since the times of antiquity, women have benefited from the use of the
herb vitex. As its name implies, vitex has instilled vitality in women
Moon Rules Vitex
is ruled by the Moon, which governs the sign Cancer. The Moon represents
archetypal feminine qualities, including fertility, the unconscious
and our emotional nature as well as things that provide us with nurturance.
medical astrology, the Moon represents our psychosomatic health—the
effects that our emotions can have on our physical bodies. It is also
related to the ebb and flow in the levels of fluids (such as water and
blood) that circulate in our bodies. As Cancer governs the stomach,
breasts and womb, the Moon is also associated with these parts of the
Also Known as Chaste Berry
ancient times, vitex has also been referred to as chaste tree berry.
It earned this moniker as it was an herb traditionally believed to inspire
chastity and quench the desire for Moon-related procreation. In festivals
honoring the Greek goddess Demeter, young maidens adorned themselves
with chaste tree berry blossoms as a symbol of their restraint from
sexual activity. Incidentally, modern research has not supported the
assertion that vitex actually reduces libido.
of Women and the Moon
is the premiere herb for women’s health. As the Moon can be thought
of as a stellar reflection of significant female attributes, it is not
surprising that Moon-ruled vitex plays such an important role in women’s
are symbolically linked to the Moon, since both experience unique differentiated
forms throughout their cycles of existence while still being recognized
for their core identity. The cyclical nature of women is apparent not
only in their menstrual cycles, but also in their life’s journey as
they traverse from puberty through the post-menopause.
and Women’s Health
supports women’s health through its ability to balance women’s hormones,
notably progesterone and prolactin. It is through its beneficial effects
on hormonal levels that vitex has been noted to be of benefit for such
female health concerns as premenstrual syndrome, menstrual irregularity
may play an important role in easing premenstrual syndrome (PMS), the
all-too-common condition characterized by a stellium of symptoms that
affect the bodies, minds and spirits of women. Vitex may benefit PMS
as it helps to increase levels of progesterone and prolactin, hormones
that are noted to be at reduced levels in women who experience PMS symptoms.
Clinical studies have suggested that vitex can relieve related symptoms
including breast tenderness, headaches, fatigue and the retention of
has also been shown to beneficially affect menstrual cycle irregularities,
which are often caused by a condition known as luteal phase defect that
is characterized by a reduced amount of circulating progesterone. Vitex
stimulates a cascade of biochemical reactions that result in increased
progesterone synthesis. Consequently, it has been shown to help correct
irregularities in the menstrual cycle, including lack of menstruation,
menstrual cycles that occur too frequently and excessive bleeding during
symptoms may also be relieved by vitex. The symptoms experienced during
this life stage are associated with the fluctuation of female hormones,
including decreased levels of progesterone. Many nutritionally-oriented
healthcare practitioners recommend vitex to women passing through menopause
for the relief of associated symptoms such as hot flashes.
to Use Vitex
is available in a variety of forms including tinctures, capsules and
tea made from the dried fruits of the plant. While dosage regimens vary
for individuals, a standard daily recommendation is 40 milligrams of
the dried herb in capsule form, or 40 drops of the herbal liquid extract.
If you prefer, you can prepare a tea by infusing one teaspoon of ripe
vitex berries in a cup of boiling water. It should be remembered that
vitex works slowly and is not a short-term health treatment.
vitex modifies women’s hormonal balance, women considering using this
herb should take certain precautions. Women who are sensitive to estrogen
may need to avoid using vitex. Vitex is not recommended for use during
pregnancy. Women who are using hormone replacement therapy should only
use vitex with the supervision of a healthcare professional.
is important to always consult a licensed healthcare provider if you
are thinking of using vitex or other dietary supplements to treat any
health condition. Additionally, you should tell your healthcare provider
about all of the dietary supplements that you are taking so that s/he
can evaluate any potential drug-supplement interactions.