What is Chasteberry (Vitex Agnus-Castus)?
Chasteberry is the fruit of the chaste tree which may also be referred to as Monks Pepper, Abraham’s Balm or Vitex Agnus-Castus. The tree is a small shrub native to the warmer climates of the Mediterranean, but also found in other sub-tropical regions and produces beautiful lavender flower spikes, a favorite for butterflies. In the autumn the caste tree produces berries, which have the aroma and taste of pepper.
Since ancient times the berries have been harvested from the tree for the belief that they harness special health properties. At first it was thought that vitex brought on an aphrodisiac affect, but today vitex agnus castus is more commonly used in the alleviation of ‘female discomforts’ associated with the menstrual cycle.
This “women’s herb” as it is sometimes called does not contain hormones, but it is thought to stimulate the pituitary gland into signally the ovaries into producing more of the hormone progesterone. Vitex is available in a supplement and commonly recommended to women to relieve the symptoms of PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome).
What is Chasteberry (Vitex Agnus-Castus) used for?
Vitex Agnus-Castus is often recommended to women suffering from the uncomfortable symptoms of PMS as they are believed to produce too little of the hormone progesterone in the last two weeks of their menstrual cycle. Vitex helps to restore hormone balance and regulate the menstrual cycle.
Taken as part of a healthy diet, Vitex Agnus-Castus may bring the following health benefits to women:
- Reduced irritability, a common symptom of PMS.
- Lifts mood and promotes general wellbeing.
- Eases hot flushes and PMS related acne.
- Reduced breast tenderness.
- Supports fertility with more controlled levels of prolactin and progesterone in the body.
What is the recommended dose of Swanson Chasteberry Fruit (Vitex Agnus-Castus)?
Swanson recommends that you take one 400mg capsule one to two times a day with water.
Swanson Chasteberry Fruit (Vitex Agnus-Castus) capsules are available in bottles of 120 capsules, so give this remarkable berry a try for 2 months and see the difference it could make to your month and dismiss that term “it’s that time of the month!”
Swanson Chasteberry Fruit (Vitex Agnus-Castus) capsules contain 400mg of the active ingredient Vitex Agnus-Castus as well as gelatin, magnesium stearate and silica.
If you are taking any contraceptive pills or other hormone medication, then do discuss this with your doctor first as natural therapies may interact with other drugs or supplements.Do not take Chasteberry supplements if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
If you notice any unpleasant side effects, stop and seek medical advice.
If you are trying for a baby, you may need to take a pregnancy supplement that contains B vitamins, magnesium, iron, selenium, vitamin C and especially folic acid.