Agnus Castus: Not a rant, but ACTION!

I’ve had enough of big pharmaceutical companies dictating what I am allowed to take to improve my health and well being. Agnus Castus is a safe and effective treatment for PMT and I want to be able to buy it on the high street. Urged on by this organisation Alliance for Natural Health, I have written the following email to the MEP that represents my constituency – Glenis Willmott. Please do the same. You can find sample letters and how to find your MEP on the Alliance for Natural Health website.

Dear Ms Willmott,

I am greatly concerned about the way in which the European Commission, the European Food Safety Authority and Member State governments have restricted maximum levels of vitamins and minerals in food supplements (on the basis of Article 5 of the Food Supplements Directive,2002/46/EC).

I am writing to you in the hopes you can do something about making it possible for me and many other women to obtain 20mg of Agnus Castus for treatment of PMT. Up until May 2011, getting the efficacious dosage (based on sound clinical data – see Schellenberg 2001, 2012) was easy enough, with Boots and many online stores stocking the product at a reasonable price. However, since the THMPD, the dosage has been restricted to 4mg per tablet based on Traditional Herbal Registration. No UK company has applied for Market Authorisation, so the MRHA informed me recently (unsurprising considering the cost), which would allow them to continue selling 20mg tablets based on Well Established Use. The THMPD has therefore taken away the only treatment that has worked for PMT; my alternative is to take 5 tablets a day at a cost of £20 a week – as it seems despite the reduction in dosage, there has not been a reduction in price, 4mg tablets cost the same as 20mg.

To impress on you the significance of this directive on my life, let me tell you what life was like before I stumbled across Agnus Castus in  newspaper article in 2008:

“For me the biggest issue was painful periods, so painful I stood at the top of the stairs and seriously toyed with the possibility of throwing myself down them either to knock myself out or at least end up in hospital. Unbelievable pain that had my lying in my own vomit on the bathroom floor wishing I would black out. I was prescribed morphine, which left me muddled, sick, and unable to drive to work the next day (as a secondary school teacher, I was missing 2-3 days a month, which was terrible for my students and my career prospects). I was offered anti-depressants: I said I wasn’t depressed. They recommended exercise, cutting out caffeine, eating more healthily. I did all those things. I still spent 3-4 days a month dealing with constant grinding pain that stopped me sleeping, eating, working, living. The consultant suggested the Mirena coil. I said I didn’t need contraception. He said it was like a chemical hysterectomy. I agreed. I just wanted the pain to stop. The pain was so overwhelming, I barely registered the irritable bowel, painful breasts, anxiety and tearfulness.

The evening after the coil was inserted the pain started and didn’t stop. After three days, where I was in so much pain, I considered overdosing on morphine, and absolutely no support from the gynae clinic who had inserted the coil, even when I begged them on the phone to see me, I ended up in A&E, crying, shaking, vomiting and delirious. They gave me a lot more morphine, which made me even sicker. I pleaded with them to remove the coil (possibly hysterically, it is all a blur). They told me Minera coils are expensive and I should give it more time, before giving up. I hadn’t slept for three days. I was exhausted and distressed. My husband insisted they remove it. The pain stopped immediately.

I was a bad patient. The gynaecological consultant had run out of options. I floated the idea of a hysterectomy. I was told it was a drastic measure, and  I should have tried harder with the coil, because they didn’t like to recommend hysterectomies on woman of my age (37 at the time). It was suggested I try the coil again. I told them I would think about it. I left, depressed and lost. Menopause seemed my only hope, but that was ten years away yet.” Extract from my blog and for the full post and more posts about Agnus Castus and the countless women who have commented see link:  https://julietocallaghan.wordpress.com

As you can see Agnus Castus was life changing, I have not missed a day of work since. I know many other women for whom this herb has been a life and marriage saviour, but unfortunately even if a woman was to find out about the benefits of Agnus Castus and bought it on UK high streets, she would not realise the recommended dosage (4-8mg) would render it ineffective and she would assume it doesn’t work, leaving very few alternatives (all with terrible side effects).

I urge you to act on this subject, which is based on sound scientific principles as judged by leading integrated medicine institutions, the Alliance for Natural Health International and other respected and independent organisations.

Please let me know what action you might be prepared to take to bring to end this strangulation, which benefits large pharma companies and keeps UK citizens chained to dangerous and less effective treatments for PMT and other ailments.

From the activity on my blog, there are many, many women left in pain and confused by the result of this directive.

Very best wishes,

Juliet O’Callaghan

You can use my letter as a template, but do give your personal story of what life was like before Agnus Castus. I feel better for doing something rather than just whinging on this blog.

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