Q&A about Vitex (Agnus Castus) for Female Hormonal Acne

Ever since I posted this article about treating female hormonal acne, there’s been some discussion about Vitex (also known exclusively as Agnus Castus in Europe… I think I confused quite a few European readers with that one!)

Vitex is an herb that can potentially be used to naturally regulate hormones, which will hopefully lead to clearer skin and fewer PMS symptoms.

What’s the deal? How do I know if Vitex is right for me? How much to take? What about potential side effects? 

I’m learning right alongside you guys, so this is some information that I have taken in since listening to your feedback. I am also going to be sharing with you a little Q & A on Vitex from a reader named Andrea, who posted this in the private forums of the last 7 Day Candida Cleanse Challenge (next one starts May 13th 2013! Sign up now).

How Do I Know if Vitex is Right For Me?

While Estroblock (aka DIM  – the other major supplement I recommended in that article) generally seems to be pretty side effect free and, I feel, worth giving it a shot just to see if it works…. however, some women who take Vitex do experience side effects. Not all, or even most – but some do. So you may want to proceed with a bit more caution.

It seems to be that women who have the hormonal imbalance of low progesterone are the ones who need Vitex. Vitex supports the pituitary gland to tell the ovaries to produce the correct amount of progesterone.

How do you know if you have low progesterone? Common symptoms that may come and go throughout the month include:

  • acne
  • weight loss
  • swollen belly
  • hair loss
  • hair on the arms and face
  • hot flashes and sweats
  • irritability especially before period
  • mood swings
  • irregular periods

These are also common symptoms that appear after women quit the birth control pill. Low progesterone is usually the imbalance they have, and Vitex often works very well for them to help balance things. Even if you haven’t recently quit birth control pills, if you have these symptoms, Vitex is likely to help.

I also recently read a comment from a reader who said “Vitex should only be taken if you have irregular periods. If you have very regular periods, then it could make things worse”

What Are Potential Side Effects?

Some women experience nausea, headaches, dry mouth, insomnia, weight gain, more acne, or even mild depression when taking Vitex. Sorry, I know that sounds scary.

However, the vast majority of women do not experience these things, and the good thing is that now you are aware of them. Since you know what to look for, if you do start to experience them, you can just quit taking the herb. From what I’ve read, the symptoms always go away very quickly after you quit taking it and are not permanent.

There are also some potential drug reactions. I won’t get into listing all that, but if you are on medication, then be sure to research drug interactions with Vitex to make sure there isn’t an issue. I also would not take it while you are on hormonal birth control.

Can I Take Estroblock and Vitex at the Same Time?

Yes, you can. Estroblock is for helping your liver to naturally metabolize bad estrogens that come through your body from our environment (like from plastics and numerous other sources so they can be hard to avoid). Vitex helps you naturally regulate your own progesterone. So they kind of do two different things and can be used together.

And here’s the little Q&A from Andrea, who shares her experience with Vitex and answers some more questions that you may have:

What is the Dosage you are Taking?

I have always been taking 400mg of Vitex Agnus Castus. The ones I take are from a UK Health Food Shop called Holland and Barrett. The company Good ‘n Natural Select Herbals make the brand I use. Directions say “take two capsules twice daily, preferably with meals, swallow with water, don’t exceed dose”.

Did you Experience any Side Effects?

Only seemingly good ones. I reckon I have been on Agnus Castus for a year.

I was on various contraceptive pills for about 10 years. I always felt terrible and had migraines, felt like my body was hollow (very odd feeling), felt on edge and irritable when I came off the pill to have a period, as per the instructions. My body did not like synthetic hormones.

All doctors dismissed my theory that the pill was causing my terrible crashes. I changed pill and changed pill on their suggestion. I dreaded my period and got very down and would often have to take a day off work a month to “cope” with the hormone crash.

Getting totally fed up I decided to say to the doctor I wanted to totally come off the pill. They tried to convince me otherwise but I wanted to try. It’s my body after all. It took a fair few periods to rid my body of the synthetic hormones. I was careful not to get pregnant but eventually decided I did not want to rely on barrier methods (sorry if this is a bit personal or if you have different views on contraception to me – but I thought I would be honest with you about my journey).

I spoke to a friend who had a coil (IUD) fitted. Did my research, spoke to my female doctor and went ahead.  I decided to have the non-hormonal coil and have to say I’m VERY happy. Contraception with no side effects (periods are a bit heavier) and no barriers.

I still experienced PMT and could be a real b***h a few days before my period, getting very frustrated and angry but the physical illness I felt reduced massively. Fed up with synthetic rubbish I visited Neal’s Yard in the UK who are good at all herbal stuff. She recommended Angus Castus for my PMS.

Being cautious of one person’s opinion I called the helpline at Holland and Barrett who also recommended it to me for my symptoms. I definitely think Agnus Castus has helped me. As they are powerful things, I can still be affected by hormones physically and in mood. But I am better than I was!!

What is Your Overall Evaluation?

Very good. Will take a while to work into your system. Not 100% cured me but certainly lessened the hormonal waves. I have to say I still feel ropey for a day before my period (headache) but happy to go to work. Hormones are seriously powerful things.  Although they are a nightmare sometimes, it’s what makes us female and able to have children so I would not be without them really. Can lessen their side effects though.

Would recommend but would say you need to investigate with an herbalist if it will fit with other medication you are on/other health issues you may have. Also keep hydrated. Hydration helps with flushing out toxins.

For How Long Have You Been Taking It?

A year I reckon. I have to say I am good at taking pills in the morning with breakfast. At dinner I seem to forget. To this end, I have only really been taking my brand of Agnus Castus once a day, not the stated twice! I am a bit rubbish and don’t help myself sometimes!! :) Maybe after writing this I will try to get better!!

How Soon Did You See Any Results After Taking It?

Couple of months. The key is to decide you are going to try something and stick with it for months. It will take a while to build into your system and don’t expect marked results right away. The best things come to those who wait! I don’t see me coming off mine. They are now just part of my routine and have never considered stopping them.

I know what it’s like to research medicines/herbal remedies… it’s a nightmare. There are often good stories and nightmare stories sitting alongside one another.

I would say that I do not know you or any of the medication you are on so would not “recommend” Agnus Castus to you. You will have to make the decision yourself. However I would highly recommend you pop to a health food shop/herbalist and seek their advice. They will know if the herbs will “go” with your body.

I have only seen good things in myself while taking Angus Castus. Learning to listen to your own body is something I have had to learn. I know what my body feels like before a period/when my period is due, so these days try to plan around it to give myself a fighting chance.

Personally I try to have an easy time before my period, i.e. not make huge going out plans, but try to book some relaxing me time in to read or chill out. I try to eat a little more before period to keep blood sugar levels up (avoiding major raw sugar and going low GI stuff). This boosts my body. I know when to give in and take pain killers and go to bed. Oh the joys of being female  :)

All the best, hope the lengthily above ramberlings assists you.  – Andrea x.

Watch Me Talk About Vitex Agnus Castus in Video Form

Have you used vitex or are using it? What have your experiences been with it?

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  1. Julie says

    Yay, you’re back!!! So nice to see you just talking like you used to!! Wonderful video and I LOVE your haircut, super cute!

      • M says

        Im trying to conceive but also have some hormonal acne that I’m trying to get rid off. Im currently taking two x DIM and two x burdock root a day and planning to add Vitex cuz I also have horrible irregular periods. Do you suggest me to take all these while Im taking prenatal vitamins? (1000 mcg of folic acid, 200 mg of DHA, 1200 mg of calcium)

        • Tracy says

          I don’t see why it would be a problem to take them with prenatal vitamins, but read up on the recommendations for whether you should take these once you actually get pregnant.. a low dose of DIM is supposed to be okay, and some women take vitex into their second trimester. Don’t know about burdock root. Please double check these with your own research.

    • says

      I appreciate your post and that you have an ebook. I’m incredibly turned off by how advertised you have your ebook which makes me not want to buy the ebook. I am a student, I have a limited budget which I’ve devoted a lot to clearing up my acne. I really just want a solution without something that will take up more of my money and time. I’m desperate as you may have felt when you were experiencing your own acne. I have put myself on an elimination diet, tried detoxifying through other means, changing to better make-up, many, many natural cures. Your post is great, because you talk about 3 different specific supplements. What I’m curious about is what else does your ebook offer that I did not benefit from reading your post? Please help this desperate diva!
      And thank you for giving insight on this frustrating matter!
      Much love and light,

      • says

        Hi Amber, the ebook (if you’re talking the Hormonal Acne Guide ebook??) goes into far more depth explaining how your hormones work and how they create acne, and different types of hormonal imbalances and supplements and methods to treat them, as well as how to get your hormones tested, etc. It’s there if you feel the need to expand your knowledge on what’s written here in this free article, but no one is forcing you to buy it. Sorry if you don’t like the advertising, but I have to advertise it, otherwise those who want this expanded knowledge wouldn’t know it existed :)

  2. Christelle says

    I’ve been taking vitex for a year now, since I quit the pill, and I have had regular cycles for this whole year (I took 400mg/day at first, and then I took that same dosage, but only two to three times a week). Before I went on birth control, my cycles were very irregular. I’m sure vitex has helped immensely. I stopped taking vitex last month and got my period no problem this time round. I would definitely recommend it over progesterone cream (which made me feel bloated and irritated). One thing I noticed though is that the whole time I was taking vitex my period took a long time getting started (basically 7 days just spotting, and then 3 days intense period). This month I had a much more “normal” period that started up straight away, and lasted much less time. Not sure how this relates to vitex, but just thought I’d include that info in case anybody has experienced similar symptoms. :-)

    • Ryan Brooke says

      Hi Christelle,
      I’m currently on the progesterone cream and really want to get off of it! I’ve been on it for about three months now. I went off of birth control about 9 months ago and my whole body completely broke out in cystic acne! The progesterone has helped with the acne but it hasn’t given me a regular period at all. Just a little spotting here and there… I know I have a progesterone deficiency and I’ve had an irregular period my whole life (except when on the pill). You mentioned you switched from progesterone cream to Vitex. Was this an easy transition?? I really can’t handle having my body freak out like it did when I went off the pill…

  3. Susan says

    I have been taking Vitex for a couple of months. I stopped taking birth control about 6 months ago, and didn’t get my period back until I had been on Vitex for a few weeks. I have not had any negative side effects from it, I’m so glad there is a natural way out there that brought my hormones into balance!

  4. Kitiara says

    This sounds super helpful, however the one thing I will say about herbs is that when taking them, you should really take them in cycles so they stay potent to your body. Usually two weeks on, one week off is sufficient. When first taking the herb, you can even go for three weeks without a break (so you can load your body up with the herbal goodness), but it IS important to stay on a cycle after that.

    If anyone knows if vitex is somehow different in that regard, please correct me. :)

  5. Gabby says

    Hi everyone, I’ve been taking vitex for my skin after walking into a health food store and the owner recommending it to me. My cycles are already regular and I take the 2 tablets a day (when I remember). I noticed an improvement in my skin within a few weeks- it really clears it up for me. Alto I’m taking it at the moment and my skin is still breaking out but I am pretty stressed with long work hours and no time to exercise- so I’d say it works best when everything is working together- diet/exercise/sleep/mind.

  6. vijjiraj says

    I am having clear skin i use to get acne before my periods,and it will be clear after my periods,but this is the first time in my life i got very bad acne,before that i did lemonade detox diet,so my cycle went to 29 days instead of 27,i changed my diet i use to drink carrot juice in my breakfast and snack is prunes min 7 max 10 this is the new i eat for the first time.So i think this prunes gave me the acne,please help me

  7. Sarah says

    Hi Tracey, just wanted to ask what cleansing method you are using on your skin now? Still the caveman? I have tried that for a while as my skin gets so flakey and dry when I was my face. I also find it hard to find a moisturiser that doesn’t clog my pores and make me break out.. I have sensitive skin, and was thinking about trying joboba oil.. I’ve just started estroblock too, 3rd week of taking it!

    • Tracy says

      Yes, still doing the caveman! How long did you try it for? Your skin will definitely be flakey at first until it heals, that’s a given

      • Sarah says

        I tried it for months and it seemed to work really well for a while.. I was actually having regular saunas too at that time. Do you ever get your skin wet? As I regularly don’t wash my face and then get it wet 3 x a week in the shower.. I’ve been using bentonite clay too. And do you use moisturiser of any kind?

  8. Emily says

    I have a question- I’m taking Chaste Tree, a Standard Process supplement, is that similar to Vitex? Also I bought your e-book Ultimate Secrets to Acne Freedom about four months ago, did the whole lifestyle, skincare, and diet change, even stopped using makeup for a month. Which didn’t help me or my stress level! haha But I still have moderate acne all over my entire face. My cheeks especially are very infected, but there is not one area of my face that doesn’t break out. I’m 17 and everyone assumes I’m just hormonal, probably have PMS, etc. but I actually never get cramps, my mood is perfectly even, and my cycle is regular. I’m taking all the supplements I should for my liver, and eat lots of zinc rich foods. I am completely at a loss! Do you have any suggestions?

    • Tracy says

      Hi Emily,
      I’m sorry to hear you’re still going through this! So in a situation like this where you’ve done everything and you’re still getting moderate acne, I can’t say for sure what it is, but I can give some suggestions about some random things that it COULD be:
      1. A food sensitivity to something. This is the most likely one, as you can technically be sensitive to anything, not just typical things like dairy or wheat. Or maybe you have a candida issue?
      2. Something like a sensitivity to fluoride in your water
      3. Some kind of specific nutritional deficiency – I even had someone email me and said she found out that she had a mutation in the gene that encodes for a protein called MTHFR, which means that your body can’t use B12 to clean your blood. She started taking a supplement to address this and her acne cleared up.
      4. Just plain stress or emotional stuff: http://thelovevitamin.com/8382/skin-trying-to-tell-you-something/

      Anyway… have you tried Estroblock? Because I actually don’t have really PMS-y periods with cramps and mood swings either, and they’re pretty regular, yet Estroblock still really helped me.

      *Also, chaste tree is Vitex, it has all sorts of different names it seems

  9. Jess says

    Hi Tracy,
    I have acne-prone and sensitive skin and as of age 26, I still experience acne, especially on my chin and my back. I have quite regular period, but I do have cramps almost every time and also mood swings. Do you think Vitex is suitable for me? Also, not sure if you have any idea about this, but I discovered I have slightly elevated prolactin level (after having blood test last month). I did some research and found that Vitex consumption can lower prolactin level naturally. Any thoughts on this? Thanks :)

    • Tracy says

      Hi Jess,
      It sounds like it could be suitable for you, although I can’t say for sure, of course. You sound like a good candidate to try it… just look out for side effects and if you experience any, just stop taking it!

  10. Kit says

    This is so interesting. I’ve always had irregular periods – it was my reason for being on the pill for five years. I’m now a couple months off of it waiting for my cycle to normalize (hoping it will since I’ve cleaned up my diet and lifestyle), but if it doesn’t, I may give this a shot.

    Unrelated, but I love your new haircut, Tracy!

  11. Meagan says

    I have been using chaste tree, milk thistle, and burdock root for the past three months after reading about it on your website. Do you still use the milk thistle and burdock root? I am just wohndering if I should keep using them or just use chaste tree? I have seen some improvement in my acne since beginning the tincture regime.

    • Tracy says

      I take Estroblock and Liv-tox. I used burdock root for a few weeks too, but in my situation I just didn’t feel like I needed Vitex or the burdock. You might be different! I can’t say which ones will work better for you. I probably wouldn’t bother taking burdock long term, maybe three months max.

      • SARAH says

        I’ve been taking Livertone by natures help, which is in tincture form, alcohol free!
        Combining it with the estroblock, early days, but excited to see results, i onlt have mild, but tempremental skin.
        Which Live tox do you use ?
        Do you still use jobabo oil to moisturise, or find your skin is naturally moisturised on cave man?

        Thanks!! xx

        • Tracy says

          Hi Sarah,
          Liv-Tox is the brand of liver support supplement that I take… it’s milk thistle mixed with some other liver supporting herbs. As for caveman, it’s mostly naturally moisturized, but if my face gets wet in the shower or something and then really dried out, I will put little bit of extra virgin olive oil (which is a more moisturizing oil than jojoba).

  12. Martha says

    Hi Tracy,
    I was just wondering if you have ever heard of Maca powder? I’ve heard good things about it and am considering trying it. It is supposed to regulate hormones. What is your experience or knowledge of it?

    • Tracy says

      I’ve heard of Maca but don’t have any personal experience and haven’t done extensive research on it… I know that in some cases it can have side effects too!

      • Tori says

        A lot of the ladies on the Cure Endometriosis blog talk about using maca to regulate hormones. They swear by it! I am yet to try it but I know it can be tricky for some.

    • Felicia says

      I’ve been consuming a heaping Tbsp of gelantanized Maca powder for over a year. I take a couple days break every two weeks. I love the energy boost, booty and boobs filling out, and libido boost. I’m grain, alcohol, and smoke free and mostly dairy, sugar, starch free. Also I started suffering hormonal issues after my tubal ligation in 2009. I do not recommend TL or any other permanent birth control option that requires foreign objects to be kept in your body. Many women are living horror stories after these procedures (search Post Tubal Ligation Syndrome). There’s not enough “research” to confirm this is a valid condition but read enough women’s testimonies and you’ll come to your own conclusions. Not to mention other countries put these side effects on their release forms but why not our U$A? I had been on Maca for at least a year before I went to my naturopath because I still had mood swings, acne, fatigue, nightmare periods, etc etc. After extensive blood work (still saving up for the $aliva tests), she has since put me on progesterone cream, Amour (thyroid), and milk thistle, Vit D, K, Magnesium, DHEA, selenium, and iodine supplements. I’m also having to take a detox bath every other day and lemon water daily. I do lots of research so I have found period relief from Meta Balance (Vitex). BUT even though I’ve seen good results, I’ve now lost my (Maca) libido which BITES. Kind of a ” Can’t win for losing” deal. Since then I’ve had to add libido cream for my nether regions somewhat helping. I’ve also increased my zinc, and included all omegas. I was on a mild antibiotic for months that cleared me up but she said I had to get off and restore my gut. I guess that’s the most frustrating thing is knowing there’s something that WORKS great BUT damages in other ways. Diet, exercise, Panoxyl, supplementation, thyroid and hormone cream, castor oil cleansing, Indian clay (same time as detox bathes), and conditioning/soothing/treatment oils (rose, lavender, tea tree, coconut, aloe, frankincense) to which somewhat helped but I’m still constantly battling hormonal acne (chest, back, jawline). My next adventure will be Estroblock, sulfur soap, checking my B 12 levels, and/or blue LED therapy lamps. Long term: I’m having my tubes removed.

  13. Stephanie says

    Hi Tracy,

    I just found your blog today and I’m excited to read more about it. After reading a couple of blogs I came across Vitex for Female Hormones. I am 26 and it seems that the acne on the chin area (cystic) is increasing. I have been on birth control since a very young young because of my hormones. I don’t plan on coming off the pill anytime this year, does this mean that it’s not good for me to take Vitex or Estroblock? I recently started taking Vitamin E, Zinc and acidophilus probiotic. Stressing about this chin acne is not helping me and I feel helpless. Please help. Hope to hear from you soon. Thank you for this wonderful website.

    • Tracy says

      Hi Stephanie, if you are on the pill, don’t take Vitex, but you can take Estroblock. The company seems to expressly recommend that women on the pill take it.

  14. nickyfraggle says

    Hi Tracy,

    This sounds really interesting to me. I have regular periods but get bad cramps and mood swings, as well as an increase in acne at ‘that time’.

    I don’t have PCOS but I have hair on my neck and face.

    I’ve had blood tests for my hormones and they always come back normal, but logically (to me anyway!) The excess hair growth suggests otherwise!!

    Would you recommend Vitex or Estroblock? Or both? I’d like a more natural way before going for laser treatment. Am I right in thinking that if my hormones were normal the hair and acne should reduce?


    • Tracy says

      Hi Nicky,

      You could try both, or maybe just start with one at a time? It’s up to you. I can’t say for sure what your hormones are doing so I’m not sure which one or both would work more appropriately for you…. but there is definitely something not right about your hormones if you are getting acne and excess hair. I don’t believe that blood tests are that accurate, as they test to see all the hormones floating around in your blood, but not the ones that are actually available to your cells. Saliva hormone tests apparently give much more accurate picture!

  15. Marta says


    I’m dealing with acne (did the caveman regime, candida cleanse, which helped me a little, my skin is clearer, but can’t get rid of scars;/, which are awful) but I’m also facing period loss (of course the diet casued weight loss but I lost mu period long before). I have low LH,FSH and estriol. I also have had my pituitary gland checked and it’s fine.
    Can you recommend me sth, as I don’t want to take hormones. Is there someone having the same situation?


    • Tracy says

      Hi Marta,
      Sorry, I’m not really sure what specifically to suggest in this situation. Have you been to see a naturopath?

      • Marta says

        Yes I have and I was told to take Dong Quai but before I take anything I wanted to make sure if there’s someone suffering the same symptoms. It seems like Dong Quai has the same effects as Vitex, so I was wandering if it could bring back my period… Why is it so hard to understand my own body, what is it trying to tell me? I hope that someday I will find my answer.

        • Tori says

          Hi Marta,

          Do you have PCOS? I too lost my period and it is because I have PCOS and endometriosis. Sucks

          • Marta says

            It hasn’t been confirmed yet, I still need to do some tests… ehh I’m scared but well it’s better to know and learn how to fight it ;) thx Tori

  16. says

    I’m just curious – does Estroblock work for women who have acne due to low levels of estrogen?

    It seems like Vitex is out of the question since it’s more for women who get acne due to low levels of progesterone.

  17. Tori says

    This is a great post! I swear by vitex but I have to take other things to support it. I take DIM (meta 13 C), saw palmetto and milk thistle. They all work wonderfully together in keeping my liver clean, sorting the bad oestrogen and limiting how much testosterone/androgen I produce. It’s taken me a few years but I’ve finally found my supplement groove!

  18. Jane says

    Hi Tracy

    Stefani Ruper in her PCOS book reccomends ladies with thin PCOS shouldn’t take vitex.
    The theory is if your underweight with PCOS vitex decreases the production of prolactin which down regulates the production of LH and FSH in the pituary gland which are already too low in underweight women.
    She does recommend it for normal or overweight women with PCOS.

    I have thin PCOS myself with acne, rosacea, hair loss and growth, severve pms, unregular periods, period pains.
    I had actually bought a tincture to try – because I’ve read a lot of good things.
    I haven’t started due to being underweight and the fear that it might worsen my problems for me.

    I have low FSH 1.4, LH 4.2 and normal testoerone 1.2
    I suspect I have low progestrone due to stress, allergies and chronic illness.

    My doctor won’t test my estrogen or progestrone levels.

    I am so confused.

    I’d love to hear from anyone who is underweight and had success with vitex.

    • Natalie says

      Hi Jane!

      I know you posted almost two years ago, but I too am underweight and have PCOS. When I read your post I saw myself, even down to your LH, FSH and testosterone levels. I’ve been taking vitex for about 4 months now and in the last month have begun to develop bad acne of the hormonal-cystic kind. I don’t know what the heck is going on and have considered stopping vitex, but your post has given me more confidence to do so. I hope that stopping it will help with my skin because it hasn’t been this bad in many years. My skin is normally clear with the odd pimple around my period. But these cysts are multiplying and I wake up with a new one each day. Seeing as they can take weeks to go away, my skin is looking very lumpy and is painful. I’m going to stop taking vitex and will see how I get on. Fingers crossed, my skin will clear up and go back to normal.

      BTW, I also have allergies and have been taking blue/green algae to try and boost my immune system. I’m only a couple of months into taking them, so I haven’t noticed a massive difference yet, but you might want to look into it.

      Good luck,

  19. Ana says

    Hi Tracy,
    Ive got a bit scared of all those weird fake estrogens in the environment… mind you, I eat soy products just because soya contains fyto-estrogens and I thought… well, I dunno…that it was good for women? ??? aaaaaa… OK, now I assume I might have too much of bad stuff accumulated in my body…
    well, my point is – how does Vitex work? and why it is not recommended for women on pill?
    and second question – what is etroblock made of? I know what are “active agents” there, but do you know how are those made into supplement?
    (I mean, like with mineral and vitamin supplements… is it possible to have the effect of estroblock just by food?… well, if not, for how long do you have to take it? is it a lifelong thing?)
    Thanks for your opinion .)

    • Tracy says

      Hi Ana,
      No vitex isn’t recommended for women on the pill. But you can take Estroblock while you’re on it, which will help you get rid of the bad estrogens. Estroblock is made from something in broccoli and cruciferous vegetables. Apparently you’d have to eat like… a LOTTTT (ie. unreasonable amount) of those each day to get the same amount of DIM available in Estroblock.

      How long to take it… I don’t know. I’m still taking it a year on. Fran from High on Health who was the one who discovered this supplement stopped taking it after 6 months or so and apparently her skin has stayed very nice… I think just depends on you.

      I’m actually not even saying that I couldn’t stop using it right now, but I think I’m just attached to it because it works so well for me, I’m nervous to stop using it. Maybe I should try and see how it goes.

      • Ana says

        Thanks Tracy,
        Im actually not on the pill (never was), I was just curious :)
        So basically, Vitex is decreasing levels of estrogen and Estroblock is killing estrogens not produced naturally in our body.

        Do you think, after initial few months on it untill a body is back in balance, it is possible to keep that balance by a good diet, avoidance of bad stuff, support of liver and possibly by keeping estrogen low by occasionally taking Vitex?
        Well, I do not have acne, but I had cysts on ovaries and some cysts were found in my breasts (I wonder why doctors prescribe BC pills for this as the only solution!). The thing is, I have medical checks once a year, so without any symptoms I cannot really tell if it is working or not… and I am so bad at taking medicine or anything regularly (lol, that was the reason why I never considered pills as an option :)) I cannot imagine taking something for a year and then waiting another year to see if I am OK without it.
        (Dammit! Most probably, I do not have any other choice. :))
        OK, if you try to go without, let us know how it goes :)
        One last question — is it OK to take it together?

          • Tracy says

            Okay, so Vitex does not do anything to your estrogen, it generally works by getting your pituitary gland to regulate it’s progesterone production. If your progesterone production is too low, then it will seem like your body has a really high amount of estrogens in relation to it, and that can cause a lot of symptoms.

            Estroblock doesn’t kill estrogens, it helps your liver to naturally detoxify the bad estrogens and change them into good estrogens.

            Not all estrogen is bad, there are good estrogens and bad estrogens.

            Because the two supplements do two different things, they can be used together. Vitex raises progesterone, Estroblock changes bad estrogens to good estrogens and detoxifies excess, and then, hopefully, maybe, things will be better.

            For me I didn’t bother with vitex, and estroblock worked fine on its own.

            As for whether you can maintain low bad estrogens without supplements…. probably. I don’t really know. Everyone will just have to experiment and see what works for them.

  20. Jessica says

    The office I work at carries a supplement called Femguard+balance. It has a comb of DIM and vitex among other helpful herbs. I think I’m going to pick some up tomorrow and start it up again. I’ve tested positive for it many times through applied kinesiology but never was consistent with taking it. Thanks for the info, its something I needed to be reminded of!

  21. Maja says

    I’ve read that Vitex shoul not be taken in conjuction with other synthetic hormones (like the contraceptive pill) and I am wondering if someone knows, how many time do you have to wait when coming off those pills (I personally am taking Visanne(a progestin) for endometriosis) before you can start Vitex? Thank you!

  22. Christy says

    Hi Tracy!
    So I have really bad hormonal acne and I just started taking vitex and milk thistle. The vitex has made me extremely nauseous and have a horrible migrane so I want to discontinue it. I would push through to see if they would go away but I work on a veggie farm in the hot 100 degree sun and today I felt like I was gonna puke and pass out. My naturopath recommended it to me for acne, and because my periods are very irregular (didnt get it for five months untill I started taking vitex a couple days ago). Is there an alternative? Would estroblock help to make my periods regular? Tracy you are AWESOME and have really helped me!!!

    • Tracy says

      Hmm.. I don’t know, I think you should check with your naturopath who recommended it and see what he or she thinks about these symptoms. They don’t sound great to me and I would think you should discontinue it, but … are you able to give him or her an email or a quick call or something just to say ‘hey.. uh… is is ok or what?’

  23. Laura says

    Hey Tracy! Just wondering what your thoughts are on this supplement that combines DIM and vitex: http://www.nationalnutrition.ca/detail.aspx?ID=1220

    I just bought it ($60, ouch!) because of your article on acne supplements and because the sales rep at my local health food store vouched for its effectiveness in regulating hormones. I’m hoping to see an improvement in my mild acne and severe menstrual cramps…fingers crossed!

    Thanks :)

    • Tracy says

      Hi Laura,
      Well I can’t vouch for the quality of the DIM in that supplement… but as far as using them as a combined supplement, I don’t really see a problem unless you wanted to take more of one and not the other.

      Anyway – good luck, hope the supps work for you, I know supplements can be aggravatingly expensive. I hate dropping money on them, but if you find one that really works, it feels quite worth it.

  24. Jill says

    Hi Tracy,

    I’m planning to start weaning off Diane 35 in a couple weeks (totally inspired by the other thread on here) so would I have to wait until I was completely off them to start taking something like Vitex?



  25. M says

    I was taking an estrogen birth control and had a really bad reaction to it on many levels, including acne. I’ve now switched to a progesterone based pill and feel much better, accept for the acne! I am happy on the pill and would like to continue to take it, but after cleaning up my life style over the years and trying supplements like Vitamin A, Zinc and fish oil, it has only slightly improved. What supplements can I take while on the progesterone pill? Thanks!

    • says

      Hi M,
      actually, that is nearly impossible to tell. We are all individuals lacking different kinds of nutrients. Personally, I wouldn‘t rely too much on supplements. Try to improve all other lifestyle components and get enough sleep, eat a healthy whole foods diet, EXERCISE regularly, avoid harsh cleansers and moisturizers, get some fresh air every day, …
      Here‘s an article about how to get rid of female hormonal acne:
      I think the combination of milk thistle and DIM seems to work very well for many girls.

  26. Carin says

    Hi Tracey!! I was wondering what made you decide to take DIM/Estroblock rather than Vitex. I have endometriosis, use mirena and of course have adult acne (didn’t have acne until I hit 30). I am trying to figure out whether Estroblock or Vitex would be better for me. Thank you! !

  27. Maja says

    I have been taking Vitex capusules for a good month now and about 2 weeks ago I also started taking DIM (not Estroblock, some other brand). My period this month way overdue – I usually get it on the 29th day of the cycle and is pretty regular but this month I still didn’t get it and today is day 38! Is it possible that Vitex is causing this and what do you recommend for me to do? I was taking 2 capusules a day (800 mg)of Vitex and then encreased to 3/day. When I realised I should already be getting my period I lowered the dosage to 2 again and even stopped taking it alltogether for a couple of days. Nothing happened. Yesterday I started taking it again (2/day) but don’t know if I should. And I am not pregnant, I did a pregnancy test just to make sure. Other supplements I am taking currently are: Milk Thistle tincture, Chlorella tablets, Serrapeptase (an enzyme), Collagen tablets and MSM. Thank you for any advice!

    • Tracy says

      Hi Maja,
      I would say stop the vitex and stay off it to see if your period goes normal again next month. As I said in the article it sounds like vitex might not be the best choice if your periods are already like clockwork

  28. Sarah Hook says

    My period was also about 2 weeks late when i started taking estroblock.. and usually my period would be always spot on 28 days! I did stop taking the estroblock and will take again soon. But decided to not take it just yet.. so it could be the DIM..? If the liver is cleansing this can cause the period to be late i have read..

    • Maja says

      Sarah, I am taking both DIM and Vitex so I don’t know what is the real cause of my late period. Maybe for me it would be best to stop both? I am so confused.

  29. Leah says

    Hey Tracy,

    I recently quit birth control pills (about 3 months ago) and started taking estroblock. I’ve ALWAYS had regular periods and no PMS. However last week I was doubled over in pain and was rushed to the emergency room and found out that I had a ruptured ovarian cyst!!! What the heck!!! So now I’m super confused and don’t know what is happening in there. I never want to go through that again. It was awful awful awful. I read on other websites that vitex can help that out. Have you heard anything about that? Even though I have regular periods?

    • Tracy says

      Hi Leah,
      Sorry to hear what you’ve gone through! I don’t know the answer though, you should check with a professional on that one

  30. Nanco says

    Hi! I started Estroblock Triple about three months ago and haven’t really noticed a huge difference in my acne. However, I stopped taking it for about a week while on vacation, and now my period is ten days late (not pregnant). I’m usually every 28 days like clockwork. I’m wondering if this means the Estroblock was finally starting to work, or maybe it was already working? Anyone have any thoughts on this? Thank you!

    • says

      Hi Nanco,

      stopping estroblock cold turkey is what might have affected your period. Probably weanig it off would have been better, but that’s part of the learning curve. The next time you’ll deciede to stop a supplement, just do it slowly ;)

      Anyway, here’s the good news: Our body is very good at fixing itself, so just give it some time. I think that it’s just your body getting back to normal and that your periods will regulate themselves very soon.

      As I see it, a supplement is not doing its job properly if you need to take it forever – with the exception of B12 for vegans. Since you have taken estroblock for 3 months, I’m pretty sure that it simply didn’t have any effect on your skin. What we don’t want to do is fight with our body and see our body as something that is broken or malfunctioning and necessarily needs to be “corrected”.

  31. Lou says

    Hi, I need help!! I stopped taking yasmin pill 6 months ago because it was so hard to lose weight on it… since then my periods have been regular but my hair will not stop falling out!!! I’m also feeling my worst the day my period stops right up until ovulation then after ovulation until my period ends i feel great! Something’s not right it seems like My hormones are backwards because I feel best before my period?? Does anyone know whats going on could agnus catus help?? Thanks in advance

  32. Danielle says

    Hi Tracy-

    I have been using Estroblock for almost 2 months now along with Burdock/Milk Thistle as well as Vitex and seen a slight improvement in my skin (hopefully will continue this trend as I’m so tired of being 31 with cystic acne.) So thanks to you for this awesome site and helping people like me! My question is would any of these cause spotting between periods? Maybe Vitex? I’m about mid way in my cycle so have at least another 2 weeks before I expect my monthly visitor and just started spotting today. I haven’t spotted like this since I was on the birth control pill back at least 4-5 years ago.

    • Tracy says

      I would say it’s most likely the vitex. How were your periods prior to this stuff? Pretty regular and normal, or not?

      • Danielle says

        Thanks for the quick reply! Yes, they have always been very regular every 26-28 days and no spotting other than when I was on the pill. Have you heard of Vitex causing spotting before? Do you think I should quit taking it right away or wait it out and see what happens?

        • Tracy says

          If you google ‘Vitex and Spotting’ it does seems to be a thing that happens to some people. I don’t know if you should stop or not though :/

  33. Danielle says

    Okay, thanks so much Tracy! I think I’ll quit it and hope for the best. Hopefully it was the estroblock and Burdock/Milk thistle clearing my skin and not the Vitex. Maybe the Vitex is just not for me, guess I’ll find out!

  34. velle says


    i love your article and thanks for sharing your story. i have a question can i take Vitex with licorice?

    • Tracy says

      I think so. A google search shows that it seems some women are taking it together, but I couldn’t find anything “official” that said one way or the other so… I don’t know for sure!

      • Velle says

        Thanks for your quick responds one last question i heard that its better to take Vitex early in the morning without food is this true? and im taking 40mg how many should i take everyday? its say on the bottle once 1 day.

  35. Victoria says

    Hi Tracy!

    Thanks for the great article! I stopped birth control a year ago and 6 months ago I started experiencing extremely heavy periods and acne around my mouth/chin area. After reading your fabulous article I’ve ordered estroblock and milk thistle but I wanted to ask if you think I should also take vitex? Thank you so much!!!

    • says

      Hi Victoria,

      Tracy is away for a few days, so she asked me to answer the comments on her blog until she’s back. I‘d suggest you to start with milk thistle and estroblock first (these supplements seem to have no or very few side effects only) and see how it goes. It‘ll take time until you‘ll see some changes in your skin. Before starting vitex as well, please read this article first:

      • Victoria says

        Thank you so much for the quick reply! After reading that article I know it’s not for me because I had such a strong negative reaction to birth control. I’ve tried to find if estroblock will help lighten my flow or help with other PMS symptoms but all I can find is that it helps with skin. Do you know if it can regulate cycles beyond complexion? Thank you again so much! I really appreciate it!!!!!!

        • says

          Hi Victoria,

          by taking estroblock, you are aiming to get your hormones into balance. Balanced hormones are probably only going to have a positive effect on your PMS symptoms and – I think – even on your cycles on the long run. I know, it‘s pretty expensive, but it definitely could be worth a try.

  36. Victoria says

    To be honest, the price of this is peanuts compared to what I spend on a daily basis to have skin that still breaks out so I would welcome this price with open arms instead!! :) I’ll definitely contact this site if I notice an improvement in my overall cycle.

    Thank you so much for your replies, it means more to me than you can imagine!!!!!! I feel hopeful for the first time in over a year about my skin/hormones.

  37. Nanari says

    Hi Tracy!

    I have been taking Vitex for two weeks by now. I have low progesterone and high prolactin – just like my mom and grandmother (seems it’s genetic) – so Vitex is perfect for me. I have hair on my face and mild acne. After two weeks on Vitex I noticed that my skin slightly improved, but what worries me is that I gained weight. I’m not 100% sure that it’s Vitex fault – I have been taking it for only two weeks, but I can’t find any other reason. Is it possible? I also started taking Estroblock, but only few days ago, so I can’t say anything yet. Now I don’t know if I should stop Vitex or continue and hope this weight gain is only at the beginning? It’s really a big problem for me.

  38. laura says

    Hi, just need some advice. I have stopped the pill 9 months ago had regular periods before i went on pill. I have had my bloods done came back my hormones and everything was fine! So would vitex be any use to me x

  39. Jordan says

    Hey there. I am 17 years old and have been on bc for about a year for super heavy periods. I decided I want to come off it even if I get heavy periods again. I just want to go all natural and bc definitely isn’t that. I still get acne so bc wasn’t doing it for me. I’m planning on coming off at the end of this pack and starting vitex ( chaste berry) the next day. I’s that smart? I’m really trying to find ways avoid an acne breakout at all costs. I am very acne prone and go stand have acne, and I know that when I go off it, my face will look like a pizza. So is that they best method to go about it? Thanks

  40. Emily says

    Hi Tracy,

    First of all, I want to thank you for putting all of this information out there, I feel much more informed than I ever have.

    Secondly, I am taking quite a few supplements and I’ve done some research but can’t seem to find enough… my concern is I’m wondering if I am taking too much all at once.

    I started taking estroblock a month ago, and had been taking milk thistle with it.
    I then began wondering if I had parasites and/or candida because of some very sudden and severe food allergies which triggered a lot of acne, so I got a supplement called ‘Para Response’ which has Wormwood, Black Walnut, Clove, Butternut Root Bark, Buckthorn Barck, and Pau D’Arco. I am also taking Oregano Oil as well as on a strict diet for the candida.
    I take three daily multivitamins specifically for women by NOW foods, and have just started taking ‘Female Balance’ by NOW foods, which has agnus castus in it, as I have been wanting to regulate my hormones after having an IUD for four years, got it removed three weeks ago and still no period.

    I haven’t had any side effects thus far, but I am just wondering if I am doing too much at once and would appreciate your opinion/recommendations.

    :) Thank you

    • Tracy says

      Hi Emily, sounds like a lot on paper, but I think it’s fine. If you haven’t had any side effects, I think you’re good.

  41. Siobhán says

    Hi Tracey!

    Just want to say thanks so much for all the information on this blog- it’s been really helpful!

    I’m 23 came off the pill about a year and a half ago. Three months later my face exploded in cystic acne which I never had before! In desperation I went on a 3 month course of tetracycline which really cleared up my face for about 8 months. Recently, the cystic hormonal acne has come back, probably due to stress too…

    I was just wondering if you could give some advice- I have been taking EPO which definitely seems to have relaxed my hormones and my cycles are very regular, light and no cramping. In light of the recent breakouts, I was wondering should I try DIM too? (I saw that you don’t recommend vitex if for women whose cycle is already regular…) I also got progesterone cream too, so I’m not sure which would be best to try? Should I try and get a hormone test before I take any of these so I know where the hormonal imbalance is? My diet is overall very good- lots of fresh fruit, and I have been diary/gluten free for a year or two. Really hoping to get to the root of this acne problem once and for all! Thanks! X

    • Tracy says

      Hi Siobhan,
      I would say try DIM, yes. It usually doesn’t have any side effects, and only has a positive metabolic effect on your liver that doesn’t seem to be dangerous or problematic if you don’t really *need* DIM, if you know what I mean. Sometimes an initial reaction to it can happen if your liver is congested, in which case, you might want to try using herbs like milk thistle first, and then start DIM.

      • Ally says

        Hi Tracy,

        I have a similar question… I have PCOS and amenorrhea. The only time I got it was when I went on natural progesterone (but it made me bloated and broke me out).

        My skin is congested but I don’t break out anymore. I eat pretty much Primal 85% of the time but my skin and hormones haven’t improved… Can’t afford a naturopath and a doctor at the moment so I thought I would try what has worked for others…

        I’m reading about vitex, DIM and inositol all being appropriate for me but I have no idea which to start first, how long to wait for the effects and in what order!

        I tried looking all over the interweb but you’re the only one who talks about these… So I thought I’d ask.

  42. Hayley says

    Hi, just wanted to I guess put my two cents worth in and hope to get a reply. I’m completely at a loss with my acne. I’ve tried everything, prescriptions, antibiotics,creams, ointments, forget over the counter that’s a joke, I’ve been to the dermatologist twice, I’ve even been on accutane, that’s the only thing that actually helped-for a while. But it sure didn’t cure it like the doctor told me it would.I’m a 22 year old female, I’ve always had pimples/acne since my first zit at probably 12 or 13 so you can imagine the frustration. Over the last couple years its actually gotten worse then when i was a teen so i feel like its never going to end. It’s ruined my self esteem, I can’t even go outside without a ton of make up. Right now I’m even doing light therapy and its not working. I have a feeling its hormonal and I even feel its too much testosterone I have but my doctor is an idiot and won’t even send me for a blood test no matter what I say so its all in my hands, please help. My periods are irregular, I went from a 34 B to a 32 B, acne, hair on my body seems to be getting thicker/darker. I’ll try anything

    • Tracy says

      Hi Hayley, I’m sorry to hear that you’re struggling. Things will get better! Have you checked out the resources I have here on the blog? All the blog posts, ebooks, etc? It lays it all out for you how to clear your skin holistically which is something it sounds like you haven’t tried yet (and may be your answer!)

  43. Betty says


    I am curious to try the EstroBlock, but am wondering about combining it with Saw Palmetto? Any thoughts? Do these contradict each other in any way?

    I have experienced some success with Saw Palmetto so far but I’m still new with it, so results are inconclusive as of now.


  44. Alyssa says

    Hi Tracy, thank you for providing me with your feedback on another post in regards to EstroBlock Pro. I ended up continuing with it, even though the first 2 days caused me to become very dizzy/weak. I now feel fine on EstroBlock Pro. I’ve now been on it for 2 weeks/2 days. While I was SO hoping that I’d be one of those few people who had amazing results after 2 weeks, I realized that was very uncommon. I’m just so very desperate to get rid of this awful acne after I stopped the BC pill about a month ago now. I’m sure this has been answered several times, yet how long did it take for your acne to leave after starting EstroBlock?

    I’m now looking into trying Vitex because I have always had irregular periods, struggles with hormonal chin acne (when not on the pill), facial hair, severe hot flashes, mood issues etc. I do have endometriosis though, and I have read some saying to stay away, while others saying that doctors in Germany use Vitex to treat patients with endometriosis, while also people reviewing that it has helped them greatly with endo symptoms. Have you heard anything about this? If it should or should not be taken with endo?

    Also, if I begin to take Vitex with the EstroBlock and notice improvements with my acne, would you recommend continuing the EstroBlock for a certain amount of time or would I possibly just need to stay on the Vitex? I’m not sure if I should continue the EstroBlock for longer without Vitex to see if it helps with the acne or stop it after a certain amount of time if it isn’t helping and then begin Vitex/other supplements. I guess I just don’t want to confuse which supplement is actually helping with the acne.

    Thank you so much!

    • Tracy says

      Oh glad to hear that didn’t last :/ It took me two months to really see a difference with estroblock (that was taking three of the regular).

      With vitex… yeah.. I don’t know. You’re right, some people say this, some people say that, it makes me kind of wish I never recommended it because I don’t really know! I’m sure it’s just a case of some people’s bodies love it, some don’t, just like most things. So I don’t know if you should or shouldn’t take it with endo. Maybe check with Mel from http://www.cureendometriosis.com, she might know.

      As for knowing which supplement is doing the trick, you won’t know unless you keep them separate. I might say that if you really want know, don’t start vitex till you’ve been on Estroblock for at least three months, then you’ll know if Estroblock ended up doing anything for you or not.

  45. Julie says

    I read your post about female hormonal acne. I have suffered with hormonal acne for about 8 years on and off and I am very interested in trying the supplements that worked for you. I was wondering what your exact regimen was for each supplement? I was thinking of trying Estroblock, Vitex, and livtox. Thanks for sharing your story.

    • Tracy says

      Hi Julie – three per day of the regular estroblock to start with (or two of the triple strength), and one liv tox per day. I actually don’t take vitex because I felt I didn’t need it but if you are going to take it just take it as directed on the bottle.

  46. Tasha says

    Hi Tracy,

    I’m thinking of getting my hormones tested but I did it a few years ago randomly and it came back normal. I hear for a more effective test you should do it at a key time in your cycle. Do you know anything about this? If so can you or any readers tell me when in my cycle is the best time to test my hormones to check for imbalances? I tried Googling this but it seems like it depends on what you’re testing for so I wanted to ask this Acne focused group! Thanks!

    • Tracy says

      Hi Tasha, I really need to do more thorough research on hormone testing, which I am intending to do soon… ah, I always hear that women with obvious hormonal issues go to the doctor for blood tests and they end up coming back normal. I have heard that saliva hormone tests are more accurate. I’m not sure about when in the cycle though

  47. auwie says


    I’m off the pill and am battling acne like a lot of these ladies. I have been taking estroblock pro and a liver tox supplement for almost a month now. When can I expect to see results?

    • Tracy says

      Hi Auwie,
      Unfortunately I can’t guarantee you will see any results, but for me, it took two months on three pills per day of the regular estroblock to really see an obvious difference

  48. Nadia says


    I’m 27 years old
    I have a 16 month old
    Still breastfeeding
    haven’t gotten my period
    been off the progesterone pill since August
    trying to conceive
    acne has gotten worse since getting off pill
    can I take vitex or ??? while still breastfeeding?
    currently doing OCM with some African black soap and grapeseed oil moisturizer

    • Tracy says

      Hi Nadia,
      Well, I don’t think there’s any official “ruling” about vitex and breastfeeding, so many supplements will say on the bottle not to take it while breastfeeding. But, it sounds like many women do and feel it’s safe. I’ll leave the decision to you.

  49. kara says

    I have tried vitex twice now to try and help with hormone regulation after quitting BC 2 years ago. (I am 25 and struggling with adult onset cystic acne like you wouldn’t believe) Both times I experienced VIOLENT mood swings (including suicidal thoughts) insomnia, irregular periods (heavy, clotty, extreme cramps) and an immediate increase in acne on cheeks, jawline, and neck. I am still struggling and trying different methods now under the supervision of a naturalist, but ladies, just be careful when trying something new and please, closely monitor physical and emotional changes!!!! Best of luck

  50. Amanda says

    I am 31 years old and have acne since I was 15. I have tried Accutane, tetracycline, topical creams, birth control pill and nothing has helped. Every morning I wake up with new whiteheads on my chin. I only get acne on my chin and around my mouth. I have been reading up on DIM, Vitex and burdock root and milk thistle. I am willing to try herbs/vitamins as I believe my acne is hormonal. I need to calm it down. I have recently started the oil cleansing method about a week ago. I don’t put anything else on my face besides baking soda exfoliator once a week and apple cider vinegar toner. I believe my acne is hormonal so I know my facial routine won’t help. My question is how much of mg of each of the herbs/vitamins I stated do I take each day? The milk thistle is 250 mg/capsule, burdock root is 475 mg/capsule. I bout Estrosmart Plus by Lorna Vanderhaeghe which is a combination of Vitex (80 mg), DIM (50 mg), green tea extract, tumeric, rosemary extract, zinc, and a couple of other things. Do you have a suggestion on how much I need per day?

    • Tracy says

      Hi Amanda, for milk thistle, burdock, and vitex, just take as much as the directions on the bottle. For DIM, many people need a pretty high dose in the beginning to see the clearing they need. But if you have the combined Estrosmart supplement, you don’t want to just double or triple that since it has other things in it. Take what is recommended with the Estrosmart, and if you want to add more DIM, I suggest buying a standalone DIM supplement and adding a pill or two per day extra in

  51. Stellarae Valdez says

    Hello, I am learning some wonderful things via your site, and I wanted to tell you it has been very good for my skin. I’ve had acne for about five years now, following a miscarriage, which I blame on birth control. Then to speed things along the nurse gave me more in order to try to flush my system, and then another med, that had to be manually inserted by my husband against my cervix in order to promote flushing as I did not want to have a D&C. Anyway, I’m suspecting now after seeing a derm, and trying everything I could think of including weekly facials for a while, and still unable to rid the commidomes on my chin, that it is hormonal and due to the miscarriage. I have never taken birth control since, in fact, I wanted to tell you what I switched to since I saw your statements about BC and having an IUD. I gather you are passionate about being in control of you body and what goes in. SO I wanted to tell you about this book I read that changed everything for me. Its called Taking charge of your fertility – By Toni Weschler. It really empowered me as a woman despite going to health class as a younger girl I really feel now like I knew very little about my body and fertility. I now on the other hand feel so happy I heard about it from a friend, and that it took away all my uncertainties regarding family planning. For an entire year I used it and then when we did choose to not prevent pregnancy, I knew I didnt have to worry about it and I knew exactly when I conceived that I was ovulating and 14 days later I knew I was pregnant based on my body signs. I truly hope you will consider it, and that it can bless you the way it did me.
    On other topics my plan is to reduce dairy first, and increase acne fighting foods (doing a lot of smoothies lately with papaya and kale, berries, and other whole fruits I bought fresh then chopped and froze) oh and also using tee tree and witch hazel astringent. Thank you for your posts on foods and grass fed meat and I have one question for you. I am interested in taking the vitex and/or estroblock to rebalance my hormones, however I’m wondering if I should actually get tested first? Is it ok to assume my problem is hormones based on self evaluation of symptoms? Is it ok to just start taking it in order to clear my skin? I’m so tired of feeling this way. Sincerely, Stellarae

    • Tracy says

      Hi Stella,
      Yes I know of the book and it’s methods, I’ve heard other rave reviews :) The IUD works really well for me without issue, so I don’t see a point in switching right now, but I imagine that after we have our first child, I’ll probably give the fertility awareness method a try :) As for vitex, and or estroblock – it’s always better to get tested, preferably via saliva test. Estroblock is usually okay to just try, as it helps your body balance its good and bad estrogens, and for many women this helps greatly with hormonal acne (yes your acne sounds hormonal). Vitex you only need if your progesterone is low, which you could determine based off symptoms, or a test

  52. Jessica says

    Hello Tracy,

    I just wanted to make mention of how wonderful Vitex is – I’ve been taking it since early 2006 (on a daily basis) with absolutely no side effects.
    In university (perhaps due to the stress) I started getting quite some acne & was frequenting the dermatologist with no end in sight. I was almost about to turn to Accutane, when I did a little research on luteinizing hormone & Vitex.
    I thought I would try it, & within the first month, my skin cleared more than 50%, & continued to get better over time.
    Taken over the long term (8 years now) has proven to be just as effective for maintenance – I may get about one blemish in 3months, if that.
    I have always used a high dose as well (400mg capsules daily) from Nature’s Way herbs, but have weened off to 3x per week now.
    I tried other brands, but Nature’s Way was always the best for efficacy & value for me.
    This herb has really saved me a lot of frustration & embarassment, & I can’t imagine the alternative!
    I try to tell everyone I can about it.
    Glad you’re doing the same! :)

  53. Francesca says

    Hello Tracy,
    I’m 17 years old and have been trying many things to “cure” my acne. I only began having acne when I moved back to Georgia so at first I believed it was the climate but after 2 years, I’m not so sure. I hear many rave reviews about vitex but I’ve also heard that it can make acne much worse and I’m very scared to try it out. I have just begun taking estroblock as well and I know that these two supplements work great together. Any ideas if I should know if vitex is right for my personal hormonal acne?

    • Tracy says

      Hi Francesca, the only way to know for sure is to get a saliva hormone test and find out if you have low progesterone (or look up the symptoms and self diagnose..)! Also, sometimes if people’s acne comes and goes with location, it can sometimes be to do with fluoride in the drinking water. Is your water in Georgia fluoridated, where it wasn’t in your prior location?

      • Francesca says

        Yes I believe it is. Prior to living in Georgia, I lived in Italy and I know that Europe doesn’t fluoridate their water . I am still confused because I was around 15 when I left Italy and I had all the same hormone imbalances that I do now and it’s just confusing figuring out whether it’s hormonal or due to the environment. I’m sure you can imagine the frustration of having a beautiful, clear complexion one day and then pimples that replace other pimples the next!

        • Tracy says

          Yep totally understand the frustration. Well.. if you think it’s fluoride related, google “The Cellulite Investigation, Fluoroderma”… she has a ton of info about acne caused by fluoride

  54. kristina from oz says

    hi tracey. i follow ur blogs and bought ur ebook on hormonal acne. very simple it was great. i had to go back on the pill now as 6 mobths of seeing a naturopath my acne got worse to the point that i have two small children and couldnt leave the house…or look in the mirror. my anxiety rocketed. i tried donq quai and like a liver cleanser by metagenics. ive suffered from acne on and off since ny period started at age 16. the only relief i had was with my 2nd pregnacy. it cleared up and scars to. i came off the pill and tried to clean up 8 months ago. now ive gone back on. i dont want to be on it for more than a year. my question is sorry i need trusted and honest advice when i come off the pill…i will wean..and talk to a new naturopath. how long after the pill do i tetst my hormones. also which acne do u think it is. sensitivity to androgens or low progesterobe high bad estrogens. also i always have milk discharge in my breasts from when i was young. thank you tracey i appreciate ot. ive had endo and cin 3. also my insulin is up with increased hair production. god bless tracey than u for ur hard work.

    • says

      Hi Kristina,

      Tracy is without internet access right now, so it’s me answering some of the comments in her place. I think that 6 months after the pill, you could start testing your hormones. For some it takes one year and a half to fully restore a natural hormonal balance. I can’t predict, which type of hormone will be out of balance in your case. That depends on the birth control pill you are taking right now and on other individual factors. You could have a look at this thread and ask those lovely and helpful ladies there about their personal experiences: http://thelovevitamin.com/769/can-you-wean-off-the-birth-control-pill

  55. kristina from ozt says

    hi svea. thankyou for replying. it means alot. all my life ive seen so many people in regrds to my acne. i cleared up when i was pregnant the secind time maybe you could sharea light on those hormones…suppise ot progesterone. im on the pill yasmin. synthetic estrogen and drospirenone. when i came off i got a lot of excess hair and acne c. thankyou i will checkout the links you have rgiven thanks for ur time.

    • says

      Hi Kristina,

      unfortunately I’m not an expert in hormones, so I’m unsure what to suggest to you. On the other hand, I’m sure that if you leave a comment below the article I linked for you, the girls there will be able to help you and shad a little more light on your specific question. Those girls have gathered lots and lots of information!!! ;)

  56. Louise Panou-King says

    Hi. Iv been off the Depo pill now for 3 mths and still no period. Iv got all the signs but nothing. I have been told to try Vitex Agnus and have for 2 weeks now. Do they really work to get my cycle back or am i waisting my time?

    • Tracy says

      Yes but vitex takes several months to work… you need to give it at least two to four months for it to fully do what it’s supposed to :)

  57. Emily says


    I have been off of Diane-35 for a year now. A few weeks after I went off the pill I started to take vitex hoping that it would help balance things out quicker. A few days after I started it (1000mg a day) I started to break out pretty badly. I assumed it was just my body balancing out. A year later I am still experiencing acne and PMS. Does this mean that vitex probably isn’t helping me? I am also taking estroblock and liv-tox too.


  58. Jenn says

    Hi Tracy

    Is 2000 mg a day of vitex too much? A naturopath I saw about 7 months ago told me to take that much but I feel as if my PMS has only gotten worse.

    I have really terrible cramps and acne before my period.

    Thank you

    • Tracy says

      The dose varies depending on the brand (different brands are concentrated differently), but.. that does seem like a lot :/ I would stop using it if you feel that after 7 months that it hasn’t given you any benefit

  59. Rory says

    Hey Tracy!

    Thank you so much for your lovely website! To make my story short: I stopped taking the birth control pill last January after 10 years of using the Diane and after a couple of years Yasmin. The last year I also switched to two other types because of side effects and then I decided to stop with those crazy hormones. After contacting some gynecologists I decided to get this copper IUD: http://www.wildemeersch.com/user/en/home-user

    So far I like it, but ofcourse my skin went crazy the past couple of months. I got on the pill because of my acne when I was 15 years old and in March I started to get horrible cysts on my chin en some moderate acne all over my face. Right now it is kind of in control thanks to Seppo Pusaa’s book and your website. I am not entirely clear but I can smile without my chin internally exploding ;-)
    I decided to start taking probiotics and vitex. Since I started taking vitex I have some cramps in my stomach and it also feels a bit like uterus contractions. My periods are also still a bit out of whack. Last time it took 8 weeks to get it and now it has been 5 weeks.
    Do you think that those cramps can mean that the vitex is working? Do you have experience with people commenting about stomach ache after taking vitex?
    If you have any other tips, I would love to hear those!

    Thank you for everything.



    • says

      Hi Rory – no sorry I don’t know about stomach aches on vitex specifically… so I’m not sure what that means. How long have you been taken vitex, and are you seeing other benefits from it? The stomach thing is the only problem?

  60. Rory says

    Hey! Thanks for your quick response. I am not sure yet about the benefits.. My period did come a little bit earlier this month.. (Considering a 5 week cycle is better than seven to eight weeks) and the cysts on my chin are gone! Although, now I get some on my forehead and chest. Still having trouble with finetuning my routine, as you can see. I think I’ll stick to it one more month to see what the effects are and to see if the cramps go away.. It has only been 4 months without my birth control pills, so I guess it will take more time to balance my hormones.

  61. Sia says

    Hi. I had terrible acne growing up and started on Yasmine birth control and it helped me a lot. But I had side effects and other issues that made me stop. (Thyroid issues, iodine deficiency, candida, and so on…) Two months after I stopped, it came back… and with it the flashback of how I felt back then. I was on the pill, the same one, for nine years. Well now I eat low carb (no sugar/white bread), take supplements and try to stay happy and like myself anyhow. And my period and acne was better this time :) But I can’t wait for 6 months or years, because I can’t go back to that dark place I was… So, do you know, if Yasmine helped me, and it has lots of fake progesterone and some estrogen. What could I take that would help me? Estrogen block and vitex? (and something for the liver) ((It gives me so much hope reading here, thank you ;) ))

      • Margaret says

        No of course you can’t know that :) But now I know what I can try :) I have no experience with hormones before this, so I could end up taking something that surely would make it worse… so the possible right direction is much better :P

  62. Denise Wickens says

    Hi, I am in my menopause and on hrt system conti.
    I am now getting very bad acne on my face,neck,chest worse then in my teens ! and my mum thinks its hormonal my hair has also thinned. So on top of the ageing process and the change I have acne. Is Vitex Agnus Castus any good for me to take as I have tried just about everything even Lumie light which is not working. Thanks dense

  63. elizabeth says

    Hi Tracey! so I suffer from female hormonal acne. Got a blood test done and it is apparently 2 standards above normal. The doctor said it’s not a big deal and a bit of birth control would be helpful. But, I don’t want to get on birth control! I already know the pros and cons to that. Anyway, I just bought vitex but haven’t started the regimen yet. If I have slightly higher testosterone levels what should I take? I need help because I legit break out with hard cysts like 4 of them everytime before my period. Yes, I’ve gotten acpuncture done and it works! But, I barely have money right now and I rather do this naturally on my own. So this is what I have right now: vitex capsules, primrose oil, coconut oil (to dab on pimps), I’m 100% vegetarian, try to make smoothies every morning, avoid dairy, use maca powder, use use spirulina etc. But, I need to know to either do the DIM or vitex to lower/balance female testosterone levels…..please let me know THANK SO MUCH!!! <3

  64. A says

    Hi! Can I take a brake sometimes from Vitex, lets say about 2 weeks and then continue? Can it mess up things again? Thank you for answering

  65. Margaret says

    A little status update. Been on DIM, Vitex and liver support for two weeks now. So far so good? I hope I am over the danger of side effects now… :) I didnt have that bad acne before my period, most of it seems to come from blocked hard skin from these past horrible months (any suggestions to get rid of that?) My cycle suddently got 3 days shorter.. (All in all gone from 35 to 30 now :) )And I`m almost in sync with the moon now, thats so weird and facinating.. Still losing some hair, but thats the stupid after effects of birthcontrol and I hope it will lessen more soon… Very unpatiently waiting for the next two months… crossing my fingers for this to work :) (Natures way DIM and Gaias Vitex, was on Yasmine bc) I`ll keep you updated if its of any use to somebody :)

  66. Keenan says

    I tried taking vitex and had a whole bunch of terrible side effects-weight gain, zits and depression. I’m sorry, but I think this medication should be if not banned then at least made a controlled substance. So many other drugs that are deemed ‘dangerous’ and are Rx only have far less side effects than this disgusting plant.Never again!

  67. Anabel says

    Hi Tracy,
    So if I already have elevated levels of testosterone from PCOS can I take estroblock? I noticed in the description it said “boost testosterone”…so is this not counterproductive if I want to lower the male hormones to reduce my acne?

  68. Mirna says

    Hi Tracy,
    I’m a 39 yr old woman suffering from bad acne around my cheeks, I’ve read that this is a typical hormonal acne. All my life I used to be very irregular on my periods but for some reason in the last four to five months I’ve been regular, exactly 27-28 day period and I’m not in any birth control pills! So my question is if Vitex is good for me? I really wanted to try it along with the Burdock Root in fact I just started them today.. But I’m afraid that Vitex won’t do anything for me if my menstrual cycle continues to be exact. Please help me!

  69. Mirna says

    Hi Tracy, again,
    I just noticed on my previous post that I said i had my acne on my cheeks!! I’m sorry I have it around my jawline and a little on the sides of my neck.



  70. Meghan says

    I have made a tincture from vitex (confirmed that this is indeed the correct plant!), does anyone know what the equivalent recommended dosage would be in terms of drops/dropperfuls? Thanks!

    Great job on everything, Tracy! New website looks great, and I’m seriously considering the boot camp. You’re positivity and gentle spirit are so inspiring, thanks for all you do!

  71. Zoe says

    Women typically suffer migraines when they start the pill-free week because of the big dip in oestrogen. It has very little to do with the pill hormones being artificial. The drop in oestrogen is also the cause of migraines in normal cycles (i.e. in women who don’t take the contraceptive pill).

  72. Leslie says

    Hello Tracy, just to understand the supplement From Holland and Barrett: You talked about taking 400mg per Day. But on the Agnus castus from H&B it says 3.9mg Gruiten extract.
    Where did you get the 400mg from? Thank you:) Leslie

  73. Mary says

    I heard that Agnus Castus was taken by monks so they could reduce their sex drive. Is agnus castus reducing sex drive in general?

  74. Aimee says

    Hi guys,
    I decided to give vitex a go as my acne is definitely hormonal.
    The bottle I bought says to take one tablet a day for PMS symptoms, or 2 a day for clearing acne. I started taking one a day a week ago to let my body slowly get used to it, then go to two tablets after a month or so.
    Day 3 I started getting crazy headaches in the afternoon that hang around until I go to sleep at night (or until I pop some panadol). From day 5 I’ve had dizziness, extreme exhaustion, feeling as though my head is too heavy for my neck to support it. I am feeling so out of it and very irritable. I read the bottle again this afternoon and found that each tablet contains 1000mg of chaste berry fruit!!! Going by all the websites out there, 200-400mg is ample. So it looks like I’ve been overdosing! Imagine if I had taken the recommended TWO pills a day (for acne)!! I think I’ll go off it for a few days until I can get to another health food store for a lower dosage.

    • narges says

      U should see how urs body respond to low dosage …for some people if use high dosage then might respond vice versa then u should see urs body how respond to it ….better start with low dosage and if get result continue it ..but if u see urs body need more dosage to respond can use it by and by….
      I just write my experience and information about it and m not specialist
      Good luck

  75. narges says

    Hi everyone….
    I can tell u that this herb known as women herb in Iran due to its good effect on women.it Was used first time for treating women s problems in Iran in 800years ago by the famous doctor Ibn Sina ..so this herb has a very long history for wemon treatments..
    M using it now bcz read many success treatments for acne .polycyctic overy.pms..iregular period (high blooding and less bleeding) .and some case of no pregnancy …
    Good luck

  76. Sophie says

    Yeah success! After 2 – 3 months of vitex – no more acne . After stopping contraception ( that also caused a lot of acne) I couldn’t get my skin ( and my hormone) back to normal. I was scared that it was going to lower my libido ( as mentioned it was used for that purpose in ancient time) but it didn’t . So am very pleased and this article did inform and encourage me in getting some vitex. So yes I recommend going for it if you have “hormone related acne”.

  77. Susi says

    Hi, Tracy!

    Have you had any experience or have you heard any stories about facial hair due to vitex? I took it for three months until I started noticing extra hair all over my face, so I had to stop it…. It did work on my acne though, and I really want to keep taking it.


  78. Libby says

    I took 2 vitex (400mg each) per day for about 3 months, and my cystic chin acne totally cleared up. Because of that, about 2 months ago I switched to taking 1 per day (like the directions on the bottle say). However, I am now getting cystic acne on my chin again, and am wondering if I should go back to 2 per day and maybe stick with that longer before switching to 1 a day?

  79. Mag says

    Hi Tracy,
    First off: I love your site. Very helpful and informative, and you are just too adorable! I’ve name-dropped you many times to friends.
    I’m wondering if you have any information on taking Vitex alongside Black Cohosh for balancing hormones and/or improving fertility.
    The most comprehensive information I’ve seen so far is to take Black Cohosh for the first half of your cycle (until around the time of expected ovulation) and to take Vitex the whole month round.
    It seems to make sense, but do you have any thoughts otherwise? Or know something I don’t?
    Also, what about menopausal women taking both? My mom is interested. She already takes Black Cohosh with pretty good results. I’ve read lots about taking one or the other for menopause/perimenopause, but I haven’t seen much about taking them together.
    Any help you can offer is greatly appreciated.
    Thanks again for such a wonderful site!

  80. Mr..A.Mehmood says

    My daughter aged 18, has unwanted facial hair, acne and abnormal hairs on legs as well.She has higher testosterone level. What you suggest spearmint tea, vitex or DIM or any combination of these three?
    Waiting for reply

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