Chaste Tree Berry or Vitex agnus-castus, sometimes called “the woman’s herb”, is native to central Asia and the region bordering the Mediterranean Sea. It has been used for over 2000 years to help alleviate women’s health concerns such as infertility, menstrual irregularities and other gynecological concerns. Men also use vitex Chaste Tree Berry for increasing the flow of urine, for treating benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and for reducing sexual desire. History indicates that monks chewed chaste tree parts to make it easier to maintain their celibacy.
Chaste Tree Berry works by stimulating and normalizing the pituitary gland, called the “master gland”, which regulates the balance of estrogen and progesterone in the body. The pituitary gland allows the sending of chemical signals to the ovaries and as such tells them how much hormones to make.
Chaste Tree Berry is able to restore inadequate progesterone levels by optimizing the luteal phase, or the second half of the menstrual cycle. Since Chaste Tree Berry does not contain any hormones it has a more supportive and non-direct action on the body. David Hoffman, a well-known herbalist, says “Vitex will always enable what is appropriate to occur.”
It is very important to understand that Chaste Tree Berry works behind the scenes to gently restore balance and because of this it can take anywhere from one to seven months to be completely effective. Although, some symptoms may be relieved within a month of use, patience is the key. As with all herbs, Chaste Tree Berry works best when it is combined with a healthy lifestyle that incorporates pure water, healthy foods, adequate sunshine and gentle exercise
Chaste Tree Berry Use In Pregnancy
Many believe the ability of Chaste Tree Berry to increase progesterone levels explains the positive results witnessed by herbalists and midwives who use it to help prevent recurrent miscarriages in women. No human studies or clinical trials have been performed that would support this, only traditional usage.
German research indicates that Chaste Tree Berry can be taken safely through the end of the third month of pregnancy and may help prevent miscarriage. It is still considered safe to take after the third month, but may stimulate early lactation. By the end of the third month of pregnancy the placenta has taken over progesterone production on its own. If you are decide to use Chaste Tree Berry during pregnancy, please consult with a knowledgeable herbalist or midwife for guidance and supervision
Health Benefits of Chaste Tree Berry
- 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
- relieves bloating
- 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
Chaste Tree Berry Herbal Tea Recipe
- Measure 1 tsp. or ¾ oz. of fresh or dried Chaste TreeBerries in a cup & set aside.
- Boil 8 oz. of purified water.
- Fill the cup containing the Chaste Tree Berries with the boiled water.
- Allow the berries to steep in the hot water for 10 minutes.
- Add 1 tsp. of raw honey or a ½ tsp. of chopped fresh mint to the tea, stir & drink. Chaste Tree Berry tea has a peppery flavor. Mixing honey & mint reduces its pungency.
- Drink one cup daily.
CAUTION: Always check with your healthcare practitioner before using any herbs especially if you are taking any type of prescription medications or undergoing treatment for infertility.
Other Names for Chaste Tree Berry
Agneau du Moine, Agneau-chaste, Agni Casti, Agnocasto, Agnolyt, Agnus-Castus, Arbre au Poivre, Chaste Berry, Chaste Tree, Chaste Tree Berry, Chasteberry, Chastetree, Chinese Vitex, Gattilier, Hemp Tree, Herbe au Poivre, Mang Jing Zi, Monk’s Pepper, Petit Poivre, Pimiento del Monje, Poivre de Moine, Poivre Sauvage, Vitex, Vitex Agnus Castus, Vitex rotundifolia, Vitex trifolia, Viticis Fructus