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Chasteberry

General Information

Chasteberry is the fruit of the chaste tree. The tree is native to Central Asia and the Mediterranean region. It has been used for centuries to help relieve the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and infertility, and to stimulate the production of breast milk.

Common Name(s)

chasteberry, chaste-tree berry, vitex, monk's pepper

Scientific Name(s)

Vitex agnus-castus

Scientific Name(s)

The dried ripe fruit is used to make capsules, gummies, tablets, liquids, powders, and strips.

The recommended dose of chasteberry is:

  • 30-2000 mg per day, dried fruit

Chasteberry contains a number of constituents, including:

What is this product used for?

Chasteberry has been used for different purposes, including:

  • symptoms of premenstrual syndrome
  • helping to stabilize menstrual cycle irregularities
  • symptoms of menopause
  • reducing sexual desire
  • infertility
  • acne

Your health care provider may have recommended this product for other conditions. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.

What else should I be aware of?

Although a few studies have researched the effect of chasteberry on premenstrual syndrome, relieving breast pain, and certain types of infertility, they are not sufficient to draw conclusions about its effect.

It may take at least 3 months of use before beneficial effects are seen.

Chasteberry is generally well-tolerated, but it can cause some stomach upset, dry mouth, dizziness, and headache.

You should not use chasteberry if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or using hormone-containing medications such as oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy. People who have hormone sensitive conditions, such as breast cancer, should also not use chasteberry.

Chasteberry should be avoided by people who are using medications that affect dopamine in the body, such as antipsychotic drugs and medications used to treat Parkinson’s Disease.

Before taking any new medications, including natural health products, speak to your physician, pharmacist, or other health care provider. Tell your health care provider about any natural health products you may be taking.

 


*All medications have both common (generic) and brand names. The brand name is what a specific manufacturer calls the product (e.g., Tylenol®). The common name is the medical name for the medication (e.g., acetaminophen). A medication may have many brand names, but only one common name. This article lists medications by their common names. For information on a given medication, check our Drug Information database. For more information on brand names, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.

Source(s)

  • American Family Physician. Chasteberry. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/2005/0901/p821.html. Accessed May 4, 2015.
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre. Chasteberry Available at: http://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/herb/chasteberry. Accessed May 4, 2015
  • National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). Herbs at a Glance. Chasteberry. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/chasteberry/
  • Health Canada. Licensed Natural Health Products database. Chasteberry. http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/monoReq.do?id=274 (accessed May 4, 2015)
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