What is Angus Castus?
The herb Agnus Castus, also known as Chaste Tree, Monk’s Pepper, Chasteberry and Vitex is a shrub native to the Mediterranean and Asia. Agnus Castus is a herbal fruit typically used as a herbal remedy in herbal medicine known for it’s ability to support women's reproductive health, with a focus on relieving PMS symptoms.
As well as supporting women's health, Agnus Castus is also used in Turkish medicine for it’s digestive supporting properties, working as an antifungal tonic.
Are there differences between Chaste Tree and Agnus Castus?
There is no difference between Chaste tree and Agnus Castus - they are simply different names for the same plant. The plant gets its name following the belief that it is an anaphrodisiac (decreasing libido) for men.
What are the main uses of Agnus Castus?
Traditionally, Agnus Castus is used for its ability to improve conditions that affect women's reproductive system such as PMS - it is known to help with common PMS symptoms including irritability, breast pain or tenderness and cramps. Research has shown the mechanism of Agnus Castus has an impact on the hormone prolactin, decreasing the levels that are circulating in the body. The decrease in prolactin shows correlation between the rebalancing of further sex hormones such as oestrogen and progesterone – therefore having significant impact in reducing PMS symptoms.
The top 5 benefits of taking Agnus Castus regularly?
1) Pre-menstrual syndrome – often identified as the ‘go to’ herb regarding menstrual concerns such as cramping, breast tenderness and reducing irritability around the time of the month.
2) Menopause symptoms – similar to the powerful effects on PMS, research has demonstrated that Agnus Castus can also reduce the severity of menopausal symptoms, it therefore goes hand in hand with it’s uses for bone fractures and establishing healthy bone density.
3) Easing of breast pain/tenderness – sore breasts before your period are likely do to with the high and elevated levels of a hormone called Prolactin. Research has shown the mechanism of Agnus Castus has an reductive effect on the hormone prolactin, therefore easing breast tenderness.
4) May support fertility journey – in a herbalist tool kit, it is an essential when looking to support fertility. The hormone stabilising properties of Agnus Castus aid in the normalisation of progesterone levels to help establish healthy and regular periods. It is important to note that it can take a few months to work and should be used alongside a healthy and balanced diet.
5) Regulation of menstrual cycle – Agnus Castus works on the pituitary gland, where hormones are managed and regulated. For this reason it indirectly increases and regulates progesterone production, thus assisting in the regulation of the menstrual cycle and periods.
Are there are side effects of Agnus Castus to be aware of?
There are some well documented adverse effects of Agnus Castus which are often only identified if the herb is not used appropriately or too much is taken. These effects include nausea, headaches, gastrointestinal upset, acne and rashes. These are not common adverse effects, when taken at the correct dosage. Similar to other herbal supplements, Agnus Castus should be used alongside a healthy and balanced diet. The recommended dose should not be exceeded. There are not any noted drug interactions, although Agnus Castus should be avoided during pregnancy and lactation.
What is the most common way to take Agnus Castus/Chaste Tree?
In modern practice, Agnus Castus is commonly taken as a herbal remedy in the form of a herbal tea from the fresh leaves of the plant. Sourcing good quality and fresh Agnus Castus can be challenging, as the climate of the herb must be regulated. For this reason, taking Agnus Castus in ground or powdered form is also a great and convenient way to introduce the herb into the diet – this can be taken in encapsulated form, or removed from the capsule and added into smoothies, juices, or savoury dishes.
Why Fushi Organic Chaste Tree?
- Freshly ground by hand in our London workshop
- Encapsulated by hand within 3 days of being ground to ensure freshness
- Naturally sun or air dried ingredients, preserving nutrients & quality
- 100% powdered pure herb and nothing else
- Sourced direct from our grower in Turkey
- 320mg of pure Chaste Tree per capsule
- Sustainable packaging - glass bottle with aluminium lid
- Certified Organic by the Soil Association