Chaste Tree (Chasteberry)
Vitex agnus-castus L. Family: Verbenaceae
chasteberry, cloister pepper, hemp tree, monk's pepper, vitex
Chaste tree is a shrub that bears violet flowers and berries. It's also called vitex
agnus-castus. The medicinal parts are the dried fruit and leaves. The plant comes
from the Mediterranean and western Asia. It can now be found in southeastern parts
of North America.
Chaste tree contains iridoids, flavonoids, progestins, and essential oils. This combination
may help control menstrual cycles and ease menstrual pain. It may treat some endocrine
Medically valid uses
There are no proven medical uses for chaste tree.
A few studies suggest that chaste tree helps premenstrual syndrome. But the studies
weren’t designed well, so the results aren’t reliable.
There is some evidence that chasteberry may help with some types of infertility. It
may help with breast pain. But more studies are needed to confirm this.
There may be benefits that haven't yet been proven through research.
Chaste tree has been used to treat menstrual cycle problems and pain, premenstrual
syndrome, and menopause. Chaste tree berries may help stimulate progesterone. This
is a female hormone that rises 2 weeks before menstruation. It may help normalize
estrogen and progesterone.
Chaste tree is claimed to help treat painful breasts (mastodynia). In European herbalism
and medicine, vitex extracts are used for uterine fibroid cysts. They help boost breastmilk
supply in new mothers. The herb has a long history in balancing hormones. It may help
lower the sex drive in people who wish to stay chaste.
Chaste tree comes in the form of tinctures, capsules, and liquid extracts. Follow
the instructions on the package for the correct dose.
Side effects, toxicity, and interactions
Chaste tree has no serious side effects. Mild side effects can include nausea, stomach
issues, diarrhea, and itchy rash.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use chaste tree. It isn’t known
if chaste tree is safe for children.
This supplement shouldn't be taken by people with hormone-sensitive cancer.
Don't use chaste tree if you take any medicines, herbs, or other supplements. Check
with your healthcare provider or pharmacist first.