Vitex Agnus-Castus (Chasteberry): Benefits, Side Effects, and Myths

Medically Reviewed on 8/2/2022
Vitex Agnus-Castus (Chasteberry): Benefits, Side Effects, and Myths
Learn about 4 science-backed health benefits of Vitex agnus-castus, as well as side effects and myths

Vitex agnus-castus (chasteberry) is an herbal supplement used for treating a variety of health problems, including:

There are other health claims related to chasteberry, but many have not been backed by science. Learn about 4 science-backed health benefits of Vitex agnus-castus, as well as side effects and myths.

4 benefits of chasteberry

1. Alleviates breast pain

Chasteberry has been used in traditional medicine to relieve breast pain associated with the menstrual cycle. 

According to one study, chasteberry may reduce elevated prolactin levels, which helps balance other hormones in the body and can relieve breast pain.

2. Relieves PMS symptoms

Chasteberry may help ease PMS symptoms such as:

However, since many of the studies regarding the use of chasteberry in easing PMS symptoms are relatively small, additional research is needed before a strong conclusion can be made.

3. May enhance fertility

Because Vitex agnus-castus can help regulate prolactin levels, it may have a positive effect on fertility, especially in women who have a luteal phase defect.

Luteal phase defect refers to a shortened second half of the menstrual cycle, which is often linked to high levels of prolactin and can make it difficult to achieve pregnancy. Other causative factors of infertility are amenorrhea and other menstrual disorders.

Small studies have reported that women with amenorrhea and other menstrual disorders were able to conceive after taking chasteberry. However, more studies are needed to reach a strong conclusion.

4. Helps prevent insect bites

Vitex agnus-castus may help with insect bites

According to one study, chasteberry sprays may be effective in repelling mosquitoes, flies, ticks, lice, and fleas for about 6-7 hours. 

What are other potential benefits of chasteberry?

Other potential benefits associated with chasteberry include:

However, many of these purported benefits lack sufficient scientific evidence.

What are the side effects associated with chasteberry?

Chasteberry is generally safe when taken in about 3.2-40 mg doses by mouth daily for up to 6 months. Some may experience minor side effects with chasteberry, which include:

What are some of the myths surrounding chasteberry?

Chasteberry has been used in traditional medicine for various purposes, but many uses are not supported by substantial scientific evidence:

  • Boosting milk production: In the past, chasteberry was indicated for boosting milk supply in breastfeeding mothers. Evidence supporting this claim, however, is weak.
  • Treating endometriosis: Theoretically, because chasteberry regulates hormonal imbalances, it should be effective in treating endometriosis. However, there are no studies to confirm this health benefit.
  • Preventing baldness: The hormone-balancing ability of chasteberry is believed to enhance hair growth in men. However, no research supports this claim.
  • Treating acne: There are no current studies that prove the effectiveness of chasteberry in treating acne
  • Boosting libido: Chasteberry was used in the past to regulate libido. However, there is no clinical data to support this claim.


Next to red peppers, you can get the most vitamin C from ________________. See Answer

Who should avoid taking chasteberry?

Chasteberry should be avoided in certain conditions:

People taking the following drugs should avoid taking chasteberry because it can lead to adverse interactions:

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Medically Reviewed on 8/2/2022
Image Source: iStock image,and%20fertility%20disorders%20are%20weak.