Author: Julie Johnson
In ancient times, it was called Monk's pepper. This is because chaste tree berry (also known as Vitex and by the trade name Femaprin) was said to have an anaphrodisiac quality, that is, its ability to decrease sexual drives. Other sources indicate it was used as an aphrodisiac, in other words, for the opposite effect. How can both be true?
Chaste tree is a large shrub (up to twenty-two feet tall) native to the Mediterranean and southern Europe. Although it flourishes on moist riverbanks, it is easily grown as an ornamental plant in American gardens, where its pretty blue-violet flowers blossom in midsummer. Today it is almost exclusively used for female problems.
That it could bring about opposite responses is not limited to sex drives. Chaste berry has been used to inhibit excessive milk in nursing mothers and to encourage lactation. It magnifies post menopausal problems and solves them. It both hinders conception and helps overcome infertility.
The explanation for the contradictory results of the chaste tree berry herb is that it is an adaptogen. This means it helps the body adapt to changes by working through the adrenal glands (in this case the pituitary) to normalize hormone imbalance. In other words, it encourages hormonal deficiencies and constrains excesses. Other herbs that are adaptogens are taheebo, ginkgo, garlic, ginseng, echinacea, and goldenseal.
In order to balance the body hormones, chaste tree berry decreases the production of some hormones and increases the production of others. Some claim its success in treating infertility because it tends to shift the balance in favor of the gestagens which are hormones that condition the body for pregnancy.
Chaste tree berry is especially effective in balancing the female reproductive system because it encourages the production of progesterone. This results in restoring menstruation, regulating heavy periods, and restoring fertility that resulted from hormonal imbalance.
PMS tension, and the changes of menopause have also been decreased by this herb. Excess prolactin may be the cause of premenstrual breast tenderness and chaste tree berry will balance this hormone and thus relieve the problem.
A tincture of the berries has also been used externally for the relief of paralysis, pains in the limbs, and neuropathic muscular weakness. Chaste berries benefit the treatment of acne in both men and women. The berries can be used as a mild substitute for black pepper, and may even be ground in a pepper mill. The leaves and flowers are used for flavoring and have a spicy aroma.
As a tincture, use 20 drops one or two times a day. Or take 20 to 40 mg of the herb daily. Capsules or one cup of tea may be substituted as well. Some rest better when they take chaste berry shortly before bedtime. The herb is slow acting; wait at least two months or longer to know if it is helping.
Warnings are in order but are not universally agreed upon. Some say pregnant women and nursing mothers should not take chaste tree berry. If a woman has a hormone-sensitive cancer (e.g. pituitary, breast, uterus, etc.) it might be best to avoid it.
Chaste tree berry should be avoided if you are taking exogenous hormones such as menopausal hormone replacement therapies or oral contraceptives. Some rare adverse reactions include itchy allergic rash, mild nausea, or headaches. Some women have reported that the length of their cycle changed.
Bulk herbs like chaste tree berry are not miracle medicines. Herbs are natural ways to deal with the complex needs of the human body. Start taking herbs and make your body healthier, naturally.
Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/medicine-articles/chaste-tree-berry-increases-post-menopausal-problems-and-treats-them-1531897.html
About the Author
Bulk herbs like chaste tree berries are not miracle medicines. Herbs are natural ways to deal with the complex needs of the human body. Start taking herbs and make your body healthier, naturally.