Chasteberry

Chasteberry ~ Healing Herbs

This is an herb that blooms and sheds at a particular time of year in the Mediterranean region.

With it’s fragrant flowers, lancelike leaves, and gray or purple berries that look like peppercorns, it has a long reputation for treating menstrual disorders.

Medicinal Properties:

This healing herb works primarily on the pituitary gland to balance and stabilize the hormonal fluctuations women experience every month with their menstrual cycle.

It increases the body’s secretion of luteinizing hormone which helps to reduce prolactin and increase both progesterone and follicle-stimulating hormones.

Higher levels of prolactin contribute to irregular or the absence of the menstruation cycle, thus, using this herb helps to normalize the menstrual cycle, including symptoms of PMS.

Evidence suggests that the flowers contain the plant world’s equivalent of human testosterone, which would help to stimulate libido.

Therapeutic Uses:

This healing herb has been beneficial in the following uses:

Acne, breast milk deficiency, breast pain, menstrual irregularities, either the absence or excess of menstrual flow, due to its hormone stabilizing properties.

This healing herb helps with premenstrual tension as well due to its hormone balancing influence on the body resulting in less fluid retention, irritability, mood swings and headaches.

A reputable amount of studies have been performed testing the claims for using this herb.

In a well-controlled study of 52 women with hyperprolactinemia (too much prolactin), taking 20 mg/day of chasteberry, for 3 months normalized most menstrual hormone levels.

Furthermore, of these women studied, out of those who were experiencing PMS this healing herb caused a significant reduction in symptoms.

In another well-controlled study to evaluate the effect of chasteberry on premenstrual tension syndrome (PMTS), 105 women were given either 4mg of the herb or 100mg of pyridoxine (Vitamin B-6).

After 3 months of treatment, using a standard rating scale, the herb was considered to be 77.1% effective, while pyridoxine was considered to be 60.6% effective.

Investigators that performed this study considered the herb to be twice as effective as pyridoxine and women in the study also rated chasteberry higher than pyridoxine in effectiveness at alleviating PMTS symptoms.

In an open study (no controls), 18 infertile women with abnormal progesterone levels (a key menstrual hormone) were given (a chasteberry product) for 3 months.

Progesterone levels were restored to normal in 7 women, and were more than 2 units above initial levels in 4 women.

Moreover, 2 women became pregnant by the end of the study.

Because of results like this, this healing herb is often used as an initial fertility treatment if other causes of sterility have been ruled out.

It's also been used as an effective treatment for acne.

Test subjects have been shown to heal quicker than conventional acne therapies.

This healing herb helps alleviate cramps, depression, endometriosis, fibrocystic breast disease, headache, used in the treatment of herpes, infertility, menopause, mouth problems, neuroses, prostate enlargement(benign), stomach problems, uterine fibroids, yeast infections, and vaginal problems.

Precautions:

The majority of people will have no side effects.

Some people may notice a skin reaction or a little gastric upset.

Because this healing herb influences the body’s hormonal balance, it could interfere with sex-related medications, including oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy.

If depression is a prominent part of your monthly premenstrual tension, this herb may need to be avoided, due to its increase in progesterone.

Progesterone has been shown in studies to be a culprit in the mood dip during this time.

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