Vitex, also known as Chasteberry or Monk’s Pepper, has an ancient reputation as an aphrodisiac for men. It is a wonderful tonic to enhance the chances of conception through its ability to regulate ovulation and if taken through the first trimester, vitex will reduce the chances of a miscarriage. Nevertheless, there are contradictory views concerning the utilization of chasteberry for those who are pregnant. After the birth, it helps a new mother to produce plenty of milk. Chasteberry is the fruit of the chaste tree, a small shrub-like tree native to Central Asia and the Mediterranean region. Like many members of the Vervain family, Vitex attracts butterflies and other insects.
The leaves are very reminiscent of the marijuana plant and feature five leaflets in a palmately compound arrangement. They have a fragrance like that of the sage herb. Some men use chasteberry for increasing the flow of urine, for treating benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and for reducing sexual desire. Historians say that monks chewed chaste tree parts to make it easier to maintain their celibacy.
Chasteberry works by stimulating and normalizing the pituitary gland, called the “master gland”, which regulates the balance of oestrogen and progesterone in the body. The pituitary gland allows the sending of chemical signals to the ovaries and as such tells them how much hormones to make. Chasteberry has been used in the production of a drug for Mastalgia (sore breasts or tenderness) related to PMS and menopause. It is considered that the extract of the chasteberry herb might help prevent excessive amounts of the hormone prolactin in the pituitary gland.
Some herbal diet supplement products have been found to contain possibly harmful additives. Always check with your healthcare practitioner before using any herbs especially if you are taking any type of prescription medications or undergoing treatment for infertility. The FDA has not reviewed this product for its safety or effectiveness.