Chaste tree berry is one of the countless herbal remedies that finds itself still being used after thousands of years (around 2,500 to be precise). In this case chaste tree berry, also called Monk’s pepper, safe tree, Indian-spice, wild pepper, vitex, agnus-castus and a wealth of other names, is a remedy that’s used to help with painful menstrual sittings.
The berry itself comes from the chaste tree also called the vitex agnus-castus. It is a tree which produces beautiful flowers which bloom late in the summer and gives off a pleasing smell. The flowers are usually purple and white and the tree is native to warm, tropical countries where it will normally grow in the shade. Of course it also bears berries, and on top of this the leaves and stem can also be used for their purported medicinal properties.
The name ‘chaste tree’ interestingly gets its name from one of its ancient uses – which was as an ‘anaphrodisiac’, the idea here being that by chewing the berries and leaves of the tree, monks could suppress their sexual urges though. This actually might work to an extent as it helps with the regulation of female hormones and these can thus reduce male hormones such as testosterone which are largely responsible for our sex drive.
Chaste Tree Berry Modern Uses
Today the modern uses of the chaste tree berry are to reduce pre-menstrual symptoms. It was used for this many years ago dating back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, and today it is still used and studies have demonstrated that it can help reduce breast tenderness, headaches, bloating and fatigue among other symptoms. It does this by balancing the balance of progesterone and oestrogen which are the female hormones. It can also result in slightly reduced production of prolactin, which can also have other positive effects for women – helping to regulate lactation when breastfeeding, and helping to prevent problems such as breast cancer.
Chaste Tree Berry Side Effects
While there should be no side effects for women, but for men it can reduce sex drive and reduce testosterone which will generally be considered a negative effect.