Since ancient times, herbalists have used the berries of the chaste tree, sometimes known as chasteberries, to manipulate the functioning of the female reproductive system. Chaste tree`s natural compounds seem to aid in regulating the menstrual cycle by bringing into balance the female sex hormones, estrogen and progesterone. Besides treating menstrual irregularities, chaste tree is prescribed for relieving premenstrual syndrome and to counter symptoms of menopause. It also aids in readjusting the body after withdrawal from long-term use of birth-control pills, preventing miscarriage in the first three months of pregnancy, and promoting lactation. In past eras, the herb was used to dampen the sexual longings of Roman women whose husbands were abroad on military expeditions and to curb the sex drives of medieval monks. Paradoxically, chaste tree has also had a reputation as an aphrodisiac.
Over the counter:
Chaste tree is available as berries, powder, dried herb, capsules and tincture.
Tea: Pour 1 cup boiling water onto 1 tsp. ripe berries, and let them infuse for 10 to 15 minutes. Drink three times a day.