Do you suffer from premenstrual syndrome (PMS), irregular periods, infertility or menopause? I might have a natural remedy for you. It's been used for centuries and has proved itself effective time and again in scientific studies. I'm talking about a small but medicinally potent brown berry about the size of a peppercorn known as chasteberry or vitex. This fruit has a long history (over 2,000 years) of use as an herbal medicine.
Vitex is one of the most popular herbal remedies for PMS and cramps. In fact, one study published in the Journal of Women's Health & Gender-Based Medicine found that after being treated with vitex for three menstrual cycles, 93 percent of patients reported a decrease in the number of PMS symptoms or a complete end of PMS complaints. (1) In addition to reducing unwanted premenstrual symptoms, it also treats some menopausal symptoms as well as hormonally induced acne. (2)
Herbs like vitex are natural ways you can strengthen and tone your body's systems. The medicinal ability of chasteberry to positively affect hormonal health issues appears to be derived from dopaminergic compounds present in the herb. How exactly does vitex encourage hormonal balance? While it doesn't supply hormones to the body, it does act directly on the hypothalamus and pituitary glands.
For women, it increases luteinizing hormone, modulates prolactin and aids in the inhibition of the release
of follicle-stimulating hormone, which all helps balance out the ratio of progesterone to estrogen, slightly raising the levels of progesterone. (3) It's important to keep in mind that chasteberry is not actually a hormone, but rather an herb that helps the body raise its own levels of progesterone.
But vitex is not only for women with hormonal issues that need fixing. It's recently been shown to exhibit antitumor activities in different human cancer cell lines, and that's not all. Keep reading to find out all of the incredible health advantages it holds for both women (especially) and men.
How to Choose and Take Vitex
Vitex or chasteberry is available in many different forms in your local health store or online. The dried, ripe chasteberry is used to prepare liquid extracts or solid extracts that are put into capsules and tablets. If you're not a fan of capsules or tablets, then the liquid extract is a great choice. You can also easily find vitex in tea form on its own or combined with other herbs that promote hormonal balance. You can also order the dried berries and make your own tincture at home.
Here are the recommended doses for certain uses:
For PMS: 400 milligrams daily before breakfast
For uterine fibroids: 400 milligrams twice daily
For infertility: 160-240 milligrams daily
For acne: 160 milligrams daily
For endometriosis: 400 milligrams twice daily
For menopause: 160-240 milligrams daily