vitexagnus castus (Chaste Tree, Chaste Berry, Vitex, Monk's Pepper, Agnus Castus, Gattlier, Indian)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP
    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.

View Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) Slideshow Pictures

What is chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus)-oral, 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 (Vitex agnus-castus)-oral?

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

Is chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus)-oral available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

Do I need a prescription for chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus)-oral?

No

What are the side effects of chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus)-oral?

Common side effects of Chaste tree are:

What is the dosage for chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus)-oral?

  • 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 (Vitex agnus-castus)-oral?

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 (Vitex agnus-castus)-oral 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 (Vitex agnus-castus)-oral?

What preparations of chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus)-oral 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 (Vitex agnus-castus)-oral stored?

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

REFERENCE:

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.

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Reviewed on 10/16/2015
References
REFERENCE:

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.

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