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What is Vitex?
Vitex agnus-castus is a shrub that is known by many names in different areas like a chaste tree, chaste berry, and monk’s pepper. It is locally found in the Mediterranean region and central Asia. It has violet-colored flowers and purple-colored fruit called berries. Due to its great benefits, its seeds and berries are widely used in making herbal medicines specially prescribed to cure female problems.
Several supplements are made from the extract of its ripen and dried fruit. The extract may be used in liquid or powder form. It is further processed to make fine tablets or fill capsules. Extract from its seeds is also used in various treatments.
What is in chesteberry or vitex?
The medicinal parts of vitex agnus-castus, seeds, and berries contain;
- Essential oils
Health benefits of vitex agnus-castus
Chesteberry or vitex has been used for hundreds of years for various herbal treatments. More research is going on to find the potential benefits of vitex.
- Effective to ease Premenstrual syndrome symptoms
Premenstrual symptoms in women include irritation, tiredness, tender breast, mood swings, mastalgia (breast pain), and depression. Research has found that vitex lowers the amount of “Prolactin” hormone in the blood, leading to the balance of other hormones like estrogen and progesterone as well. Balanced hormones further help to manage all these symptoms and reduce their intensity.
- Manage menopause symptoms
Menopause is the medical condition when menstruation stops at a certain age in women. All this happens with hormonal rise fall which also induces certain changes in female behavior. She may suffer severe mood swings, unexpected cravings, depression, sleep problems, and hot flashes. The hormonal balancing effects of vitex berries give great relief to women by reducing the symptoms. All this has been verified by researches conducted on females by giving vitex supplements.
- Fights with PCOS and infertility
Women who have Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) have the problem of pre-mature follicles which prevent them from conceiving a child. Irregular or no menstruation is also the problem. Vitex has amazing benefits to regulate the hormones which control the female menstruation cycle and develop follicles. Abnormally high levels of Prolactin also reduce the chance of getting pregnant. The efficacy of vitex has been proved via research that it enhances fertility in women and fights with PCOS or irregular menstruation.
- Balance estrogen dominance& increase progesterone
Vitex fruit extract is involved in signaling the neurotransmitter “dopamine” to regulate the release of the Prolactin hormone. It then increases levels of progesterone which reduces the estrogen level in blood. All this cycle helps to regulate ovarian health and the production of follicles. This also eliminates luteal phase defects in women.
It is the term used when there is no egg formation or egg release in women. It leads to infertility. Vitex balances hormones and helps to mature eggs in the ovaries and their timely release.
“Vitex capsules” is a product of “Herbo Natural”, which is made from the extract of vitex agnus-castus berries by following hygiene and standard health procedures. It is prescribed to females who are facing PCOS, infertility, irregular menstruation, and hormonal imbalance. These issues take a particular time to resolve so the use of vitex is recommended for a couple of months. PMS and menopausal symptoms are also cured if the medicine is used for some cycles regularly.
Dosage: Dosage includes 2 capsules daily with an empty stomach with water or as advised by the health professional.
Pharmacology of Vitex agnus-castus extract
Clinical trials on animals have been conducted to trace the pharmacology of vitex plant extract on the female endocrine system. It is evident from research that dopaminergic compounds present in Agnus-castus extract include several diterpenes, most importantly “clerodadienols” which binds to dopamine receptor proteins in the pituitary gland and suppress the production of Prolactin hormone. A decrease in Prolactin levels stimulates the production of progesterone hormone and balances estrogen levels. The production of Follicle-stimulating hormone and Luteinizing hormone remains unaffected. The rebalancing of hormones is directly linked to the improvement in female reproductive system issues.
There are no reported side effects of vitex agnus-castus as it has been used for centuries. It can be used continuously for 18 months. No matter, it is a herbal product but keep following things into consideration.
- If you are using some other medicines, discuss them with your healthcare professional before starting vitex.
- If you are diabetic, heart patient or have blood pressure issues, consult with your doctor before use.
- Uncommon side effects may include headache or nausea.