Research Notes

An Herbal Cure for PMS? Approaches to treating premenstrual syndrome (PMS) include taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as Prozac, rubbing in progesterone creams, and eating more essential fatty acids, all of which are of questionable efficacy. An Internet search turns up the usual "food supplement" remedies. "Herbal solace," for example, offers as a main ingredient phenylalinine, an "element" that is found naturally in some plants and animals. This makes some sense, for phenyla

Ricki Lewis
Mar 4, 2001

An Herbal Cure for PMS?

Approaches to treating premenstrual syndrome (PMS) include taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as Prozac, rubbing in progesterone creams, and eating more essential fatty acids, all of which are of questionable efficacy. An Internet search turns up the usual "food supplement" remedies. "Herbal solace," for example, offers as a main ingredient phenylalinine, an "element" that is found naturally in some plants and animals. This makes some sense, for phenylalinine begets tyrosine, which begets the mood-stabilizing serotonin. The product also provides extracts of wild yam, licorice root, juniper berry, red raspberry leaf, valerian root, ginger root, and a few other items. Not in the recipe, however, is extract of Vitex agnus castus, or the chasteberry tree, for its inhibiting effects on the libido. Known in health food circles as agnus castus, this plant contains various flavonoids, glycosides, and compounds related to our own sex...

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