First off, the good news. I spoke to Peter from Prime Health Direct this week as a number of women had ordered the 20mg tablets (including me) but not received the order. He apologised for the delay and then explained they had sold out (I think this blog might have something to do with that), but he assured me the new stock was almost ready (bar the packaging) and he would be fulfilling the back orders next week. HURRAY!!
Secondly, I finally received a reply from Holland Barrett, explaining their new dosage and why despite a reduction in amount of herb per tablet the price remained the same (posted in full below). Make of it what you will – however, the assertion that they never sold it a higher dosage is clearly nonsense as illustrated by this comment I received today.
“Thank you for this info. I was taking old stock high strength Agnus Castus capsules (1 per day) from Holland and Barrett about a year ago and felt my PMS improve, but then I couldn’t buy them anymore. I struggled to take 4 capsules a day with their new stock and felt rubbish only taking 2, and now I know why!” EM
Thank you for your enquiry relating to your concerns over the new THR licensed H&B Agnus Castus product. I am sorry for the length of time it has taken to obtain answers to your questions and am grateful for your patience.
Some agnus castus product used in research studies have used a 20mg strength agnus castus formulation. The new THR licensed H&B Agnus Castus product will provide a 3.9mg strength agnus catsus extract. This is a highly concentrated extract which in fact equates to 24.4 – 31.2mg of agnus castus fruit and so will be in line with the amount of agnus castus used in research studies and the level based on traditional use.
In regards to issues of a comparison to a product that we used to sell that contained a 20mg strength extract I am unsure which product are referring to. Holland and Barrett have never sold a 20mg strength agnus catus extract and the current Good and Natural products contain agnus castus in a standard strength whole herb form and not an extract. Any price comparison is therefore dubious coupled with the fact the new THR licensed H&B Agnus Castus product has not been released for sale yet and will not be so until July this year. If making a price comparison between the current Good and Natural product (which provides agnus castus in a standard strength, whole herb form and not in an extract form) and the new THR licensed H&B Agnus Castus product, the new product will indeed be more expensive. This is due to increased manufacturing costs and quality testing for the new THR licensed products and also due to the cost associated with gaining a THR license for a herb.
Finally, the new product will have the following information stated on the packaging in regards to the indication for the product as follows:-
…to help relieve symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome such as irritability, mood swings, breast tenderness, bloating and menstrual cramps. This is based on traditional use only.
The dose used is consistent with traditional use and would be therefore be expected to provide good benefits for many customers. This effect would be comparable to the Good and Natural product which contains agnus castus in different form to the new H&B product, i.e. in a standard strength, whole herb form rather than in an extract and so there would not be expected to a significant change in the management of symptoms. This is a key difference which must be accounted for when comparing the two products.
Please do not hesitate to contact me again if you have any further questions.
Alexander Thompson, BSc (Hons)
Customer Services Team
The home of Holland & Barrett, GNC, Nature’s Way and De Tuinen.