vitexagnus castus (Chaste Tree)

What is chaste tree (Vitexagnus castus), and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Chaste tree is shrub. The dried ripe fruit is used as a natural herbal supplement. Although exact mechanism is not known, Chaste tree presumably works by decreasing follicle-stimulating hormone release. Lowering of follicle-stimulating hormones increases progesterone-to-estrogen ratio, giving relief from menstrual and menopausal symptoms.

What brand names are available for chaste tree (Vitexagnus castus)?

Chaste Tree, Chaste Berry, Vitex, Monk's Pepper

Is chaste tree (Vitexagnus castus) available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for chaste tree (Vitexagnus castus)?


What are the side effects of chaste tree (Vitexagnus castus)?

Common side effects of Chaste tree are:

What is the dosage for chaste tree (Vitexagnus castus)?

  • Premenstrual syndrome (PMS): Take 4-20mg by mouth per day.
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD): Take 20-40mg by mouth per day.
  • Crude herb extract: Take 20-240mg by mouth per day, divided in 2 to 3 doses.
  • Fluid extract: Take up to 40 drops by mouth per day.
  • Dried fruit extract: Take 1.6-3ml by mouth up to two times a day.
  • Tincture: Take 35-45 drops by mouth up to three times a day.

The maximum daily dose is 1800 mg per day.


What is pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)? See Answer

Which drugs or supplements interact with chaste tree (Vitexagnus castus)?

Chaste tree berry should be avoided in women taking birth control or any other hormonal medications because chaste tree also affects hormone levels.

Chaste tree should be used with caution in certain antipsychotic or anti-Parkinson's medications because chaste tree may affect dopamine levels in brain, reducing the effect of antipsychotic or anti-Parkinson's medications.

Is chaste tree (Vitexagnus castus) safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

Chaste tree is known to affect estrogen and progesterone levels, which may not be safe for pregnant women. Therefore, it is not recommended to use chaste tree products in pregnant women.

It is not known whether Chaste tree enters breast milk; however, it is best not to use chaste tree in nursing mothers.

What else should I know about chaste tree (Vitexagnus castus)?

What preparations of chaste tree (Vitexagnus castus) are available?

Chaste tree is available in crude herb extract capsules, fluid extract, dried fruit extract, and tincture forms.

How should I keep chaste tree (Vitexagnus castus) stored?

Due to many manufacturers producing each formulation, storage requirements may vary based individual product.


Vitexagnus castus (Chaste Tree, Chaste Berry, Vitex, Monk's Pepper, Agnus Castus, Gattlier, Indian Spice, Lilac Haste Tree, Sage Tree Hemp, Wild Pepper) is an herbal supplement used to treat symptoms of menstruation, menopause, PMS, PMDD, endometriosis, and acne. Side effects, drug interactions, storage, dosage, and pregnancy safety should be reviewed prior to taking this herbal supplement.

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Stacie E. Geller, et al. Botanical and Dietary Supplements for Menopausal Symptoms: What Works, What Doesn't. J Womens Health (Larchmt). Sep 2005; 14(7): 634–649.