Researchers at the Institute for Health Care and Science in Huttenberg, Germany, identified 170 women diagnosed with premenstrual syndrome.
86 women received Agnus castus extract and 84 received placebo over 3 menstrual cycles.
Six symptoms - irritability, mood alteration, anger, headache, breast fullness, and bloating - were assessed at the start of the first cycle and again at the end of the third cycle.
|Symptoms improved with Agnus castus: irritability, mood alteration, anger, headache, and breast fullness|
The researchers found that patients who received Agnus castus had a significant improvement in combined symptoms compared with those on placebo. Five of the six symptoms (irritability, mood alteration, anger, headache, and breast fullness) were significantly improved.
Other symptoms, such as bloating, were unaffected by treatment.
Overall, more than half the women had a 50 per cent or greater overall improvement in their symptoms, and side-effects were few and mild.
Dr R. Schellenberg, Senior Consultant at the Institute, concluded on behalf of the group, "Given the debilitating effects of premenstrual syndrome, this herbal remedy should be considered a therapeutic option."