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looking for info

Posted by novice_2009 zone 6 (My Page) on
Sat, May 9, 09 at 16:00

Does anyone have any info regarding vitex/chaste berries and their use as food and in herbalism? I'd appreciate anything you have to share, especially since some of you obviously have a lot of access to computers! (I don't have one of my own). Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: looking for info

Let me rephrase that question slightly: Do any of you have any knowledge of the use of chasteberries in herbal medicine? Have any of you used them? Does anyone know about their use, historically and presently? Would anyone like to share? Am I in the right forum?


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RE: looking for info

Believed to effect the pituitary & afford progesterone counter balance for estrogen; statistically useful in ameliorating PMS & contra-indicated after 3rd month of pregnancy; for menopause symptom relief considered very useful.


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RE: looking for info

Thanks gringo.


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RE: looking for info

Chaste tree grows up to zone 6. Didn't mulch mine well enough & it died this winter, so zone 7 is probably a better lower range. It grows into a 15-20' large shrub with great spires of deep purple flowers which then form droops of berries. It can be used at any time during a woman's lifetime to balance hormones & works as well for easing a girl through the teen transition as it does for ameliorating the symptoms of menopause. It can also be used after childbirth where postpartum depression is indicative of hormonal imbalance.

Easiest form of use: Encapsulate the whole or ground berries in 00 gel caps, start with 2/day taken together in the morning for a week or so. Work up to 6/day (morning, noon, night) max. You can also tincture it or take as tea (last requires diligence)

Take via whatever method until you have your period, take the week off, resume at end of period. If you are in menopause or are not menstruating, make your own 3 week cycle to start. Take ONLY AS LONG as is necessary to rebalance your hormones-- a couple of months only in most cases. Then let your body take over from there. If you go out of whack again, start again, taking only the minimum amount necessary to swing you back into balance.

You should notice: decrease in moodiness during monthly cycle, less cramps, less fatigue. Sometimes better skin as the hormone surges balance out.

Don't use when pregnant. It will NOT replace estrogen where HRT is indicated. It is not in and of itself indicated for any form of depression.

Good luck.


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RE: looking for info

Seeds can be used as a seasoning similar to pepper. Leaves can also be added to flavour foods.

A tea made from the berries is said to improve fertility levels in women and to balance libido levels in men and women. A tea of the leaves and berries relieves menopausal, pre-menstrual and menstrual symptoms. Increases milk production in breastfeeding mothers. May be useful in the treatment of fibroid cysts. Also used to adjust hormone levels in men. Seeds can be used as a sedative. Normalises the function of the pituitary gland. Externally, a poultice of the leaves is used for the treatment of weak limbs and paralysis. Helps control acne in both young women and young men.

Usual Dosage: Pour 1 cup boiling water onto l teaspoonful of the ripe berries and leave to infuse for l0-l5 minutes. Take three times a day. Works best in an alkaline environment, so take 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda in water 30 minutes before use, and do not drink cranberry juice or other acidic juices while using it. Tincture: Take 1ml three times a day, before a meal.

Warning: Do not take Chaste-berries when pregnant or when taking hormones. May counteract the effectiveness of birth control pills. Excess use may cause itching, rash, headache, or nausea. Avoid if allergic to ragweed. Usually used for no longer than 3 months. Use with caution if anaemic. Discontinue if diarrhoea, nausea, rash, itching, hives, agitation, headache, or abnormal menstrual changes occur. Large doses can cause formication, a strange symptom where one feels as if ants are crawling on the skin. Not recommended for women under 20 whose menstrual cycle is not yet established.


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RE: looking for info

Thanks ladies! Yes, i'd like to use it to treat pms, which has gotten bad now that i'm off the pill and have two kids. Too much info? Sorry. But anyway, I have the dried berries, as i know it won't grow in my zone. Simplemary, how about a decoction? I don't want to use any single herb longterm without a break, so the week or so off is a good idea. Thanks for the info!!!!


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