Agnus Castus – Balance your hormones

USES Pre-menstrual syndrome / tension (PMS/PMT), teenage acne.

HISTORY Agnus Castus was well known in ancient times and featured in Homer’s 6th- century BC epic The Iliad, as a symbol of chastity capable of warding off evil. As the name chaste tree implies, it was thought to reduce sexual desire and traditionally monks chewed it to reduce unwanted libido.


Vitex Agnus Castus aka Chaste Tree

HOW IT WORKS Research has confirmed that Agnus Castus has a hormonal action. A study in Germany indicated that the berries have a progesterogenic effect, acting on the pituitary gland, which regulates the menstrual cycle. It also has been reported to possess the ability to inhibit Prolactin.

Both these actions are thought to be important in PMS, particularly as many who suffer with the problem have a greater sensitivity to Prolactin.

Agnus Castus has also been found to be beneficial in the treatment of teenage acne in both men and women due to its balancing effect on hormones.

Prostate Enlargement – A growing problem

‘Saw Palmetto appears to have the efficacy similar to that of medications like finasteride, but is better tolerated. Reported side effects are rare.’- American Family Physician

The frequency and severity of benign prostate enlargement (BPH =benign prostatic hypertrophy) increases with age, and symptoms will tend to worsen if the condition is not treated. With a large and increasing number of men affected, many seek advice from their GPs and pharmacists on means of easing the unpleasant symptoms without suffering the side effects common with pharmaceutical drugs.

Saw Palmetto

Sabal serrulato

Saw Palmetto and BPH

In the UK and Ireland, management of BPH has mainly focused on drug or surgical treatments and the use of herbal medicine is not common. In Germany and Switzerland, Saw Palmetto is extensively used as first line treatment against mild to moderate cases of BPH. It provides therapeutic effects equal to those achieved with conventional drug treatments.

Solidago – Goldenrod – Kidney Tonic


A bumblebee pollinating European Goldenrod – Solidago Virgaurea

USES: diuretic (fluid retention), improves renal function, kidney tonic.

HOW IT WORKS: Whilst Solidago has diuretic action, this is not the prime role of the plant. Solidago, aka. Goldenrod or Woundwort, has been shown to have important anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic and antiseptic action and seems to strengthen kidney function.

This makes it useful as an agent to counter inflammation and irritation of the kidneys, when an infection or stones are present. The diuretic action is also useful in helping to dissolve kidney stones.


European Goldenrod – Woundwort