Does Vitex Work?

Vitex and Scientific Evidence

There is growing evidence that suggests the effectiveness of vitex for PMS and PMDD. One small study suggested that the supplement might be as effective as fluoxetine (Prozac®, Sarafem®, Selfemra) for treating PMDD, although it seemed to work better for the physical symptoms (rather than the mood symptoms). Other small studies suggest that it is possibly effective for treating PMS symptoms.
One study indicated that taking vitex might increase the chance of pregnancy for women with infertility due to various causes (including absent menstrual periods, luteal phase defect, and unknown causes). It should be noted that this study showed that it could take several months for vitex to have an effect. Early research also suggests that vitex may help relieve cyclic breast pain.
There is not enough scientific evidence to suggest that vitex really works for any other use, including for stimulating breast milk supply, one of the most common uses for the herb (see Vitex and Breastfeeding).

Final Thoughts on the Effectiveness of Vitex

There is little high-quality evidence to show that this supplement really works for many uses, although it seems to show promise for some conditions. As is often the case with dietary supplements, some of the more outlandish claims about the health benefits of vitex should be viewed with skepticism (or at the very least, with caution), until more research is available.

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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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