Chasteberry is a Mediterranean plant belonging to the Verbenaceae family. Its scientific name is Vitex agnus-castus. It is also called monk’s pepper, pepper tree or wild pepper. Indeed, its physical appearance as well as its taste are reminiscent of pepper. Mainly cultivated for its decorative aspect, this plant also has several medicinal properties. In alternative medicine, it intervenes in particular in the healing of many ailments. Its constituents are flavonoids, iridoids and concentrated essence.
Usual therapeutic indications
The scientific name of chaste tree agnus castus literally means “chaste lamb.” This name refers to its activity anaphrodisiac in men. Indeed, in the Middle Ages, it was used to suppress the sexual ardor of monks and religious of the Catholic Church. Nowadays, it mainly participates in restore feminine comfort. Its actions focus mainly on the genital and gynecological sphere.
Action on the menstrual cycle
The pepper tree exerts a regulating effect in the event of disruption of the menstrual cycle. It also alleviates the suffering associated with the onset of menstruation. Thus, it is effective against menstrual painbreast pain, mood swings and sleep disturbances.
Action on menopause and pre-menopause
Menopause marks the end of ovarian functions. It generally results in the cessation of ovulation and menstrual bleeding. It is also accompanied by several inconveniences due to the hormonal imbalance. By imitating the action of progesterone, chasteberry significantly improves women’s daily lives during this dreaded period. It thus treats hot flashes, vaginal dryness and mood disorders.
- Mental disorders: nervousness, anxiety and melancholy
- Absence of milk flow
- gastric cramps
Dosage forms available
In herbal medicinechaste tree is found in the form of herbal tea, mother tincture, fluid extract, gel, capsule and essential oil.
Internal use :
- Herbal tea: infuse for 10 minutes 1 tablespoon of cut plant in a cup of boiling water. Sweetened with honey and consume twice a day.
- Mother tincture: take 30 drops of tincture per day (15 drops in the morning and another 15 in the evening)
- Capsule: 1 capsule per day
- Fluid extract: 1 teaspoon per day
External use :
- Gel: apply the gel directly to the skin, gently massaging the targeted areas
- Essential oil: apply to the skin a mixture made ofchaste tree essential oil and vegetable oil
Reasons for caution
Despite its many benefits for women, chaste tree should be avoided in those during pregnancy and lactation. This restriction is also valid for children and all people suffering from hormone-dependent cancer. As for adverse effects, the most common are nausea, migraines, digestive discomfort and skin problems (acne, erythema or pruritus).
It should be noted that the uses of medicines and officinal preparations must always be the subject of a medical consultation.