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Effect of Chasteberry on Infertility
Chasteberry takes several months to build up in the body. It can take 12 to 18 months to treat the underlying issues that are challenging a woman’s fertility. It does not contain hormones or...
Read more about Infertility and Chasteberry.
What Is Chasteberry Used for Today?
The modern use of chasteberry dates back to the 1950s, when the German pharmaceutical firm Madaus Company first produced a standardized extract. This herb has become a standard European treatment for cyclic breast tenderness, a condition related to PMS that is sometimes called cyclic mastitis, cyclic mastalgia , mastodynia, or fibrocystic breast disease. Chasteberry also appears to be useful for general PMS symptoms.
Chasteberry is believed to work by suppressing the release of prolactin from the pituitary gland. 1 2 3 Prolactin is a hormone that naturally rises during pregnancy to stimulate milk production. Inappropriately increased production of prolactin may be a factor in cyclic breast tenderness, as well as other symptoms of PMS.
Elevated prolactin levels can also cause a woman's period to become irregular and even stop. For this reason, chasteberry is sometimes tried when menstruation is irregular, or stops altogether ( amenorrhea ). Note: We recommend that you do not attempt to self-treat significant menstrual irregularities without a full medical evaluation. There could be a serious medical condition causing the problem that you wouldn't want to miss.
High prolactin levels can also cause infertility in women . For this reason, chasteberry is sometimes tried as a fertility drug; 4 however, the two double-blind studies performed to evaluate this possible use failed to return statistically significant results. 5 Finally, chasteberry is sometimes used for menopausal symptoms , but there is as yet no evidence that it is effective, either alone or in combination with other herbs. 6
- Milewicz A, Gejdel E, Sworen H, et al. Vitex agnuscastus extract in the treatment of luteal phase defects due to latent hyperprolactinemia. Results of a randomized placebo-controlled double-blind study [translated from German]. Arzneimittelforschung. 1993;43:752-756.
- Jarry H, Leonhardt S, Gorkow C, et al. In vitro prolactin but not LH and FSH release is inhibited by compounds in extracts of Agnus castus : direct evidence for a dopaminergic principle by the dopamine receptor assay. Exp Clin Endocrinol. 1994;102:448-454.
- Sliutz G, Speiser P, Schultz AM, et al. Agnus castus extracts inhibit prolactin secretion of rat pituitary cells. Horm Metab Res. 1993;25:253-255.
- Propping D, Katzorke T, Belkien L. Diagnosis and therapy of corpus luteum insufficiency in general practice [translated from German]. Therapiewoche. 1988;38:2992-3001.
- Gerhard I, Patek A, Monga B, et al. Mastodynon for female infertility [in German; English abstract]. Forsch Komplementarmed. 1998;5:272-278.
- van Die MD, Burger HG, Bone KM, et al. Hypericum perforatum with Vitex agnus-castus in menopausal symptoms: a randomized, controlled trial. Menopause. 2008 Sep 10.