Chasteberry, Vitex, Agnus-castus, Chaste tree, a bush 1-2 meters high, purple-blue flowers and five-fingers, pointed leaves, grows wild in the Mediterranean, Southern Europe and Central Asia. In phytotherapy is commonly used patchouli essential oil and tincture of chaste tree berry, which has been clinically confirmed drug for women with menstrual problems.
Chasteberry, Vitex, Agnus Castus, is clinically proven help with PMS, just like maca root. Hippocrates, Dioscorides and Pliny the Elder recommend the use chasteberry in different conditions, including pain during and after childbirth, vaginal inflammation, dysmenorrhea, accumulation of fluid in the body. Decoctions of fruit and leaves are used in baths to help with uterine disease. For Ancient Greeks this miraculous medicine was a symbol of innocence and chastity – they believe that chasteberry suppresses libido, so it was frequently planted around the monastery, hence the name “Monk’s pepper”.
Chasteberry, Vitex Agnus Castus does not contain hormones – its action is based on the reduction of prolactin secretion by dopaminergic neurons, thereby establishing the balance of progesterone and estrogen in the menstrual cycle – reduces estrogen, FSH and prolactin and increases progesterone.
Chasteberry, Vitex Agnus-Castus, Chaste Tree Berry
Clinical-controlled study showed that women who took 20 mg of chasteberry extract daily for three months had a significant decrease in the next PMS symptoms: anxiety, mood swings, headaches, tension in the breast. Another double-blind study showed that women who took chasteberry felt greater relief from symptoms associated with PMS than those who took supplements of vitamin B6 (read about Vitamin B 17 – Leatril), which is usually provided for the treatment of PMS. Vitex Agnus Castus, Chaste tree berry, combined with some homeopathic remedies, in also another double-blind study confirmed to be an aid to mastalgia (breast pain).
Thus, the use of this herb is indicated for the treatment of the following symptoms:
- Painful periods,
- PCOS – polycystic ovary syndrome
- Fibrocystic changes in the breast
- Female infertility
- Acne caused by hormonal imbalance (how to get rid of pimples, how to get rid of acne scars)
“Germany’s Commission E”, established by the German Ministry of Health, recommends a daily dose of 30-40 mg dry extract, or chasteberry tincture, over many months. For the treatment of PMS, it should be taken during 6 months and amenorrhea and infertility treatment can take up to 18 months..
Chasteberry, Vitex Side Effects
The only side effects of chasteberry, vitex we are familiar are the ones during pregnancy and lactation. It is also not used in patients who use oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy. Given all facts above and if you are having problems with PMS than you should put chasteberry, vagnus agnus-castus, chaste tree berry into your daily diet.