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Vitex: How Chasteberry Boosts Female FertilityPhoto By: Zignorp/ CC BY
Termed Vitex Agnus-Castus, Chasteberry is known as Vitex as well. This is a herb which taps the healing power of nature to correct hormone related imbalances. Women have overcome infertility for centuries using this amazing herb.
Berries from the Vitex tree are used to create herbal supplements to improve fertility and increase hormonal balance. If hormonal issues are a problem and you want to get pregnant, Vitex can be the perfect cure.
Here are the conditions relating to the reproductive system which Vitex combats to ensure a hassle-free pregnancy:
- Missing/Late/Irregular Periods
- Low Progesterone Levels
- Estrogen Dominance
- Short Luteal Phase
Chasteberry can relive issues and raise chances of getting pregnant.
Vitex or Chasteberry is a native shrub of Italy and Greece. These berries are an herbal medication for years now. This berry found its way out of Europe to other nations in the West for treating gynecological problems. Scientific research has advanced to show that Vitex has the amazing capability to balance fertility hormonal levels. Vital does not have any hormones, nor does it create an unnatural imbalance in the body. Chaste berry exerts a supportive, and indirect impact on the body. It is one of the most valuable and efficient fertility herbs for women.
How Chasteberry Helps
According to current research, Chasteberry supports and regulates the master gland also referred to as the pituitary. This is a leading gland as it manages other vital and key body functions such as signaling the ovaries and instruct them regarding how much hormone to secrete. This is called the hormonal feedback loop. Vital has been known to create a positive impact on the operational functioning of the pituitary gland. During the Middle Ages, Chasteberry was associated with celibacy and a means of controlling the libido. Today, though it is clear that the herb does not lead to celibacy, the name still remains. Chaste berry, on the other hand, has been known and proven to impact women fertility effectively. Vitex plays a vital role in treating reproductive disorders and menstruation issues. In the European nations, vitex is associated with relieving the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.
Native to the Mediterranean region, the vitex tree is a small shrub with violet colored flowers. Chaste berries are deep reddish black in color. This herb’s berries are common in subtropical regions. During the autumn, ripe berries are medicinally used after drying. Chaste berry, much like peppercorns, have a pepper taste. Other common names for the herb include monk’s pepper.
Benefits for the Health
Since the Hippocratic age, vitex has been recommended for coping with menstruation issues. In the absence of hormone or hormone-like substances, the herb stimulates the luteinizing hormone and regulates the functioning of the hormone gland controller, the master/pituitary gland. This signals ovaries to produce more hormone progesterone. Vital also adds to increase levels of the secondary hormone prolactin which increases production of breast milk.
Reducing Menstrual Problems
Chasteberry reduces PMS symptoms. Before periods, women may find themselves suffering due to lack of progesterone. Chaste berry normalizes the progesterone to estrogen. It provides relief from monthly symptoms. Lower fibrocystic breast symptoms as well. Lower prolactin levels and restore the hormonal balance to get relief.
Falling hormonal levels can cause menopausal women to suffer hot flashes, sweating, dryness of the vagina and mild depression. Vitex along with black cohosh can work to control the symptoms.
When women have excess prolactin and too little progesterone, this can lead to the lack of regular ovulation. This would then come in the way of pregnancy. Chaste berry reverses this and lowers the prolactin, creating ideal conditions for conception. Women with mild to moderate progesterone levels are ideal candidates for vitex. Another problem induced by increased prolactin levels is amenorrhea or absence of menstrual periods. For this, chaste berry can be used to reduce the problem and restore monthly periods to their regular operations. In a significant study, women with infertility and luteal phase defect when given chaste berry improved their chances for future conception.
Relieve the hormonal imbalance responsible for endometriosis-associated pain, using this amazing herb. It is taken with dong quai for relaxing the uterus. Monthly periods involve hormonal shifts associated with acne. Hormonal levels have to be stabilized to keep the skin clear. This is why vitex helps to prevent acne as well.
Chaste berry can be had in the form of a tablet, liquid, tincture, dried herb tea or capsule/supplement for combating a host of reproductive tract infections.
Take capsule or tablets before you eat to maximize absorption. Take care because the tincture can cause stomach irritation if taken without dilution. It takes up to 3 months for the benefits of the herb to appear. To initiate healthy menstruation or ovulation, the herb has to be had for at least 6 months to 1 year.
Don’t take chaste berry with hormone replacement therapy or oral contraceptives as this can cause hormonal imbalances. One medication you should avoid taking vitex with is bromocriptine, a dopamine receptor antagonist medication. Generic drugs can also interface with Vitex, so care needs to be taken.
Studies have shown that vitex increases the luteal phases. It does help promote ovulation by increasing the production of the luteinizing hormone.
Benefits for Women
Increased progesterone levels have resulted from Vitex. The chaste berry has been shown to stimulate corpus luteum. This is concerned with the secretion of the hormone progesterone. Check the impact of vitex on endometriosis; German research shows that gynecologists have effectively used vitex to prevent mild endometriosis from advancing. Clinical research has also shown that vitex can benefit PMS symptoms such as headaches, allergies, breast sensitivity, and rashes.
Research has also shown that this herb reduces cyst growth in the uterus smooth muscle layer. After the stoppage of estrogen-containing birth control pills, vitex has been known to reverse the effect and induce ovulation faster. Many hormonal problems cease following the use of this miraculous herb.
Vitex has also been found to enhance the activity of dopamine levels, which inhibits the excessive secretion of prolactin. Why is this important? Prolactin in large amounts can inhibit follicle stimulating hormone or FSH and gonadotrophin-releasing hormone or GnRH. This may interfere with ovulating and menstruating. Vitex can also help women with low progesterone levels through the luteal phase. The USFDA counterpart German Commission E recommends 40mg of dried vitex fruit daily or 40 droplets in a water glass in the morning. Vitex has also been used to prevent recurrent miscarriages in women, by midwives. German studies have shown that Vitex can be safely had through the third month of pregnancy and helps to prevent miscarriage.
Using Chasteberry for Boosting Fertility and Cycle Regulation
Herbal remedies and solutions take a long time to display concrete outcomes. But when the results do manifest, they last for a longer period of time. Vitex or chasteberry works to regulate the menstrual cycle and boost fertility.
For ensuring the herb leads to optimal hormonal levels, it needs to be taken in 3 months prior to the conception. The time it takes for the herbs to display effective outcomes can be used to slowly modify the diet. This helps in the maintenance of healthy eating habits. A balanced diet in conjunction with the herb can serve to maintain and conceive effectively to maintain pregnancy. For regulating the menstrual cycle, herbs need to be followed by evaluating the condition and seeing for any type of improvement.
To observe the best results, Vitex will be taken on an empty stomach, the first thing in the morning. Herbal capsules need to be taken around 900 to 1000mg per day and if taking the tincture, it covers 60-90 drops each day. The last half of the cycle namely the luteal phase between ovulation and menstruation is the best period during which to take the herb. Women can also take the herb throughout the entire 30 days.
One needs to take the herb for a couple of months to notice any changes. It works slower than usual in some ladies, where it may take more than six months to observe any changes. Chasteberry comes in numerous forms such as herbal supplements, capsules, tinctures or dried herb. The capsules offer the maximum benefits. Tinctures come in second. This makes the herb bitter and tea from dried herbs is also bitter in taste. Capsules can be taken in one go. But tincture is far more effective than fertility tea.
Side Effects of Vitex
Vitex offers amazing benefits, but everyone should not take it. Instead, it does not work on everyone, but just some individuals. Before taking vitex, it is essential to change lifestyle habits. Women eating processed or junk foods, those with low energy, weak immunities and those on antibiotics or steroids cannot take these herbs. Vitex works best for women aged 18 t0 40. Vitex is valueless for women who reach perimenopause.
There are some side effects of this fertility herb too. This includes nausea, GI problems, headaches, and skin reactions. One may have doubt about chasteberry, but side effects need to be considered. Opt for a remedy after consulting a doctor, if you have any medical conditions. Additionally, the herb may impact some women immediately and take time to show desired outcomes in others.
Some Precautions and Safety Warnings
It has been found that chaste berry may affect hormonal levels. Women with pregnancy, oral contraceptives or hormone-related conditions such as breast or uterine cancer must not opt for chaste berry. Due to the possible effects on dopamine levels in the brain, those with related medications should give this herb a miss. However, it ( the amount of vitex you can take) depends on hormone levels, menstrual cycle and current bill of health. The herb has been used for thousands of years without side effects. However, some common side effects (when they do occur) include nausea, gastrointestinal problems, skin reactions, and headache. Vitex should not be used with hormone influencing prescription medication either, because it can come in the way of their effective functioning. Some women have also noticed that shifts in the cycle may initially begin and stabilize when the body is balancing itself out, in case chaste berry is taken for a long time. While the German Commission E has approved the use of this herb for menstrual problems, premenstrual issues, and mastodynia. the Botanical Safety handbook calls this a Class 1 herb which can be consumed easily if correctly used.
How Should Chasteberry Be Taken?
For best results, chasteberry or vitex is taken in the long run. Clinical research showcases that vitex may work in a span of 10 days, but massive advantages may be missing till 6 or more months. For post menstrual syndrome, outcomes are normally seen by the 2nd menstrual cycle. However, for lasting and persistent changes, this needs to be taken for 365 days or more depending on the length of time for which imbalance is present. Chasteberry makes fundamentalor basic changes in the body's delicate chemistry. This is the reason why it takes so much time to exert an effect. Vitex harmonizes and nourishes the herb. Chasteberry works to restore balance using gentle ways. Refined synthetic drugs force the body to undergo a change. Vitex, however, works to bring about longer periods of balance by nourishing and supporting the system.
Chasteberry should ideally be taken 1 time in a day without eating anything and 30 minutes prior to breakfast. In case Vitex is used in a herbal blend so use is as per the bottle. Vitex should be used for months without any breaks.
Chasteberry comes in numerous forms from powder to tincture, herbs, capsules, tea and tincture. Most of the compounds required by Vitex are easily extracted in alcohol tincture versus water or tea. Vitex is a strong tasting, bitter blend so teas and dried herbs don't work. Vitex works for most of the adult women in childbearing age.
Women with less than ideal lifestyle preferences and habits will miss out on Vitex's benefits. For those on low reserves of energy, most processed food eating habits, antibiotics or even steroids or weak immune systems, changes in lifestyle and diet are critical before the utilization of Vitex. Results may not be experienced in this case, if lifestyle changes are not made. The reason why chasteberry does not work in the time right before menopause is as follows. Perimenopause typically starts at forty. As this progresses to menopause, it is essential for the menstrual cycle to become non-regular and hormones to vary and fluctuate. When ovary reserves and egg quality falls, FSH or follicle stimulating hormone levels rise. In some women, chasteberry can lower FSH levels or maintain regular cycles, though it cannot reverse aging processes. Vitex cannot bring back the menstruation for those undergoing menopause.
Vitex/ chasteberry is a fantastic herb. It does not cause any negative reactions apart from rare cases of skin rash or stomach discomfort. It offers many benefits but needs patient and consistent approach. If you are pregnant, it is important to consult a doctor before taking this herb. Breastfeeding mothers should also avoid using chasteberry. It stimulates lactation and can cause changes in menstrual flow, so use this herb with care, especially if you are taking other medications, or suffering from medical problems. This magical herb can create quite a powerful hormonal balance to boost a woman’s fertility levels, provided it is taken in the right amount under medical supervision.