Monday, April 14, 2014

Vitex.. Is it safe?

Are you thinking if taking Vitex? Read this article. Makes me feel pretty good about taking it!! 

.•*•.•*•.BabyDust.•*•.•*•.•*•.•*



Vitex.... Fertility Super Herb?
By Hethir Rodriguez 

 http://natural-fertility-info.com/vitex

Vitex is a beautiful shrub native to Greece and Italy whose berries have been used in herbal medicine for centuries. It is considered one of the most popular herbs in Europe and other Western nations for the support of gynecological imbalances.

Modern clinical research and traditional use of vitex have shown its amazing ability to help balance fertility hormones. Since vitex does not contain hormones it has a supportive, gentle and non direct action on the body. Vitex is one of the most useful fertility herbs available to us.

How Vitex Works

Our current understanding of vitex is that it has a supporting and regulating effect upon the pituitary gland. The pituitary is known as the “master gland” because it controls many vital bodily functions such sending chemical signals to the ovaries, telling them how much hormones to make. This communication is known as the hormonal feedback loop.

Vitex has been shown in studies to:

Vitex is one of the best fertility herbs available to us when it comes to balancing hormones and regulating the menstrual cycle.

Inhibit follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH): Vitex increases the secretion of luteinising hormone (LH), which in turn increases progesterone.

Lengthens a short luteal phase:Studies have shown vitex to be affective at lengthening the luteal phase. While it does not contain any hormones itself, it does help the body to increase its own production of luteinizing hormone (promoting ovulation to occur) which in turns boosts progesterone levels during the luteal phase of the cycle.

Increased progesterone levels: Vitex has been shown to stimulate the formation of the corpus luteum. The corpus luteum is responsible for the secretion of progesterone. In a study of 45 women, 86% responded positively with normalized or significantly improved progesterone levels.

Reduces advancement of mild endometriosis: Vitex is used in Germany by gynecologists to treat mild endometriosis and prevent it from advancing.

May help prevent miscarriage: Vitex has a beneficial impact on progesterone levels. If miscarriages are due to low progesterone, vitex may help to normalize or increase progesterone levels. Vitex may be considered safe to use during pregnancy, but make sure to consult with a healthcare practitioner when using this herb during pregnancy. Also make sure to read our ‘Use During Pregnancy’ section below.

Relieves PMS: Clinical research has shown that vitex may be very beneficial for PMS symptoms, especially depression, headaches, rashes, acne, allergies and sensitivity of the breasts. In one study improvement of PMS by the first month was experienced by 32% of the women. By the third month 84% of the women experienced improvement of their PMS.

Lack of menstruation (amenorrhea): In a study of 15 women with amenorrhea, 65% had resumed a menstrual cycle by the sixth month of use. Progesterone levels also increased.

Irregular menstruation: Vitex has been shown to help balance both an absent menstrual cycle as well as aid a menstrual cycle that is heavy or too frequent.

Uterine cysts: Vitex has been found to be helpful at reducing cysts that are growing within the smooth muscle layer of the uterus.

Stabilization of menstruation after stopping birth-control pills: After discontinuing estrogen-containing birth control pills, vitex taken for several months has been shown to help stabilize the cycle and induce ovulation more quickly.

Helps stimulate milk production in new mothers: For over 2,000 years vitex has been used to help stimulate mother’s milk. Begin using vitex right after birth and continue for 10 days or more as needed.

Acne: Several studies have shown an improvement in the skin with the use of vitex. Along with appropriate diet changes vitex may help acne.

Vitex can help basically any issues that one experiences that disappear once pregnancy begins and returns after breastfeeding ends.

How to Use Vitex

For optimal results vitex should be taken long-term. Clinical research shows that vitex may start working within 10 days, but full benefits may not be experienced until 6 months or longer. For PMS results are normally seen by the second menstrual cycle. But for lasting changes it may need to be taken for up to a year or more depending on how long the imbalance has been present.

Vitex is making fundamental changes in the delicate chemical chemistry of the body, this is why it takes some time to have an effect. Since vitex is a harmonizing and nourishing herb, it works  behind the scenes to restore balance in a gentle way. Unlike a refined synthetic drug which forces the body to change, vitex works to nourish and support the system bringing about long term balance.

Vitex use & Dosage
Vitex is generally suggested to be taken once a day in the morning on an empty stomach (half an hour before breakfast). If vitex is being used as part of a herbal blend containing other herbs, use as directed on the bottle. Vitex should be used all month long without a break.

  • Capsules: 900-1,000mg a day
  • Tincture: 60-90 drops a day

Which is the best vitex to take?
Vitex comes in many forms, loose herbs, capsules, tea, tincture and powder. We find that capsules and tinctureoffer the most consistent results since it is easier to control the dosage. Many of the compounds needed from vitex are easily extracted in alcohol (tincture) versus water (tea). Vitex is very strong tasting, almost bitter, so I would not suggest making a tea unless you blend other herbs with it, that is one reason capsules are so convenient.

Does Vitex Work for Everyone?

Vitex generally works for most adult women in their childbearing years (from age 18-perimenopause), but there are some cases where it may have no effect.

Women who have less than ideal lifestyle habits will probably not experience the full effects of vitex. For those who have low energy reserves, weak immune systems, eat mostly processed foods, have been on antibiotics or steroids for a while – changes in diet and lifestyle are necessary prior to beginning the use of vitex. Without making these changes in addition to using vitex, you may not experience results.

Perimenopause is the time leading up to menopause.Perimenopause typically begins at the age of 40. As perimenopause progresses toward menopause, it is normal for menstrual cycles to become irregular and for hormone levels to fluctuate. As ovarian reserve diminishes and egg health declines, FSH levels may rise. For some women vitex may be helpful in maintaining regular cycles and lowering higher FSH levels, but vitex cannot reverse the aging process. It may or many not be effective for women in perimenopause, each woman is different. Vitex cannot bring back the menstrual cycle in women who have gone through menopause.

Safety & Side Effects

Vitex has been used for over 2,000 years with no significant side-effects reported. Some minor and infrequent side-effects (1-2% of users may experience) have been nausea, gastrointestinal upset, skin reactions, and headache. Women with a history of depression taking vitex for menstrual irregularity may experience an exacerbation of depressive symptoms.

Even though it has been shown to have no interference with oral contraceptive vitex should not be used in conjunction with prescribed progesterone containing medication such as birth control pills in case it may interfere with their activity.

Some women do experience a shift in their cycle when they first begin using vitex. The length of the menstrual cycle may shorten or lengthen temporarily before it finally stabilizes. This is just the body balancing itself out and is completely normal.

Safety ratings

  • German Commission E has approved the use of vitex for menstrual cycle irregularities, premenstrual disturbances, and mastodynia.
  • The Botanical Safety Handbook had categorized vitex as a class 1 herb . Class 1 herbs are herbs that can be safely consumed when used appropriately.

Vitex use During Pregnancy

It is believed that vitex’s ability to increase progesterone levels has explained the positive results seen by herbalists and midwives who used it to help prevent recurrent miscarriages in women. No studies on humans have been done yet supporting this, only traditional usage. There have been reproductive toxicology studies with female rats where they were given up to 80 times the concentrated used clinically in humans, showing no difference in offspring compared with the rates given none.

According to German research, vitex can be taken safely through the end of the third month of pregnancy and may help prevent miscarriage. It is still considered safe to take after the third month, but may stimulate lactation too early, so for this reason it is suggested to not continue after the third month of pregnancy. Also at month three of pregnancy is the time the placenta takes over progesterone production on its own so vitex most likely won’t be needed anyways.

If you are deciding to use vitex during pregnancy, we suggest you consult with an herbalist or midwife for guidance and supervision.

Summary

Vitex is a fantastic herb for fertility, helping with a range if issues such as PMS, low progesterone, lack of ovulation, irregular menstrual cycles, lack of a menstrual cycle, acne and so much more. Vitex offers many benefits but requires patience and consistency of use. It should be used all month long and taken as one dose in the morning on an empty stomach.


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This site is great! Check it out!!


http://Natural-Fertility-Info.com 


~Jen

Saturday, April 12, 2014

TTC and Over 30...

:x 

I won't make this too long, because every mommy- in -waiting who is over 30 has been there before..


Somehow the topic of kids keeps coming up around my baby-maching brother in law. He started making his kids in his teens with same age girls.... Young. Teens and twenties. 

His brother is older than him by a couple of years I think and I'm in my late thirties. (36) 

Well, he has a habit of getting on his soapbox about how women are waiting too long to have kids and how our bodies can't make a healthy baby after a certain age. At first the age was 30- something, now I GUESS realizing I always walk away when he starts this convo, AND I'm over 30, he has moved it up to 40. But STILL says older men will likely have disabled children or children with downs syndrome or SOMETHING suggesting we not even attempt it! :x

What's worse is it SEEMS DH is trying to use it as an excuse to not even try sometimes. It's like I'm fighting a friggin' uphill battle!! It's exhausting and painful. :cry: 


:babyg: Jen :babyb:

For PCOS Victims. ❤️

Healthy Diet for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome - Topic Overview

The metabolic changes that happen with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can increase your risk of becoming overweight or obese. You may also have developed some poor eating habits. A healthy diet helps you lose weight or stay at a healthy weight. Controlling your weight can decrease your insulin levels and may result in more regular menstrual cycles. This may relieve some of the symptoms of PCOS.

Here are some tips for choosing a healthy diet.

  • Watch your portions. Learn what equals one serving for each of the food groups, and make sure you are not eating portions that are larger than the recommended serving.
  • Eat a low-calorie diet.
  • Eat low-fat foods. A low-fat diet (less than 30% of calories from fat) helps you manage your weight and helps reduce your risk of heart and metabolic problems with PCOS. Don't forget, though, that the total calories you eat are still an important part of managing your weight.
  • Save high-fat food for a special occasion. Fat is a concentrated source of calories and it is tasty, making it easy to eat too many calories. Choose lean meats and meat alternatives to help you decrease the high-fat foods in your diet.
  • Limit foods and liquids that are high in sugar. Beverages and foods that have sugar add calories but may not add much nutrition to your diet. Substitute naturally flavored water (without added sugars) for high-sugar drinks (including high-sugar juice drinks). Don't substitute diet drinks-they have higher levels of sodium and caffeine.
  • Eat plenty of foods that are high in iron and calcium.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink moderate amounts (no more than 1 drink a day for a woman). Drinking excess alcohol increases abdominal fat and your risk ofheart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Source: WebMD

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Dang It!!

  I've started taking my temperature and it's going ok. EXCEPT I KEEP FORGETTING TO!! LoL! 

I've been using the Kindara app to keep track. It's free at the App Store, just search "Kindara". It has settings to track temperature, ovulation, cervical mucus and position. Then, if you finally get your sticky bean, a pregnancy mode. It's a pretty neat app. I'll give it a review when I get my BFP!! LoL!

Anyway, my temperature fluctuates so much from day to day, and I can never do it when I first wake up. So what I'm thinking of dining is just checking it at the same time everyday. I think that's why I keep getting so much variation. It's not by a degree, but several tenths of a degree. Still, it looks like a HUGE spike, but really I guess it's not. 

  It's not really a big deal yet. Just practice, as AF has yet to grace me with her presence. I'm giving this cycle 80 days, well 92 days or 2 cycles time to show up. If not, I'll start the Vitex. I'm already talking a multivitamin daily. (Geritol Complete.) 

I'm also going to, sadly, have to drop a few pounds. Yes, I hate diets and like to let this body do it's thing. I'm all for health, but diets just feel too much like a death vice! LoL! Still, I think I need to get healthier anyway, and what a better reason than a baby!! :D

Ok, enough rambling for today. 


.•*•.•*•.Babydust.•*•.•*•.•*

~J

About Me

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I'm a Georgia Peach, Living in Florida, just moved from Alabama, after moving from Florida! I'm a true nomad. I'm interested in bettering spirit, body, and mind. I'm Seekin' Zen and takin' names!