Agnus Castus: GOOD NEWS!!!!

Well they promised me they would and they have!!

Prime Health are once again stocking 20mg (standardised extract) Agnus Castus tablets –  £11.75 for SIX months supply.

Click here for their website.

Prime Health Agnus Castus

DO NOT buy for BOOTS (or any other high street store that is supplied by SCHWABE) , HOLLAND & BARRETT and KIRA because they have all obtained a Traditional Herbal Registration, which restricts dosage to 4mg per tablet.

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On family: The challenges may change, but being a mother doesn’t

I just read this fantastic blog post from Mom at Work , Anna Spanos, about how she is working so hard to be a good mother, she feels she is failing to be precisely that.

“Some days […] I am so busy taking care of her that I barely get to just see her.”

Her sense of maternal guilt, although prompted by her daughter’s difficult birth, is one I recognise.  If, like Anna, I make all my daughter’s food from organic ingredients, read to her every night, restrict TV viewing, disinfect every surface in the house twice daily and keep the households medicines locked away, then she  will be safe.

The problem is, whereas Anna can tuck her daughter up at night and baby-proof the lounge, I no longer have that luxury because my daughter grew up!

Once, I was my daughter’s world, and everything she ate, drank, saw, read and believed in came from me. Now she is thousands of miles away in Honduras, a country I have never visited, volunteering in a cultural environment I have little knowledge of.

Saying goodbye to her at the airport in August last year, and watching her walk through the boarding gates, away from the safety of home and me, was physically painful, as if the umbilicus really is still attached. Knowing, at 18 years old, she was flying into the ‘murder capital of the world’  didn’t help matters.

I cried a lot in the first week and each night struggled to fall asleep as I imagined her hurt, alone and desperate for her mother, suffering from malaria or dengue fever, or worse, injured in a bus crash or diving accident, or worse still kidnapped by a gang – there is nothing I haven’t imagined in those dark hours before sleep.

But 8 months later, she is alive!!! and well, speaks fluent Spanish and has travelled far and wide across Central America. She has also turned nineteen, survived the end of the world (she spent New Year at the Mayan ruins in Copan) learnt to scuba-dive, teach English to stroppy teenagers (the same the world over it seems), wash her own clothes, cook and clean (hopefully), as well as snowboard down volcanoes and countless other adventures that I’d rather not know about. At this moment in time she is arranging to move from the project she is currently on to a new one because she feels she can do more to help the people of Honduras in a different organisation.

This is a daunting prospect for me and one I had not foreseen.

I vetted her first project, spent countless hours on the web searching obscure references for the possible dangers lurking behind the glossy website. I was there helping her to write letters to charitable trusts, doing research, fundraising, and sorting out travel arrangements to Scotland for her training. Even though she was striking out on her own and leaving home for the first time (to go to the murder capital of the world – can’t shake that thought), I had control, was able to steer and direct her.

This time round I have been left on the sidelines. She has researched and found the second project, gone to visit it, made the difficult decision to leave where she is and start up somewhere new, on her own. Although she has informed me along the way, she has not asked for my opinion, or for my permission. I have had to see things from her perspective and offer her guidance rather than tell her what she must do. I have had to trust her judgments and support her decisions, rather than make them for her.

This is by far one of the hardest aspects of motherhood I have ever encountered.

A big part of me wants to insist she stay where she is. Tell her that I know best and that she is silly to take on a new project.

Yet, when we manage to skype, I can hear the excitement in her voice and the determination that she is making the right decision.

And so I remind myself I brought her up to think for herself. To make thoughtful decisions and consider all options. This is the first time she has ever had to, and I have to trust she will do it the way I taught her.

Did I teach her well enough?

I don’t know what the right thing to do as a mother is (I never have). But I do know undermining her decisions, or trying to manipulate her thinking to suit what I want (to stay where she is because I know she is safe, if frustrated) is not the right thing to do, however difficult  it is to give up control.

Her dad and I fly out to see her in a few weeks. By then her decision will be made and her new plans in place. What I do know is, I will hug her very tightly (and probably cry). I also know I will tell her how proud I am of her, and, for a few nights at least, I will get to tuck her up in bed again, just like I used to.

The challenges may change, but being a mother doesn’t. Nine months or nineteen, you still want to do everything you can to keep your child safe – and when you realise that you can’t, that despite all your efforts they will make their own decisions and mistakes, you can only hope you did it right, or at least you did it good enough.

Life cannot be baby proofed, but maybe you can life proof your child, so whatever they face they will make the right decision – or at the very least the one you would’ve made 🙂

At 9 months
At 9 months
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And at 19!!

What is the right balance? Do you feel you have got it right? All thoughts welcome. 

Agnus Castus: Proof that taking less than 20mg a day is no better than a placebo

Dose-dependent efficacy of the Vitex agnus castus extract Ze 440 in patients suffering from premenstrual syndrome.

Source

Institute for Health Care and Science, Hüttenberg, Germany.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Preparations of Vitex agnus castus L. (VAC) have been shown to be effective to treat irregular menstrual cycles, cyclical mastalgia and symptoms of the premenstrual syndrome (PMS). However, the dose-effect relationship for the treatment of PMS has not yet been established. This study aimed to investigate the clinical effects of three different doses of the VAC extract Ze 440 in comparison to placebo in patients suffering from PMS.

METHODS:

In a multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study, 162 female patients with PMS (18-45 years) were randomized to either placebo or different doses of Ze 440 (8, 20 and 30 mg) over three menstrual cycles. PMS symptoms’ severity was assessed by patients using visual analog scales (VAS) for the symptoms irritability, mood alteration, anger, headache, bloating and breast fullness.

RESULTS:

Each of the treatments was well tolerated. Improvement in the total symptom score (TSS) in the 20mg group was significantly higher than in the placebo and 8 mg treatment group. The higher dose of 30 mg, on the other hand, did not significantly decrease symptom severity compared to the 20mg treatment, providing a rational for the usage of 20mg. Corresponding results were observed with the single PMS symptom scores.

CONCLUSION:

This study demonstrated that the VAC extract Ze 440 was effective in relieving symptoms of PMS, when applied in a dose of 20mg. Therefore, for patients suffering from PMS, 20mg Ze 440 should be the preferred daily dose.

On Writing: Seven degrees of rejection

snoopy rejection

1) Standard form rejection based on partial, five minutes after you pressed send.

2) Standard form rejection based on partial.

3) Personalised rejection based on partial (you’ve got talent variety).

4) Standard form rejection based on full.

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no point in being a damn fool about it.”  W. C. Fields

5) Personalised rejection based on full (I didn’t buy into this aspect, but it’s a good idea).

6) Personalised rejection based on full (send us your next one).

7) Personalised rejection after you have resubmitted the same novel, which they asked you to edit further.

“You must keep sending work out; you must never let a manuscript do nothing but eat its head off in a drawer. You send that work out again and again, while you’re working on another one. If you have talent, you will receive some measure of success – but only if you persist.”  Isaac Asimov

This time I made no. 5. The higher the number the higher the hurt; 5 hurts pretty bad.

The only way to avoid it is either a) be a genius or b) don’t submit.

I’m working on a) and considering b).

And yes I know, it is only one agent. It doesn’t mean others won’t love it, but my writing ego is soft and easily wounded. I have to learn to toughen up because the alternative is not to write, and I can’t imagine not.

“After rejection – misery, then thoughts of revenge, and finally, oh well, another try elsewhere.”  Mason Cooley

What number have you got to? Do you struggle to send your novel out again?

“If you want the rainbow, you’ve got to put up with the rain.”  Dolly Parton