Vitex Agnus Castus is a herb growing in the Mediterranean region and Asia and it has small distinctive purple flowers.
Traditionally, Agnus Castus was used to treat gynecological conditions regarding mentrual cycle. According to reports, Vitex it was believed to have anti-aphrodisiac properties. Because of that belief has also been named as Chaste Tree, Monk’s Pepper and Chasteberry, but this property has not been proven yet.
Uses and properties
The action of Agnus castus is due to certain substances, such as flavonoids, alkaloids, camphorol, diterpenes and steroid hormone precursors. The above substances influence the production as well as hormone levels related to menstrual cycle and ovulation. This action affects the levels of progesterone hormone. In particular, it appears that phytochemicals containing in vitex have dopaminergic activity, affecting prolactin levels and neural receptors regarding pain.
Agnus castus relieves symptoms of menstruation and menopause, that is why it can be used for treating:
- Premenstrual Symptom (PMS)
- Chest pain in the days of the period (mastodynia)
- Menopause Symptoms (emotional and hormonal balance)
- Migraine of premenstrual syndrome
- Infertility problems
There are reports where supplementation with Vitex can also help men with benign prostatic hyperplasia, hormonal disorders or urological problems.
Contraindications – Interventions
Although dietary supplements with Vitex are particularly safe, you may experience pain, menstrual disorders, increased flow, nausea or abdominal pain.
Supplements with vitex should not be used by pregnant and breastfeeding women, by people with a medical history of hormone-dependent cancers or in combination with hormone replacement therapy, estrogen, antipsychotic or Parkinson’s disease.
Administration and recommended dose
Agnus castus can be found either in tinctures or in tablet form, either as a mono-component or in formulas with other herbs such as Donq Quai, as they have synergistic action. The recommended dose is 200-1000mg per day.
In Vita4you you can find a great variety of dietary supplements with Agnus Castus.