The most common benefit to chaste tree berry is in treatment of female menstrual problems and discomforts. Studies have shown it relieves discomforts of menstruation, sore breasts, irritability, PMS, cramps and more. Chaste Tree Berry is sometimes used after discontinuing use of birth control pills to restore normal ovulation.
The key to getting benefit from chaste tree berry is to continue taking it. When taking continuously over a course of time, you will start to notice better results with each menstrual cycle. By your fourth cycle, you should see a noticeable improvement in your systems.
Chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus) got its name from the anaphrodisiac quality purported since its early use. Monks used to chew the berries and leaves of this tree to reduce the urges of the flesh. This use has not been scientifically proven, but it has deep roots traditionally. Syrup of the berries was even given at convents, to nuns, to reduce the chances of succumbing to desires.
The berries may also be dried and used as a spice, similar to black pepper.
Modern uses of chaste tree berry include reduction of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and pre-menopausal symptoms. Studies have shown a reduction in breast tenderness and pressure, headaches, bloating and fatigue in women who took the herb regularly.
Chaste tree is derived from the dried, ripened fruit of Vitex agnuscastus. It contains the two iridoid glycosides, agnuside and aucubin, as well as flavonoids, essential oils, and progestins. The berries exert a progesterogenic effect on women and an antiandrogenic effect on men. Progestin components include progesterone, , and androstenedione. Chaste tree is believed to act directly on the hypothalamic-pituitary axis. The herb is also contained in various multivitamin supplements for women and in combination products used to alleviate menopausal symptoms. By increasing the release of luteinizing hormone, which in turn increases progesterone production in the ovaries, chaste tree helps to regulate the menstrual cycle.