Herbs For Health: Vitex aka Chasteberry


Herbs For Health: Vitex aka Chasteberry

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Vitex agnus-castus

This plant is indigenous to the Mediterranean and has been used throughout history to address women’s gynecological problems.

Interesting Fact

During the middle ages it was thought to decrease sexual desire, so monks would chew it to help them reduce their urges. Can you say ‘placebo effect’? Yes. That’s the reason for the name ‘chasteberry’.

Women’s Herb

It is also referred to as ‘the women’s herb’. It helps stimulate and normalize the pituitary gland which regulates your hormones which effects both PMS and menstruation.

It’s name means ‘partly one and partly the other’. It facilitates whatever function you need to normalize. According to David Hoffman, well known and respected herbalist, this herb should be taken for three cycles or longer to receive benefit from it. “Vitex will always enable what is appropriate to occur.” David also states that women coming off of birth control would benefit from it because it will help them regain their natural balance.


If after consulting your health professional you choose to use this herb, it is possible that it will render birth control pills ineffective. The action of this herb is to normalize the pituitary gland which in turn normalizes hormones. Birth control pills change your hormones so you do not become pregnant. One may cancel out the other and could result in pregnancy.

There are other considerations as well. It is always best to consult with your health professional before using any herb you are not familiar with.

For those of you doing your research please check out WebMD for additional information on this herb.

Did You Know?

‘Commission E’ is the German version of the FDA here in the USA. Chaste tree fruit (Vitex) is one of the herbs approved to be prescribed. You can find the list of approved herbs and not approved herbs on the American Botanical Council’s website. You must be a member to access the details of the herbs on the list.

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Comments (4 )

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  1. namirusso says:

    You mean I'm not supposed to be screaming my head off a week before my period? Ha, ha – how is this different from Evening Primrose?

  2. Susan Cooper says:

    Interesting stuff. Nature is a wonderful thing and has so much to offer if we know what to look for and how to apply it to our situation. Where was this info before I went through meta pause… LOL.

  3. JeriWB says:

    It's too bad it can render birth control ineffective.

  4. Have honestly never heard of that herb. But it might be a good idea for women who need the benefits it gives to try it out?