shouldn’t do that but to take it as a course instead and not everyday, say take for 3 weeks and stop for a period before taking again. Thanks

    • Hello again!

      A capsule can be opened and 1/2 dumped out into a small bit of food, the remaining 1/2 closed back up in the capsule and taken the following day. Vitex is fine to take with the herbs, supplements and teas you shared of, which all offer wonderful benefits. Royal Jelly can be added too. I am not sure why you were told not to take it daily, but it can be. It may however be best to consider a supplement with Bee pollen. We share more in our Video: FSH Levels & Fertility – What You Need To Know.

  8. Avatar

    Hello, I am currently taking my vitex (two 400mg capsules) first thing in the morning with warm lemon water, is that OK? Also, is the quantity (800mg/ day) sufficient for balancing my hormones? Thank you!

    • Dear Sakura,

      Taking Vitex with lemon water is just fine. General suggested use of Vitex is 900-1000mg. It is fine to give 800mg a try for a few cycles to see how things go. Another 1/2 a capsule could be added if you felt the need.