“ Brand: Good N Natural / Dosage: Capsules / Dosage Form: Capsules „
***Reasons for Purchase***
I'd never heard of this herbal remedy until earlier this year when I was searching on Google and chat rooms for solutions to a problem of a female nature. When I returned from honeymoon earlier this year, my husband and I decided it was the right time for me to come off the pill, to allow my monthly cycle to return to normal in anticipation of trying to start a family. Unfortunately, I suffered from post-pill amenorrhea, which basically meant my periods had stopped as my body was adjusting to withdrawal symptoms associated to coming off the pill. It gave me awful side-effects, with my hormones flying everywhere and I felt run-down all the time, however the most worrying effect was that I didn't have a natural period. The doctor put my mind at ease after a few tests that all was well, but it is apparently a very common thing to happen after being on the pill for several years.
As is common in these modern times, I spent a lot of time researching this condition on the internet, to see what could be done. A few chat rooms suggested Agnus Castus, as a herbal remedy which helps to kick-start and regulate monthly cycles, so off I trotted to Holland and Barrett and got myself a tub of these.
***What Do They Claim to Do?***
Agnus Castus has been used since ancient times as a female remedy. There is a long list of uses for this herbal remedy, which I won't list in detail as it's too long, but the full listing can be found at http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-agnus-castus.html.
For the female reproductive system, the uses of this product are to help with:
· acne associated with menstrual cycle
· female infertility
· menorrhagia (heavy menstruation)
· menstrual difficulties (secondary amenorrhea)
· premenstrual syndrome
Despite the long list of uses, it has traditionally been used for regulating and controlling the female reproductive system. It relieves menstrual symptoms, and can adjust the production of female hormones, encouraging the stimulation of the release of Leutenizing Hormone which is the hormone released prior to ovulation.
***Side Effects and Warnings***
Side effects can include mild gastrointestinal upset and a mild skin rash with itching. However, this only affects a small proportion of people, and I personally have not experienced any of these side effects. The herb is not suitable for pregnant women either, which is ironic when you consider what it's being used for. I am also doing ovulation testing strips so fortunately I am aware whether there is a chance of me being pregnant or not, otherwise I think I would be quite cautious about taking these.
The Good N Natural brand of Agnus Castus is a slow release formula, and each capsule is 400mg. The advice on the packaging is to take two tablets twice daily, alongside or shortly after food. In total, this 1600mg a day.
The capsules are bullet shaped with a coating that makes them easier to swallow. I find they slip down easily with water, without getting stuck or causing me to gag. They do leave a slight feeling of having something stuck in your throat just after taking them, but this doesn't last long and I tend to drink a fair bit of water after taking them to make sure they are fully flushed through.
Obviously I'm no doctor, nor can I prove or disprove the effectiveness of this product. However, I am pleased to say that exactly a month after I began taking these, I had my first natural period since coming off the pill. Coincidence? Possibly, but I wasn't willing to take the chance and have continued to take them. My cycle before being on the pill was regular but not monthly, it was every six weeks instead. I had hoped that these tablets might regulate it a bit, but unfortunately since that first period, I haven't had another since (and no, I'm not pregnant sadly). I hope these tablets will help to start regulating my cycle before long, because I'm finding the entire thing quite frustrating now.
Whether or not these tablets were responsible for kick-starting me into ovulating, I can't be too certain. However, for the price, I'm willing to continue taking these on the off-chance they might be helping in some way. Like I say, it was a bit of a coincidence that I ovulated a month after taking these, although I am a bit disappointed that six weeks later, I haven't ovulated again. It could also be entirely coincidental because my doctor said it can take six months for post-pill amenorrhea to sort itself out, and that six months is nearly over now, so it could be that it would have sorted itself out eventually anyway.
***Price and Availability***
Currently available from Holland and Barrett, or online, it's worth shopping around or buying this when it's on offer. The first tub I bought contained 200 capsules, and was half price costing me £5.50 instead of £11. When I ran out recently, however, the tub containing 100 capsules cost £7.99. If I need any more in future I'll probably shop round but at the time I just needed them and didn't want to wait for online delivery.