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How To Use Vitex Essential Oil

Vitex, also known as chaste tree or Monk’s pepper, is a woman’s best friend. ⁠

⁠About Vitex Essential Oil

The vitex essential oil {species vitex agnus-castus} is steam distilled from the leaves or seeds of the chaste tree. It’s actually a deciduous shrub native to the Mediterranean, central Asia, and some parts of India. ⁠

Back in the day, Greek physician Dioscorides recommended it to help soldiers wives remain chaste while they were in battle. Monks also ate the berries in the Middle Ages to suppress sexual desire. ⁠

Vitex influences the pituitary gland, which helps create a proper estrogen-progesterone balance. Progesterone is needed to balance menstrual symptoms, it’s the hormone of pregnancy and is crucial to sustaining a healthy pregnancy. It also takes a serious d i v e during menopause. Because of the balance between estrogen & progesterone, vitex is actually better for healthy menstrual cycles than most other botanicals. ⁠

 

 

Vitex Research

There is considerable amount of research on chaste tree. Studies have shown that vitex reduces moderate to severe PMS symptoms, including irritability, mood alteration, headache, anger, and breast fullness. It also improved frequency and duration of migraines, and in an observational study, improved symptoms related to menstrual bleeding by 60-88%. Additionally, women given vitex for 3 months experienced a reduction in breast pain with no adverse side effects. 

Vitex also showed improvement in menopausal symptoms like hot flushes, night sweats, emotional symptoms, and moderation of of menstruation. A specific commercial nutritional supplementof Vitex was also tested in women for fertility. After 3 months of use, luteal-basal temperatures were higher than 98F and both shorter and longer cycles normalized. The placebo group did not show these changes. Additionally, 14 of the 53 women were pregnant compared to 4 of the 40 from the placebo group. Further, fecal samples tested from female monkeys who ate vitex berry found elevated progestin levels and longer cycle lengths and follicular phases.

The German Commission E recommends 30- 40 mg of dried fruit extract daily, 2.6-4.2 mg of dry native extract (standardized to 0.6% casticin), or 40 drops of tincture. Fluid extract ([1:1] g/mL) dosage ranges from 0.5-1.0 mL daily. 

⁠Who Can Use Vitex Essential Oil

Women. 

Vitex is best used in the last 2 weeks of the cycle when progesterone naturally occurs. It’s best used around the time you wish to become pregnant, when normal menstrual symptoms occur, when menopause occurs.⁠

Contraindications & Precautions

Who shouldn’t use it: men. This is not a botanical for men to play around with. ⁠

Vitex is not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women because of its estrogenic and progesteronic properties. However, I’ve heard from many women who use this that it’s best to maintain use for the first month or so to sustain healthy progesterone levels. However, the body’s hormones are naturally high during pregnancy and it’s not something to tinker with and should be used with caution.

Pre-pubescent children and girls should not use vitex because of its influence on hormones. Individuals undergoing progesterone therapy should avoid more progesterone effects as well.

Curious about vitex? This is my favourite serum that contains vitex essential oil. If you’d like to learn more, let’s chat about how this might help you.

 

 

 

References

Niroumand Mina Cheraghi, Heydarpour Fatemeh, and Farzaei Mohammad Hosein (2018). Pharmacological and therapeutic effects of Vitex agnus-castus L.: A Review, Pharmacognosy Review, 12:23, 103-114, DOI: 10.4103/phrev.phrev_22_17

Blumenthal M. The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Austin, TX: American Botanical Council; 1998.

Linlin MA, Shouqing Lin, Rong Chen & Xiuli Wang (2010) Treatment of moderate to severe premenstrual syndrome with Vitex agnus castus (BNO 1095) in Chinese women, Gynecological Endocrinology, 26:8, 612-616, DOI: 10.3109/09513591003632126

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