Vitex agnus-castus (chasteberry) is an herbal supplement used for treating a variety of health problems, including:
- Mastalgia (breast pain)
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Menstrual cycle problems
- Nursing difficulties
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:
- Depressed mood
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:
- Treatment of fibroid cysts
- Reduced symptoms of menopause
- Epilepsy prevention
- Reduced headaches
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:
- Upset stomach
- Mild skin rash
- Increased acne
- Heavy menstrual flow
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.
Who should avoid taking chasteberry?
Chasteberry should be avoided in certain conditions:
- Uterine fibroids
- Breast, uterine, or ovarian cancer
- Parkinson’s disease
- Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders
People taking the following drugs should avoid taking chasteberry because it can lead to adverse interactions:
- Birth control pills
- Estrogen pills
- Antipsychotic drugs
- Dopamine agonists (medications for Parkinson’s disease)
- Migraines May Follow Daily Circadian Cycles, Study Shows
- Report Finds Big Rise in U.S. Carbon Monoxide Deaths
- Could COVID in Pregnancy Raise Odds for Obese Kids?
- AHA News: Explaining Cardiovascular Risk Disparities Among Young People With Type 1 Diabetes
- Pets Could Help Prevent Food Allergies in Kids
- More Health News »
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Top Vitex Agnus-Castus (Chasteberry): Benefits Related Articles
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.
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.
PMS SlideshowPremenstrual Syndrome (PMS) can cause from mood swings, munchies, and more. Learn about the symptoms, causes and treatments of PMS.
Vitamins QuizTake the Vitamins & Supplements Quiz to learn just how many essential vitamins your body needs to function!
What Is the Best Vitamin Supplement to Take?Dietary supplements are a general term that includes vitamins, minerals, botanicals, probiotics and other products to supplement the diet. The best vitamin supplement differs from person to person depending on their gender, age and any health conditions they have.
What Supplements Are Good for Female Libido?Female sexual desire is a complex phenomenon governed by emotional and psychological factors, as well as hormones. The majority of female-enhancement products comprise a combination of natural herbs, minerals, and vitamins.
Vitamins and Supplements: What to Know Before You Take Herbal SupplementsNot all herbs and supplements are safe, especially if you have certain medical conditions or take some drugs. Find out which ones you may need to skip with the help of this WebMD slideshow.
When to Worry About Breast PainThe easiest way to tell whether breast pain is something to worry about or not is to determine whether it is cyclic or noncyclic.
Women's Health: 11 Supplements for Menopause11 supplements and herbs for hot flashes and other menopause symptoms are shown in this slideshow from WebMD.