Chasteberry – The #1 Herb for Women?
Menstrual cramping, heavy menstrual bleeding, Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), hot flashes, and menopause, are just a few of the issues women experience due to menstrual cycles. Some women go on birth control pills to lessen such symptoms, but there is a natural herbal treatment that has been used by women for thousands of years that has no known side effects outside of a rash in less than two percent of women, and has been proven to tonify women’s hormonal and reproductive systems.
Famed herbalist Susun Weed notes in Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way that two to three months may be needed to feel the tonifying effects of Chasteberry. The Chaste tree berry or extract, also known as Vitex agnus castus, or “Vitex,” is reported to provide a wide array of healing benefits, including, Weed notes, calming hot flashes, reducing and eliminating menstrual cramps, endometriosis, or fibroids. She notes that “large doses taken persistently for several years slowly but steadily relieve endometriosis and fibroids.
Chasteberry does not contain hormones, but increases progesterone production by acting on the pituitary gland and its production of luteinizing hormones. According to … a double-blind study found that women taking Chasteberry had significantly greater relief from symptoms of PMS, including breast tenderness, cramping, and headaches, than those taking vitamin B6. Other studies report that acne associated with PMS is also reduced.
How much to take?
The German Commission E monograph recommends a daily dose of 40 mg of the dried herb. Forty drops of the concentrated liquid herbal extract a day can be added to a glass of water and drunk in the morning.
According to Susun Weed, Chinese herbalists use Man Jing Zi.
By Annie B. Bond, the best-selling and award-winning author of five healthy/green living books, including Better Basics for the Home (Three Rivers Press, 1999), Home Enlightenment, Clean & Green (1990), and most recently True Food (National Geographic, 2010 and winner of Gourmand Awards Best Health and Nutrition Cookbook in the World). She has authored literally thousands of articles and was named “the foremost expert on green living” by Body & Soul magazine (2009).