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10 Surprising Health Benefits Of Chasteberry You Didn’t Know

Chasteberry (Vitex agnus-castus), also called monk's pepper is the fruit of the chaste tree. The fruit grows on flowering shrubs found in parts of Asia and Mediterranean [1] .

The fruits and other parts of the plant are used as herbal remedies to treat a variety of health problems such as PMS, infertility, acne and so on.

The fruit is dried and taken in the form of liquids, capsules and tablets, most commonly to treat hormonal issues in women. The current article will cover the potential health benefits of chasteberry.

Health Benefits Of Chasteberry

1. Improves fertility

Chasteberry enhances female fertility due to its positive effect on prolactin levels. Prolactin is a hormone that is responsible for making breast milk. Women with luteal phase defects are linked to abnormally high prolactin levels, which makes it difficult for a woman to become pregnant.

A study showed that 40 women with abnormally high prolactin levels were given 40 mg of chasteberry extract and as a result, there was a reduction in the prolactin levels [2] .

2. Prevents insect bites

According to a study, chasteberry extract can prevent insect bites by repelling mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas for about six hours [3] . Another study showed that chasteberry can kill lice larva and inhibit the production of adult lice [4] .

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3. Eases PMS symptoms

Chasteberry has the potent ability to lower PMS symptoms such as irritability, constipation, migraine, depressed mood, breast pain and tenderness. It works by reducing the prolactin levels and help rebalance other hormones, including oestrogen and progesterone [5] .

6. Lowers inflammation

Casticin, a phytochemical found in chasteberry is known to exhibit anti-inflammatory properties, which aids in treating pain and inflammation. This phytochemical may also have therapeutic potential in inflammatory lung diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) [6] .

7. Helps in bone repair

Bone fractures affect at least 2% of the population annually and it mostly occurs as a result of underlying bone disease, including osteoporosis.

According to a study published in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, women with bone fractures were given a combination of chasteberry and magnesium supplements and showed increased markers for bone repair [7] .

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8. Reduces menopause symptoms

The hormone-balancing effects in chasteberry essential oil can help bring relief from menopausal symptoms. A study found that chasteberry essential oil was used by 23 women who were in their menopause and it was reported that it improved their menopausal symptoms, and helped promote better sleep and mood [8] .

9. Fights bacteria and fungi

The antibacterial and antifungal properties in chasteberry can help fight harmful bacteria and fungi, including salmonella and staphylococcus bacteria [9] .

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Side Effects Of Chasteberry

Chasteberry extract is generally considered to be safe, however, mild side effects like nausea, upset stomach, mild skin rash, heavy menstrual flow, and headache can occur [10] .

Note: Pregnant women and nursing mothers should avoid the intake of chasteberry extract. It is also recommended to consult a doctor before consuming it, as it may interact with certain medications.

View Article References
  1. [1] Roemheld-Hamm, B. (2005). Chasteberry.American family physician,72(5), 821-824.
  2. [2] Kilicdag, E. B., Tarim, E., Bagis, T., Erkanli, S., Aslan, E., Ozsahin, K., & Kuscu, E. (2004). Fructus agni casti and bromocriptine for treatment of hyperprolactinemia and mastalgia.International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics,85(3), 292-293.
  3. [3] Mehlhorn, H., Schmahl, G., & Schmidt, J. (2005). Extract of the seeds of the plant Vitex agnus castus proven to be highly efficacious as a repellent against ticks, fleas, mosquitoes and biting flies.Parasitology research,95(5), 363-365.
  4. [4] Mehlhorn, H., Schmahl, G., & Schmidt, J. (2005). Extract of the seeds of the plant Vitex agnus castus proven to be highly efficacious as a repellent against ticks, fleas, mosquitoes and biting flies.Parasitology research,95(5), 363-365.
  5. [5] Schellenberg R. (2001). Treatment for the premenstrual syndrome with agnus castus fruit extract: prospective, randomised, placebo controlled study.BMJ (Clinical research ed.),322(7279), 134–137.
  6. [6] Lee, H., Jung, K. H., Lee, H., Park, S., Choi, W., & Bae, H. (2015). Casticin, an active compound isolated from Vitex Fructus, ameliorates the cigarette smoke-induced acute lung inflammatory response in a murine model.International immunopharmacology,28(2), 1097-1101.
  7. [7] Eftekhari, M. H., Rostami, Z. H., Emami, M. J., & Tabatabaee, H. R. (2014). Effects of “vitex agnus castus” extract and magnesium supplementation, alone and in combination, on osteogenic and angiogenic factors and fracture healing in women with long bone fracture.Journal of research in medical sciences: the official journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences,19(1), 1.
  8. [8] Vitex agnus castus essential oil and menopausal balance: a research update [Complementary Therapies in Nursing and Midwifery 8 (2003) 148-154].
  9. [9] Marongiu, B., Piras, A., Porcedda, S., Falconieri, D., Gonçalves, M. J., Salgueiro, L., ... & Lai, R. (2010). Extraction, separation and isolation of volatiles from Vitex agnus-castus L.(Verbenaceae) wild species of Sardinia, Italy, by supercritical CO2.Natural product research,24(6), 569-579.
  10. [10] Daniele, C., Coon, J. T., Pittler, M. H., & Ernst, E. (2005). Vitex agnus castus.Drug safety,28(4), 319-332.
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