Daily Dose of Chasteberry: 20-40mg
Vitex agnus-castus, or chasteberry, is the fruit of the chaste tree, its fruit and seeds of which are used for medicine. The fruit gets its name from an ancient belief that it could suppress libido and promote chastity. For centuries it has been used by women to to treat PMS, infertility, and other reproductive issues. Chasteberry can help ease symptoms of menopause because it may increase levels of progesterone. Symptoms it may help alleviate are hot flashes, mood swings, and vaginal dryness. Results may take time, it may take 2 months to feel changes and 6 months to maintain results. it can also ease symptoms of endometriosis, which is a painful condition that happens when the uterus lining travels outside the uterus and to other parts of the body. These cells then cause deposits to form scar tissue.
Infertility caused by ovarian insufficiency or high prolactin levels may also benefit from chaste tree berries although it may take a few cycles to see the effects. Vitex agnus-castus can also be beneficial to men by increasing the flow of urine, treating an enlarged prostate, and for reducing sexual desire. Historians claim that monks would chew chaste tree parts to help maintain celibacy.
Chaste tree berries are available in capsules, tablets, tinctures, and tea. They can also be taken as a raw, dried herb. Doses to treat PMS and other conditions vary depending on the formulation used. Some extracts can be taken in 20mg daily and capsules containing 1.6-3.0mg of fruit extract may be taken twice a day. The most typical dose of the herbal extract is 20-40mg per day. Chasteberry extract should not be taken by pregnant women or combined with hormonal drugs, such as birth control pills. Consult your health care provider before taking these supplements.
- Fukahori M1, Kobayashi S, Naraki Y, Sasaki T, Oka H, Seki M, Masada-Atsumi S, Hakamatsuka T, Goda Y. Quality Evaluation of Medicinal Products and Health Foods Containing Chaste Berry (Vitex agnus-castus) in Japanese, European and American Markets. Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo). 2014;62(4):379-85. PMID: 24695348.
- van Die MD1, Bone KM, Burger HG, Reece JE, Teede HJ. Effects of a combination of Hypericum perforatum and Vitex agnus-castus on PMS-like symptoms in late-perimenopausal women: findings from a subpopulation analysis. J Altern Complement Med. 2009 Sep;15(9):1045-8. PMID: 19757982.