Chaste tree berry, or Vitex, comes from a small tree native to the Mediterranean and Central Asia. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine explains that women have used chaste tree berry for thousands of years to treat menstrual problems, infertility and other gynecological issues. Chaste tree berry is available in capsule, liquid tincture, or can be brewed into a tea. As with all herbal remedies, speak to a medical professional before taking them.
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In The Complete Encyclopedia of Natural Healing, Dr. Gary Null explains that chaste tree berry may increase levels of progesterone in the body and alleviate symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, mood swings and vaginal dryness. However, it can take up to two months to feel results and up to six months to maintain the results. A study published in the August 2009 issue of "Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine" concluded that there is not enough evidence to indicate that chaste tree berry could be an effective treatment for menopause symptoms and additional research is needed.
Endometriosis is a painful condition that occurs when the cells that make up the lining of the uterus travel outside the uterus to other parts of the body, causing deposits to form scar tissue, explains the University of Maryland Medical Center, or UMMC. Reproductive hormones like estrogen and progesterone stimulate the cells both inside and outside the uterus. Chaste tree berry’s hormonal activity may help alleviate the painful symptoms. UMMC recommends taking 400 milligrams once a day in the morning. Talk to your doctor before taking it if you are using other types of hormone therapy.
In a study published in the April 2000 issue of "Journal of Women’s Health and Gender Based Medicine," researchers investigated the effects of a chaste tree berry preparation on the symptoms of PMS -- depression, cravings, anxiety and fluid retention. After taking the preparation for three menstrual cycles, 93 percent of the women reported a decrease or cessation in their symptoms.
Holistic Online recommends taking 175 to 225 milligrams of chaste tree berry daily for infertility caused by ovarian insufficiency or high prolactin levels. It can take several cycles to see an effect. A study published in the April 2004 issue of the "Journal of Reproductive Medicine," a blend containing chaste tree berry, green tea extract and vitamins and minerals was given to women who tried unsuccessfully to conceive for at least six months. Of the 15 who received the blend, five became pregnant after five months.
- National Center For Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Chasteberry
- The Complete Encyclopedia of Natural Healing; Dr. Gary Null
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Endometriosis
- Holistic Online: Infertility
- Journal of Reproductive Medicine: A Nutritional Supplement For Improving Fertility in Women
- Journal of Women's Health and Gender Based Medicine: Treatment of Premenstrual Syndrome With a Phytopharmaceutical Formulation Containing Vitex Agnus Castus
- Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine: Vitex Agnus-Castus (Chaste-Tree/Berry) in the Treatment of Menopause-Related Complaints