Chasteberry : Is a Multi-Beneficial An-Aphrodisiac Herb for Women
has been used as a natural sex boosters to revive up one's libido. Vitex, also
known as Chasteberry or Monk's Pepper or woman's herb has an ancient reputation
as an an-aphrodisiac for men. The leaves were strewn at the feet of novices as
they entered the monastery. However neither modern science nor practical
experience supports this particular use of the plant! Chasteberry (Vitex
agnus-catus) is a small brown berry fruit of the chaste tree which is about the
size of peppercorns and smells like peppermint.
Chasteberry has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries for its health
benefits. In its ripe form, the fruit is used in the preparation of herbal
liquids and powdered extracts. It has been recommended for menstrual complaints.
Although it contains no hormones or hormone-like substances, the herb influences
hormonal activity by stimulating the pituitary gland at the base of the brain to
produce more luteinizing hormone (LH). This, in turn, signals the ovaries to
produce more of the hormone progesterone. Chasteberry also acts to lower
elevated levels of a second pituitary hormone, prolactin, which is involved in
Vitex as a supreme hormonal tonic for women. Both extensive clinical studies, as
well as over two thousand years of use in folk medicine, have proven the
effectiveness of this remedy. It works by stimulating and normalizing the
pituitary gland, which regulates the balance of estrogen and progesterone in the
In a normal menstrual cycle estrogen is higher before ovulation and progesterone
is higher after. Many women don't realize that an imbalance of these hormones
can lead to the entire range of symptoms associated with PMS and menopause!
Vitex usually has the effect of enhancing progesterone and decreasing estrogen
Vitex itself has none of the hormonal building blocks that many of the medicinal
plants used for the reproductive system contain. Instead, this herb nourishes
and supports the endocrine system to find its own balance. David Hoffman, a
well-known herbalist, says "Vitex will always enable what is appropriate to
occur." Almost all of symptoms associated with the menstrual cycle can be
treated with this plant. It is the single best herb for treating the many
possible symptoms of PMS: cramps, flooding, headaches, depression, water
retention, constipation, acne, breast tenderness, and irritability. It can help
normalize irregular or scanty periods.
It is especially helpful for women who are coming off the birth control pill.
For many women, cycles remain irregular for up to two years after stopping the
pill. Vitex can greatly shorten that time and helps ease the body into regaining
its own natural rhythm. It is a wonderful tonic to enhance the chances of
conception through its ability to regulate ovulation and if taken through the
first trimester, vitex will reduce the chances of miscarriage. After the birth,
it helps a new mother to produce plenty of milk.
Vitex also offers many benefits to women who are menopausal. It helps to relieve
many of the uncomfortable symptoms of this transition time, including hot
flashes, irregular cycles, depression, and flooding. Vitex is also an
indispensable remedy for women with uterine fibroids, fibrocystic breasts, or
endometriosis. All of these conditions proliferate under the influence of
estrogen and shrink under the influence of progesterone.
This plant may be taken in tea form, although it is prefered the tincture
(alcohol extract). The dosage of is usually 30-50 drops, three times per day.
Like all herbs, Vitex works best when combined with a lifestyle that includes
pure water, whole food, gentle exercise, and plenty of self-love. Although you
won't find it in the wild, Vitex is easy to grow in our bioregion. Just remember
to leave it plenty of space, since it can get up to seventeen feet tall!
Vitex is a slow-acting herb and is recommend allowing three full cycles for the
plant to really work its magic, and many women take it for up to several years.
In the thousands of years that it has been in use, there are no reports of even
the mildest side effects. Vitex is a safe, gentle, and effective remedy, with
something to offer women in every cycle of life.
Chasteberry (Vitex agnus castus) is considered by some as the herbal ally for
menopausal women. It is especially important for the woman who comes to her
menopause through induced means. Consistent use (ok to use for several years)
increases the levels of progesterone and luteinizing hormone (LH) in the blood.
In the early menopausal years, this can be helpful, but during the "melt-down"
years, when too much LH dilates blood vessels, causing hot flashes, panic
attacks, and palpitations, vitex can become too much of a good thing.
Chasteberry is often used by herbalists to regulate hormone imbalances in women
and lower the testosterone levels in men. It is known for its effectiveness in
the treatment of menstrual disorders, PMS, menopausal symptoms such as breast
tenderness, hot flashes and mood swings, infertility and decreased milk
production in lactating women. Due to its anti-androgen activity, Chasteberry
has been used as a natural supplement to lower testosterone levels in
transgenders (in male to female), and to suppress the onset of prostate cancer
which is also associated with high testosterone levels. Its anti-androgen
activity may also help clear up acne, reduce Hirsutism (excessive hair growth)
Health Benefits of Chasteberry
increases progesterone levels
increases the secretion of luteinizing hormone (LH)
helps with mild endometriosis
may help prevent miscarriage
relieves PMS symptoms helps with amenorrhea
balances irregular menstruation may reduce uterine cysts
stabilizes menstrual cycle after stopping birth control pills
helps with mood swings
slower acting – allow 3 cycles to begin to see benefits
may help with acne
helps with breast tenderness
helps with food cravings
helps with infertility
stimulates milk production in new mothers
can be taken safely through the end of the third month of pregnancy
helps with lack of ovulation
stimulates & normalizes the pituitary gland
nourishes & supports endocrine system
enhances chance of conception
helps with hot flashes
A German company has used Chasteberry extract in the manufacturing of a
medication for Mastalgia - sore breasts or breast tenderness associated with PMS
(Pre-Menstrual Syndrome) and menopause. It is believed that Chasteberry extract
may help stop the release of a hormone prolactin from the pituitary gland. High
levels of Prolactin hormone may stimulate milk production in pregnant and
lactating women causing breast tenderness and may also cause irregular menstrual
cycles and missed periods. Therefore, taking one 300mg Chasteberry extract
capsule daily can be beneficial to reduce breast tenderness.
Miscarriage and Infertility
Studies have found that the Progesterone hormone plays a crucial role in
conception and sustaining pregnancy. Researchers have concluded that low
progesterone levels may be associated with the thinning of the uterine lining
during pregnancy, corpus luteum insufficiency, and luteal phase defects (which
are the main causes of infertility and miscarriages). A luteal phase is a period
between ovulation and menstruation during a woman's menstrual cycle which is
typically 10-17 days long. However, when this period is too short, too long or
irregular, it is described as Luteal Phase Defect (LPD) which leads to
infertility and or unsustainable pregnancy.
Corpus Luteum Insufficiency is a condition where pregnant women have an
abnormally low progesterone levels around 3 weeks after the first day of
menstruation. There are a number of other causes of Luteal Phase Defect, Corpus
Luteum Insufficiency, infertility and miscarriage but many studies show that low
progesterone levels may be a major cause of these conditions. Therefore, taking
a Chasteberry capsule once daily may help with infertility and minimize the
risks of miscarriage by naturally increasing the progesterone levels in the
body. However, there are conflicting opinions about the use of Chasteberry
during pregnancy, therefore, during pregnancy the consumption of Chasteberry in
any form should be avoided unless advised by your health care provider
PMS, Menstrual Cramps and Menopause
It is believed that Chasteberry is a natural source of the progesterone hormone.
Research shows that insufficient progesterone levels may cause all sorts of
menstrual problems such as short, early, heavy, too frequent or no periods
(amenorrhea), luteal phase defects, and raised levels of the prolactin-pituitary
hormone (which is responsible for breast tenderness in PMS and early menopause).
A few studies show that the use of Chasteberry extract may help with
perimenopause (the early stages of menopause), PMS, menstrual cramps and
bloating and other menstrual disorders. Simply taking one capsule of Chasteberry
daily during the day for 2 months may be helpful.
Chasteberry has been used as a natural herbal remedy to help balance the body's
hormones. Men have been using chasteberry for years as a natural anti-androgen
to lower testosterone hormone levels to suppress the onset of prostate cancer.
A woman with too much prolactin and too little progesterone in her body may not
ovulate regularly. Obviously, it would be difficult to become pregnant under
these conditions. Chasteberry can help to lower prolactin levels and aid in the
normal functioning of the ovaries, thus providing opportunities for conception.
The herb works best for women whose progesterone levels are mildly or moderately
low. High prolactin levels can also cause amenorrhea (absent menstrual cycles).
In such cases chasteberry may be useful in reestablishing a normal monthly
cycle. Women suffering from infertility due to not only to an imbalance of
estrogen and progesterone but also to high prolactin levels may benefit from
In a 1988 study, 48 women (ages 23 to 39) with infertility and this type of
condition–called a luteal phase defect–were given chasteberry once a day for
three months. Of the 45 women who completed the study, seven became pregnant
during the study. And in 25 of the women, progesterone levels returned to
normal, a situation that improved the chances for future conception.
Declining hormone levels in the years up to and after menopause can cause hot
flashes, sweating, vaginal dryness, and even mild depression. Chasteberry (alone
or combined with herbs such as dong quai or black cohosh) works to stabilize
these hormone levels and can be beneficial in controlling symptoms.
Relieve the pain of endometriosis. Chasteberry acts to restore hormonal
imbalances responsible for endometriosis-related pain, which can be severe. It’s
commonly taken in combination with the herb dong quai for this purpose. Both
herbs help to relax the uterus.
Control menstrual-related acne. Monthly periods involve hormonal shifts that can
lead to acne. By helping to stabilize hormone levels, chasteberry may help to
keep skin clear. Chasteberry has also been found to be useful for a number of
Chasteberry doesn't actually contain hormones or hormone like substances, but it
does prompt the body to produce more of its own hormones. So while it’s a safe
herb and few women develop side effects, respect its power and use it with care.
Don’t take chasteberry with hormone replacement medications and oral
contraceptives without discussing it with your physician. For obvious reasons,
never take this hormone-altering herb during pregnancy. The long-term effects of
using chasteberry are not known. You might want to ease off the chasteberry
after a few months and see if your symptoms have improved on their own.
When chasteberry is taken in moderation, there aren’t any known side effects,
though it should not be taken for more than 6 to 8 months at a time. An overdose
may cause headache, dizziness, nausea, upset stomach, rash, and itchiness.
Taking chasteberry is not recommended if you are being treated for any kind of
hormone related condition, including taking birth control pills. It is
recommended to consult your health care provider before taking chasteberry
therapeutically to rule any potential conflict with any other medications that
you may be taking.
Because chasteberry may affect the dopamine system in the brain, people taking
dopamine-related medications, such as certain antipsychotic drugs and
Parkinson’s disease medications, should avoid using chasteberry.
The above resource establishes that chasteberry is indeed a multi-beneficial
herb for woman and our viewers should reap its benefits.