Vitex Agnus-castus is the botanical name for this tree that is native to the Mediterranean. It is commonly known as Chaste Tree. The berries are the parts that have been used by women for 2500 years or more. It is one of the best herbs for menopause.
Chaste berry regulates and balances female hormone production, specifically estrogen and progesterone through a complicated biochemistry. This plant can restore the balance between estrogen and progesterone to alleviate a wide range of symptoms during menopause.
Use of chaste tree berry can help lubricate vaginal tissues. It may reduce hot flashes in intensity and/or quantity. It can relieve joint and muscle pain as well as water retention. It may eliminate headaches. It can help with digestive issues such as indigestion and flatulence.
The main drawback of using chaste tree, if you're impatient, is that it can take 3 to 6 months to feel the benefits.
Lesley Tierra, Licensed Acupuncturist and herbalist, has this to say about it: “Chaste berry, also referred to as vitex, is a supreme female herb. It stimulates the pituitary gland and the secretion of luteotropic hormone, which increases the output of progesterone. Thus, it regulates hormonal balance and the menstrual cycle, including normalizing estrogen...It also aids problems associated with menopause such as dry vagina, hot flashes, dizziness and depression.” (The Herbs of Life, 1992)
Side effects are rare. Rashes have been reported by some women.
Don't use in pregnancy.
Dried or Fresh Berry Tincture, 30 drops 3 times per day.
Natural Approaches to Menopause > Herbs for Menopause > Vitex