How to Reduce Prolactin Levels With Herbs

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Prolactin, a hormone produced by the pituitary gland, plays a critical role in pregnancy by increasing the size of a woman's breasts and triggering milk production. Elevated levels of prolactin outside of pregnancy, however, can wreak havoc on a woman's fertility by suppressing the hormones that cause a woman to ovulate. Women with high prolactin levels may develop irregular cycles, find their breasts leak and become infertile. High prolactin levels can also create problems for men, including a decreased sex drive, impotence and sterility. Fortunately, a number of treatments are available for elevated prolactin levels, including a few readily available herbs.

Take an American ginseng supplement. A 1998 study in "Physiology & Behavior" found that taking American ginseng for as little as two weeks, decreased prolactin levels in male rats at all doses the researchers studied. Start with a dose of 200mg a day, the amount Western researchers frequently recommend. However, you may be able to safely consume 800mg to 2 grams of ginseng a day, if needed to improve your symptoms.

Use the herbal supplement, Ginkgo biloba. A 2008 study in "Hormones and Behavior" reports that Ginkgo biloba significantly reduced prolactin levels in male rats and increased their ejaculation frequency within 14 days.

Determining the correct dosage is difficult with herbs, but 120 to 480mg a day -- the amount typically studied in clinical trials -- should be safe. Start with a dose of 120mg per day, broken into two or three smaller doses, and increase the amount you take, as necessary to reduce your symptoms.

Consume the herbal supplement chaste tree, also known as vitex agnus castus. A 2003 study in "Phytomedicine" examined the effect of vitex on women suffering from severe premenstrual symptoms, a condition thought to be caused by high levels of prolactin, and found that vitex both lowered subjects' prolactin levels and decreased their problematic symptoms.

Take either 60 drops of vitex tincture or 175mg of vitex extract -- both standardised to contain .6 per cent agusides -- each day. Adjust the dosage as needed, to control your symptoms. It may take up to three to six months to see results.

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