China Greatvista Chemicals

Vitex Agnus Castus (Chasteberry)

Agnus castus is a member of the vervain family (verbenaceae). Other common names of the tree include; chaste tree, monk’s pepper tree, monks, Abraham’s balm, chaste lamb tree, safe tree, chasteberry and cloister pepper.

Vitex agnus castus is used today in menstrual disturbances, premenstrual complaints, menopausal complaints, infertility in women, and low breast milk production. It is used in either excessive bleeding or extra periods (Weiss), or lack of menstruation with uterine congestion (Madaus). It should be considered in any kind of symptoms with premenstrual aggravation, including acne, herpes, or other conditions (Weiss). Vitex has also been used in Germany for such male complaints as spermatorrhea, prostatitis, orchitis, and sexual neurasthenia (Madaus).

Chaste tree berries contain progestins. a group of female hormones including progesterone. Progestins help to maintain pregnancies and they counteract negative effects of other female hormones called estrogens. Therefore, they affect the balance of female hormones in the body. Chaste tree berries are approved by the German Commission E, the German governmental agency that evaluates the safety and effectiveness of herbal products, for normalizing irregular menstrual periods and relieving premenstrual symptoms such as bloating, breast tenderness, and moodiness. The United States does not have a comparable agency to evaluate herbal products.

The main active compounds in vitex agnus castus are found in its ripe dried fruit, and its main constituents are the flavonoids, which include casticin (the predominant flavonoid), isovitexin, and orientin. Vitex also contains terpenes and plant steroids, though it is not clear how these compounds act to perform the effects for which Vitex is known. Because Vitex appears to affect changes in key hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle, it is thought that taking Vitex can help normalize the ratio of hormones required for normal menstrual function and fertility. Normal hormonal balance is also essential for fertility, so Vitex is sometimes used after discontinuing use of birth control pills to restore normal ovulation. Because PMS generally occurs during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, it is thought that restoring the necessary pulsatility of hormones during this phase of the menstrual cycle (as well as the follicular phase) may help alleviate PMS symptoms (but before you guys run out and buy Vitex for your girlfriend, wife, sister, mother or daughter, keep in mind that the mechanism behind PMS is still not understood).

The main active compounds in vitex agnus castus are found in its ripe dried fruit, and its main constituents are the flavonoids, which include casticin (the predominant flavonoid), isovitexin, and orientin. Vitex also contains terpenes and plant steroids, though it is not clear how these compounds act to perform the effects for which Vitex is known. Because Vitex appears to affect changes in key hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle, it is thought that taking Vitex can help normalize the ratio of hormones required for normal menstrual function and fertility. Normal hormonal balance is also essential for fertility, so Vitex is sometimes used after discontinuing use of birth control pills to restore normal ovulation. Because PMS generally occurs during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, it is thought that restoring the necessary pulsatility of hormones during this phase of the menstrual cycle.

Vitex is not only considered to be a safe supplement, but it is also relatively inexpensive. Most important though, a variety of well-controlled studies have been performed using human subjects and many of them support the usefulness of this supplement. As with any supplement though, care should be taken to choose a manufacturer that is reputable and that is consistent in the methodology used to standardize the essential components of the supplement.