Chaste Tree Berry for PMS, Infertility, Menopause and More
Chaste tree berry, also called Monk’s Pepper or Vitex has been used for more than 2000 years with immense success. It originates from Europe but is now grown all over the world.
Chaste tree berry has fabulous healing powers, especially for women, as it helps them with their hormonal troubles, menstrual cramps, uterine problems and menopause symptoms.
Its efficacy has been proven with hundreds of years of use. In fact, it gets the name “Monk’s pepper” because back in the Middle Ages, the monks would use chaste berry to suppress their sexual cravings and preserve their celibacy. Even Hippocrates has talked about chase tree berry having powerful healing powers for women. Chaste tree berry is now popular as a natural female Viagra.
PMS and Menstrual Irregularities
One study published in the British Medical Journal evaluated 170 women with premenstrual syndrome and divided them into two groups, the treatment group and the placebo group. The treatment group took 20 mg of chasteberry tree extract, whereas the other group took a placebo for a set period.
Women in this study self-assessed their mood changes, irritability, anger, breast fullness, headaches, bloating and other menstrual symptoms.
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Results showed that women taking chaste tree berry had a 50 percent improvement in their symptoms. In addition, none of these women experienced any significant side effects and thus, continued the trial.
According to research, lack of progesterone in the body leads to a myriad menstrual issues such as irregular, short, heavy, early or frequent periods. Chaste tree berry may even help women with amenorrhea (no periods). Furthermore, it helps rectify luteal phase defects and high prolactin-pituitary hormone levels, which are the main causes for PMS, breast tenderness and early menopause.
Chaste tree berry has a major effect on regulating your anterior pituitary functions and it can help control the amount of progesterone that is released in the body. According to a German study, chaste tree berry binds to dopamine receptors in the anterior pituitary gland and brings down the secretion of a compound named prolactin, which in turn increases the production of progesterone during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle.
Furthermore, chaste tree berry helps increase the production of luteinizing hormone, thus prolonging a woman’s luteal phase. The luteinizing hormone is what signals the body to release an egg.
Chaste tree berry extract has been used to improve sore breast or breast tenderness, also called mastalgia, which is associated with premenstrual syndrome and menopause.
Prolactin is the main culprit behind most womanly problems and chaste tree berry acts as a great remedy because it stops the release of this hormone from the pituitary gland. Prolactin stimulates the production of milk in pregnant and lactating women but too much may cause breast tenderness and discomfort. It may also be linked to irregular and missed periods.
Infertility and Miscarriages
The progesterone hormone plays a critical role in sustaining pregnancy and conception. Low progesterone levels are often linked to thinning of the uterine line when a woman is pregnant, lack of corpus luteum (from where progesterone is manufactured) and defects of the luteal phase, which happens to be the main cause of miscarriages and infertility.
The luteal phase comes between ovulation and menstruation in the menstrual cycle and it’s usually 10 to 17 days long. Sometimes this phase may be irregular, too short or too long. This is called Luteal Phase Defect, which results in unsustainable pregnancy and infertility in women.
Why is the luteal phase important? Learn more about it here.
Corpus luteum insufficiency means that a woman’s progesterone levels are so low that is can be described as abnormal. This is usually around the first three weeks following the first day of menstruation.
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A number of factors may lead to luteal phase defect and corpus luteum insufficiency but research suggests that low progesterone levels is typically the main cause of both conditions.
Since chaste tree berry is a natural and risk-free remedy that boosts progesterone levels, taking it to tackle miscarriages and infertility may be a great idea. There are some conflicting opinions regarding the intake of chaste tree berry during pregnancy, therefore, your safest bet would be to consult your doctor before taking it, or any other natural or medical treatment for that matter.
Studies show that chaste tree berry does help produce a normal estrogen and progesterone balance. Some studies even show that chaste tree berry may help women with perimenopause, which is the early stage of menopause.
Due to chaste tree berry’s awesome ability to regulate female hormones, estrogen and progesterone, there’s no doubt that it could be used for common menopause-related complaints such as hot flashes and night sweats too. Chaste tree berry is also great for improving mood and curbing negativity and emotional stress. Although some studies do state that more research is required on chaste tree berry’s efficacy in alleviating menopause symptoms, it definitely has potential when paired with other herbs!
Does chaste tree berry cause any side effects?
No adverse effects have been reported from the use of chaste tree berry under the recommended dosage, which will be mentioned on the package label of the supplement you take. Researchers also suggest taking chaste tree berry for no more than 6 to 8 months on a regular basis and an overdose is likely to cause unpleasant symptoms such as upset stomach, dizziness, nausea, itchiness and rash.
Another important note is to remember that chaste berry is considered a hormone regulator. Therefore, women who are pregnant, lactating, taking oral contraceptives and drugs with dopamine and bromocriptine or being treated for any hormone-related condition should avoid chaste berry.
Since chaste tree berry has estrogenic properties in the body, it is important that you avoid is if you have any hormone-driven disorder, such as breast cancer. It’s also not recommended for those taking medications for Parkinson’s disease as it may negatively affect the dopaminergic qualities of the drug.
In addition, the anti-androgen properties of chaste berry may influence male fertility, therefore, this should be taken into consideration when a couple is trying to have a baby. Your best bet would be to consult your healthcare provider before taking chaste berry or any other supplements to ensure that its effects do not interfere with your current health condition or any medications you’re taking.