Dried Chaste Tree Berries (Vitex Agnus-castus)
Chaste Tree berries have been used for centuries to treat several menstrual problems. It works mainly by its ability to influence certain hormone levels in your body.
Chaste tree berries (Vitex agnus-catus) or monk’s pepper, is the fruit of the chaste tree. It is thought that the name chaste berry comes from the Middle Ages when monks reportedly used this fruit to decrease their sexual desire. This would help them avoid sex so they could remain chaste. Although there may not be a lot of evidence to support this use of chaste berry it points to the potent hormonal effects of this plant.
Chasteberry contains many phytochemicals including flavonoids that are thought to have many positive effects on your health. Several different types of flavonoids have been found in chasteberry. It has been shown that some of these flavonoids can influence certain hormone levels in your body especially prolactin, progesterone and to a certain extent estrogen.
Possibly Effective for
- Breast pain (mastalgia). Taking vitex agnus-castus daily seems to relieve pain in women who experience breast pain during the menstrual cycle.
- Severe PMS symptoms (premenstrual dysphoric disorder or PMDD). Some research shows that vitex agnus-castus might work about as well as the prescription drug fluoxetine (Prozac) for relieving symptoms of this condition. Vitex agnus-castus seems to be better for physical symptoms like breast tenderness, swelling, and cramps. Fluoxetine seems to be better for depressed mood, feeling nervous and feeling out of control.
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Some research shows that taking vitex agnus-castus decreases some symptoms of PMS, especially breast pain or tenderness, depressed mood or moodiness, anxiety, anger, and headache. Vitex agnus-castus may be as effective as birth control or antidepressants for relieving these symptoms. But it doesn’t seem to help with bloating.
Crude herb extract: Take 20-240mg by mouth per day, divided in 2 to 3 doses. Fluid extract: Take up to 40 drops by mouth per day. Dried fruit extract: Take 1.6-3ml by mouth up to two times a day. Tincture: Take 35-45 drops by mouth up to three times a day.
If you are wanting to make a chaste tree berries tincture then have a look at our how to make herbal tinctures post here!