Looking for natural PMS remedies? Then look no further than this European berry.
For hundreds of years chasteberry (often called by its Latin name vitex agnus-castus) or monk’s pepper was thought to promote chastity, monks in the middle ages used chasteberry to lessen their sexual desire.
We can’t find any evidence that supports that but maybe the monks were on to something, after all monk Dom Perignon did give us champagne.
Throughout the centuries, women have used this small shrubby plant native to the Mediterranean to ease menstrual cramps and improve the production of breast milk.
How Does Chasteberry Work?
In fact, in the small group of research studies done – one of the benefits of chasteberry is its effectiveness as a natural PMS (premenstrual syndrome) remedy.
Since the 1950’s a German pharmaceutical company created an extract from the dark brown peppercorn size fruit to treat PMS related cyclic breast tenderness.
The dried ripe chasteberry is used in either a liquid extract form or a solid extract that is put into tablets and capsules.
Chasteberry is thought to work by suppressing the release of the hormone prolactin.
This hormone stimulates milk production and can be a factor in cyclic breast tenderness and other PMS symptoms. Over time, elevated prolactin can cause irregular periods or even halt periods completely. Chasteberry is often used to stimulate menstrual regularity.
If you are experiencing irregular periods, we recommend you do not try to self-diagnose the problem talk to your doctor or holistic practitioner. You don’t want to risk missing a serious undetected health issue.
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) has funded studies on chasteberry and how it may relieve symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.
All-In-One Natural PMS Remedies Found in Chasteberry
Chasteberry has been widely used throughout Germany and no adverse effects have been reported. This little brown berry has regularly shown promise in providing relief of premenstrual symptoms (PMS).
Another double-blind study of 178 women took dried chasteberry extract three times daily over three menstrual cycles and it significantly reduced general PMS symptoms.
In studies conducted on irregular menstruation a double blind trial of 52 women, around 30% of participants showed significant improvement after three months.
- Lowers prolactin
- Balances hormones naturally by raising progesterone (which helps repair hormonal imbalances)
- Eases PMS related irritability
- Reduces depression
- Relieves headaches
- Lessens breast tenderness
- Prevents PMS related acne
- Decreases symptoms of menopause
- Stimulates breast milk production
- Used in treatment of fibrocystic breasts
- Reduces nervousness, body inflammation, and swelling
In addition to chasteberry being a natural PMS remedy, try to improve your lifestyle habits with two simple steps. These easy changes can give your body the additional boost it needs to balance your hormones.
1) Get enough sleep! Sleep is just as important as exercise and has been linked to reducing disease, increasing weight loss, and improving hormonal balancing.
2) Give tampon alternatives a try, some options include using cotton cloth pads or the latex-free Soft Cup, both of which are chemical free and remove the risk of toxic shock syndrome associated with tampons and can reduce cramping.
Chasteberry is a beneficial extract that may help provide natural PMS relief and boost overall wellbeing.
Always check with your doctor or health care provider before taking any new supplements. Be aware that chasteberry may affect certain hormone levels and if you have a hormone sensitive condition (such as breast cancer) or if you are pregnant you should not use chasteberry.