Vitex agnus-castus, also called vitex, chaste tree (or chastetree), chasteberry, Abraham’s balm, lilac chastetree, or monk’s pepper, is a native of the Mediterranean region. Vitex scientifically known as Vitex agnus-catus was once thought to be an anaphrodisiac, which is the opposite of an aphrodisiac and suppresses desire.
It seems logical that the Chasteberry’s ability to suppress sexual desire gave rise to its original moniker. A beverage made from the plant’s seeds was used by the Romans to reduce libido.
Young ladies in ancient Greece who were participating in the festival of Demeter wore chaste berry blooms to symbolize their chastity in the goddess’ worship. Chasteberry served comparable functions for monks during the Middle Ages, giving rise to the widespread moniker “monk’s pepper.”
Technically speaking, “vitex” refers to the 250 species that make up the largest genus in the Verbenaceae family, which is found around the world. The shrubs in the vitex genus are deciduous.
The chaste tree, which yields the chasteberry (Vitex agnus-catus), a tiny brown berry fruit about the size of a peppercorn, is the most popular form of vitex used medicinally. The chastetree, a deciduous shrub originally from the Mediterranean and Asia, has become a native of North America. Vitex or Agnus-castus are two common names for the chasteberry.
In the course of their research, scientists have discovered 18 chemicals in the fruits of Vitex agnus-castus that have the potential to be biologically active. More than 20 vitex species have had their chemical and biological characteristics examined thus far.
Read Also: 8 Health Benefits of Tumeric (Curcuma longa)
The leaves and fruits of the vitex plant are used in traditional Iranian medicine to encourage women to produce more milk. As a folk remedy, the fruits of Vitex Rotundifolia have been used to cure conditions like diarrhea and bacterial dysentery as well as headaches, colds, migraines, eye pain, female hormone abnormalities, asthma, and chronic bronchitis.
In Asian nations, vitex Trifolia is used as an anti-inflammatory and sedative for headaches, rheumatism, and the common cold.
When taken orally at the recommended dosages, vitex supplements are normally safe for the majority of people. Uncommon adverse effects of vitex include nausea, vomiting, rash, acne, itching, migraines, trouble sleeping, and weight gain. Some women who start using vitex report a change in menstrual flow.
Consult your doctor prior to taking vitex in any form if you are pregnant, have a hormone-sensitive medical condition, such as endometriosis or breast cancer, or if you have a history of mental illness or Parkinson’s disease.
Some medicines, such as birth control, antipsychotics, and estrogen supplements used during in vitro fertilization procedures can all be adversely affected by vitex. If you use any of these medications, see your doctor before using vitex.
One of the most well-liked all-natural treatments for PMS and hormonal balance is vitex, sometimes referred to as chaste berry. And although it’s quite helpful for women, guys can also benefit from it.
It has been demonstrated, for example, to ease PMS symptoms, lessen uterine fibroids, increase female fertility, treat acne, treat endometriosis, treat amenorrhea, perhaps stimulate lactation, lessen menopausal symptoms, and treat an enlarged prostate.
The chaste tree, which yields the chaste berry (Vitex Agnus-catus), a tiny brown berry fruit about the size of a peppercorn, is the most popular form of vitex used medicinally.
6 Health Benefits of Vitex (Vitex Agnus-catus)
1. Combats Urine Fibroid
Non-cancerous tumors called uterine fibroids are found inside the uterine walls. They frequently change the size or shape of the uterus and cause a number of uncomfortable symptoms.
Keeping the right balance of hormones is important for preventing and reducing uterine fibroids. The chaste berry helps support a healthy balance between progesterone and estrogen.
2. Clears Acne
Acne can be caused by hormonal imbalances and swings, especially if you’re a woman. Vitex may be the ideal acne natural treatment if you regularly get breakouts of acne, particularly on your chin and jawline.
Your hormones may be balanced, which may help women with acne prevention. According to a preliminary study, it may also help treat premenstrual acne, potentially by controlling hormonal impacts.
3. Natural Remedy For Amenorrhea
A woman of reproductive age who experiences amenorrhea experiences an abrupt cessation of her menstrual period. Your menstruation stopping or being irregular while you’re not pregnant is a clear sign that something is wrong.
A lot of things can lead to amenorrhea, and one of them is having too much prolactin in your system, which can result in hypoestrogenism or estrogen insufficiency. A healthy estrogen and progesterone balance can be restored with vitex supplementation by modulating prolactin.
4. Helps In Promoting Lactation In Women
One of the most well-known herbs for encouraging breastfeeding is a chaste berry. According to one study, moms with or without pregnancy difficulties could produce more milk when supplemented with a vitex tincture. Galactagogues are herbs like vitex that encourage or accelerate the flow of breastfeeding.
When compared to women who received vitamin B1 or nothing at all, a previous clinical experiment indicated that 15 drops of it in tincture form taken three times per day could improve the amount of milk produced by mothers with or without pregnancy difficulties.
Check with your doctor before taking vitex because there isn’t enough data to say whether it’s safe or hazardous for mothers who are currently nursing their children.
5. Reduces Menopause
Menopause, which is defined as starting 12 months following your last menstrual period, is the cessation of menstruation and fertility permanently. In your 40s or 50s, it may occur. For the greatest effects, vitex is frequently mixed with other herbs like dong Quai or black cohosh.
According to a published study, pre-and postmenopausal women who took a herbal supplement containing Chasteberry had safe and effective relief from hot flashes and sleep difficulties.
Another study from 2015 discovered that a supplement with vitex as a significant component could lessen moderate to severe menopause symptoms.
6. Helps In Treating Enlarged Prostrate
Age-related prostate gland growth known as benign prostatic hyperplasia might make it difficult to urinate.
According to a 2005 study, Vitex agnus-castus fruit extracts can be helpful for the prevention and treatment of both prostate cancer and enlargement of the prostate.
According to data, vitex contains elements that prevent cell division and kill prostate cancer cells.
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