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Episode 54

Vitex?

The many faces of chaste tree berry for "hormonal balance"

hosted by clinical herbalist & integrative health educator Kay'aleya Hunnybee

Vitex?

The many faces of chaste tree berry for "hormonal balance"


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Is vitex really "the great hormone balancer" of herbs?


If you’ve ever googled “hormone balancing herbs” I bet you’ve found a list of herbs including vitex (or chaste tree berry).

It’s probably one of the most well-known herbs for hormonal regulation in modern practice. 
And for good reason.  

People work with vitex for fertility, irregular cycles, irregular bleeding, estrogen dominant conditions, PCOS, psychological and physical PMS and PMDD, and to reduce things like hot flashes and support vaginal tissues perimenopausally. 

But is vitex good for everyone?


The answer is more complicated, and really depends on the specific picture that’s showing up in your own body. It’s not about the condition, it’s really about what’s causing that condition.


Put simply, vitex is an incredibly effective herb for some people, and not the right one for others.
 

So, can vitex help you? Listen in to find out.

 

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Why vitex has been a staple herb for gynecologic conditions for over 2500 years
  • How to grow this herb and what it looks like and tastes like
  • Medicinal actions and indication for vitex
  • Why some historical uses are perplexing for this herb
  • The many times and places you might consider vitex
  • When you might want to think again before choosing vitex
  • Recent updates on clinical studies and scientific research
  • Safety concerns and contraindications

Resources:

Nerdy References:

Bar-av, J. (2022, May 17). Video presentation: Confused about vitex and PCOS? You’re not alone! Retrieved from https://www.greenspringherbs.com/single-post/video-presentation-confused-about-vitex-and-pcos-you-are-not-alone

Bone, K. & Mills, S. (2013). Principles and practice of phytotherapy (2nd ed). Churchill Livingstone.

Braun, L. & Cohen, M, (2015). Herbs & natural supplements: An evidence based guide (4th ed). Churchill Livingstone Elsevier.

Briden, L. (2018). Period repair manual (2nd ed). Greenpeak Publishing.

Easley, T., & Horne, S. (2016). The modern herbal dispensatory: A medicine making guide. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.

Gemma, M., & Blankespoor, J. (n.d.). Vitex, chaste tree [lesson, module 12]. Chestnut Herbal School Herbal Immersion Program.

Heirati, S, Ozgoli, G, Kabod-Mehri, R, Mojab, F, Sahranavard, S, & Nasiri, M. (2021). The 4-month effect of Vitex agnus-castus plant on sexual function of women of reproductive age: A clinical trial. J Educ Health Promot., 10, 294. doi: 10.4103/jehp.jehp_63_21

Hoffman, D. (2003). Medical herbalism: The science and practice of herbal medicine. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.

Kenda, M, Glava─Ź, N, Nagy, M, & Sollner,  M. (2021). Herbal products used in menopause and for gynecological disorders. Molecules, 26(24), 7421. doi: 10.3390/molecules26247421. 

Maizes, V., & Low Dog, T. (2010). Integrative women’s health. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

McQuade Crawford, A. (1996). The herbal menopause book: Herbs, nutrition and other therapies. Freedom, CA: The Crossing Press.

Mirzaee, F., Fakari, F., Babakhanian, M., Roozbeh, N., & Ghazanfarpour, M. (2022). The effectiveness of herbal medicines on cyclic mastalgia: A systematic review on meta-analysis. Rev Bras Ginecol Obstet., 44(10), 972-985. doi: 10.1055/s-0042-1755456. 

Moini, A, Nasimi, H, Nasimi, A, & Nasimi, R. (2019). A comprehensive review of clinical studies with herbal medicine on polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Daru., 27(2), 863-877. doi: 10.1007/s40199-019-00312-0.


Romm, A. (2018). Botanical medicine for women’s health (2nd ed). Elsevier.

Trickey, R. (2003). Women, hormones, & the menstrual cycle (2nd ed). Crows Nest, NSW Australia: Allen & Unwin.

Winston, D., & Kuhn, M. (2008). Herbal therapy & supplements: A scientific and traditional approach (2nd ed). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters | Kluwer.
 

 


DISCLAIMER: This podcast is for educational purposes only, I am not providing any medical advice, I am not a medical practitioner, I’m an herbalist and in the US, there is no path to licensure for herbalists, so my role is as an herbal educator. Please do your own research and consult your healthcare provider for any personal health concerns.

 



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