Chastetree – Nature’s Amazing Hormone Balancer for Women

Chastetree Berry

Plant medicines have provided support for women’s health issues for thousands of years – and one herb that holds exceptional benefits for women in all stages of life is chastetree.

Chastetree (Vitex agnus-castus) is also called chasteberry, Abraham’s balm, lilac  chastetree, and monk’s pepper. A deciduous shrub that is native to the Mediterranean area, the berries of the chastetree plant have been used in preparations for supporting women’s health since classical antiquity when Greek physician Dioscorides recommended it for inflammations of the uterus and for stimulating mother’s milk.

Today, chastetree is valued for its well-known benefits for women’s reproductive, gynecological, and hormonal health.

Chastetree for Women’s Hormone Support

Chaste tree is known to work as a great hormone “normalizer” for women. Throughout the childbearing years, chastetree works at the level of the hypothalamus and pituitary glands in the brain, signaling the ovaries to develop a follicle and to ovulate, both of which are important to maintain and restore normal hormonal fluctuations throughout the cycle.

These balancing effects make it a helpful herb for regulating irregular cycles. Later in life, once menstrual cycles have ceased, similar balancing effects can help to ease the physical, emotional, and cognitive symptoms of the transition from perimenopause into menopause.

PMS and Menstrual Health

Up to 40% of women are affected by PMS – uncomfortable physical and emotional symptoms experienced over the days leading up to their period – and some women experience the more severe condition of PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder).

An underlying factor of these conditions is latent hyperprolactinemia (LHP). It is speculated that higher levels of prolactin inhibit corpus luteal development, which results in a reduction of the secretion of progesterone in the luteal phase (second half) of the menstrual cycle, resulting in pre-menstrual symptoms of irritability, breast tenderness and even contributing to difficulty in conceiving.

In vitro studies point to chastetree’s hormone-modulating properties as a factor in regulating the symptoms of PMS through its effects on dopamine receptors that lower levels of thyrotropin-releasing hormone and prolactin – helping to alleviate PMS symptoms, as well as providing pain relief.

Several studies have examined the effects of chastetree in treating fertility issues. The herb’s effect on lowering prolactin levels and balancing hormones helps to stabilize both the follicular and luteal phases of the menstrual cycle supporting an optimal cycle length.   

In short, chastetree can help to regulate cycle length, optimize fertility, and ease emotional and physical pre-menstrual symptoms.

Chastetree and Menopause

Menopause marks the end of a women’s fertile years, bringing a decline in endocrine function, where hormone changes can cause night sweats and hot flashes, as well as mood and sleep disruption.

The estrogen-balancing effects of chastetree can help to ease common menopause symptoms, by positively influencing hormone deficiency in the transitional period – easing symptoms with its beneficial effects on prolactin levels.

Cognitive decline and memory loss are other side effects of menopause. Another study concluded that chastetree improved learning and memory, an effect possibly associated with Estrogen Receptor gene expression in the hippocampal formation.

Chastetree capsules & tincture

St. Francis Herb Farm Chastetree Formulas

We offer chastetree in both a 5:1 concentrated capsule format, as well as a traditionally crafted liquid tincture, both made using Certified Organic chastetree berries.

You can also find chastetree in our Menopause Support and Regular Flow women’s health tonics.

Every woman has their unique constitutions and health concerns, and working with a Naturopathic Doctor can help you find the clearest and most effective course of herbal treatment to support your health!

You can find an ND in your area here.

Note: Before taking a chastetree product, consult a health care practitioner if you are taking hormone-containing medications such as progesterone preparations, oral contraceptives, or hormone replacement therapy, or if symptoms worsen or persist. Chastetree is also not suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women.

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