Vitex, also known as Chaste Tree or Chaste Berry, is literally known as nature’s hormone balancer. It’s an amazing medicinal herb that has been shown to help heal hormonal imbalances from PMS to fertility issues and irregular menstrual cycles.
Vitex is actually the top herb used for reducing PMS symptoms like cramps, mood swings, breast tenderness, migraines, fatigue and bloating. It’s works by supporting our bodies natural pain relieving abilities by releasing beta-endorphins; it acts like the feel good neurotransmitter dopamine; and it works to keep prolactin levels in check which are usually elevated during PMS.
When it comes to getting pregnant, vitex has actually been shown to promote fertility in woman because of it’s effects on progesterone levels. Since it improves progesterone levels, vitex is also super helpful in women with PCOS, which is becoming increasingly common. But luckily for women with Polycystic ovary syndrome, this herb can help reverse the hormonal imbalances associated with the syndrome and regulate ovulation.
One of my favourite ways to use vitex is for irregular cycles, especially in cases of amenorrhea, AKA a lack of menstrual periods. It can increase luteinizing hormone levels and progesterone levels in women while also supporting healthy prolactin levels.
Most women start to notice differences from the herb after about 3 months, but it can definitely take more or less time depending on the person. But if you suffer from any kind of hormonal imbalance, no matter whether it’s big or small, vitex is definitely worth looking into. Typical dosing is about 20-40 mg/day, and my favourite way to take the herb is in tincture form. But make sure to talk to your doctor or naturopath first to make sure vitex is right for you!
Vitex is one way to support healthy hormone levels, but it’s imperative to put equal importance on leading a healthy lifestyle. Because if you’re not eating a nourishing diet, getting enough rest, reducing your stress levels and avoiding endocrine disrupting chemicals when possible, 1 herbal tincture won’t be able to solve all your problems.
Julia Gibson is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner, functional foods recipe developer, and write currently based in Toronto. She hopes to inspire and empower others by creating nourishing foods, living a sustainable life, promoting holistic healing and sharing thoughtful writing.
photo by @tylerwouldgo