Chaste Tree Berry
Chaste tree berry, which is scientifically known as Vitex agnus-cactus, is a tree species that is native in the Mediterranean region. However, it is currently widely cultivated in the warm subtropical and temperate regions for a number of commercial uses. A full grown tree could be as high as 5 meters if provides with sunlight and well-drained soils. Ever since researchers associated the tree with a consortium of medicinal uses, more and more regions have started cultivating it. Extracts of this tree have now become popular not only in Europe but also parts of North America. However, you do not want to use it without going through the following review.
Chaste tree berry has been a darling of herbalists for quite some time, thanks to its versatility as far as medical uses are concerned. Here are some of the uses:
- Menstrual disorders: Supplements laden with the berry from this tree are normally used to treat women suffering from problems relating to the menstrual cycle. A number of studies have been done to support these claims. However, according to the National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine, research into its efficiency and safety is still ongoing.
- Other conditions: Chaste tree has more benefits aside from just treating irregular menstrual cycles, dysfunctional uterine bleeding, infertility, cyclic breast pain and premenstrual syndrome, popularly referred to as PMS. Historically, it has been used in the home remedy of inflammatory conditions, flatulence, insufficient lactation as well as menstrual induction.
Dosage and Administration
Like many natural remedies, the Chaste Tree Berry dosage varies considerably. This is why you are advised to consult with a qualified medical practitioner before you start taking the extracts. The dosage could at times vary depending on the nature and severity of the condition as well as how the body responds to treatment. However, the recommended dosage is 30-40 mg of the dried chaste berries, an amount that could be changed by a doctor as deemed fit.
Chaste tree berry is available in several dosage forms such as fresh or dried berries, liquid preparations like tinctures and extracts as well as powdered berries. The extracts are prepared as concentrations made by chopping and mashing parts of the tree and soaking them in an appropriate liquid such as alcohol. Tinctures could be less concentrated compared to extracts but their preparation is just similar. When using chaste tree berry as a natural remedy, pay attention to any specifications given by your doctor.
When using herbal remedy to treat any medical condition, it is important to understand the parts that are actually used in preparing the extracts. The most common parts of the tree that are used in preparing the extracts are the berries. An infusion is prepared using boiling water and ripe berries, which can be drunk three times everyday. The berries are often dried for better results. However, in some Mediterranean regions especially, the leaves, flowers and tender parts of the stem are also being used in the preparations of herbal remedies.
So are there any benefits that you get when using Chaste tree berry as a natural remedy? The reality is that different parts of the tree offer numerous benefits to the human body, even though not many of them have been scientifically proven. These benefits include:
- Vitex was given the name “chaste” tree due to its supposed anaphrodisiac properties. Some monks chew the leaves and berries to tone down their sexual appetite.
- Chaste berries can always be dried and used to spice up meals, in the same way as black pepper.
- Scientific studies have indicated significant reduction tenderness and pressure of breasts, bloating and headaches in women taking this herb.
- It has also been used to stimulate the production of more breast milk in nursing mothers.
- Chaste tree berries can also be used in the herbal remedy of infertility related to slight corpus luteum insufficiency.
Chaste tree berries are generally well tolerated in the human body. However, they have been associated with a number of mild side effects such as nausea, diarrhea, gastrointestinal discomfort, mild skin irritations and transitory headaches. The herb hasn't shown any worrying interactions with other medications, but due to its numerous hormonal influences, your doctor should prescribe some female hormonal medications when using it.
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