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What is agnus castus (chasteberry)?
Vitex agnus castus, also known as chasteberry, is a traditional herb used to treat various gynaecological problems, acne, hormonal imbalance, infertility and menopausal symptoms. It contains active ingredients like vitexin, casticin, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, alkaloids, and diterpenoids. Chasteberry is also a powerhouse of antioxidants like flavonoids, terpenoids, neolignans, and phenolic compounds.
Agnus castus (chasteberry): Benefits & Uses
These are some potential chasteberry benefits.
- May help restore hormonal balance: Studies suggest that agnus castus may help improve reproductive issues and regularize the menstrual cycle by balancing the levels of hormonal like oestrogen and progesterone.
- May relieve PMS: Agnus castus may alleviate PMS symptoms like headache, mood swings, irritability, depression and cravings by reducing the levels of prolactin hormone while balancing estrogen and progesterone.
- May improve fertility: Studies observed a significant increase in progestin levels among females taking chasteberry under a study. A high progestin level is known to increase the chance of conception; hence agnus castus may help improve fertility health.
- May improve menopausal symptoms: Women experiencing post-menopausal symptoms like mood swings, irritability, hot flushes and night sweats can consider agnus castus to relieve the same.
- Antioxidant: Flavonoids and phenolic compounds in agnus castus or chasteberry possess potent antioxidant and free radical scavenging abilities. They keep our organs healthy and protect them from oxidative damage.
- Anti-microbial & Anti-fungal: The essential oil of agnus castus seed is effective against bacteria and fungi like Salmonella, Microsporum, etc.
How does agnus castus (chasteberry) work?
There are several ways by which agnus castus or chasteberry support our health.
- Chasteberry contains various plant-based compounds with strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Studies suggest it acts on the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, which regulate hormone production.
- Agnus castus may influence the release of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). These hormones play a critical role in regulating the menstrual cycle and ovulation.
- Chasteberry also influences dopamine levels affecting hormonal balance.
How to choose the right agnus castus (chasteberry) for you?
One may consider the following points while buying a vitex agnus castus or chasteberry extract.
- One can choose the form based on preference, as chasteberry extracts are available in tablets, capsules and powder form.
- Prefer standardized extracts as they usually have a high percentage of active compounds like casticin or agnuside. The product should be free from unwanted fillers or artificial additives.
- Opting for a reputed brand for a certified agnus castus or chasteberry product is advisable.
- Check the serving size and recommended dosage. If you are unsure of your daily requirement, seek medical advice from a doctor or an expert.
How to use agnus castus (chasteberry)?
One can use agnus castus as per the usage instructions mentioned on the pack label. It is advisable to stay within the recommended dosage. People taking chasteberry to treat medical conditions can consult their doctor to understand the dosage, timing and duration of use.
Where to buy agnus castus (chasteberry)?
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Is agnus castus (chasteberry) safe to use?
Vitex agnus castus or chasteberry is usually considered safe when taken in appropriate dosages. People taking hormone medications or hormonal replacement therapy should not use chasteberry without consulting their doctors. Pregnant and lactating women should also seek medical advice before taking agnus castus.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Are there any agnus castus side effects?
Agnus castus is generally considered safe. However, some people might experience mild side effects like headache, dizziness, abdominal discomfort, or skin rashes.
2. What is the best time to take agnus castus or chasteberry?
The timing may vary depending on the reason for which it is used. However, studies suggest one may take it in the morning with meals for better results.
3. How long does agnus castus take to work?
The duration for noticeable changes may vary based on the reason one uses it and the severity of symptoms. It is advisable to maintain consistency while taking agnus castus and take it under medical supervision to adjust the dosage and duration of use.
4. Are there any agnus castus benefits for male?
Although the evidence is limited, clinical data suggest that agnus castus may help improve sexual and prostate health and restore hormonal balance among males.
5. What is agnus castus 30?
It refers to an agnus castus homeopathy dilution of 30C.
6. What is agnus castus q?
Agnus castus q refers to the homeopathic preparation of Agnus castus (chasteberry) in the potency of the Q (mother tincture).
7. What is agnus castus 200?
This indicates chasteberry in a homeopathy dilution of 200C.