Vitex agnus-castus (Chastetree berry) has been used for thousands of years to treat female hormonal disruptions, ranging from premenstrual syndrome (PMS) to menopause. Vitex has an effect on the pituitary gland, which is located in the brain and produces hormones that stimulate the production of sex hormones in other areas of the body.
Clinical studies show that Vitex has the ability to reduce headaches, breast tenderness, bloating, fatigue, sweet cravings and irritability. It contains chemicals that have the ability to stimulate progesterone receptors and favour the production of luteinizing hormone (LH) over follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). These hormones are used in the female body to support pregnancy and lactation, but their effects can also help other female complaints. Vitex helps increase progesterone levels and normalize prolactin levels, restoring estrogen-progesterone balance to ease symptoms of PMS. Excess estrogen combined with a deficiency in progesterone can cause disruptions in the menstrual cycle. Elevated levels of prolactin results in breast tenderness and pain, two classic symptoms of PMS.
Natural Factors Vitex Standardized Extract is standardized to ensure consistent levels of the major plant active aucubin. The vegetarian capsules are free from artificial preservatives, colours or sweeteners, dairy, soy, wheat or yeast.
Who is Natural Factors?
Today, Natural Factors is one of the largest manufacturers of nutritional products in North America. But their origins reach back to the 1950s, and right from day one, they’ve always been fully committed to making products right. They are not a public company with shareholders to impress. Instead, they care about impressing you.
Everything Starts With the Soil
Their farm has truly unique soil, built up over millennia as water from Otter Lake repeatedly flooded the valley below. The floods deposited a tremendous amount of organic matter onto the land. The resulting alluvial soil is extremely fertile. This incredible top soil is over two metres deep in places and has special lime stratification, which plays an important role in neutralizing the pH of the soil.
Controlling the Harvest
They also have full control over the harvest. For example, they selectively handpick the echinacea flowers, picking only the mature flower heads, because they contain the highest levels and best ratios of active ingredients. That’s a great advantage over mechanical harvesting, which doesn’t allow for selection based on the maturity of the plants
One of the advantages of doing their own organic farming is having complete control over seed selection. They make sure to choose true “species” non-hybrid, non-GMO seeds. It’s very important to make sure that the seedlings are natural and healthy, because healthy seedlings mean healthy mature plants. Some of the open pollinated, non-hybridized crops we grow are Echinacea purpurea, astragalus, alfalfa, and lavender.
They have close to 700,000 square feet of space across nine locations in North America, housing offices, manufacturing and production facilities, laboratories, distribution centres, and extensive warehouses. Their head office is in Coquitlam, British Columbia. Our new US office is in Monroe, Washington.
Industry Leaders in Manufacturing
Their vitamin and supplement manufacturing capabilities include tableting, liquid and powder extraction, multi-ingredient aqueous granulations, and a liquid fill line. They are the only branded manufacturer of nutraceuticals in Canada to have their own softgel encapsulation facility, giving them further control over the end product. Theirsoftgel facility can produce up to four billion softgels per year.
Big Enough to do it Right
They believe we need to be “big enough to do it right.” This means bringing as many processes in-house as possible. They are one of the only nutritional companies to have their own organic farms, their own extraction, encapsulation, and production facilities, their own labs and research facilities, and a vast network of academic, scientific, and retail partners.