Does the herb Vitex improve hormonal balance and promote fertility?
Q: The herb Vitex is said to improve hormonal balance and promote fertility and ovulation. I have heard that the tonic Gynovita helps to restore normal menstrual cycle. I am a little bit confused about taking these. What is the dosage of Gynovita to be taken daily? Is this available in Chennai? Can it be taken while we are planning to have a baby?
A:Vitex is the brand name of a product of plant origin. It is not legally categorised as medicine but as a "supplement" for sale without prescription. Such supplements for sale Over The Counter (OTC) are not tested by any regulatory authority. Hence consumers, who rely on producer's claims, do so on their own cost ands risk. Gynovite Forte is the brand name of a multi-ingredient product that contains vitamins A, C, D, E, B-complex factors, calcium iron, iodine etc. This is also an OTC product. It’s claims on efficacy and safety is not verified by drug regulator. It is being promoted for post-menopausal syndrome. These brands are sold in US and are unlikely to be available in Chennai. In any case there are scores of equivalent Indian brands. Women planning to have a baby should not take the chance of consuming any supplement not verified by the drug controller. They should take only folic acid (sold under the brand name of Folet), which is mandatory to prevent birth defects.