Chasteberry is native to Central Asia and the Mediterranean. The shrub has blue-violet flowers, dark purple berries, and long, finger-shaped leaves. Chasteberry has been widely used for centuries to make medicine thanks to its health benefits. When the fruit gets ripe, it is used to prepare both powdered extracts and herbal liquids. Besides, this fruit is known as vitex or monk's berry because it was used to abstain from sexual desires in monks. If you are looking for the benefits of Chasteberry for beauty and health, then read this post. Today’s article on TrueRemedies will show you the top benefits of this herb, its uses, and side effects. Continue reading to understand more!
Medically reviewed by Alexandra Dusenberry, MS, RDN:
Top 11 Amazing Benefits Of Chasteberry For Health, Its Uses, And Warnings
I. What Is Chasteberry?
Scientific Name: Vitex agnus-castus
Common Names: Vitex, Abraham’s balm, wild pepper, sage tree, hemp tree, lagano, monk’s pepper, chaste tree berry
Other Names: Agnolyt, Agni Casti, Agnocasto, Agnus-Castus, Agneau du Moine, Chaste Berry, Agneau-chaste, Agnolyt, Agnus-Castus, Agni Casti, Agnocasto, Arbre au Poivre, Chaste Tree, Chaste Berry, Chinese Vitex, Chastetree, Gattilier, Mang Jing Zi, Herbe au Poivre, Petit Poivre, Poivre de Moine, Pimiento del Monje, Poivre Sauvage, Vitex rotundifolia, Vitex Agnus Castus, Viticis Fructus, Vitex trifolia.
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II. Uses And Health Benefits Of Chasteberry
In Iranian traditional medicine, the leaves and fruits of the vitex are used to increase the production of milk in women. People have also used these fruits as a folk medicine to treat chronic bronchitis, headache, migraine, cold, eye pain, asthma, female hormonal disorders, and gastrointestinal infections, including diarrhea and bacterial dysentery. It has been used as a sedative and anti-inflammatory for headaches, common colds, and rheumatism in Asian countries. Chinese people have also used vitex as a folk medicine to treat cancers.
When it comes to the potential biologically active compounds in the medicinal plants, scientists search for 18 compounds in this fruit. To date, there are over 20 Vitex species that have been investigated for biological and chemical properties. The results have contained the characterization and isolation of about 200 compounds, mainly terpenoids, flavonoids, steroids, lignans, and iridoids.
Chasteberry is taken by mouth for treating benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), increasing the flow of urine, and reducing sexual desire. Some people also take it by mouth for treating acne, nervousness, joint conditions, dementia, colds, spleen disorders, upset stomach, headaches, migraine, body inflammation, eye pain, swelling, and fractures.
Some people apply it to the skin to help to flush out parasites and prevent the bites and stings caused due to insects.
1. Improve Female Fertility
One of the best health benefits of Chasteberry is to improve female fertility.
The Journal of Reproductive Medicine published a study of “Herb Power: Are there any useful supplements when it comes to treating sexual dysfunctions?” This study found that when women with fertility problems consumed Chasteberry tea, green tea, and several vitamins, they noticed an increase in the progesterone levels. The female hormone is very necessary for a healthy womb. Also, these women noticed an increase in the days when the temperature of the body was likely more conducive for ovulation. As a result, 33% tested subjects got pregnant after having this tea for five months.
According to another study that evaluated 52 women who suffered from luteal phase defects related to latent hyperprolactinemia. Each woman got a daily dosage of 20 mg of Chasteberry preparation or a placebo. After three months, the women were given Chasteberry had a reduction in their prolactin release, prolactin release, eliminated the deficits in the luteal progesterone synthesis, and normalized the shortened luteal phases. Moreover, two women in the test group got pregnant in the course of this study, and no side effects were seen. These results showed that Chasteberry could be effectively used as a natural treatment for infertility in women.
2. Reduce Epileptic Seizures
The United States National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health published a study and found that one of the other health benefits of Chasteberry tea is to help reduce epileptic seizures. Researchers gave the male rats the extract of this tree. The result is that the rodents experienced a significant reduction in seizures and the time of the convulsion. This shows that consuming the right dosage of Chasteberry can help to control and lower epileptic seizures.
3. Treat Endometriosis
Endometriosis is a condition in which tissue normally lining in your uterus grows outside of your uterus. It mainly involves your bowels, ovaries, or the tissue lining in your pelvis. The exact reason for endometriosis is unknown, but several contributing factors are genetics and hormonal imbalances.
You cannot do anything about the element of genetics, but you can deal with the hormonal imbalance by using Chasteberry. To treat endometriosis naturally, take Chasteberry for a long period of time (12 to 18 months) to get the maximum effectiveness.
4. Treat Male Osteoporosis
To date, there is hardly any study conducted on male osteoporosis, and very few treatment options are available for men with this disease. However, many studies showed that Chasteberry could be one of the perfect treatments for male osteoporosis . In the laboratory, rats that were treated with Chasteberry extracts noticed higher bone density as compared to rats that were treated with a blend of testosterone and estradiol.
5. Relieve PMS Symptoms
As stated by a study in the British Medical Journal, women taking Chasteberry experienced a reduction in the symptoms of PMS, such as breast tenderness, irritability, mood swings, and headaches, compared to the women in the other groups who weren’t. This study states that the group that had drunk Chasteberry tea reduced 50% in PMS symptoms. Therefore, it can be said that having Chasteberry tea helps to reduce premenstrual syndrome symptoms.
According to another study in the Gynecological Endocrinology in 2007, an herbal supplement having Chasteberry give safe & effective relief from sleep disturbances and hot flushes in pre- and postmenopausal women. In a study in 2015, a supplement containing Chasteberry was able to relieve moderate to severe symptoms of menopause.
One study in the Journal of Women’s Health and Gender-Based Medicine showed that after using Chasteberry for three menstrual cycles, about 93 percent of patients experienced a reduction in PMS symptoms.
In a review done by the University and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia, 5 out of 6 studies found Chasteberry extracts to be more effective to placebo for relieving PMS symptoms.
Simply take a Chasteberry capsule a day for two months.
6. Treat Enlarged Prostate
Benign prostatic hyperplasia is an age-related prostate gland enlargement, which may cause urination difficulty. A study done by the University of Basel in 2005 showed that extracts of Chasteberry can be effective in preventing and treating an enlarged prostate and prostate cancer. Besides, data showed that Chasteberry contains components that help to inhibit proliferation and kill prostate cancer cells.
7. Treat Amenorrhea
Amenorrhea is a condition in which a female of reproductive age has the period stop suddenly. If you aren't pregnant and your menstrual cycle has stopped, it is a certain indication that something is not right.
There are a number of factors for amenorrhea, including too much prolactin in the body, which causes hypoestrogenism or estrogen lack. Taking Chasteberry supplement can aid in modulating prolactin and getting a healthy balance of progesterone and estrogen.
8. Reduce Uterine Fibroids
Uterine fibroids are related to non-cancerous tumors in the uterine walls, which often lead to several unpleasant symptoms and a change in the shape and size of the uterus. A crucial method to prevent and relieve uterine fibroids is to keep a proper hormone balance. Chasteberry can aid in balancing the ratio of progesterone to estrogen.
9. Promote Lactation
In Europe, one of the most extremely acclaimed herbs used for promoting lactation is Chasteberry. A study done by the University of Michigan Health System pointed out that supplementation with a Chasteberry tincture may increase milk production with or without complications in pregnancy.
A clinical trial in Germany found that having 15 drops of Chasteberry tincture three times a day could increase the milk production with or without complications in pregnancy as compared with mothers provided vitamin B1 or nothing.
Now, there isn't a lot of evidence to support Chasteberry being safe or unsafe when given to women who are breastfeeding babies; so consult your doctor before using it.
10. Boost Female Libido
Chasteberry tea from the blossoms of this tree has been proven to boost female libido. Menopausal females and those in the child-bearing age may also drink this tea to increase the desire, so that they may enjoy sexual intercourse better. This increase in female libido is regarded as the phytoestrogens found in Chasteberry.
11. Remove Acne
Hormone imbalances and fluctuations may be a leading root of developing acne, especially if you are a female. If you suffer from monthly acne outbreaks, especially along the chin and jawline, Chasteberry may become a natural remedy for acne. It can keep your hormones balanced, which may reduce the formation of acne in women. Some preliminary studies suggest that it may help to clear premenstrual acne by regulating hormonal influences.
III. Side Effects Of Using Chasteberry
As you know, there are many benefits of Chasteberry for your health, and it is likely safe for people to take by mouth appropriately. Some uncommon side effects are upset stomach, rash, headaches, nausea, itching, acne, weight gain, and trouble sleeping. Some women experience a change in their menstrual flow when they take Chasteberry. The seed extract is likely safe for people to apply to the skin.
Special Precautions And Warnings
Pregnancy & breastfeeding: Using Chasteberry during pregnancy and breastfeeding is unsafe. The concern is that Chasteberry may interfere with hormones. Avoid using Chasteberry if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
In vitro fertilization: Chasteberry may affect the effectiveness of having in vitro fertilization. Avoid using Chasteberry if you’re undergoing this procedure.
Hormone-sensitive conditions including endometriosis, uterine fibroid, or cancer of the uterus, ovaries, or breast: Chasteberry can affect hormones and estrogen levels. Avoid using Chasteberry if you suffer from a hormone-sensitive condition.
Schizophrenia or some other psychotic disorders: Chasteberry might affect a chemical in your brain called dopamine. Several medications for mental disorders aid in reducing dopamine. Hence, taking Chasteberry might affect the therapy for mental disorders.
Parkinson's disease: Chasteberry contains some chemicals that can affect your brain. These chemicals may have an effect on the brain, similarly to several medications for Parkinson's disease. Hence, Chasteberry affects the therapy for Parkinson's disease.
IV. Where To Buy Chasteberry
You may find Chasteberry in the form of standardized liquid extract, powdered extract, tinctures, capsules, and supplement at herbal food stores. When purchasing Chasteberry and its supplements, ensure that its standardized amount is always stated on its package and it is produced from a reputed company. You may buy the highest quality Chasteberry products from the licensed naturopathic doctors.
Chasteberry is a beneficial herb. You should use it for some time to enjoy its full advantages. If you want to learn more other useful articles, please visit our Superfoods page. Besides, if you know other benefits of chasteberry, please drop your idea at the bottom of this article.