Going through hormonal ups and downs isn’t pleasant. It can make you feel moody and unwell, even if you’re no longer dealing with your monthly cycle. For some, these hormonal changes can lead to issues like painful periods and trouble getting pregnant.
Chasteberry, botanically known as Vitex Agnus Castus, is a natural solution that might offer relief. People have been using it for a very long time to ease problems caused by hormonal issues. Chasteberry also aids hair health by aiding in maintaining the balance of hormones that affect hair growth. Read on to understand in detail about
What is Chasteberry?
Chasteberry with the botanical name Vitex Agnus Castus and also monk’s pepper is the fruit of the chaste tree. It was originally found in Western Asia and Southwestern Europe. Now, it is also found in the SouthEastern United States. With a history spanning over 2,500 years, it was used in ancient civilizations for gynecological issues.
In medieval Europe, it was favored by celibate clergymen for its potential to reduce sexual desires. In recent decades, it gained popularity in Europe for treating gynecological concerns, and the German Commission E has approved its use for menstrual irregularities, cyclical breast discomfort, and PMS.
The key component in chasteberry, agnuside, supports female reproductive cycles and hormone levels. Chasteberry oils are also known to reduce blood pressure and heart rate. Here are some of the potential chasteberry benefits.
Boosts Reproductive Health
Chasteberry extracts contribute to hormonal balance by reducing the production of the hormone prolactin, addressing progesterone deficiencies, and regulating other hormones. Chasteberry’s impact on the hypothalamus inhibits gonadotropin-releasing hormone, subsequently enhancing the release of follicle-stimulating hormone from the pituitary gland. This, in turn, promotes better control of estrogen and progesterone production in the ovaries.
Alleviates Breast Pain
Chasteberry alleviates cyclic mastalgia, a form of breast pain associated with menstruation. It offers relief by reducing menstrual discomfort, mitigating premenstrual symptoms, and addressing migraines. The plant extracts activate mu-opioid receptors in the brain, effectively blocking pain and providing relief from various types of cramps.
Manages PMS Symptoms
Chasteberry reduces PMS symptoms by maintaining hormonal balance. It reduces prolactin levels and balances other hormones. It curbs breast tenderness, mood swings, and bloating. It regulates the menstrual cycle by influencing the hypothalamus effectively reduces PMS-related discomfort, and boosts overall well-being.
Reduces Androgenic Alopecia
Androgenic Alopecia is a prevalent type of severe hair loss that affects both men and women. Chasteberry proves beneficial by aiding the effective functioning of the pituitary gland, which occasionally produces insufficient hormones, leading to hormonal irregularities. Chasteberry extract maintains hormonal balance by adjusting the estrogen-progesterone ratio, primarily enhancing progesterone—an essential hormone crucial for hair growth and management.
Regulates Menopause Symptoms
Menopause is typically confirmed after a continuous absence of periods for 12 consecutive months. Surprisingly, even after this period, hormonal imbalances can persist, causing symptoms like hot flashes and mood fluctuations. Research indicates that chasteberry could mitigate these menopausal issues by lessening hot flashes and night sweats and enhancing mood. This might be attributed to its phytoestrogen content, which mimics estrogen, a hormone that diminishes post-menopause.
Side Effects of Chasteberry
Chasteberry offers various health benefits by regulating hormones, but potential risks include
- Mild side effects like nausea, upset stomach, skin rash, acne, headache, and heavy periods.
- Pregnant and nursing women should avoid it due to limited infant safety research.
- Vitex may interact with antipsychotic meds, birth control pills, and hormone therapy, so consult a healthcare professional before use.
Chasteberry, or Vitex agnus-castus, holds potential benefits for fertility, PMS, menopause, and hair growth. While it may cause mild stomach discomfort, it is generally safe. Consult your doctor before using it, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, or taking specific prescription medications.