This herb (also known as ‘vitex agnus castus’) is a popular herb because unlike Red Clover it does not have hormone properties. Instead it is used to balance hormones as it helps to release the luteinizing hormone from the pituitary gland which in turn helps to increase the progesterone levels and prevent the release of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) which indirectly to improves ovulation.
It has also been shown to reduce high prolactin levels. This is helpful because high levels of prolactin are commonly linked to fertility problems.
It is also commonly used to help women suffering from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome which is related to insufficient levels of progesterone during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle.
It is best to avoid Vitex if you are using birth control or hormone replacement therapy because of the effect it has on hormone levels.
Vitex comes in the form of herbal extracts or capsules. It is sometimes marketed as ‘Chaste Tree’ or ‘Monk’s Pepper’.
Vitex is still not recommended for women who are actually pregnant or have hormone conditions such as endometriosis, fibroids or uterine or breast cancer.
Some reported side effects include mild stomach pain, headaches, nausea, rapid heartbeat or rashes. However, it is generally regarded as a safe herb.
It is always best to get advice from a Naturopathic doctor or a herbalist to find the right dosage and combination of herbal remedies to help with your fertility. This guide is provided for information purposes only.