What it does
- Reduces PMS symptoms
- Minimizes fibrocystic breast symptoms
- Regulates ovulation and promotes fertility.
- Treats menopausal difficulties.
- Relieves the pain of endometriosis.
- Controls menstrual related acne.
Indigenous to the Mediterranean region, the chaste tree–actually a small shrub that bears violet flowers and reddish black berries–is now found in subtropical climates around the globe. In the fall, its ripe berries are dried and used medicinally. Similar to peppercorns in shape, chaste berries also have a peppery taste. Other common names for this herb include vitex, monk’s pepper, and chaste tree berry. Since the time of Hippocrates, chaste berry has been recommended for menstrual complaints. Although it contains no hormones or hormone-like substances, the herb influences hormonal activity by stimulating the pituitary gland at the base of the brain to produce more luteinizing hormone (LH). This, in turn, signals the ovaries to produce more of the hormone progesterone. Chaste berry also acts to lower elevated levels of a second pituitary hormone, prolactin, which is involved in breast-milk production.