I have a lot of women send me links to Agnus Castus products and ask if they are at the right dosage. It is very difficult for me to judge because they doesn’t seem to be a standard way of reporting this. Some labels talk about extracts and others talk about accubins, others whole herb.
My advice is always the same however.
1) Contact the company and ask them how their Agnus Castus compares to the 20mg standardised extract used in clinical trials. If they don’t bother to reply, then don’t bother to buy.
2) Be wary of wild claims about potency. You only need 20mg standardised extract (200mg approx whole fruit). PURECLINICA, for example, claims the most potent dose on the internet, however I have emailed them three times asking them to explain their dosage simply and clearly in relation to the standardised extract. They have never replied.
3) Avoid products that have Traditional Herbal Registration THR logo as they will be restricted to 4mg per tablet. Boots and Holland & Barrett have, but be wary of any high street product. On the internet HealthSpan are also only selling 4mg tablets.
Prime Health Direct sell 20mg tablets for £11.95 (180 tablets). I have taken these for a number of years and found them to be effective. They are competitively priced, but often they run out of stock, so can be unreliable.
Natural Health Practice sell a food supplement of the whole herb (in capsule) 200mg called Agnus Castus Support. I have been taking these for just over 2 months and found them to be equally effective. They cost £19.97 (60 capsules). They are more expensive than Prime Health Direct, but they do contain black cohosh, skull cap and milk thistle. I also like the packaging and how you can actually smell the herb in the capsule – but in terms of effect I haven’t noticed a major difference between them and Prime Health Direct, although my last two cycles have been longer, 28 days rather than 24 – (but then I have also had some major changes in my life recently, which may also be the reason).
A. Vogel Tincture: I haven’t tried this, but others report success. The dosage does seems to be lower –
20 drops of A.Vogel Agnus castus tincture contains 54.2mg of dried fruit, or 542mg of extract (which is the fruit once it’s been macerated in a water/alcohol mix and extracted). So if you take a daily dose of 40 drops you get 108mg of dried fruit or 1,084mg of extract.
– but it is certainly an alternative to tablets/ capsules. The product has a lot of positive reviews.
All three companies I have linked to above spent time answering my questions and were more than happy to talk about their product and what the dosage actually means.