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It’s not often that we do a full-blown review for something that’s not a gummy (quelle horreur!), but the power of Hum Nutrition’s Moody Bird has been so inspiring to us that we just had to write about it in our journal (aka this website).
Hum is a supplement powerhouse. Yes, we’ve mentioned it a million times, but their Hair Sweet Hair was the gummy that proved to our skeptical minds that gummy vitamins weren’t just adult candy, they actually did things. Imagine that!
We had also dabbled in their non-gummy Red Carpet supplement years ago, and had great results with it. But we had sort of forgotten about Hum’s non-gummy offerings as we slowly slipped into the Full Gummy Lifestyle over the years.
But when we discovered Flo Vitamins, the “world’s first PMS gummy,” it got us thinking about why these ingredients weren’t being used in other supplements, if they truly were storied herbal remedies used for centuries.
Turns out they were! Just not in gummy form. And, lo and behold, one of them was Hum’s Moody Bird.
Moody Bird Ingredients
Both Flo and HUM feature two PMS heavy hitters: Chaste Berry and Dong Quai.
Where the Flo gummies have lots of great additional ingredients, like lemon balm and B6, HUM’s Moody Bird just has the Dong Quai and Chaste Berry.
And while all of the ingredients in Flo’s gummy are there to deliver some PMS relief, we were curious to see how things would go when we pared down to just two ingredients in the Hum.
Chaste Berry is the fruit of the chaste tree. (It’s botanical name is Vitex agnus castus, so you might also see chaste berry referred to by that name on supplement labels.)
Chaste berry contains compounds which are thought to help balance hormones and relieve PMS symptoms, although it seems like no one is entirely sure what the mechanism of action is exactly.
Essentially, compounds in Chaste Berry appear to modulate your pituitary gland, making it produce luteinizing hormone, which leads to your ovaries producing more progesterone, and more progesterone might mean fewer PMS symptoms.1
At the same time, Chaste Berry seems to also reduce the amount of prolactin produced by your pituitary gland. High prolactin levels are associated with PMS symptoms, and lowering prolactin has been shown to help with PMS symptoms.2
Chaste Berry Studies
There have been a number of studies regarding supplementing Chaste Berry for PMS symptoms:
In one study, 170 women diagnosed with premenstrual syndrome were divided into two groups. One group received a dry extract chaste berry tablet, and the other received a placebo. The women were given the same treatment for three consecutive menstrual cycles. Before the study started, subjects described symptoms of PMS that they typically experienced, like irritability, mood swings, anger, headaches, bloating, and breast discomfort.
When the study was finished, they were asked again about their symptoms. The women who received chaste berry said their symptoms improved overall. Four of the women reported mild side effects, but so did three of the women in the placebo group.3
In another study, 128 women who suffered from PMS were given forty drops of chaste berry extract or a placebo for six days before their periods. The subjects answered a questionnaire about PMS symptoms at the beginning and end of the study, which took place over six consecutive cycles. Again, the women who received chaste berry extract reported improvement in systems such as headache, anger, irritability, depression, breast fullness, and bloating.4
In 2017, researchers did a meta-analysis, looking at 14 different studies that had been done of Chaste Berry for PMS symptoms. The studies were all randomized controlled trials, meaning they were designed and conducting using strict scientific procedures. Despite this, researchers found most of the studies somewhat biased. Still, positive results were reported in 13 of the 14 studies.5
So, ultimately, the research that has been done around Chaste Berry is promising for sure, but (as always) more research is needed before anyone is able to draw firm conclusions.
Dong Quai, otherwise known as Angelica sinensis or “female ginseng,” is a mainstay in traditional Chinese medicine, and has a long history of traditional use for both PMS and menopausal symptoms. Hum includes it in Moody Bird to “help relieve cramps and provide a calming effect.”*
There hasn’t been a lot of clinical research on the effectiveness of supplementing Dong Quai for PMS symptoms specifically. This overview lists some animal studies that suggest Dong Quai has antispasmodic effects, and also examines one study where 39% of women who took Dong Quai self-reported significant reduction in cramp pain, although it’s important to note that that study wasn’t conducted very carefully, and the women involved were taking pretty massive doses of Dong Quai!
Does Moody Bird work?
Okay. Your mileage may vary, but these worked miracles for us.
Less cramping, less tender body parts. Moods no longer swinging from the rafters.
Typically, we get tender breasts starting about ten days out, and that existential despair comes in real hot a day or two before the flow. But after taking Moody Bird, honestly, we practically didn’t even see our period coming!
And even better, we didn’t start taking Moody Bird at the end of a cycle, it was more towards the middle of our cycle when our order arrived, so our period came just a few weeks into taking them, and we still noticed a major difference.
That was a major plus for us, considering that Flo advises you to take them for two full months before you get the full effects.
Here’s an honest confession: since Moody Bird isn’t a gummy, we don’t get the same thrill and enthusiasm to pop a few every day. And therefore… we forgot to take them everyday. 🙈 We make a way better Gummy Girl than a non-Gummy Girl. 🤷🏻♀️
Hum recommends taking one capsule, twice a day. But often we’d just remember to take one once a day, and once while traveling, even forgot to take them at all for a couple of days.
We obviously recommend sticking to Hum’s suggested dosage, but we had great results even while being a little slack in our schedule, FWIW.
Moody Bird vs. Flo
Well, it probably goes without saying: Flo is definitely the more delicious of these two. And of course, we wish HUM had a gummy option!
But we had faster and more noticeable results with the Moody Bird. Beyond that, Flo feels a big time and money commitment. With two months necessary to see full results, and then a big time commitment to keep it up (until menopause?) we’re not sure our periods are that bad.
Maybe yours are, and we totally understand if that’s the best solution for you, but in our case at least, the Moody Bird wins out hands down, even taking it irregularly and not even for a full cycle.
We’re guessing this has a lot to do with dosage. It’s hard to do an apples-to-apples comparison, because Flo lists their ingredients as a proprietary blend, meaning that we can’t tell exactly how much of each ingredient is in them.
But where the Flo gummies contain a total of 110 mg of their proprietary blend per serving, Moody Bird has 300 mg of Chaste Berry Extract per serving. Even if Flo’s entire blend was made up of Chasteberry, the Moody Bird would still have almost 3 times as much!
And now that we’ve experienced the magic of Chaste Berry + Dong Quai, we’ll stick to the recommended schedule to see if they’re more or less effective, and more importantly, if we can get away with not taking them multiple times a day for the rest of our menstrual lives.
Moody Bird is more affordable, too, if you compare the prices for a single bottle; although you do save a couple of bucks a month if you subscribe to Flo.
Ultimately, we love how these have helped us weather the PMS storms. Consider us moody birds (a good mood).
Also, FYI, you get $10 off your first order through Hum, but it does require a subscription when you order from them (which you can cancel whenever you want). You can also pick up single bottles of Moody Bird at Sephora or on Amazon if you just want to give it a spin without the subscription!
- Steiner M, Haskett RF, Carroll BJ, Hays SE, Rubin RT. Plasma prolactin and severe premenstrual tension. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 1984;9(1):29-35. doi:10.1016/0306-4530(84)90019-2
- Zamani M, Neghab N, Torabian S. Therapeutic effect of Vitex agnus castus in patients with premenstrual syndrome. Acta Med Iran. 2012;50(2):101-106.