Chasteberry tree (Vitex agnus-castus) is a small, flowering shrub native to the Mediterranean region. It is known for its medicinal properties and has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. The plant has long been used to treat a variety of gynecological conditions, including premenstrual syndrome and menopausal symptoms. More recently, researchers have discovered other potential benefits of chaste tree, such as its ability to reduce inflammation and ease digestive issues. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the health benefits of chaste tree, as well as how to use it in your daily life. We’ll also discuss the potential side effects of taking chaste tree supplements. One of the few herbal medicines known to have a progesterone-type activity within the body, chaste berry is a specific for menstrual and perimenopausal problems. Acting on the pituitary gland at the base of the brain, it improves menstrual regularity. Useful in PMS with irritability, breast pain, and water retention.
Chasteberry Origin and History
The chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus) is an ancient deciduous shrub. It has been used for centuries as a medicinal plant, with the leaves and berries being dried and used to make teas and tinctures. Its common name comes from its supposed ability to reduce libido, although modern research has yet to demonstrate an effect on human hormones. The tree is thought to have been used as an herbal remedy as far back as the time of Hippocrates, and has been popular in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. Chasteberry is native to the Mediterranean region and was used in traditional medicine for over two thousand years. It has been used to treat a variety of health conditions, including menstrual problems, infertility, and menopausal symptoms. The herb was traditionally used as an aphrodisiac, as it was believed to increase libido. It was also believed to reduce sexual desire, which is why it was called “chasteberry.” In the 17th century, chasteberry was included in the official pharmacopoeia of the United States. Today, the herb is primarily used to treat premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and other menstrual irregularities. It is also used to treat symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes and night sweats. It is also used to treat menopausal symptoms, acne, and other ailments.
Nutrition Facts and Calories Chart
Chaste Tree berries are a highly nutritional fruit that provide a wide range of essential vitamins and minerals. They contain high levels of dietary fiber, minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium, and vitamins A, C, and E. They are also a good source of antioxidants which help protect against oxidative damage. Chaste tree berries can be enjoyed fresh, dried, or as a tea and may help reduce symptoms associated with PMS, menopause, and endometriosis. Nutritional value per 100 g chaste tree berries:
- Biotin: 0.1 µg
- Calcium: 28 mg
- Carbohydrates (Carbs): 8.2 g
- Chloride: 19 mg
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Choline: 13.3 mg
- Chromium: 0.9 µg
- Copper: 0.1 mg
- Dietary Fiber: 2.6 g
- Energy (Calories): 33 kcal
- Fat: 0.5 g
- Iodine: 0 µg
- Iron: 0.5 mg
- Magnesium: 12 mg
- Manganese: 0.1 mg
- Molybdenum: 0.3 µg
- Pantothenic Acid: 0.1 mg
- Phosphorus: 24 mg
- Potassium: 117 mg
- Protein: 0.9 g
- Saturated fat: 0.1 g
- Selenium: 0.4 µg
- Sodium: 5 mg
- Sugars: 3.2 g
- Vitamin A: 180 IU
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): 0.1 mg
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): 0.1 mg
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 0.4 mg
- Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): 0.1 mg
- Vitamin B6: 0.1 mg
- Vitamin B9 (Folate / Folic Acid): 31 µg
- Vitamin B12: 0 µg
- Vitamin C: 7.2 mg
- Vitamin D: 0 IU
- Vitamin E: 0.3 mg
- Vitamin K: 5.3 µg
- Water: 80.3 g
- Zinc: 0.2 mg
Vitex altissima vs Vitex negundo
Vitex altissima (Tall Vitex) is a deciduous shrub native to eastern Asia, typically growing to a height of 10 feet. Its foliage is composed of large, heart-shaped leaves that turn yellow in the fall. The plant produces small, fragrant flowers in the summer, followed by dark blue drupes that contain a single seed. Vitex negundo (Chinese Chaste Tree) is a small, evergreen tree native to tropical and subtropical Asia. It typically grows to a height of 15-20 feet, with an open, spreading canopy. Its foliage is composed of small, palmate leaves and it produces clusters of small, fragrant flowers in the summer, followed by small, blue drupes. Vitex altissima and Vitex negundo both have a wide range of health benefits. Both are used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments, including digestive issues, skin conditions, and menstrual irregularities. Vitex altissima is known for its ability to boost fertility and improve female reproductive health. It also has anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, and anti-bacterial properties. It can help ease symptoms of menopause and can be used to treat PMS. Vitex negundo is known for its ability to reduce fever and treat colds, flu, and other infections. It can also be used to reduce stress and anxiety, and as an anti-inflammatory to treat skin conditions. It is also known to help balance hormones and regulate the menstrual cycle.
Chasteberry Health Benefits and Medicinal Uses
Chasteberry has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes, particularly for its hormone-balancing effects. It is believed to increase the production of luteinizing hormone (LH) and decrease the production of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). This helps to normalize the ratio of estrogen to progesterone in the body. Chasteberry has been used to treat a variety of women’s health issues, including premenstrual syndrome (PMS), menstrual cramps, menopause symptoms, and infertility. It has also been used to treat other conditions like acne, breast pain, eczema, and depression.
- Chasteberry Tea: Chasteberry can be brewed into a tea that can help to reduce hot flashes, mood swings, and headaches associated with PMS. It can also help to regulate menstrual cycles and reduce menstrual cramps. Brew chaste tree tea by steeping 1 teaspoon of the dried herb in 1 cup of hot water for 10 minutes. Drink up to three cups of chaste tree tea daily.
- Tincture: A tincture of chasteberry can be made by combining the dried fruit with alcohol or apple cider vinegar and allowing it to steep for several weeks. It can then be used to treat PMS symptoms, or as a tonic to help regulate the menstrual cycle. Take 1-4 ml of chaste tree tincture three times a day. To make tincture, combine 1 part chaste tree berry and 4 parts alcohol (such as vodka). Steep for 2 weeks, shaking the mixture daily. Strain and take 1 teaspoon before meals.
- Pills / Capsules: They contain compounds which can help to balance estrogen and progesterone levels to reduce PMS symptoms. Purchase pre-made capsules from a health food store or online. Take chaste tree pills as directed by a healthcare professional.
- Essential Oil: Add a few drops of chaste tree essential oil to a diffuser or inhale it directly from the bottle.
- Herbal Infusion: To make an infusion, steep 1 tablespoon of chaste tree berries in 1 cup of boiling water for 10 minutes. Drink up to three cups daily for general health benefits.
- Topical applications: Make a paste with chaste tree berry powder and water. Apply to acne lesions or other skin issues as needed. Chasteberry can also be used topically as an oil or cream to reduce hot flashes and other symptoms associated with menopause.
- The dried berries have a pleasant, peppery taste, and may be powdered in a coffee grinder and sprinkled on to meals.
Home Remedies With Nirgundi To Treat Sciatica
- Take one teaspoon of powdered nirgundi and mix it with one tablespoon of honey.
- Take this mixture twice a day for a few weeks.
- You can also apply a paste of nirgundi leaves and water on the affected area to reduce inflammation.
- Massage the affected area with nirgundi oil or a mixture of nirgundi and any other carrier oil.
- You can also take a hot bath with nirgundi leaves to reduce pain and inflammation.
- Drink a cup of herbal tea made from nirgundi leaves daily to soothe the pain.
- Make a paste of nirgundi leaves and water and apply it over the affected area for a few minutes. Wash off the paste with lukewarm water.
- You can also add some nirgundi powder to your bathwater and soak in it for 20 minutes.
- Make a decoction of nirgundi leaves and water and drink it twice a day.
- Drink nirgundi juice mixed with honey twice a day.
Chasteberry In India
Chasteberry is a small, aromatic, purple berry that grows in parts of Europe, Africa, and Asia. It is widely used in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine. In India, it is known as Nirgundi and is used to treat a variety of health issues, including menstrual cramps, PMS, infertility, and menopause. Chasteberry is a popular herb used in Ayurveda. It is believed to help balance the doshas and reduce vata and pitta imbalances. Chasteberry may also help stimulate the production of progesterone, which can help alleviate heavy menstrual bleeding and cramping. It is used to treat a variety of ailments such as fever, headache, cold, cough, bronchitis, asthma, pain, skin diseases, wound healing, etc. Chaste is also known to have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. It is often used in combination with other herbs to treat a range of conditions. India is the largest producer of chasteberries, followed by Germany, with France and the United States producing smaller amounts.
- Scientific Binomial: Vitex altissima / Vitex negundo
- Common English: Peacock Chaste Tree / Tail Chaste Tree / Peacock’s foot tree / Chaste Tree
- Ayurvedic: Nirgundi / Shephaalikaa / Sindhuka / Sindhuvaara / Suvahaa / Sugandhikaa / Nila / Nilanirgundi / Shveta Surasa
- Unani: Sambhaalu / Fanjankisht / Sambhaloo
- Sanskrit: Atulam / Tilakam / Indrani / Nilapushpa / Nilanirgundi / Nirgundi / Shephali / Sinduvara
- Hindi / Urdu: Sambhaalu / Sambhaloo / Shevari / Shivari
- Bengali: Sati briksh / Nirgundi / Nishinda / Nisinda / Samalu
- Marathi: Bavalgee / Dhavi-rivti / Lingur / Nirguda / Nirgunda / Nirgundi / Nirgur
- Telugu: Nemili adaga / Nallavavili / Sinduvaramu / Vavili / Vayila
- Tamil: Maila / Mayilaadi / Nochi / Nalla Nochi / Vellai Nochchi / Nirkundi / Nirkkundi / Sinduvaram / Vennochi
- Gujarati: Nagaol / Nagda / Nagoda / Nagodz / Nigod / Nirgiri
- Kannada: Myrole / Bharanige
- Malayalam: Mayilai / Mylellu / Kattumayila / Indrani / Nochi / Vellanochi
- Oriya: Begundia / Indrani
- Punjabi / Sindhi
Chasteberry is cultivated for its edible fruit, which is traditionally used in herbal medicine to treat various ailments. The plant grows best in well-drained soil, in a sunny location. It can be grown from seed or cuttings, and should be pruned in the early spring to promote a bushy growth habit. Chasteberry can be harvested when the berries are ripe and dried for later use. Chasteberry trees require full sun and well-drained, slightly acidic soil with a pH between 6.0 and 6.5. The soil should be rich in organic matter, such as compost or manure, and should be allowed to dry out between waterings. Chasteberry trees are tolerant of a wide range of soil types, but prefer loam or sandy loam. They are also drought tolerant, but will produce more fruit with regular watering.
Chaste Tree propagation
It can be propagated from seeds, cuttings, or root division.
- Seed Propagation: Seed propagation is the easiest way to propagate chasteberry. Start by collecting ripe chasteberry fruits and extracting the seeds. Place the seeds in a damp paper towel and put them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for 8 weeks. This will help break their dormancy. Once the 8 weeks are up, plant the seeds into a pot filled with well-draining potting soil. Water the soil and keep it moist until the seeds sprout. The seeds typically germinate within several weeks.
- Cuttings Propagation: Cuttings propagation is a more difficult method of propagating chasteberry. Take a cutting from the tip of a branch that is at least 5 inches long. Make sure that the cutting has at least two pairs of leaves on it. Dip the cutting in a rooting hormone and then plant it in a pot filled with well-draining potting soil. The soil should be kept moist until the cutting takes root and begins to grow.
- Root Division: Root division is a great way to propagate chasteberry. Dig up the plant and carefully divide the roots. Replant each division in a separate pot filled with well-draining potting soil. Water the soil until the divisions take root and begin to grow.
Side Effects and Disadvantages
- Chasteberry is generally considered safe when taken by mouth. However, it may cause minor side effects such as nausea, vomiting, stomach upset, and headache.
- It may also interact with certain medications, so it is important to discuss the use of chasteberry with a healthcare provider before taking it. It is also important to note that chasteberry can interact with several medications, including birth control pills, antipsychotics, and certain antidepressants.
- Chasteberry is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of safety data.
- In rare cases, chasteberry can cause an allergic reaction in some people. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat, and difficulty breathing.
- Overall, chasteberry is generally safe when taken as directed. However, it is important to speak with a healthcare provider before taking it in order to ensure that it is safe and to avoid potential interactions with other medications.
Q. How to use nirgundi leaves to treat joint pain?
- Make a paste of nirgundi leaves by grinding them with a little water.
- Apply this paste on the affected joint and leave it on for 15-20 minutes.
- Wash off the paste with lukewarm water.
- Repeat this remedy once or twice a day for best results.
- You can also consume nirgundi leaves in the form of a decoction. Boil a handful of nirgundi leaves in a cup of water for 5-7 minutes. Strain the liquid, add a little honey and drink it twice a day.
Q. How to use nirgundi to treat rheumatism?
Nirgundi is known to have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, which can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation associated with rheumatic conditions. It is also believed to strengthen the immune system, reduce stress, and improve blood circulation. To use Nirgundi for rheumatism, it can be taken in the form of a decoction, powder, tincture, or even applied topically.
- Take 2 teaspoons of nirgundi powder and mix it with 1 teaspoon of honey.
- Consume this mixture twice a day for a few weeks.
- You can also mix the nirgundi powder with a glass of lukewarm water and drink it once a day.
- Massage the affected area with nirgundi oil twice a day for best results.
- You can also prepare a decoction with nirgundi leaves and consume it twice a day for 5-7 days.
- Include nirgundi leaves in your daily diet to get relief from rheumatism.
Q. Does chasteberry impact fertility in women?
There is not yet enough scientific evidence to say whether chasteberry has a positive or negative effect on fertility in women. However, some studies have suggested that chasteberry may help balance hormones and reduce symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Additionally, some practitioners suggest that chasteberry may help support healthy fertility in women by supporting hormone balance, reducing stress, and promoting overall health. This herb, which is said to mimic the effects of the female hormone progesterone, helps regulate the menstrual cycle. That can make ovulation a bit more predictable. Chasteberry also contains substances that strengthen the uterine lining. It is important to speak with your doctor before taking chasteberry. In men, it can lower libido, so in days of old it was fed to priests, hence the name chaste berry.
Q. Does chaste tree berry lower estrogen?
No, chaste tree berry does not lower estrogen. In fact, studies have found that chaste tree berry may actually increase levels of estrogen in the body. As such, it is not recommended as a treatment for conditions associated with high estrogen levels, such as endometriosis.
Q. What does chasteberry do for PCOS?
Chasteberry is an herbal supplement that is often used to help manage the symptoms of PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome). It is thought to help balance hormones, reduce inflammation, regulate menstrual cycles, and possibly even improve fertility. Chasteberry may also reduce the production of androgens (male hormones) which can help to reduce symptoms such as hirsutism (excessive hair growth) and acne. It is important to note that the effects of chasteberry may not be the same for everyone and it is best to discuss its use with a qualified healthcare provider.
Q. Is chasteberry good for hormonal acne?
Yes, chasteberry may help reduce hormonal acne. It has been found to help balance hormones, reduce inflammation, and improve overall skin health. It may also help reduce the production of sebum, an oily substance that can clog pores and lead to acne. However, it is important to note that chasteberry should be used in combination with other treatments for hormonal acne, such as topical medications and lifestyle modifications.
Q. What does chasteberry do to hormones?
Chasteberry is believed to act on the pituitary gland, which controls hormone production in the body. It has been found to reduce levels of prolactin, a hormone that stimulates the production of breast milk, and to increase levels of luteinizing hormone (LH), which helps regulate the menstrual cycle and ovulation. It may also help to balance other hormones such as testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone.
Q. Does chasteberry affect period?
Chasteberry is known to have an effect on the menstrual cycle and to help regulate hormones. It is thought to help reduce heavy menstrual bleeding, regulate irregular periods, reduce premenstrual symptoms, and reduce menstrual cramps. It may also help to reduce the overall duration of a menstrual cycle.
Q. How to grow Chaste Tree?
- Plant your chaste tree in an area that receives full sun to partial shade.
- Choose a spot with well-draining soil that is slightly acidic.
- Water your chaste tree regularly, but don’t let it sit in waterlogged soil.
- Fertilize your chaste tree with a slow-release fertilizer in the spring and early summer.
- Prune your chaste tree in the late winter to encourage new growth and a compact form.
- Protect your chaste tree from extreme temperatures, especially cold temperatures below 10°F (-12°C).
- Check your chaste tree regularly for pests and disease, and treat as needed.