The herb Chasteberry has been used as medicine in natural medicine for thousands of years. The fruit of the chaste tree is known as Chasteberry.
The scientific name is called vitex agnus-castus. Chasteberry is found in temperate regions of the world but other trees and herbs in the genus family are found in the tropics.
The tree and its fruit are called “chaste” because it reduces sexual desires and monks in the past used it to abstain from sexual intercourse. This is why it is also called monk’s berry. This plant also has a powerful impact on the reproductive system of both men and women.
This is one of the reasons why it is still in used till today. It plays many roles in gynecology conditions caused by hormones. The fruits (chaste berries) are the most common part of the plant.
But the leaves, flowers, tender shoots, stems, and even root of this herb are used in making medicine. There are many active ingredients in this herb and they have been utilized into formal medicine.
Scientists have been able to isolate about 200 medicinal compounds from chaste fruit. Most of them are iridoids, lignans, steroids, flavonoids, and terpenoids.
Chasteberry helps in regulating the female hormones and female reproductive system. This herb is strong and can interact with many medications. So, it’s wise to speak with a doctor or naturopath before using Chasteberry.
Health Benefits of Chasteberry
Improves female fertility
This is the most well-known benefit of Chasteberry. It increases the levels of progesterone in women suffering from sexual dysfunction.
A healthy level of hormones in a woman’s body is needed for reproduction and a healthy womb. It increases the temperature of a woman’s body when it is conducive for ovulation thus promoting fertility.
According to a study, 33% of the women who took Chasteberry tea for five months got pregnant. Another study I read included 52 women suffering from luteal phase defects due to high levels of prolactin.
Every day, each woman was given 20mg of Chasteberry preparation or a placebo for three months. At the end of the study, the women who were given Chasteberry had low levels of prolactin.
Two women also got pregnant in the cause of this study and no side effects of any kind were recorded. This makes Chasteberry a wonderful natural therapy to use in treating female infertility.
Treats osteoporosis in men
Many studies have proven the effectiveness of chaste berry in treating male osteoporosis. It gives higher bone density and improves the health of your bones.
Prevents skin problems
Skin problems such as acne can be caused by a fluctuating amount of hormones. This is the root cause of acne in most females. Women who suffer from monthly outbreaks of acne around the jawline and chin can find relief using Chasteberry.
Chasteberry will help to balance your hormones and reduce the formation of acne. It prevents and clears menstrual acne by controlling your levels of hormones.
Protects from the effect of free radicals
Free radicals destroy the body. They have many adverse effects on your body. They cause oxidative stress. All these increase your risks of chronic diseases and even premature aging.
Chasteberry produces antioxidants that help protect your body against free radicals and the damage they cause.
Treat prostate issues
Chasteberry can treat prostate issues in men. Benign prostatic hyperplasia is an age-related condition in men. It causes the enlargement of the prostate gland.
This can lead to difficulty in passing out urine. Chasteberry prevents and treats this condition. It reduces an enlarged prostate and also treats prostate cancer.
There are many natural biochemicals in Chasteberry that kill and stop the spread of prostate cancer cells.
Chasteberry help reduce uterine fibroids. These are non-cancerous tumors in the walls of the uterus. This changes the shape and size of the uterus and also causes a lot of unpleasant symptoms.
Chasteberry prevents and treats this by maintaining a healthy amount of hormone in your body. It balances the ratio of progesterone to estrogen in your body.
Eases breast tenderness
In Germany, Chasteberry is used in making a drug for mastalgia. This drug handles sore breast or tenderness caused by menopause or pre-menstrual syndrome.
Chasteberry stops the pituitary gland from releasing prolactin. High level of prolactin is responsible for stimulating the production of milk in lactating mothers.
High levels of prolactin cause sore breast and breast tenderness. This can also cause period problems like irregular cycles or missed periods.
300mg of Chasteberry supplement daily can help this condition.
Increases the production of breast milk
Another widely known use of Chasteberry is to increase the production of breast milk. And it does this without causing any complication in pregnancy.
A clinical study revealed that 15 drops of Chasteberry tincture three times daily increase the production of milk in lactating mothers without complications.
But this herb has to be used under the supervision of a naturopath as an excess of it can mess your hormones.
Chasteberry contains antibacterial and antifungal compounds. These plant compounds help kill dangerous microbes and disease pathogens.
Studies have proven the effectiveness of Chasteberry against Salmonella and staphylococcus. Chasteberry essential oil is mostly used in fighting infections but it is not consumed.
It should be mixed with carrier oil and applied topically. It also reduces inflammation.
Chasteberry treats headaches and migraines. When taken as a supplement daily for 3 months, it stops migraines.
Stimulates female libido
The blossom of Chasteberry tree has been proven to boost female libido. Women of child-bearing age who are having sexual dysfunction can drink this tea to increase sexual desires.
It helps women enjoy sex better. The phytoestrogens present in this herb are responsible for the libido-increasing property of Chasteberry.
Chasteberry repels insects and prevent insect bites. It keeps a lot of insects at bay. Some of the insects it repels are mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, and flies. It is very effective and dispels them in about 6 hours.
Some people treat hair lice by spraying their scalp with a solution containing chaste berry. In about 7 hours, it removes all head lice. Chaste berry can even kill ice larva and stop the reproduction of adult ice.
Stops food cravings
Cravings for sugary and unhealthy foods cause a lot of health problems. They make you add unnecessary weight, they increase your blood pressure, cause diabetes, and many more.
Food craving is not real hunger and chaste berry tea can help you stop cravings. Take a cup of Chasteberry tea to stop food cravings when it comes on.
This condition occurs when tissues that line the uterus grow outside of the uterus. This condition can affect your ovaries, bowels, and even the tissues lining your pelvis.
Though the exact reason why this happens is not yet known, hormonal imbalance is a risk factor for this. You can correct this hormonal imbalance by using Chasteberry under the direction and supervision of a naturopath.
You have to take Chasteberry for a period of one year to 18 months to see your desired result.
Prevents PMS and amenorrhea
Studies have shown that women who take Chasteberry have reduced symptoms of PMS. In case you might be wondering, PMS means Pre-menstrual syndrome, these are symptoms that women experience before their menstruation begins.
Some of the symptoms are breast tenderness. Mood swings, headaches, and irritability. Chasteberry tea reduces these symptoms by 50%. It stops sleep disturbances in pre- and postmenopausal women.
A 2015 study revealed that Chasteberry supplement relieved moderate and also severe symptoms of menopause. Take Chasteberry under the direction of a naturopath for three months to handle PMS and other menstrual disturbances.
Amenorrhea means stopped menstruation. In this condition, the female reproductive system stops working suddenly. If your period stops when you are not pregnant and you have not reached the age of menopause, this shows that something is wrong.
There are many causes of amenorrhea. Some of them are excess prolactin in the body, this can cause a deficiency in estrogen known as hypoestrogenism.
Chasteberry supplement help to regulate prolactin. It also helps women get a healthy balance of estrogen and progesterone.
Reduces epileptic seizures
Chasteberry reduces epileptic seizures by reducing the frequency and time of convulsion. Epileptic patients should meet a naturopath to prescribe the right dosage of Chasteberry to consume.
This will help them control these seizures and even reduce the frequency.
Prevents and reduces hot flashes
Women going through menopause or some menstrual abnormalities experience hot flashes which can be very discomforting. Chasteberry tea helps reduce the intensity and frequency of hot flashes.
The hormone-regulating property of this herb makes it effective in doing this.
How to Use Chaste Berry
You can use chaste berry in the form of powder, capsules, tablets, etc. Take it according to the prescription on the package or according to your naturopath’s direction.
You can also eat the berries directly from the tree. Oils can also be extracted from the flowers and leaves of the chaste tree. This essential oil can be used for a lot of ailments. Don’t go above the dose because it is very strong.
Chasteberry can also be gotten in the form of tinctures. Take according to the prescription. Chasteberry tea can also be made from the dried flowers and this powder is highly concentrated.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid Chasteberry due to its effect on the hormones and female reproductive system. Women taking oral contraceptives should also avoid the chaste tree and its products. It can interfere with the functions of those drugs.
If you have undergone in-vitro fertilization, avoid Chasteberry because it can affect the effectiveness of the procedure. Women who suffer from hormone-sensitive conditions like cancers of the breast, ovaries, uterus, and fibroids, and endometriosis should use Chasteberry under the strict supervision of a naturopath.
This can affect your hormones and estrogen levels. Before you use Chasteberry, please consult with a knowledgeable naturopath and tell all your medical history and drugs you are presently on to avoid complications.
Possible Side Effects of Chaste Tree
Taking Chasteberry excessively can cause some side effects such as:
- Upset stomach
- Rash (if applied topically excessively)
- Difficulty sleeping
- Weight gain
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