Do you suffer from premenstrual syndrome (PMS), irregular periods , infertility or menopause? You could have a natural remedy for you. It has been used for centuries and has proven effective time and again in scientific studies. I’m talking about a small but powerful medicinally brown berry about the size of a peppercorn known as chasteberry or Vitex. This fruit has a long history (over 2,000 years) of use as an herbal medicine.
Vitex is one of the most popular herbal remedies for PMS and cramps . In fact, a study published in Journal of Women’s Health and Gender-Based Medicine found that after having been treated with vitex for three menstrual cycles, 93 percent of patients reported a decrease in the number of symptoms of premenstrual syndrome or a complete end of complaints of premenstrual syndrome. ( 1 ) In addition to reducing unwanted premenstrual symptoms, which also serves to treat some symptoms of menopause, as well as acne induced by hormones. ( 2 )
Herbs like vitex are natural ways that can strengthen and tone the body’s systems. Sauzgatillo medical capacity to positively influence health seems hormonal problems dopaminergic compounds derived from this in the grass . How exactly encourage vitex hormonal balance While it not supplied hormones in the body, which acts directly on the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland.
In women, increases luteinizing hormone , modulates the prolactin and helps in inhibiting the release of follicle stimulating hormone all of which helps to balance the ratio of progesterone to estrogen, slightly raising progesterone levels. ( 3 ) It is important to note that chasteberry is not actually a hormone, but rather a herb that helps the body to increase their own levels of progesterone.
But Vitex is not only for women with hormonal problems that need fixing. Recently it is shown to exhibit anti-tumor activities in different human cancer cell lines, and that’s not all. Read on to discover all the amazing health benefits to having both women (especially) and men.
9 Health Benefits of Vitex
1. Relieves symptoms of premenstrual syndrome
with 75 percent of women who experience premenstrual syndrome certainly is a health issue in many minds. If you suffer from premenstrual syndrome, which are among the many women who experience a number of unpleasant physical and emotional symptoms each month to last between two and 14 days before menstruation. PMS symptoms can greatly reduce or even eliminate, making an effort to get your hormones in proper balance. Vitex is one of the best – if not the top -. Recommendations herbs when it comes to natural relief PMS
For a woman, inappropriately increased production of prolactin may be a factor in cyclic breast tenderness and other symptoms of premenstrual syndrome . Vitex is believed to work well in reducing symptoms of premenstrual syndrome because it suppresses the release of prolactin from the pituitary gland. Numerous studies suggest that chasteberry can help reduce the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, including breast tenderness , headache and irritable mood. ( 4 ) In a review conducted by the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and the University of Australia, five of the six studies found vitex extracts to be superior to a placebo in treating syndrome premenstrual. ( 5 )
2. Reduce uterine fibroids
uterine fibroids are noncancerous tumors found within the uterine walls, often it results in a change in the size or shape of the uterus, as well as several unpleasant symptoms. A key way to prevent and reduce uterine fibroids is to maintain a proper balance of hormones. Vitex can help balance the ratio of estrogen to progesterone.
3. Improves female fertility
Vitex has been shown to improve fertility, especially for women with luteal insufficiency (abbreviated second half of the menstrual cycle). These women have problems because their ovaries do not release enough progesterone.
In one trial, 48 women (ages 23-39) who were diagnosed with infertility took vitex once a day for three months. During the trial period of three months, seven women became pregnant and 25 women experienced progesterone levels normalized, which can increase the chances of pregnancy. ( 6 )
Another study evaluated 52 women with defects in the luteal phase due to the latent hyperprolactinemia (higher than normal levels hormone prolactin in the blood). Each woman received a daily dose of 20 milligrams of preparation agnus castus Vitex or a placebo. The study is intended to show whether it could reduce the high pituitary prolactin and also normalize the deficits in the duration of the luteal phase and the synthesis of progesterone in the luteal phase.
The results were excellent. After three months, women treated with vitex had a reduction in the release of prolactin, shortened luteal phase were normalized and deficits were eliminated in the synthesis of luteal progesterone. Two women in the treated group also became pregnant during the course of the study, and no negative side effects were observed. ( 7 ) These results show vitex can be used as a treatment of natural infertility in women .
4. Acne cure
Hormonal imbalances and fluctuations can be the root of acne, especially if you are a woman. If you experience monthly acne outbreaks, especially along your jaw line and chin, vitex could be a perfect acne natural remedy . You can balance your hormones, which can reduce the formation of acne in women. Preliminary research suggests that could help eliminate premenstrual acne as well, possibly by regulating hormonal influences. ( 8 )
5. It is used to treat endometriosis
Endometriosis is a disorder often painful in which the tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside the uterus. more commonly it involves the ovaries, intestines or the tissue lining the pelvis. No one is sure of the exact cause of endometriosis, but some contributing factors are hormonal imbalances and genetics.
You can not do anything about the genetic factor, but the hormonal imbalance can possibly be overcome with the use of vitex. For treat endometriosis naturally , chasteberry is usually taken long term (12 to 18 months) for maximum efficiency. ( 9 )
6. Remedies amenorrhea
amenorrhea is a medical condition in which a woman of reproductive age has a menstrual cycle stops suddenly. If you are not pregnant and lack of time, is a strong indication that something is not right.
Amenorrhea may be caused by a number of factors including the possibilities of having too much prolactin in your body, which can cause hypoestrogenism or estrogen deficiency. Vitex supplementation may help modulate prolactin and get a healthy balance of estrogen and progesterone back on track. ( 10 )
7. Can promote breastfeeding
In Europe, chasteberry is one of the herbs more acclaimed for the promotion of breastfeeding. One study found that supplementation with Vitex tincture could increase the amount of milk produced by mothers with or without complications in pregnancy, as noted by the University of Michigan Health System. Herbs like vitex that promote or increase the flow breast milk flow known as galactagogues. A German clinical trial older found that 15 drops of the same in the form of tincture three times a day could increase the amount of milk produced by mothers with or without complications in pregnancy, compared with mothers vitamin B1 was administered or nothing at all.
there is a lot of evidence to support vitex is safe or unsafe for women who are actively breastfeeding their babies so check with your doctor before taking it.
8. Reduces symptoms of menopause
Menopause is the permanent cessation of menstruation and fertility, defined as occurring 12 months after its last menstrual period. It can happen in 40 to 50 years, but the average age is 51 in the US Vitex often combined with other herbs, such as black cohosh or dong quai , for maximum benefits.
a 2007 study published in Gynecological Endocrinology found that an herbal supplement containing sauzgatillo provides safe and effective relief of hot flashes and sleep disorders in pre- and postmenopausal women. ( 11 ) Another study 2015 found that a supplement containing vitex as a key ingredient was able to reduce moderate to severe symptoms of menopause . ( 15 )
9. It is used to treat enlarged prostate
Benign prostatic hyperplasia it is an enlargement of the prostate associated with aging that can cause difficulty urinating. A 2005 study conducted by the Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology at the University of Basel in Switzerland showed that extracts of Vitex agnus-castus fruits can be useful for the prevention and treatment of not only an enlarged prostate, but also prostate cancer . The data showed that the vitex contains components that inhibit the proliferation and kills cells of prostate cancer. ( 12 )
History Vitex and Interesting Facts
Vitex is technically the name for the genre largest family Verbenaceae , comprising 250 species distributed worldwide. Vitex species are deciduous shrubs.
The most common variety of Vitex used medicinally is chaste tree, which produces the sauzgatillo ( Vitex agnus-catus ), a small berry brown on the size of peppercorn . Chastetree is actually a deciduous shrub native of the Mediterranean and Asia, and has become naturalized in North America. Chasteberry is frequently called by its Latin names :. vitex or agnus-castus
As scientistis search for potential biologically active compounds of medicinal plants have been found 18 compounds in the fruits of Vitex agnus -castus . To date, more than 20 species of Vitex have been investigated for chemical and biological properties. The results including the isolation and characterization of approximately 200 compounds, primarily Flavonoids , terpenoids, steroids, iridoids and lignans. ( 13 )
In ancient times, was believed to be a anaphrodisiac vitex (the opposite of an aphrodisiac) or something that decreases libido. It makes sense that chasteberry originally got its name from its ability to counter sexual desire. The Romans used a beverage prepared from the seeds of the plant to decrease libido. In ancient Greece, young women celebrating the festival of Demeter wore chasteberry blossoms to show that they were being chaste in honor of the goddess. For the monks in the Middle Ages, chasteberry for similar purposes, giving rise to the common name used “monk’s pepper.”
The modern use of vitex began in the 1950s when the German pharmaceutical company Madaus Co. first produced a standardized Chasteberry extract.
in traditional Iranian medicine, leaves and fruits of Vitex are used to increase milk production in women. The fruits of Vitex rotundifolia have been used as folk medicine for the treatment of headache, cold, migraine headache, eye pain, female hormonal disorders, asthma, chronic bronchitis and gastrointestinal infections, such as diarrhea and bacterial dysentery. Vitex trifolia has been used as an anti-inflammatory and sedative for headaches, rheumatism and common cold in Asian countries. In China, vitex is even a folk medicine for the treatment of cancers. ( 14 )
How to choose and take Vitex
Vitex or Vitex is available in many different forms at your local health store or online. Drying the mature sauzgatillo it is used for preparing liquid extracts or solid extracts which are put into capsules and tablets. If you’re not a fan of capsules or tablets, then the liquid extract is a great choice. You can also easily find vitex in tea alone or in combination with other herbs that promote hormonal balance. You can also order dried berries and make your own dye at home
These are the recommended doses for certain uses :.
- for premenstrual syndrome: 400 milligrams daily before breakfast
- For uterine fibroids: 400 milligrams twice a day
- For infertility: 160-240 milligrams a day
- For acne: 160 milligrams daily
- to endometriosis: 400mg twice daily
- to menopause 160-240 milligrams per day
Vitex potential side effects and Care
Vitex supplements are generally safe for most people when taken by mouth in appropriate doses. Uncommon side effects include upset stomach Vitex nausea , rash, acne, itching, headaches, trouble sleeping and weight gain. When some women start taking vitex, notice a change in menstrual flow
If you are pregnant, have a hormone-sensitive disease -. Such as endometriosis or breast cancer – or if you have a history of disease or Parkinson’s disease, mental disorders, then talk to your doctor before taking vitex in any form.
Vitex may interfere with some medications, including birth control, antipsychotics and estrogen supplements, such as those used with in vitro fertilization treatments. Talk to your doctor before trying vitex if you are taking any of these medications.
Final Thoughts on Vitex
Vitex, also known as chasteberry, is one of the most popular natural remedies for PMS and hormonal balance. And although it is very beneficial for women, it is also useful for men. For example, has been shown to relieve the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, shrink uterine fibroids, improving female fertility, eliminate acne, the treatment of endometriosis, remedy amenorrhea, possibly, promotion of breastfeeding, symptoms lower menopause and treat an enlarged prostate.
The most common variety of Vitex used medicinally is chaste tree, which produces the vitex (Vitex agnus-catus), a small berry brown on the size of peppercorn
Some Vitex recommended doses are as follows :.
- For PMS: 400 milligrams a day before breakfast
- For uterine fibroids: 400 milligrams twice a day
- For Infertility: 160- 240 milligrams a day
- For acne: 160 mg daily
- For endometriosis: 400 milligrams twice a day
- For menopause: 160-240 milligrams a day