If you didn’t catch the JBC interview with Dr John Briffa posted here last week it’s definitely worth a watch particularly since it raised some interesting points on achieving healthier, happier skin through small but meaningful changes to the diet. We were happy to hear that putting good stuff into our body supports and improves the efficacy of the good stuff we put onto our skin.The interview also took a surprising direction in broaching the prickly question of how to deal with the regular and often uncomfortable symptoms associated with the hormonal riots occurring during the premenstrual phase of the monthly cycle.
Symptoms, as many of us know range from the barely there to the boundary pushing extreme, a day or two of general discomfort for some and weeks of abject misery for others. PMS is such a common occurrence that women don’t talk about it all that much, it’s kind of a given that most of us experience it at some time and with varying degrees of discomfort so it makes for refreshing listening to hear a couple of guys talking about it in the context of diet and health.
The thing that might strike a particular chord with any of us experiencing PM related symptoms was the mention of a little known or rarely mentioned herbal remedy Agnus Castus which Dr Briffa claimed to be the single most effective thing in helping alleviate some of the associated discomfort. He pointed out that most women have never heard of the herb let alone tried it out but, as you would expect, his claims are not unfounded and can be backed up by persuasive evidence from a number of trials including this one published in the BMJ way back in 2001.
It was a robust randomised, double blind, placebo controlled trial assessing the experience of 178 women via self monitoring procedures and clinical assessment scoring and which produced positive results for the 170 women finally evaluated. The trial officially concluded “Dry extract of agnus castus fruit is an effective and well tolerated treatment for the relief of symptoms of the premenstrual syndrome.”
So there you have it, a simple and easily accessible herbal remedy which is rarely recommended, never discussed and yet has few reported side effects and demonstrable positive results!
If you haven’t yet watched the interview in full, it’s definitely worth grabbing a cuppa and settling down to watch it when you have time. If you only have 10 minutes, the section on food and ‘beauty’ offer quick and easy hints on keeping skin in great condition.
As always, if you have any personal hints and tips on achieving and maintaining healthy skin we want to hear about them and if you have tried agnus castus or are a current devotee, tell us about your own experiences so we can spread the word on what works (or not!).