Vitex agnus-castus, or more commonly called Chasteberry, is a unique, and powerful fruit that does wonders for balancing female hormones. Chasteberry is about the size of a peppercorn and is produced by the Chaste Tree. History states that chasteberry acquired its name because its fruit was likely used to decrease monk's libido during the Middle Ages. This would make sense based on the knowledge we know now, and how it positively affects female hormones. VeraWella offers a few products that include Chasteberry, and we will be releasing a product next week that is called Vitex, which is 100% Chasteberry. We will look at the reasons why we love this fruit and why we want more women to know about it--and use it.
The main reason and most advertised purpose for chasteberry that you will find on the internet will be for treating symptoms of PMS. If you search chasteberry on Amazon, the top products will be aimed towards PMS treatment, as this is clearly a prevalent issue amongst women. Some symptoms that Vitex has been shown to improve are constipation, irritability, depressed mood, migraines, and breast pain or tenderness. Those facts alone are reasons this product should fly off the shelf! Researchers believe that vitex works by decreasing prolactin which helps to rebalance estrogen, progesterone, and other hormones which would reduce PMS symptoms. There have been several studies completed where the majority of participants stated their typical symptoms from their menstrual cycle had improved. Many participants who typically experience migraines also stated a general improvement--however for that study there was not a placebo group, which would be needed to confirm the claim. Overall, the general census when it comes to taking vitex for PMS symptoms is a resounding 2 thumbs up.
The other reason that we love this fruit, and why we include it in several of our products is because there's evidence that it aids women with PCOS. The science behind it shows that women who start taking it will eventually impact their prolactin levels after a few months. It's recommended to take vitex for around 3 months before being able to see if it was effective for you. After that period, there should be more balance to women's prolactin levels which is the hormone responsible for pregnancy and the production of breast milk. Next, some studies show that vitex impacts progesterone, which is the female sex hormone. Progesterone aids in feeling relaxed and stress-free, and important when it comes to balancing a women's menstrual cycle. Low progesterone is usually found in women who have miscarriages, so boosting those levels, especially through a natural route, would be ideal. Another benefit of taking vitex is that it may help support the healthy production of Luteinizing hormone. Luteinizing hormone is important to a healthy reproductive system and largely responsible for triggering ovulation in the body. Studies on chasteberry show the herb promotes LH production, which in turn boosts progesterone and the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. This is helpful if it improves a luteal phase defect, which may contribute to infertility and even miscarriages. As you can see, there are a lot of moving pieces when it comes to monitoring a women's menstrual cycle and preparing their bodies for conception.
Since this product is somewhat new on the American market, and there hasn't been as many studies as other products, there are still a few theories on how Vitex accomplishes everything. Current scientific understanding implies that vitex works by regulating and strengthening the pituitary gland, which is considered the master gland for hormone production. Others believe that Vitex has similar properties to estrogen compounds that have an impact on the menstrual cycle.
Since the purpose of taking this supplement is to correct hormone imbalances, this process won't happen overnight. In order to properly bring balance back, it will take time and consistency. Studies suggest taking Vitex for no less than 3 months, and anywhere between 3-5 months you should see the benefits. As we do with all of our products, we wouldn't recommend anything if our team didn't believe in it. Our team of scientist always find the best products, that are pure with no fillers. Vitex checks off all boxes for us, and we love to hear testimonials from people who have seen improvements to their mood, cycles, and ultimately their ability to get pregnant.