In response to comments made on our facebook page about the treatments offered to acne sufferers, and the desire to achieve a resolution asap I wanted to share a story with you.

In 1998 I suffered a small stroke as the result of taking the birth control pill (BCP).  Apparently this is listed in very small print on the little leaflet inside the box as one of the possible “side effects” of taking a BCP..

I started taking a BCP because of severe menstrual cramping. I had heard from friends that the pill helped them with the same condition, so I visited my GP and he instantly prescribed a BCP.  He didn’t even discuss alternatives.

Now, I had always had a “china doll” complexion so when I developed acne soon after taking the BCP it threw me into a state of shock and horror – I wanted it gone!  I went back to my GP and he said, “oh yes, that is a possible complication of taking a BCP, let’s try another”.  I tried quite a few variations until I settled on a BCP that “fixed” my acne.  However, I developed severe migraines and eventually had a stroke.

As soon as I came off the pill, my migraines disappeared and my skin has stayed beautifully clear.

I have learned from customers that docotor’s are now prescribing the drug roacctane to treat acne.  I had one lovely young lady write to me explaining she was prescribed this and though it worked she wasn’t told of the possible side effects – long term internal damage, joint pain, and possible depression to name a few.  She now just has to wait and see what will happen although at least she is now alert to the dangers which will help her monitor her situation.

So, I wanted to share a herbal remedy that was told to me by one of the naturopaths we work with at Pure & Green.  It is a product called “Vitex”.

Vitex is not a hormone, nor does it contain hormones. It is a gentle and slow-acting herb as opposed to a hormone prescription that can be expected to have a forceful and immediate impact on your glands and organs.

It does not have the side effects that synthetic hormones have

Vitex is made from the chaste tree berry and it works by acting on the hypothalamus and pituitary glands by increasing luteinizing hormone (LH) production and mildly inhibiting the release of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). The result is a shift in the ratio of estrogen to progesterone, in favor of progesterone. The ability of chaste tree berry to raise progesterone levels in the body is an indirect effect, so the herb itself is not a hormone.

Basically this herb helps with PMS and regulating your hormone levels and thus improving your cycles but as a bonus it may help treat your acne if your acne is the result of a hormone imbalance.

Vitex should be avoided during pregnancy or lactation.

Definitely ask your physician his/her opinion based on their knowledge of your personal medical history, but if you’re seeing a family practice doctor and not a gynecologist, they may never have heard of it!  You may wish to discuss your situation with a naturopath instead.

As this is a more gentle remedy it will take up to 3 months to see a result. Unfortunately, all the research indicates its effectiveness for women – not  men –  so if you are a gentlemen looking for a natural acne treatment please do check with your medical practitioner first.

I only wish I knew about this years ago!

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1 Comment on Vitex and Acne

  1. Anastasia says:

    Dear Grace,

    this is a very interesting post, could you please recommend a brand for vitex? I’ve been searching for it online since it was mentioned in your previous post about Acne/Rosacea/Cellulit – your skin will love coffee. I just didn’t want any possible additives that are often found in tablets, just pure herb… so I ordered dried chaste tree berries from a website. Also online I found Vitex in tablets from Blackmore. Which product were you using?

    Kind Regards