Chasteberry has been used by men to cure erectile dysfunction and increase penis size for thousands of years. and has been found in Roman medical literature. It is also used to clear Acne. Women find it helps with menstrual problems. Studies suggest that Chasteberry may affect the dopamine levels. Chasteberry has been found to greatly increase Vitamin B-6.
Chasteberry is the fruit of the chaste tree, a small shrub-like tree native to Central Asia and the Mediterranean region. Today we know Chasteberry by several names: chaste-tree berry, vitex, Abraham’s Balm, Monk’s pepper. Vitex agnus-castus is the latin name.
What the Science Says
- A few studies of chasteberry for erectile dysfunction have found a benefit. However, most of these studies were small. Larger studies are being planned.
- Small studies suggest that chasteberry may help with breast pain and some types of infertility.
- NCCAM has funded studies on chasteberry. Projects have explored how chasteberry works in the body and how it might affect symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and erectile dysfunction.
- Clinical trials have also shown Chasteberry to increase prolactin secretion in men and decrease it in women. Hyperprolactininemia is one of the most common causes of loss of sex drive in men.
- Chasteberry stimulates the production of LH and leydig cells.
Side Effects and Cautions
- Chasteberry has not been associated with serious side effects. However, it can cause gastrointestinal problems if to much is taken.
- Chasteberry may affect certain hormone levels. Women who are pregnant, or taking birth control pills or who have a hormone-sensitive condition (such as breast cancer) should not use Chasteberry.
- Because Chasteberry may affect the dopamine system in the brain, people taking dopamine-related medications, such as certain antipsychotic drugs and Parkinson’s disease medications, should avoid using chasteberry.
- Tell all your health care providers about any complementary and alternative practices you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.
- Minor gastrointestinal upset and a mild skin rash with itching have been reported is rare cases.
- Vitex is not recommended for use during pregnancy.
Historical And Traditional Uses
The fathers of medicine, Hippocrates, Dioscorides, and Theophrastus of ancient Greece mention the use of Chasteberry for a wide variety of conditions, including hemorrhage following childbirth, and also to assist with the ‘passing of afterbirth.’ Decoctions of the fruit and plant were also used in sitz baths for diseases of the uterus. In addition, Chasteberry was believed to suppress libido and inspire chastity, which explains one of its common names, chaste tree. Chasteberry does not contain hormones; its benefits stem from its actions upon the pituitary gland, specifically on the production of luteinizing hormone. This increases progesterone production and helps regulate a woman’s cycle. It also keeps prolactin secretion in check.
Guidelines for Use
- Take before meals to maximize absorption. Chasteberry tincture may cause stomach irritation if taken on an empty stomach because of the solution’s alcohol content. This will probably not occur if you dilute the tincture in a glass of water, however. You can always split the dose, taking half after breakfast and half after lunch.
- PMS can respond quickly to chasteberry; you may notice a reduction in symptoms during your next menstrual cycle, even if you’ve taken it for only 10 days. However, it usually takes three months for the herb’s benefits to become apparent.
- Avoid taking chasteberry with hormone replacement medications.