Advantages, Facet Results, and Myths

Vitex agnus-castus is a well-liked natural complement used to deal with a wide range of well being issues.

It’s mostly used to deal with:

  • premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
  • menstrual issues
  • infertility
  • pimples
  • menopause
  • nursing difficulties

It’s additionally touted as safety in opposition to insect bites and sure sorts of most cancers and claimed to supply a wide range of different well being results. Nonetheless, not all advantages are backed by science.

Listed below are the science-backed advantages — in addition to some myths — related to Vitex agnus-castus.

Vitex, which is the title of the most important genus within the Verbenaceae plant household, contains 250 species worldwide (1).

Vitex agnus-castus is the most typical vitex used medicinally.

The Vitex agnus-castus fruit, also called chasteberry or monk’s pepper, is concerning the measurement of a peppercorn. It’s produced by the chaste tree, which acquired its title as a result of its fruit was doubtless used to lower males’s libido throughout the Center Ages (2).

This fruit — in addition to different elements of the plant — are sometimes used as an natural treatment to deal with a wide range of illnesses.

As an example, Vitex agnus-castus is used to deal with:

  • PMS
  • signs of menopause
  • infertility points
  • different circumstances affecting a girl’s reproductive system

In reality, it’s been used on this manner since historic Greece (2).

In Turkish medication, it’s additionally used as a digestive, antifungal and anti-anxiety help (3).

Abstract Vitex agnus-castus is a plant regularly harvested as an natural treatment for a wide range of illnesses. Its hottest use is to alleviate PMS, menopause signs and infertility points.

Vitex agnus-castus is especially recognized for its potential to enhance circumstances affecting a girl’s reproductive system.

Eases signs of premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

One among the hottest and well-researched attributes of Vitex agnus-castus is its potential to cut back signs of PMS.

These embody:

  • constipation
  • irritability
  • depressed temper
  • migraines
  • breast ache and tenderness

Researchers imagine that vitex works by reducing ranges of the hormone prolactin. This helps rebalance different hormones, together with estrogen and progesterone — thus lowering PMS signs (4).

In a single research, ladies with PMS took Vitex agnus-castus throughout three consecutive menstrual cycles. In complete, 93 p.c of these given vitex reported a lower in PMS signs, together with:

Nonetheless, the research didn’t embody a management group, and placebo results can’t be dominated out (5).

In two smaller research, ladies with PMS got 20 mg of Vitex agnus-castus per day or a placebo for 3 menstrual cycles.

Twice as many ladies within the vitex group reported a lower in signs together with irritability, temper swings, complications and breast fullness, in comparison with these given the placebo (6, 7).

Vitex agnus-castus additionally seems to assist cut back cyclic mastalgia, a sort of breast ache linked to menstruation. Analysis means that it might be as efficient as frequent drug remedy — however with far fewer unwanted side effects (8, 9, 10).

Nonetheless, two current critiques report that though vitex seems useful in lowering PMS signs, its advantages could also be overestimated (11, 12, 13).

Higher-designed research could also be wanted earlier than sturdy conclusions might be made.

Could cut back menopause signs

The hormone-balancing results of Vitex agnus-castus can also assist relieve signs of menopause.

In a single research, vitex oils got to 23 ladies in menopause. Girls reported improved menopause signs, together with higher temper and sleep. Some even regained their interval (14).

In a follow-up research 52 extra pre- and postmenopausal ladies got a vitex cream. Of the research individuals, 33 p.c skilled main enhancements, and one other 36 p.c reported reasonable enhancements in signs, together with night time sweats and sizzling flashes (14).

Nonetheless, not all research have noticed advantages. One current and bigger double-blind, randomized, managed trial — the gold commonplace in analysis — gave ladies a placebo or a every day pill containing a mixture of vitex and St. John’s wort.

After 16 weeks, the vitex complement was no simpler than the placebo at lowering sizzling flashes, despair or some other menopausal signs (15).

Remember the fact that in lots of research reporting advantages, ladies had been supplied with dietary supplements that blended Vitex agnus-castus with different herbs. Due to this fact, it’s troublesome to isolate the results of vitex alone (16).

Could improve fertility

Vitex could enhance feminine fertility as a result of its potential impact on prolactin ranges (17).

This can be very true in ladies with luteal section defect, or a shortened second half of the menstrual cycle. This dysfunction is linked to abnormally excessive prolactin ranges and makes it troublesome for ladies to grow to be pregnant.

In a single research, 40 ladies with abnormally excessive prolactin ranges got both 40 mg of Vitex agnus-castus or a pharmaceutical drug. Vitex was as efficient because the drug in lowering prolactin ranges (18).

In one other research in 52 ladies with luteal section defect, 20 mg of vitex resulted in decrease prolactin ranges and extended menstrual phases, whereas individuals given a placebo noticed no advantages (19).

One more research gave 93 ladies — who had unsuccessfully tried to grow to be pregnant over the past 6–36 months — a complement containing Vitex agnus-castus or a placebo.

After three months, ladies within the vitex group skilled an improved hormone stability — and 26 p.c of them turned pregnant. Compared, solely 10 p.c of these within the placebo group turned pregnant (20).

Remember the fact that the complement held a mixture of different elements, making it troublesome to isolate the results of vitex.

Irregular intervals can even hamper ladies in planning a being pregnant. Three extra research report that vitex is simpler than a placebo in bettering menstrual cycles in ladies with irregular intervals (21, 22, 19).

Abstract Vitex agnus-castus could cut back signs of PMS and menopause, although research outcomes are blended. By probably reducing prolactin hormone ranges and stabilizing menstrual intervals, it might additionally improve fertility.

Vitex can also assist maintain a wide range of bugs at bay.

In a single research, an extract comprised of vitex seeds helped repel mosquitoes, flies, ticks, and fleas for about six hours (24).

One other research revealed {that a} spray containing vitex and different plant extracts protected in opposition to head lice for no less than seven hours (25).

Analysis additional exhibits that vitex could kill lice larva and impede grownup lice copy (25, 26).

Abstract Vitex agnus-castus could supply some safety in opposition to bugs, significantly mosquitoes, flies, ticks, fleas, and head lice.

Vitex can also supply a variety of extra advantages, together with:

  • Decreased complications. In a single research, ladies vulnerable to migraines given vitex every day for 3 months decreased the variety of complications they skilled throughout their menstrual cycles by 66 p.c (28). Nonetheless, the research didn’t embody a management group, making it inconceivable to know whether or not vitex was liable for these advantages.
  • Antibacterial and antifungal results.Check-tube research present that important oils comprised of vitex could struggle dangerous fungi and micro organism, together with Staphylococcus and Salmonella micro organism (29, 30). Remember the fact that important oils shouldn’t be consumed, and vitex dietary supplements are unlikely to cut back the chance of infections.
  • Decreased irritation. Check-tube and animal research recommend that compounds in vitex could have anti-inflammatory properties. Nonetheless, their results aren’t stronger than these of aspirin (31, 32).
  • Bone restore. In a single research, ladies with bone fractures given a mixture of vitex and magnesium had barely elevated markers for bone restore than these given a placebo (35).
  • Epilepsy prevention. Animal research recommend that vitex could cut back the probability of epileptic seizures (36, 37).

That mentioned, analysis supporting these advantages is restricted. Extra research are wanted earlier than sturdy conclusions might be drawn.

Abstract Vitex could supply a number of different advantages, however the proof is weak. Extra analysis is required earlier than any claims might be made.

Vitex has been historically used to deal with all kinds of illnesses. Nonetheless, lots of its makes use of are presently unsupported by scientific proof.

The preferred unsubstantiated makes use of embody:

  • Breastfeeding.Whereas an previous research postulated that vitex could increase milk provide in nursing ladies, the general proof is weak and controversial (38).
  • Ache discount. Although analysis hyperlinks vitex to numbed ache receptors in rats, no human research have been performed (39).
  • Treating endometriosis. Vitex could normalize hormonal imbalances, which might theoretically cut back signs of endometriosis, a feminine gynecologic dysfunction. Nonetheless, no research verify this.
  • Baldness prevention. The hormone-balancing results of vitex are typically claimed to spice up hair progress in males. Nonetheless, no analysis might be discovered to assist this declare.
  • Zits remedy. Three research assert that vitex could cut back pimples sooner than standard therapies. Nonetheless, these research are a long time previous. Newer analysis hasn’t confirmed these results (40).

Abstract Whereas Vitex agnus-castus is used in its place treatment to deal with varied signs, many purported advantages will not be backed by analysis.

Vitex agnus-castus is usually thought of secure.

Researchers report that 30–40 mg of dried fruit extracts, 3–6 grams of dried herb, or 1 gram of dried fruit per day seem secure (9).

Reported unwanted side effects are typically minor and embody (41):

Nonetheless, pregnant and nursing ladies ought to keep away from vitex, as its results on infants haven’t been well-studied (42).

Researchers additionally imagine that vitex could work together with:

Due to this fact, it’s possible you’ll wish to talk about vitex together with your physician earlier than taking it (9).

Abstract Vitex agnus-castus has delicate and reversible unwanted side effects and is taken into account secure for most individuals. Nonetheless, pregnant or nursing ladies, in addition to people utilizing sure sorts of medicines, could wish to abstain.

Vitex agnus-castus, or chasteberry, could increase fertility and cut back signs of PMS and menopause. It might additionally repel sure bugs.

Most different makes use of are presently unsupported by science.

It might trigger abdomen discomfort and different delicate unwanted side effects, nevertheless it’s thought of secure for most individuals.

Should you’d like to present Vitex agnus-castus a attempt, it’s finest to debate its use together with your physician first — particularly when you’re:

  • pregnant
  • nursing
  • taking sure prescription medicines

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