Herbal Supplements - Vitex/Chaste Tree
Vitex, otherwise known as Chaste Tree, is a wonderful herbal supplement that supports menstrual and menopausal health. For years I suffered from irregular cycles, with heavy bleeding. People had recommended Vitex for months before I got up the courage to try it. It has made such a difference that I have not looked back since.
Vitex is a plant found in Asia and Mediterranean countries. The dried fruit is the part that is used in medicine. For 2500 years Vitex has been used by women. Vitex helps in a wide range of female problems from hemorrhaging at birth to fertility. It has been known to reduce PMS symptoms such as breast tenderness and cramping. Vitex regulates the hormones by raising progesterone levels (indirectly, because Vitex is not a hormone). Many fertility problems are a result of low progesterone, which is why Vitex helps in the fertility department.
I have found that taking Vitex has helped to regulate my cycles and made them shorter. It also greatly reduced the amount of bleeding I have each cycle and who is going to complain about that, right? It is also called Chaste Tree, because long ago they thought that it suppressed libido, but that has not been found to be true today.
You should take two capsules of Vitex twice a day to get the full effect. It can take up to three months to start making changes in your body, which is one of the reasons I waited so long to try it. I had hoped for a quick fix. You have to be very consistent in taking Vitex each day or I have noticed that it affects my cycle. You can find Vitex at most health stores; however I have found it much cheaper to order in bulk online through Puritans Pride.
If you are pregnant or nursing you should not take Vitex! If you are having trouble with your cycle, try Vitex for a few months and see if it helps. Because it is an herbal supplement the side effects are minimal. Mild digestive upset might be a problem; however I have found that taking it immediately after a meal prevents that. A skin rash is the other more common side effect. Good luck!