Updated: Sep 23, 2021
Do you suffer from premenstrual syndrome (PMS), irregular periods, infertility or menopause? I might have a natural remedy for you. It’s been used for centuries and has proved itself effective time and again in scientific studies. I’m talking about a small but medicinally potent brown berry about the size of a peppercorn known as chasteberry or vitex. This fruit has a long history (over 2,000 years) of use as an herbal medicine.
Vitex is one of the most popular herbal remedies for PMS and cramps. In fact, one study published in the Journal of Women’s Health & Gender-Based Medicine found that after being treated with vitex for three menstrual cycles, 93 percent of patients reported a decrease in the number of PMS symptoms or a complete end of PMS complaints. (1) In addition to reducing unwanted premenstrual symptoms, it also treats some menopausal symptoms as well as hormonally induced acne. (2)
Herbs like vitex are natural ways you can strengthen and tone your body’s systems. The medicinal ability of chasteberry to positively affect hormonal health issues appears to be derived from dopaminergic compounds present in the herb. How exactly does vitex encourage hormonal balance? While it doesn’t supply hormones to the body, it does act directly on thehypothalamus and pituitary glands.
For women, it increases luteinizing hormone, modulates prolactin and aids in the inhibition of the release of follicle-stimulating hormone, which all helps balance out the ratio of progesterone to estrogen, slightly raising the levels of progesterone. (3) It’s important to keep in mind that chasteberry is not actually a hormone, but rather an herb that helps the body raise its own levels of progesterone.
But vitex is not only for women with hormonal issues that need fixing. It’s recently been shown to exhibit antitumor activities in different human cancer cell lines, and that’s not all. Keep reading to find out all of the incredible health advantages it holds for both women (especially) and men.
Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous tumors found within the uterine walls, often resulting in a change in the size or shape of the uterus as well as several unpleasant symptoms. A key way to prevent and reduce uterine fibroids is to maintain a proper balance of hormones. Chasteberry can help to balance the ratio of estrogen to progesterone.
Improves Female Fertility
Vitex has been shown to improve fertility, particularly for women with luteal phase defect (shortened second half of the menstrual cycle). These women have trouble because their ovaries don’t release enough progesterone.
In one trial, 48 women (ages 23 to 39) who were diagnosed with infertility took chasteberry once daily for three months. During the three-month trial period, seven women became pregnant and 25 women experienced normalized progesterone levels, which can increase the chances for pregnancy. (6
Another study evaluated 52 women with luteal phase defects due to latent hyperprolactinemia (higher than normal levels of the hormone prolactin in the blood). Each woman received a daily dose of 20 milligrams of Vitex agnus castus preparation or a placebo. The study was aiming to prove if it could reduce the elevated pituitary prolactin and also normalize the deficits in luteal phase length and luteal phase progesterone synthesis.
Results were excellent. After three months, the women treated with vitex had a reduction in prolactin release, shortened luteal phases were normalized and deficits in the luteal progesterone synthesis were eliminated. Two women in the treated group also got pregnant during the course of the study, and no negative side effects of were seen. (7) These results show chasteberry can be utilized as a natural infertility treatment in women.
Endometriosis is an often painful disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus grows outside your uterus. It most commonly involves your ovaries, bowels or the tissue lining your pelvis. No one is sure of the exact cause of endometriosis, but some contributing factors include hormonal imbalances and genetics.
You can’t do anything about the genetics factor, but the hormonal imbalance can possibly be overcome with the use of vitex. To naturally treat endometriosis, chasteberry is usually taken long term (12 to 18 months) for maximum effectiveness. (9)
Amenorrhea is a medical condition in which a woman of reproductive age has her menstrual cycle stop suddenly. If you’re not pregnant and yourperiod is irregular or has stopped, it’s a solid indication that something isn’t right.
Amenorrhea can be caused by a number of factors with one possibility including having too much prolactin in your body, which can cause hypoestrogenism or estrogen deficiency. Vitex supplementation can help to modulate prolactin and get a healthy balance of estrogen and progesterone back on track. (10)
7. May Promote Lactation
In Europe, chasteberry is one of the most highly acclaimed herbs for promoting lactation. One study found that supplementation with a vitex tincture could increase the amount of milk produced by mothers with or without pregnancy complications, as noted by the University of Michigan Health System. Herbs like vitex that promote or increase the flow breastmilkflow are known as galactagogues. An older German clinical trial found that 15 drops of a it in tincture form three times per day could increase the amount of milk produced by mothers with or without pregnancy complications, as compared with mothers given vitamin B1 or nothing at all.
There is not a lot of evidence to support vitex being safe or unsafe for women who are actively breast-feeding their babies so check with your doctor before taking it.
Lowers Menopause Symptoms
Menopause is the permanent end of menstruation and fertility, defined as occurring 12 months after your last menstrual period. It can happen in your 40s or 50s, but the average age is 51 in the U.S. Vitex is often combined with other herbs, such as black cohosh or dong quai, for maximum benefits.
One 2007 study published in Gynecological Endocrinology found that an herbal supplement containing chasteberry provided safe and effective relief of hot flushes and sleep disturbances in pre- and postmenopausal women. (11) Another 2015 study found that a supplement containing vitex as a key ingredient was able to reduce moderate to severe menopause symptoms. (15)
Some recommended doses of vitex are as follows:
For PMS: 400 milligrams daily before breakfastFor uterine fibroids: 400 milligrams twice dailyFor infertility: 160–240 milligrams dailyFor acne: 160 milligrams dailyFor endometriosis: 400 milligrams twice dailyFor menopause: 160–240 milligrams daily
Vitex Potential Side Effects & Caution
Vitex supplements are typically safe for most people when taken by mouth in appropriate dosages. Uncommon vitex side effects include upset stomach, nausea, rash, acne, itching, headaches, difficulty sleeping and weight gain. When some women begin taking vitex, they notice a change in menstrual flow.
If you’re pregnant, have a hormone-sensitive health condition — such as endometriosis or breast cancer — or if you have a history of mental illness or Parkinson’s disease, then talk to your doctor before taking vitex in any form.
Vitex can interfere with some medications, including birth control, antipsychotics and estrogen supplements like those used with in-vitro fertilization treatments. Speak with your doctor before trying vitex if you are taking any of these medications.
1. Pour chaste tree berry tea in a 1-quart size mason jar. The jar won't be filled but that's okay. Check my YouTube Channel on how to make the tea. 2. Pour Blackstrap Molasses into that same jar till the jar is filled. 3. Add freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional) 4. Mix well and take three times a day and refrigerate when not in use.
5. You can take 3tbs to 1cup three times a day as you see fit for results. 5. Donate or purchase one our health books to learn more on my website SheIsWhole.org.
You can purchase the herb locally in your home town or online. I have used https://www.starwest-botanicals.com
1 cup of chaste berry tea/Vitex
4 cups of water
Boiling water chaste berry and then steep for 20 mins
Strain tea and put into a quart jar
It will not fill the jar
Now take molasses and put it in the jar and fill to the top
Drink tea 3 times a day