Chaste berry

Chaste Berry (Vitex agnus-castus) is a well-known herbal supplement that is used to cure a number of ailments. In regions of Asia and the Mediterranean, chaste berry is a fruit that grows on blooming bushes along riverbanks. It comes from the chaste tree, which got its name from the fact that its fruit was likely used to reduce men’s libido throughout the Middle Ages.
The plant is native to the Mediterranean area and Asia, it is also known as Chaste tree, Vitex, Monk’s pepper

Close up of bees on a vitex tree

The term “chaste berry” was given to the plant since it was thought to promote chastity in the past. It was purportedly employed by Middle Ages monks to suppress sexual desire. Chaste berry extracts were once used to treat a wide range of gynaecological and skin diseases. Today, it’s marketed as a dietary supplement for premenstrual syndrome, menstrual-cycle-related breast discomfort, infertility, and other disorders. The dried fruit of the chaste berry tree is used to make supplements. It’s available as a tablet or a drink.

Chaste berry may assist with symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and breast discomfort connected to the menstrual cycle, according to preliminary research, although the data isn’t conclusive.
Researchers have looked into chaste berry for female infertility, but there isn’t enough evidence to tell if it works.

Properties and Uses

To make menstruation less painful and difficult.
Clinical investigations have shown that this treatment is effective in women aged 20 to 40 who have normal ovarian function and no other hormone abnormalities.

Preventing and easing symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). A few studies back this up in women between the ages of 20 and 40 who have normal ovarian function and no other hormone abnormalities.

To alleviate breast discomfort . This usage for breast discomfort related with menstruation has been supported by a few clinical investigations.

In vitro, chaste berry exhibits opioidergic , dopaminergic (increase dopamine related activity) , hepato-protective (liver protective), and antiproliferative (inhibit growth of tumor cells) effects. Clinical trials show that it is effective in decreasing PMS symptoms, but a systematic review concluded that further research is needed before conclusive conclusions can be drawn. Mastalgia (Breast pain) has also been known to improve from chasteberry.

It’s also believed to give protection against bug bites and certain forms of cancer, as well as a slew of other health benefits. However, not all of the advantages are scientifically proven.

It’s also utilized as a digestive, antifungal, and anti-anxiety help in Turkish medicine.

It’s used in :

  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Mastalgia
  • Menopausal symptoms

Because of its potential influence on prolactin levels, Vitex may help increase female fertility. This is especially true in women who have a luteal phase deficiency, or a menstrual cycle that is shortened in the second half. This condition is caused by excessively high prolactin levels, making it difficult for women to conceive.
40 women with unusually high prolactin levels were given either Vitex agnus-castus or a pharmaceutical medication in one trial. Vitex was just as good as the medication at lowering prolactin levels.

Though study findings are varied, Chaste berry may help with PMS and menopausal symptoms. It may also improve fertility by lowering prolactin hormone levels and regulating menstrual cycles.

Antibacterial and antifungal properties are present. Essential oils derived from vitex have been shown in test tubes to be effective against dangerous fungus and bacteria, including Staphylococcus and Salmonella germs. Important to remember: essential oils should not be eaten, and vitex supplements are unlikely to lower the risk of infection.

Chaste berry may have anti-inflammatory effects, compounds in vitex have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects in test tubes and animals. However, their effects aren’t as strong as aspirin’s.

When and Who should consume

Chaste berry may interact with medications that alter dopamine levels in the brain. If you’re using any of the following medications, don’t take chaste berry :
Antipsychotic medications, Drugs for Parkinson’s disease

Chaste berry appears to be usually well tolerated when given in small doses.
It’s possible that using chaste berry while pregnant or nursing is unsafe.
This herb may not be safe for women who have hormone-sensitive diseases including breast, uterine, or ovarian cancer. It’s conceivable that chaste berry will interact with some medications, such as birth control pills, Parkinson’s disease medications, and psychosis medications. Before using chaste berry, check with your doctor if you’re on any medications.

If you’re on any hormonal drugs, such as oral contraceptives (birth control pills), Chaste berry might interfere with the effects.

Some possible side effects

Vitex agnus-castus is commonly considered to be safe. The following are some of the mild adverse effects that have been reported:

Nausea, stomach ache, a slight rash on the skin, rise in acne, headache, menstrual flow can be heavy, gastrointestinal problems, and itching are some of the most common side effects.