The term “Vitex” refers to 250 species of plants in the family Lamiaceae. However, in modern times, it commonly refers to Vitex agnus-castus. This plant is native to the tropics, primarily in Asia and other parts of Eurasia. Vitex plants range from shrubs to tall trees that can grow up to 35 meters.
List of Alternative names
- Monk’s Pepper
- Cloister Pepper
- White beech
- Vitex negundo
Who would benefit from it?
Women are the biggest consumers of Vitex supplements. Women have been using this plant for centuries to provide relief for menstrual problems. Women who have difficulties conceiving also took the dried parts such as the leaves or berries to help them get pregnant.
- It enhances fertility among women.
- It balances hormonal levels of female adults. Among the ailments eased by Vitex are dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea (scanty menstruation), menorrhagia (heavy menstruation), anovulation (no release of egg from the ovary) and premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
- It was used in the Roman Empire by wives who wanted to decrease their libido given that their husbands were far from home during war.
- It alleviates acne caused by menstruation and hormonal fluctuations.
- Taken internally, it is also effective against liver disorders, ulcers, cholera, diarrhea, and malaria.
Detailed Information on Its Benefits
In a normal menstrual cycle, the women’s estrogen levels are higher before ovulation. After ovulation, it gradually plummets and stabilizes while progesterone slowly peaks until it plummets as the menstrual cycle comes to an end at around the 26th to 30th day from the 1st day of menstruation. Most women are not aware of their hormonal imbalance until there are physical manifestations such cystic hormonal acne, infertility, menorrhagia, and dysmenorrhea. This plant works by increasing the body’s progesterone levels if the estrogen levels are too high.
Because the active substances in this plant stabilize the hormone levels, it can also help in eliminating anxiety, mood swings, palpitation, excessive water retention, and insomnia. Breastfeeding women who are taking its dried leaves as supplements notice an increase in their milk supply.
Should You Consider Taking It?
Vitex is an all-around herbal tonic for women. With its reputation and usage dating back several centuries, it is without doubt that countless of women have enjoyed its health benefits. Unlike other herbal medicines, this plant can be taken for several weeks without any side effects for up to 18 months. Supplements from this plant are available in decoction, tincture, dried leaves, berries and flowers and extract formulations.