Chaste Tree Berry

Benefits of Vitex agnus castus Fruit Extract

Chaste tree berry extract confers benefits to women who suffer from a hormone imbalance. Vitex chaste tree herb is most commonly taken as a tincture. It’s a natural remedy for menopause with few side effects.

What is Vitex?

Vitex agnus castus is a deciduous tree native to the Mediterranean. Each summer it bears small lilac flowers on long spikes which are followed by small, hard, yellow-red berries in the fall.

Vitex Berry

Vitex berries ready for harvest.

This is the dried fruit of the Vitex chaste tree. It turns dark brown or black as it dries.

Dried chaste tree fruit looks and tastes like black peppercorns. It is ground into a powder or soaked in vodka or rum and made into an herbal tincture. You can grow and grind the berries or buy bulk Vitex powder and make your own capsules.

I grow the berries and grind them with a pepper mill to season our food. I have never bothered to grind enough of them to make my own capsules as you can order them online so inexpensively.

I am not a veterinarian. Nor do I keep horses. People who keep horses but are not veterinarians have reported these results. I wish to stress that they are purely anecdotal.

Consult your vet before using any natural remedy you are uncertain of on your horses.

Chaste Tree Berry for Horses

Some people feed the bulk Vitex powder to their horses to treat Cushing’s disease. The daily dose amount for mares or geldings is 1 tablespoon twice a day. Feed the Vitex herb for 3 weeks and then take a week off to keep the horse from developing an immunity to the herb.

Vitex and Menstruation

Nature's Way Femaprin, Vitex Extract, Capsules

A study done in Germany in 1988 found that Vitex berry acts on the pituitary gland which is the gland that regulates the menstrual cycle. Other trials have demonstrated that chaste tree fruit is able to lessen PMS symptoms and increase a woman’s fertility.

Taken daily, Vitex herb balances estrogen and progesterone production by the ovaries throughout the menstrual cycle. The effect of this is to restore absent menstrual periods and regulate an irregular cycle.

If you plan to use this natural remedy, be patient. You may have to take it for 1-3 months before the full benefit is realized. The list of potential benefits of Vitex may make it worth the wait:

  • Relieves bloating

  • Relieves breast tenderness
  • May alleviate depression

  • Relieves anxiety

  • Stops mood swings

  • Tends to lengthen a short menstrual cycle or shorten a long one

  • Can eliminate cyclical migraines

  • Can help you conceive if your infertility is due to low progesterone levels

  • Increases breast milk production

  • May shrink uterine fibroids

  • Vitex for Menopause

    Herbal Supplement for Menopause, with Black Cohosh & Vitex

    The unpleasant peri menopause and menopause symptoms many women experience during this time of life are caused by a hormone imbalance. This is why some women glide easily through this transition while others suffer.

    By balancing estrogen and progesterone, chaste tree berry can relieve the hot flashes, night sweats, anxiety, depression, mood swings and weight gain which can make the onset of menopause a miserable experience.

    My personal experience with using vitex for menopause:

    After the onset of my surgically induced menopause, I began to experience insomnia and weight gain.

    I started taking half a gram of chaste tree berry (1 capsule of the dried herb) each day. I have been taking vitex daily for more than a year now and I no longer have any trouble sleeping. The insomnia went away after just a few days of supplementation.

    My weight, however, is another matter. I continued to gain weight until I modified my diet.

    Provera and Vitex

    Provera will provoke a menstrual cycle. But, if you are trying to conceive, Vitex extract may be the better remedy as it causes ovulation. Provera has also been associated with unpleasant side effects like severe depression and very heavy bleeding during the menstrual cycle after the drug is stopped.

    Taking Provera and Vitex at the same time is not recommended.

    Chaste Vitex and Acne

    Planetary Herbals Full Spectrum Vitex Extract 500mg

    Teenage acne, in both males and females, is often successfully alleviated by the daily use of Vitex berry. It will take a month or more for the skin to clear.

    How to Use Chaste Tree Berry

    Gaia Herbs Vitex Berry, Vegetarian Liquid Phyto-Caps

    You can make Vitex tea by simmering 1 tablespoon of dried berries in a cup of water for 25 minutes. Drink 1 cup daily.

    If the tea is too spicy for you, buy Vitex berry tincture and take 40 drops in water once a day.

    If you’d rather take the capsules, take 200-500 mg daily. Treatment may be continued for up to 18 months.

    To increase milk flow, take Vitex berry powder or extract on the first day after birth. Continue for 10 days.

    Vitex Side Effects

    The side effects from Vitex are few. Chaste tree berry may reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills. Its use is not recommended during pregnancy as there may be some risk of miscarriage. If you are taking hormone replacement therapy, chaste berry may affect the way your hormone pills work.

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