Chasteberry is a fruit of the herbaceous shrub chaste belonging to the verbena family. It grows across central Asia’s river banks and foothills near these rivers as well as around the Mediterranean Sea.
The fruit that offers several health benefits is reddish black in color and has a pleasant odor. Ripe chasteberries are dried, made into liquid or solid extracts and then capsule, tablet, tincture or tea is made from it.
Herbalists use it to treat hormonal problems in women. Chasteberry works by stimulating the pituitary gland to synthesize more of luteinizing hormone which in turn stimulates the ovaries to synthesize more progesterone.
Chasteberry Health Benefits
- Eases discomforts of premenstrual syndrome (PMS): Chasteberry tea, tincture or extract effectively ease premenstrual symptoms like headache, irritability, bloating and depression as chasteberry is said to be a natural source of the hormone progesterone. It balances the progesterone to estrogen ratio in our body. One chasteberry extract tablet thrice a day relieves PMS.
- Treats menstrual irregularities and cramps: By increasing progesterone levels in the body it curbs early, heavy and too frequent periods as well as corrects amenorrhea. It also relieves menstrual cramps. By normalizing the hormonal levels in women, chasteberry prevents eruption of acne during periods.
- Reduces breast tenderness: Chasteberry extract is beneficial in inhibiting hormone prolactin’s release form the pituitary gland which in turn reduces premenstrual breast tenderness as well as breast tenderness and pain experienced by women having fibrocystic breast. Its capacity to normalize progesterone and estrogen levels in the body adds on to this benefit.
- Relieves symptoms of menopause: Chasteberry in combination with other herbs like black cohosh is beneficial in treating hot flashes, vaginal dryness and sweating experienced by pre and post menopausal women.
- Remedy for pain associated with endometriosis: By controlling hormonal imbalance it controls pelvic, lower back and abdominal pain felt during endometriosis. Along with the herb dong quai, chasteberry helps in relaxation of uterine muscles.
- Promotes fertility and prevents miscarriage: Low progesterone levels in the body result in luteal phase defects that cause infertility and miscarriage. Progesterone rich chasteberry enhances ovulation thereby increasing chances of conception and prevents miscarriage. One capsule of chasteberry per day is recommended to these women. 40 drops of tincture taken daily for 3 to 7 months enhances fertility.
- Prostate cancer treatment: For men chasteberry is used to bring down levels of testosterone to inhibit cancer of prostate.
- Its anti-androgen property makes chasteberry beneficial for lowering overgrowth of hair in women.
- Chasteberry also helps to control bleeding during childbirth and helps to push out the placenta after delivery.
- It is also beneficial for treating nervousness, dementia, joint problems, stomach upset, spleen disorders, migraine, body inflammation and eye pain.
- Chasteberry seed extract is beneficial for repelling mosquitoes, ticks and flies.
- It is also known to enhance lactation.
Caution: Headache, dizziness, nausea, upset stomach, rash and itchiness is seen in case of chasteberry overdose. Since it regulates our hormones it should not be taken by people undergoing hormone therapies.