Health Benefits of Chasteberry

Health Benefits of Chasteberry

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  1. Origins

    The chaste tree is indigenous to the area around the Mediterranen and most of central Asia. The fruit of this small tree is called the chasteberry. It is also known as Monk’s Pepper. The chasteberry gets its name from the monks who consumed the berries believing it would curb sexual desire.

    Benefits

    Chasteberry has been used for centuries to alleviate menstrual pain and heavy bleeding that can cause anemia. It has also proved beneficial in reducing symptoms of both menopause and premenstrual syndorme. In the case of new mothers, chasteberry stimulates the production of breast milk and helps to tone the uterus. Some studies are underway to prove whether or not it is effective in treating certain types of infertility. Teenagers may take chasteberry to control breakouts of acne that often times accompany the onset of their monthly period.

    Chasteberries contain several types of flavonoids, essential oils and iridoid glycosides. The flavonoids are part of the reason chasteberries are so effective in dealing with hormonal fluctuations.

    Forms

    The berries are dried and ground up. They are then used to make liquid extracts or solid extracts that are formed into capsules and tablets.

    Side Effects

    Chasteberry has been shown to have very few serious side effects. Minor cases of rashes that are similar to acne, gastrointestinal upset and dizziness have been reported. Chastberries do exhibit some control over hormonal fluctuations so it is imperative that it is not taken when a woman is pregnant, taking birth control or experiencing other hormone sensitive conditions. Chasteberry can also affect the levels of dopamine in the brain. Do not take chasteberry or blends that contain it while using antipsychotic pills or drugs that may be used for Parkinson’s Disease.

    Dosage

    In most cases, 4 mg of standardized chasteberry extract can be taken each day. If using non-standardized, fruit extract, 20 to 40 mg can be taken per day. Never use any herbal medication or other alternative therapy without first consulting a physician.

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