Chaste Tree Berry Increases and Hinders Sex Drives?

By Thelma Oliver

Vitex agnus-castusIn ancient times, it was called Monk’s pepper. This is because chaste tree berry (also known as Vitex and by the trade name Femaprin) was said to have an anaphrodisiac quality, that is, its ability to decrease sexual drives. Other sources indicate it was used as an aphrodisiac, in other words, for the opposite effect.

How can both be true?

Chaste tree is a large shrub (up to twenty-two feet tall) native to the Mediterranean and southern Europe. Although it flourishes on moist riverbanks, it is easily grown as an ornamental plant in American gardens, where its pretty blue-violet flowers blossom in midsummer. Today it is almost exclusively used for female problems. Its effect on sex drive is not the only seeming contradiction in its use.

Some have used it to treat infertility, while others claim it, at best, has no affect. Some use it to treat post menopausal symptoms, while other say it makes them worse. It has been used to both encourage lactation and discourage excessive lactation.

How can this be explained?

Chaste tree berry is what is called an adaptogen. This means it works to normalize hormone imbalance through its affect on the adrenal glands, in this case the pituitary. In other words, it restricts hormonal excesses and encourages deficiencies. Other examples of herb that are adaptogens would include ginseng, ginkgo, garlic, echinacea, goldenseal, and taheebo. In order to balance the body hormones, chaste tree berry decreases the production of some hormones and increases the production of others.

Some claim its success in treating infertility because it tends to shift the balance in favor of the gestagens which are hormones that condition the body for pregnancy. Chaste tree berry is especially effective in balancing the female reproductive system because it encourages the production of progesterone. This results in restoring menstruation, regulating heavy periods, and restoring fertility that resulted from hormonal imbalance.

PMS tension, and the changes of menopause have also been decreased by this herb. Excess prolactin may be the cause of premenstrual breast tenderness and chaste tree berry will balance this hormone and thus relieve the problem. A tincture of the berries has also been used externally for the relief of paralysis, pains in the limbs, and neuropathic muscular weakness.

Chaste berries benefit the treatment of acne in both men and women. The berries can be used as a mild substitute for black pepper, and may even be ground in a pepper mill. The leaves and flowers are used for flavoring and have a spicy aroma. Take 20 to 40 mg of the herb as a normal daily dose; 20 drops of tincture one or two times a day is normal. One cup of the tea, or one capsule may also be used. Some take it shortly before bedtime and find it improves their sleep. Don’t be impatient. Chaste tree berry is slow acting; it may take two or three months to evaluate its effectiveness.

Warnings are in order, but are not universally agreed upon. Some say pregnant women and nursing mothers should not take chaste tree berry. If a woman has a hormone-sensitive cancer (e.g. pituitary, breast, uterus, etc.) it might be best to avoid it. Chaste tree berry should be avoided if you are taking exogenous hormones such as menopausal hormone replacement therapies or oral contraceptives.

Some rare adverse reactions include itchy allergic rash, mild nausea, or headaches. Some women have reported that the length of their cycle changed. Chaste tree berry and other bulk herbs are not miracle medicines. Herbs are natural ways to deal with the complex needs of the human body. So start taking herbs and make your body healthier, naturally.

In ancient times, it was called Monk’s pepper. This is because chaste tree berry (also known as Vitex and by the trade name Femaprin) was said to have an anaphrodisiac quality, that is, its ability to decrease sexual drives. Other sources indicate it was used as an aphrodisiac, in other words, for the opposite effect. How can both be true?

Chaste tree is a large shrub (up to twenty-two feet tall) native to the Mediterranean and southern Europe. Although it flourishes on moist riverbanks, it is easily grown as an ornamental plant in American gardens, where its pretty blue-violet flowers blossom in midsummer. Today it is almost exclusively used for female problems.

Its effect on sex drive is not the only seeming contradiction in its use. Some have used it to treat infertility, while others claim it, at best, has no affect. Some use it to treat post menopausal symptoms, while other say it makes them worse. It has been used to both encourage lactation and discourage excessive lactation.

How can this be explained? Chaste tree berry is what is called an adaptogen. This means it works to normalize hormone imbalance through its affect on the adrenal glands, in this case the pituitary. In other words, it restricts hormonal excesses and encourages deficiencies. Other examples of herb that are adaptogens would include ginseng, ginkgo, garlic, echinacea, goldenseal, and taheebo.

In order to balance the body hormones, chaste tree berry decreases the production of some hormones and increases the production of others. Some claim its success in treating infertility because it tends to shift the balance in favor of the gestagens which are hormones that condition the body for pregnancy.

Chaste tree berry is especially effective in balancing the female reproductive system because it encourages the production of progesterone. This results in restoring menstruation, regulating heavy periods, and restoring fertility that resulted from hormonal imbalance. PMS tension, and the changes of menopause have also been decreased by this herb. Excess prolactin may be the cause of premenstrual breast tenderness and chaste tree berry will balance this hormone and thus relieve the problem.

A tincture of the berries has also been used externally for the relief of paralysis, pains in the limbs, and neuropathic muscular weakness. Chaste berries benefit the treatment of acne in both men and women. The berries can be used as a mild substitute for black pepper, and may even be ground in a pepper mill. The leaves and flowers are used for flavoring and have a spicy aroma.

Take 20 to 40 mg of the herb as a normal daily dose; 20 drops of tincture one or two times a day is normal. One cup of the tea, or one capsule may also be used. Some take it shortly before bedtime and find it improves their sleep. Don’t be impatient. Chaste tree berry is slow acting; it may take two or three months to evaluate its effectiveness.

Warnings are in order but are not universally agreed upon. Some say pregnant women and nursing mothers should not take chaste tree berry. If a woman has a hormone-sensitive cancer (e.g. pituitary, breast, uterus, etc.) it might be best to avoid it. Chaste tree berry should be avoided if you are taking exogenous hormones such as menopausal hormone replacement therapies or oral contraceptives.  Some rare adverse reactions include itchy allergic rash, mild nausea, or headaches. Some women have reported that the length of their cycle changed.

Chaste tree berry and other bulk herbs are not miracle medicines. Herbs are natural ways to deal with the complex needs of the human body. So start taking herbs and make your body healthier, naturally.


About the Author:
Bulk herbs like chaste tree berries are not miracle medicines. Herbs are natural ways to deal with the complex needs of the human body. Start taking herbs and make your body healthier, naturally.

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