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home / health / pms / Q&A / Incredibly sore breasts. Will agnus castus help? 

I have bought the Agnus Castus oral drops and I have been using them daily for 2 months. My focus has been to balance my hormones, as I suffer from acne (adult). I eat a healthy diet and regularly exercise and the acne is on my face (particularly chin and jaw), arms and back. Agnus Castus is supposed to combat breast tenderness, but in the past 2 months my breasts have been incredibly sore from ovulation to menstuation. My skin erupts at ovulation and again 2 weeks later at the onset of menstruation. I tried halving the dose to once a day, but to no avail and I have had to stop the Agnus Castus altogether. I have spoken with the health shop owner, who has advised me to contact you directly. Please help!

It sounds very much as if you were suffering from high progesterone originally - this imbalance is associated with adult acne.

Unfortunately, although Agnus castus has a general reputation for balancing women's hormones, it does it by raising progesterone in ratio to oestrogen - i.e. it only works for hormones that are imbalanced a particular way. This does not appear to be generally known. 

If your progesterone was already high and you took Agnus castus for a couple of months we would expect the symptoms to get worse, as your progesterone would be increasingly elevated. The breast tenderness would not abate, because it was not due to low progesterone and high oestrogen - this is the type that Agnus castus helps. 

From what you say, your acne may be associated with high progesterone and low oestrogen - this would be confirmed if you have a relatively long cycle with relatively light periods. 

The other issue that emerges from your description is slight congestion of the bowel, which then reduces the liver's ability to clear toxins and degrade oestrogen - this contributes to the high oestrogen picture referred to above.

In this situation we tend to advise focusing on improved bowel function and general digestion first. 

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