Women’s Best Friend
Used to balance hormones, mainly estrogen and progesterone by stimulating the hypothalamus. Chaste Tree Berry has the ability to normalize the function of female sex hormones, even though there is no progesterone or estrogen. It has the effect of regulating and restoring progesterone production in the body.
Botanical name: Vitex agnus-castus
Other name: Monk’s pepper, Agnus Castus, Indian Spice, Sage Tree, Wild Pepper
Part Used: Berry
Action (karma): Tonic for reproductive organs, anti-inflammatory, choleretic, acne, cystic breast, moods and anxiety, sleeplessness, high estrogen, low progesterone, increases fertility
Dose: Infuse 1 teaspoon of berries in 1 cup of boiled water for 10 – 15 minutes, taken 3 times a day. Contraindications: None known.
The most valuable use of the chaste tree is its ability to normalize the function of female sex hormones. This normalizing and balancing action is particularly beneficial in giving relief from irregular menstruation, infertility, endometriosis, menopausal discomfort and other hormonal imbalances. Hormonal acne, which is often a problem during puberty for both male and female, is helped with chaste tree berries. It is useful in normalizing the system after discontinuing birth control pills. Chaste tree berries stimulates the production of milk in nursing mothers. It has also brought relief for post-natal depression. It is known as ‘women’s best friend’ because of its ability to normalize the function of female sex hormones. It has the effect of regulating and restoring progesterone production in the body. Chaste tree berries encourage the body to balance hormones, particularly beneficial in giving relief from irregular menstruation, premenstral syndrome, infertility, endometriosis, menopausal discomfort and other hormonal imbalances.
A deciduous shrub that can grow to tree proportion of 3 – 7 metres; native to Europe & Central Asia, with an upright growth of many dividing branches. Very attractive, palmate shaped leaves to 10cm long, form opposite on the stem. They are pleasantly aromatic, perhaps a little like pine. Attractive fragrant lilac flowers form in small whorl clusters. Small round purple berries, drying to black seeds, form along the stems. It is the berries that are picked for their therapeutic benefits.
Ref: ‘Ayurvedic Medicine by Sebastian Pole; ‘Ayurvedic Pharmacology & Therapeutic Uses of Medicinal Plants’ by Vaidya V.M. Gogte; ‘Yogi of Herbs’ by V. Lad & D. Frawley; ‘Herbs Are Special’ by Isabel Shipard.