Chasteberry tea has long been cited as being potent for hormone-related gynecologic conditions.
Chasteberry refers to the fruit of the large shrub with the scientific name Vitex agnus-castus that is native to the areas of the Mediterranean and Southern Europe. These are small round fruits that are typically green in color and grow in clusters in stems and mini-branches. These are picked by gently rubbing them loose from the stem. The chaste tree possesses bluish violet flowers, lance-shaped leaves, and typically rises up to a height of twenty feet or more.
The chasteberry and the chaste tree have long figured in the annals of traditional medicine as being beneficial for many ailments. Ancient scholars such as Hippocrates was said to have recommended the herb from the chaste tree for treating injuries and inflammation. Dioscorides, for his part, was thought to have recommended the chasteberry for treating inflammation of the womb and for encouraging the flow of milk shortly after childbirth.
This herb has also gained a reputation as a sort of libido-suppressant. In fact, monks during the Middle Ages were said to have used this to ward off sexual thoughts and to maintain their being “chaste”, hence the name.
Nowadays, the berrries of the vitex tree are still sold in Egyptian bazaars as a calming agent. But the most widespread use of the chasteberry in today’s world is as an alternative herbal treatment for disorders of the female reproductive system.
Among the active constituents of chasteberry are phytochemicals such as acubin, agnuside, casticin, chrysophanol D, kaempferol, alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, isovitexin and vitexin. These can be derived through ingesting of the chasteberry as an infusion, a decoction, an alcohol tincture, a vinegar tincture or an elixir.
Chasteberry tea can be made by infusing one teaspoon of dried or fresh berries in an eight-ounce cup of boiling water. Let the mixture stand for about 8 to 10 minutes. The tea can be sweetened with honey. Drink once a day.
Here are the benefits believed to be imparted by this brew:
- May help in the treatment of pre-menstrual syndrome in women.
- May help encourage milk flow during lactation.
- Believed to be helpful in the treatment of swelling and pain in the breast.
- May help relieve headaches.
- May help fight flatulence.
- May help fight fever.
- Its thought to help calm the nerves.
- May help lower bad cholesterol levels.
- May help treat hormone-triggered acne.
- May be helpful in fighting tumors and cancer.