Vitex is a beautiful shrub native to Greece and Italy whose berries have been used in herbal medicine for centuries. It is considered one of the most popular herbs in Europe and other Western nations for the support of gynecological imbalances. Vitex is one of the best fertility herbs available to us when it comes to balancing hormones and regulating the menstrual cycle.
Modern clinical research and traditional use of Vitex have shown its amazing ability to help balance fertility hormones. Since Vitex does not contain hormones, it has a supportive, gentle and non direct action on the body. Vitex is one of the most useful fertility herbs available to us.
how chasteberry effects women with endometriosis?
1. Supports and regulates
Vitex has a supporting and regulating effect upon the pituitary gland. The pituitary is known as the “master gland” because it controls many vital bodily functions such as sending chemical signals to the ovaries, telling them how much hormones to make. This communication is known as the hormonal feedback loop.
2. Inhibit follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
Vitex increases the secretion of luteinizing hormone (LH), which in turn increases progesterone.
3. Lengthens a short luteal phase
Studies have shown Vitex to be effective at lengthening the luteal phase. While it does not contain any hormones itself, it does help the body to increase its own production of luteinizing hormone (promoting ovulation to occur), which in turns boosts progesterone levels during the luteal phase of the cycle.
4. Increased progesterone levels
Vitex has been shown to stimulate the formation of the corpus luteum. The corpus luteum is responsible for the secretion of progesterone. In a study of 45 women, 86% responded positively with normalized or significantly improved progesterone levels.
5. Reduces advancement of mild endometriosis
Vitex is used in Germany by gynecologists to treat mild endometriosis and prevent it from advancing.
6. May help prevent miscarriage
Vitex has a beneficial impact on progesterone levels. If miscarriages are due to low progesterone, Vitex may help to normalize or increase progesterone levels. Vitex may be considered safe to use during pregnancy, but make sure to consult with a healthcare practitioner when using this herb during pregnancy. Also make sure to read our ‘Use During Pregnancy’ section below.
7. Relieves PMS
Clinical research has shown that Vitex may be very beneficial for PMS symptoms, especially depression, headaches, rashes, acne, allergies and sensitivity of the breasts. In one study improvement of PMS by the first month was experienced by 32% of the women. By the third month 84% of the women experienced improvement of their PMS.
8. Lack of menstruation (amenorrhea)
In a study of 15 women with amenorrhea, 65% had resumed a menstrual cycle by the sixth month of use. Progesterone levels also increased.
9. Irregular menstruation
Vitex has been shown to help balance both an absent menstrual cycle as well as aid a menstrual cycle that is heavy or too frequent.
10. Uterine cysts
Vitex has been found to be helpful at reducing cysts that are growing within the smooth muscle layer of the uterus.
When to avoid taking chasteberry?
Even though it has been shown to have no interference with oral contraceptives (birth control), due to limited research, Vitex should not be used in conjunction with prescription medications that contain hormones in case it may interfere with their activity. (1)
Some women do experience a shift in their cycle when they first begin using Vitex. The length of the menstrual cycle may shorten or lengthen temporarily before it finally stabilizes. This is just the body balancing itself out and is completely normal.