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Vitex, an herb that is also called chasteberry, is often prescribed for use in regulating menstruation and hormones, but it has also been associated with the reduction of acne. It is difficult, however, to say just how effective this herb is for acne because there isn't enough scientific evidence to back up such claims. Still, many natural remedy sites assert that it can be an effective remedy for acne, and there aren't usually negative side effects. Since a person cannot be sure of its effectiveness, however, he may decide to try vitex for acne and just discontinue use if it doesn't work after a few months.
The reason many people consider using vitex for acne is because it has a balancing effect on a person's hormones. For example, natural health practitioners sometimes recommend it for women who have irregular menstrual cycles or seem to have an imbalance of estrogen and progesterone. Since it helps in balancing hormones, it may prove helpful for treating people who have acne as a result of hormonal imbalances. This is often true of teens, though hormone-caused acne can affect people of all ages. Using vitex for acne that is caused by other issues may not prove as effective.
Studies of vitex have revealed that some of the claims about its benefits are true. For example, some studies have shown that the herb can help balance hormones important to female reproduction. Studies have also produced evidence that vitex can help reduce unpleasant premenstrual symptoms, such as fatigue, bloating, sore breast tissue, irritability, and depression. Since this herb helps with hormone regulation, some people also use it for decreasing menopause symptoms in the early stages of this life change. Scientific research has yet to reveal how effective the herb is for acne, however, but some people may choose to use it on a trial-and-error basis.
Despite the fact that using vitex for acne isn't usually considered dangerous, some people may do well to exercise caution when using it. For example, those who are hoping to conceive a child may do well to ask a doctor before using it, as it can affect the menstrual cycle and hormones required for reproduction. It is important to note, however, that some women do use it to regulate their cycles when they are trying to conceive. Pregnant women are typically advised to avoid this herb, and it may adversely affect sperm production and testosterone levels in males.