First used greater than 2,000 years in the past by historic Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians, the chaste tree plant is thought for its potential to assist alleviate signs related to sure reproductive well being situations. (14) Right this moment, researchers proceed to research numerous chaste tree advantages together with addressing signs of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), menopause, and infertility. (4) Hold studying to study extra about chaste tree advantages and the way this shrub can help sure reproductive well being situations.
What’s chaste tree?
Additionally referred to by its Latin identify Vitex agnus-castus, chaste tree is a shrub native to Asia and the Mediterranean area. The chaste tree plant grows violet coloured berries that in natural drugs have historically been used to deal with sure well being situations associated to hormonal imbalances. (3)(4)
Widespread names for chaste tree embrace:
- Chaste tree berry
- Monk’s pepper
- Vitex agnus-castus
- Vitex (3)
Chaste tree incorporates the next compounds that are answerable for its health-promoting advantages:
- Important oils (concentrated plant oil)
- Flavonoids (plant pigments and antioxidants)
- Iridoids (fragrant compounds)
- Progestins (hormone-like constituents affecting progesterone) (3)
Vitex dietary supplements
Chaste tree may be consumed as a dietary complement and is on the market within the following types:
- Liquid extracts (e.g., tea)
- Tinctures (4)
At all times converse together with your healthcare supplier earlier than taking chaste tree as a dietary complement.
How does chaste tree work?
Chaste tree impacts the hypothalamic-pituitary axis (HPA axis). The HPA axis contains the interplay of various glands that assist regulate numerous bodily features by means of the discharge of hormones. These glands embrace the hypothalamus (positioned within the mind), pituitary gland (positioned on the base of the mind), and adrenal glands (positioned on high of the kidneys). (11)
Some research counsel that chaste tree will increase the discharge of luteinizing hormone (LH) from the pituitary gland, rising progesterone. LH helps regulate the perform of the ovaries. Different research counsel that chaste tree lowers prolactin ranges, a hormone that additionally impacts the menstrual cycle. Others hypothesize that chaste tree has an impact on sure neurotransmitters (mind chemical compounds) similar to dopamine and endogenous opioids, affecting hormones similar to progesterone. (20)
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Low progesterone ranges could also be related to PMS, irregular menstrual cycles, and fertility points. Elevated prolactin ranges could also be related to irregular menstrual cycles and fertility points. (2)(12)(17)
Chaste tree advantages
Vitex agnus-castus has been used for hundreds of years to handle quite a lot of illnesses associated to ladies’s well being. Right this moment, researchers proceed to check the validity and scientific proof of those well being claims. Analysis means that chaste berry tree could also be helpful for addressing signs of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), menopause, and infertility. (4)
1. Premenstrual syndrome
Chaste tree berry could also be useful for assuaging sure signs related to premenstrual syndrome. (2)(12) PMS is a mixture of bodily and emotional signs that sometimes happen after ovulation and earlier than the menstrual interval because of adjustments in hormone ranges. Roughly three in 4 menstruating folks expertise PMS sooner or later of their lives.
One research in contrast the efficacy of chaste tree berry tablets (dry extract) with a placebo in 170 ladies with PMS. Utilizing a visible analogue scale, ladies self assessed their PMS signs earlier than, throughout, and after the research was accomplished. In comparison with the placebo group, the chaste tree berry group had larger enhancements of their symptom scores on temper adjustments, irritability, headache, anger, and breast tenderness. These outcomes counsel that chaste berry tablets are effectively tolerated and could also be efficient within the remedy of PMS. (16)
One other related research assessed the efficacy of chaste tree extract in 67 ladies with average to extreme PMS. Utilizing a day by day ranking scale and the premenstrual syndrome diary (PMSD), ladies documented the severity of particular signs (i.e., water retention, destructive temper, ache, and meals cravings) earlier than and after the research. Ladies had been randomly assigned to one in every of two teams; half the contributors obtained a placebo, whereas the opposite half obtained chaste tree through the research interval, which lasted three menstrual cycles. Outcomes demonstrated that each one 4 symptom scores had been lowered considerably within the chaste tree group in comparison with the placebo group, suggesting that chaste tree extract tablets could also be efficient in treating sure signs of PMS. (8)
2. Menopausal signs
Chaste tree could also be useful for assuaging sure signs related to peri-menopause and menopause. (7)
Perimenopause, which may final two to eight years and often begins throughout a menstruating individual’s late forties, refers back to the transition to menopause and an individual’s final menstrual cycle. Menopause, nevertheless, happens one 12 months after an individual experiences their final menstrual cycle. (9)
Throughout perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause, a person’s physique produces much less of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. As soon as the individual reaches menopause, they're not capable of turn into pregnant. Throughout perimenopause, or when an individual is menopausal, signs similar to sizzling flashes or touble sleeping might happen. (9)
Different peri-menopausal and menopausal signs might embrace:
- Adjustments in libido (sexual need)
- Despair and anxiousness
- Irregular intervals or bleeding
- Reminiscence issues
- Urinary issues (e.g., an infection, urinary incontinence)
- Vaginal issues (e.g., an infection, vaginal dryness) (10)
A number of research which have examined the advantages of chaste tree in lowering menopausal signs contain a couple of herb or an natural advanced combining a number of herbs as a substitute of chaste tree by itself.
In a research of 50 pre- and post-menopausal ladies aged 44 to 65, researchers examined whether or not an natural components of black cohosh, dong quai, milk thistle, pink clover, American ginseng, and chaste tree berry was secure and efficient for relieving menopausal signs. Ladies recorded their signs for 3 months. Individuals who obtained the natural components reported a major discount in menopausal signs similar to sizzling flashes, evening sweats, and sleep bother in comparison with the placebo. These outcomes counsel that the components could also be secure and efficient for relieving sure menopausal signs in pre- and post-menopausal ladies afterthree months. (15)
Nevertheless, one other research that examined the effectiveness of a mixture of St. John’s wort and chaste tree berry in comparison with a placebo in 100 perimenopausal and post-menopausal ladies experiencing associated signs didn't observe any important variations between the 2 teams. (18)
Chaste tree berry could also be useful for enhancing fertility in individuals who expertise a shorter than regular second half of their menstrual cycle (the luteal part). Typically known as luteal part defect, individuals who expertise this shortened luteal part may have abnormally excessive ranges of prolactin, a hormone produced by the pituitary gland. Elevated ranges of prolactin have been related to infertility in menstruating folks, and chaste tree might assist scale back prolactin ranges and stability hormones similar to progesterone and estrogen, enhancing fertility. (14)(19)
One research examined the results of an natural mixture on progesterone ranges, basal physique temperature, menstrual cycle size, and being pregnant charges in 93 ladies who had tried unsuccessfully to conceive for six to 36 months in comparison with a placebo. The natural mixture included chaste tree berry, inexperienced tea, L-arginine, and sure nutritional vitamins and minerals. Outcomes demonstrated that after three months, ladies within the natural mixture group skilled extra balanced hormones in comparison with the placebo group. After three months, 26% of ladies within the natural group grew to become pregnant, in comparison with 10% within the placebo group. These outcomes counsel that natural dietary supplements that embrace chaste tree might present fertility help. (21)
Do you know? In accordance with animal and scientific research, chaste tree might have a constructive impact on people with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), an endocrine dysfunction that entails menstrual irregularity, extra androgen (hyperandrogenism), and/or polycystic ovaries. (1)(5)(6)
Chaste tree unintended effects
When used safely based on the directions of your healthcare supplier, chaste tree berry is effectively tolerated and has no critical unintended effects. (4) Some might expertise gentle unintended effects after taking chaste tree similar to:
- Pores and skin rash
- Abdomen discomfort (3)(4)
Chaste tree might not be secure for people who find themselves pregnant or breastfeeding. Kids and people with hormone-sensitive cancers (e.g., breast, ovarian, uterine) mustn't take chaste tree. (3)(4)
Chaste tree might work together with sure medicines similar to:
- Contraception capsules
- Medication used to deal with Parkinson’s illness
- Medication used to deal with psychosis (3)(4)
The underside line
Chaste tree berries are used to fabricate totally different chaste tree merchandise together with dietary dietary supplements, natural tinctures, and liquid extracts. Chaste tree advantages proceed to be studied; nevertheless, scientific analysis means that the constituents of chaste tree affect the HPA axis and could also be helpful for addressing signs of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), infertility, and menopause. At all times converse together with your healthcare supplier earlier than taking new dietary supplements together with chaste tree.
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