Nature's Gift: Unveiling the Incredible Chasteberry Benefits for Health and Wellness
Chasteberry has been used in traditional medicine for more than two thousand years to manage and prevent a wide variety of health conditions. Researchers have also found many chasteberry benefits in modern scientific studies. Dried chasteberry supplement is often used to balance hormone levels in female health conditions where estrogen and progesterone are imbalanced. Wanna know more about this fantastic herb? Keep exploring with us.
Ahead, we are going to discuss some of the most popular chasteberry benefits that are backed by science, along with possible side effects and precautions. But before we get into how chasteberry can help with women’s health, it’s worth knowing exactly what chasteberry is and its components. So, let’s get started.
What is chasteberry?
Chasteberry or chaste tree berry is the fruit of the plant botanically called Vitex agnus-castus that grows near riverbanks in parts of Europe, Asia, and the Mediterranean. The plant also goes by many other names including monk’s pepper, chaste lamb, and lamb’s vine.
Chasteberry has been found to have various plant chemicals that can help manage conditions affecting female reproductive systems. It is also used as an anti-anxiety, antifungal, and digestive aid. Today, chasteberry is frequently harvested and dried worldwide to put into capsules, liquids, tablets, and gummies to make chasteberry supplements.
Chasteberry is an excellent source of a varying range of naturally occurring plant chemicals (phytochemicals). The most common ones include:
Essential oils - like limonene, sabinene, pinene, and cineol. Essential oils have the potential to benefit human health in many different ways such as reducing blood pressure and heart rate.
Flavonoids - chaste berry is loaded with different types of flavonoids, including quercetagetin, kaempferol, orientin, isovitexin, and casticin, all of which have been shown to have significant medicinal properties including antioxidant, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory.
Anti-inflammatory components - chaste berry contains different types of naturally occurring anti-inflammatory components, such as iridoid glycoside, that have been found similarly effective as NSAIDs in reducing inflammation.
Chasteberry benefits that are backed by science
Chasteberry has a long history of traditional use in various health conditions, especially those related to female health. Today, many traditional uses of chasteberry are substantiated by modern research as well.
Let’s take a quick look at some common chasteberry benefits that are scientifically claimed so far:
Chasteberry may help reduce PMS symptoms
Multiple clinical studies claimed that chasteberry helped alleviate a range of PMS symptoms including migraines, irritability, depressed mood, anger, edema, and breast pain and tenderness, as well as others.
For instance, in a 2012 clinical trial, researchers investigated the effects of chasteberry on over 100 women with symptoms of PMS, the group treated with chasteberry for six consecutive menstrual cycles experienced a significant reduction in their headaches, irritability, depression, anger, constipation, bloating, and breast tenderness and pain.
Chasteberry may support female fertility
Chasteberry has been found to be helpful in improving fertility in women. It can help address several factors causing difficulties in getting pregnant, such as shortened second half of periodic cycles called the luteal phase. One suggested mechanism of chasteberry for this benefit is its effect on reducing prolactin levels.
High prolactin levels have often been seen to cause luteal phase issues, making it quite harder or even impossible to get pregnant. This is the reason why in Germany, chasteberry is frequently prescribed by clinicians to correct luteal phase defects and improve fertility.
One double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study carried out in 1993 in Germany showed that the intake of chasteberry may help improve fertility issues by correcting luteal phase defects and high prolactin levels.
Chasteberry may help ease menopause symptoms
Menopause indicates the end of reproductive ages in women. This phase is associated with the natural decline of women’s reproductive hormones, typically progesterone and estrogen. During menopause, women experience a large variety of symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats, dry skin, chills, vaginal dryness, and irregular menstrual cycles. Chasteberry may help ease several menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats, and difficulty sleeping.
A 2003 clinical trial published in the Complementary Therapies in Nursing and Midwifery showed that the use of essential oils derived from chasteberry leaves and fruits has been reported to be effective for strong symptomatic relief for women with menopause.
Chasteberry may help combat migraines
Preliminary research suggests that chasteberry may positively influence the duration and frequency of migraine attacks, especially in women's cases that are affected by PMS.
Chasteberry dosage and how to take it
Although possible recommended dosages of chasteberry are individual and may differ from person to person depending on personal needs and goals of taking, in general, a dosage range of up to 500 mg to 1000 mg per day is most often recommended by clinicians. For tincture, a dosage range of up to 3 ml to 5 ml is often recommended.
Most clinicians recommend taking chasteberry supplements once daily with breakfast. However, it’s important to consider working with a qualified herbal practitioner to determine your best method of use.
Chasteberry side effects and precautions
Chasteberry seems to be safe and well-tolerated when taken as per instructions recommended by clinicians. It has not shown any serious side effects so far. Some may experience some uncommon mild side effects such as dry mouth, nausea, skin rash, stomach discomfort, and bleeding between menstrual cycles.
Besides, chasteberry may interact with certain prescription medications such as psychosis drugs or birth control pills.
Finally, chasteberry may not be safe for pregnant and nursing women or people with hormone-sensitive issues. Therefore, it’s always highly recommended to work with a qualified herbal practitioner prior to trying chasteberry for any health conditions.
Chasteberry is one of those herbs that have been historically used in traditional medicine since the ancient ages. In modern medicine, chasteberry benefits continue to be studied. However, clinical studies so far suggest that the components found in chasteberry may help with managing and preventing various women’s conditions including symptoms of PMS, difficulty getting pregnant, migraines, and symptoms of menopause.
Always consider asking your healthcare provider prior to adding any natural supplements into your health regimen, including chasteberry.