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- What is chaste tree (Vitexagnus castus), and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What are the side effects of chaste tree (Vitexagnus castus)?
- What is the dosage for chaste tree (Vitexagnus castus)?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with chaste tree (Vitexagnus castus)?
- Is chaste tree (Vitexagnus castus) safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about chaste tree (Vitexagnus castus)?
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.
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.
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.
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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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Normal vaginal bleeding (menorrhea) occurs through the process of menstruation. Abnormal vaginal bleeding in women who are ovulating regularly most commonly involves excessive, frequent, irregular, or decreased bleeding. Causes of abnormal may arise from a variety of conditions that may include, uterine fibroids, IUDs, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, lupus, STDs, pelvic inflammatory disease, emotional stress, anorexia nervosa, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), cancers, early pregnancy.
Vaginal Pain (Vulvodynia)
Vulvodynia or vaginal pain, genital pain is a condition in which women have chronic vulvar pain with no known cause. There are two types of vulvodynia, generalized vulvodynia and vulvar vestibulitis. Researchers are trying to find the causes of vulvodynia, for example, nerve irritation, genetic factors, hypersensitivity to yeast infections, muscle spasms, and hormonal changes.The most common symptoms of vaginal pain (vulvodynia) is burning, rawness, itching, stinging, aching, soreness, and throbbing. There are a variety of treatments that can ease the symptoms of vulvodynia (vaginal pain).
What Happens During Menopause?
Menopause is the time in a woman's life when menstrual periods permanently stop, also called the "change of life." Menopause symptoms and signs include hot flashes, night sweats, irregular vaginal bleeding, vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, urinary incontinence, weight gain, and emotional symptoms such as mood swings. Treatment of menopausal symptoms varies, and should be discussed with your physician.
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a combination of physical and emotional disturbances that occur after a woman ovulates and ends with menstruation. Common PMS symptoms include; depression, irritability, crying, oversensitivity, and mood swings. For some women PMS symptoms can be controlled with natural and home remedies, medications, and lifestyle changes such as exercise, nutrition, and a family and friend support system.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is considered a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). PMDD has also been referred to as late luteal phase dysphoric disorder. The cause of PMDD is unknown. Some of the common symptoms of PMDD (not an inclusive list) include mood swings, bloating, fatigue, headache, irritability, headache, breast tenderness, acne, and hot flashes. Treatment for PMDD is with medication to treat the symptoms of PMDD.
Menstruation (Menstrual Cycle)
Menstruation (menstrual cycle) is also referred to as a "period." When a woman menstruates, the lining of the uterus is shed. This shedding of the uterine linking is the menstrual blood flow. The average menstrual cycle is 28 days. There can be problems with a woman's period, including heavy bleeding, pain, or skipped periods. Causes of these problems may be amenorrhea (lack of a period), menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea), or abnormal vaginal or uterine bleeding. There are a variety of situations in which a girl or woman should see a doctor about her menstrual cycle.
Menstrual Cramps and PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) Treatment
Menstrual cramps and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms include abdominal cramping, bloating, a feeling of fullness, abdominal pain, mood swings, anxiety and more. Treatment for menstrual cramps and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms include regular sleep, exercise, smoking cessation, diet changes, and OTC or prescription medication depending on the severity of the condition.
Premature menopause is when menopause occurs in a woman before the age of 40. Causes of premature menopause include premature ovarian failure, treatments for cancer and other conditions, surgical removal of the ovaries, or chronic diseases of the pituitary or thyroid gland, or psychiatric disorders. Treatment is directed at menopausal symptoms.
Menstrual cramps (pain in the belly and pelvic area) are experienced by women as a result of menses. Menstrual cramps are not the same as premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Menstrual cramps are common, and may be accompanied by headache, nausea, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea. Severity of menstrual cramp pain varies from woman to woman. Treatment includes OTC or prescription pain relief medication.
Vaginal Dryness and Vaginal Atrophy
Vaginal dryness and vaginal atrophy occurs in women during perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause. With vaginal atrophy, the lining of the vaginal wall becomes thinner, drier, less elastic, and light pink to bluish in color. Symptoms of vaginal atrophy include vaginal dryness, itching, irritation, and/or pain during intercourse. Treatment options for vaginal dryness and vaginal atrophy include hormone treatment and over-the-counter vaginal lubricating and moisturizing products.
Natural Remedies for Hot Flashes
Hot flashes are experienced by many women, especially at night. However, not all women undergoing menopause experience hot flashes. What causes hot flashes? A hot flash is a feeling of warmth that spreads over the body. Treatment for hot flashes include hormone replacement therapy and alternative prescription medications such as: SSRIs (Effexor, Paxil, Prozac), clonidine (Catapres), megestrol (Megace), and gabapentin (Neurontin). Few natural remedies for hot flashes (for example phytoestrogens - isoflavones, black cohosh, and vitamin E) have been scientifically studied.
Sex and Menopause (What to Expect)
Menopause is often associated with a change in sexual functioning. Loss of estrogen, bladder control issues, anxiety, stress, health concerns, medications, and sleep disturbances often result in a decrease in libido. Though there are currently no good drugs for treating sexual problems in women, there are ways to increase intimacy with a partner and treat vaginal dryness.
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