Chasteberry extract is derived from the chasteberry fruit that comes from the chaste tree. Chaste trees are native to central Asia and the Mediterranean. Chasteberry is also commonly called vitex, which stems from the latin name for the plant, Vitex agnus-castus.1
Chasteberry was traditionally used to promote chastity, which is where the name comes from. Chasteberry herbal remedies are also sometimes called “the woman’s herb” because of its health benefits for a variety of female-related medical conditions.1,2
Chasteberry extracts have been used for over 2,000 years as an herbal remedy. In the 1950s, Madaus Co., a German pharmaceutical company, created a standardized chasteberry extract. Chasteberry extracts are now available in several forms in health food stores internationally.3
Chasteberry Extract Health Uses and Health Benefits
Chasteberry extract benefits are primarily associated with reproductive, menstrual and female health including chasteberry extract for PMS. Chasteberry extract benefits come from this plant’s natural compounds. Scientists have found over 200 compounds among 20 different species of vitex plants. These plant compounds are primarily antioxidants like flavonoids.3
Chasteberry extracts influence the body’s hormonal activity by stimulating the pituitary gland. This causes an increase in the release of luteinizing hormone (LH), which triggers the ovaries to produce more progesterone. This activity produces the following chasteberry extract benefits for female health:2
- Normalizes the ratio between estrogen and progesterone
- Reduces menstrual pain by decreasing bleeding
- Alleviates pain caused by endometriosis
- Regulates menstrual cycle
Chasteberry extract benefits are also seen in treating acne and enlarged prostate in men.3
Chasteberry can safely be used to treat the following conditions:
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome - Chasteberry extract can help regulate the balance between estrogen and progesterone hormone levels, which can help treat polycystic ovary syndrome.
- Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) - Chasteberry extract for PMS is a known natural remedy for helping to reduce symptoms like bloating, irritability and mood swings.
- Perimenopause - Chasteberry helps to regulate female hormones, which can help ease perimenopause symptoms like hot flashes and PMS symptoms.
Chasteberry Extract Side Effects and Precautions
There are limited chasteberry extract side effects and it is generally safe for most people to use. In rare cases, women may experience chasteberry extract side effects like nausea, headaches and difficulty sleeping.3