Vitex for Fertility
Vitex (Vitex agnus-castus), also known as chasteberry, is an incredible herb for women’s health. Native to the Mediterranean, this herb has been used across many different cultures for centuries as a natural remedy to promote healthy female hormonal balance. Vitex has been used to reduce symptoms of PMS and menopause, and may also help normalize estrogen and progesterone levels. Some research shows that vitex may also have the potential to increase fertility.
Information on Vitex
Vitex, (Vitex agnus-castus), also known as chasteberry, chastetree, Abraham's balm, lilac chastetree, or monk's pepper, is a native tree of the Mediterranean region. It is one of the few temperate-zone species of Vitex, which is typically a genus of tropical and sub-tropical flowering plants. It has long been used to benefit women’s hormonal health and to reduce symptoms of menstrual disroders. It has also been long believed to be an anaphrodisiac – which is how it received the name chaste tree – but its effectiveness for this use remains unproven.
Hormones Involved in Fertility
Vitex has an effect on women’s hormones—this is why it is the primary ingredient in our Happy Hormones tonic, a formula for helping women achieve hormonal balance. Two very important female hormones related to fertility are prolactin and progesterone.
Prolactin is a hormone produced in the pituitary gland whose primary functions involve pregnancy and the production of breast milk. Women who have a shorter second half of the menstrual cycle (known as the luteal phase) have highly elevated prolactin levels. This imbalance poses a challenge to women that are attempting to get pregnant. Women can take a test to find out if their levels of prolactin may impact fertility. Research has shown that vitex has an impact on the prolactin hormone, which may also impact fertility in women.
Progesterone is a hormone associated with the feeling of being relaxed and at ease. Progesterone is also another female sex hormone that is impacted by vitex. Interestingly, vitex may lengthen the second half of the menstrual cycle, or luteal phase, by increasing progesterone levels. This occurs due to a reduction of the production of the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and by the support of the luteinizing hormone (LH). This is important because without both the first half of the menstrual cycle (known as the follicular phase) and the second half, or luteal phase, working in series, natural reproduction simply is not possible.
Information on Hormones
Hormones are your body’s chemical messengers produced in the endocrine glands. They are powerful chemicals that travel around your bloodstream and tell your tissues and organs what to do. They help to control many of your body’s major processes, including metabolism and reproduction. When you have a hormonal imbalance (link signs of hormonal imbalance in women article), you have either too much or too little of a certain hormone.
Even tiny changes in hormones can have serious effects throughout your whole body. This is why it is so important to maintain a hormonal balance, and while many things are needed to maintain balance, studies show that vitex may help women restore balance to their hormones.
Research on Vitex for Fertility
In 2006, researchers conducted a double-blind placebo-controlled study involving 93 women who experienced recent difficulty getting pregnant. The researchers were testing the impact of a vitex supplement on these women. Within three months, the vitex group showed better hormonal balance. Further, 26 percent of these women became pregnant, while only 10 percent of those in the placebo group did.
In another study in 1993, researchers conducted a randomized double-blind study involving 52 women that tested the effectiveness of 20 milligrams of a vitex supplement, compared to a placebo group. Within three months, researchers measured lower prolactin levels, more normalized luteal phases, and an elimination of issues with luteal phase progesterone synthesis in the vitex supplement group.
Vitex Helps to Balance Female Hormones
The research on vitex for fertility success shows that it has great promise, though more research is needed. Vitex appears to work primarily by balancing women’s hormones. There is more research showing evidence of vitex as a powerful remedy for PMS (Premenstrual syndrome), Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), and other menstrual disorders than there is for fertility, however, it does appear to have potential for this use as well.
By addressing hormonal imbalances and menstrual concerns first, vitex can consequently restore or increase fertility in women. However, this also depends on the cause of the specific fertility problem that one may have, as not all are equal.
It is worth noting, that vitex appears to have a particular affinity for women’s hormones. Studies on vitex for male fertility are few, as are studies on vitex for male hormonal health in general.
How to Take Vitex for Fertility
Vitex is an herb, and as such, it is typically taken as an herbal tea or herbal supplement. However, certain methods are bound to have differences in effect depending on their concentration and bioavailability.
The best and most effective way to take vitex is in a concentrated herbal extract. If formulated properly, the herbal extract will be more absorbable, and therefore more effective, then simply taking it as a tea or in powder or capsule form. The vitex dosage for fertility is uncertain, and also largely depends upon which form you are taking it in.
Zuma Nutrition’s Happy Hormones Formula, Featuring Vitex
We at Zuma have intentionally designed a formula specifically for improving women’s hormonal health. It features vitex as its primary ingredient, but also includes other supportive herbs that work synergistically to enhance the overall potency of the formula. The primary goal of this formula is to help women establish hormonal balance through the use of gentle herbal remedies that have been used traditionally for centuries for women’s health, and have also been extensively researched for their efficacy.
As mentioned, vitex, or chasteberry, is the primary ingredient in this unique herbal formula. The additional herbs include:
Evening Primrose, which has been studied extensively and various studies regard it as being highly effective in treating premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms.
Shatavari Root, a traditional Ayurvedic herb that has long been used for women’s reproductive health throughout all stages of their life; it is also a potent adaptogenic herb that helps to regulate the endocrine system, enhance immunity, and helps the body cope with physical and emotional stress.
Wild Yam, a plant native to North America, Mexico, and parts of Asia that has been used for centuries as an herbal remedy for treating menstrual cramps, PMS, rheumatism, and digestive problems.
Black Cohosh, a flowering plant native to North America, that is an active ingredient in various women’s health products and has long been used in Native American medicine to help with menopause symptoms, fertility, and hormonal balance.
Together, these herbs work synergistically to create a one-of-a-kind women’s health product that may help to balance hormones, regulate the menstrual cycle, provide PMS relief, and regulate and support the health of the endocrine system. Our master herbalist has formulated this product using only wildcrafted, organic, and biodynamically grown herbs, ensuring the highest quality and integrity that we can offer. We do not use any toxic chemicals, fillers, or preservatives in any of our products.
If you are looking for an herbal formula to regulate and balance your hormones, this is a great one for that purpose. Restoring balance to your hormones may also improve fertility as well. Please note that this formula is only intended for use by women, and is not to be used by men, as men and women have different hormones, and this will not have the same effect on men as it does in women. Research on these herbs for male hormonal health is lacking, and more is needed to determine whether men could benefit from the use of these herbs.
Is it safe to take vitex herb while pregnant?
Most herbs are not recommended for use for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, simply due to a lack of research on safety for women in these groups. The case is similar for vitex. However, the safety profile for vitex is very good, and adverse reactions to the herb are very rare, mild, and always reversible.
Vitex (Vitex agnus-castus), also known as chasteberry, is an incredible herb for women’s health.
It shows promise as an herb that may help to boost fertility in women naturally by bringing balance to the hormones. Though research is promising, there is more research needed to verify this use of the herb. However, there has been plenty of research on vitex for other uses relating to women’s hormonal health.
Native to the Mediterranean, this herb has been used across many different cultures for centuries as a natural remedy to promote healthy female hormonal balance. Vitex is also the primary ingredient in our Happy Hormones tonic, a formula for helping women achieve hormonal balance.
Vitex appears to have an effect on two important female sex hormones—prolactin and progesterone. Prolactin is a hormone produced in the pituitary gland whose primary functions involve pregnancy and the production of breast milk. Progesterone is a hormone associated with the feeling of being relaxed and at ease.
By addressing hormonal imbalances and menstrual concerns first, vitex has the potential to consequently restore or increase fertility in women. However, this also depends on the cause of the specific fertility problem that one may have, as not all are equal.
Vitex appears to have a particular affinity for women’s hormones, and studies on vitex for male fertility are few, as are studies on vitex for male hormonal health in general.
Vitex is typically taken as an herbal tea or herbal supplement. However, certain methods are bound to have differences in effect depending on their concentration and bioavailability. The best and most effective way to take vitex is in a concentrated herbal extract. If formulated properly, the herbal extract will be more absorbable, and therefore more effective, then simply taking it as a tea or in powder or capsule form.
It is important to keep in mind that hormonal health depends on more than just taking an herb. In addition, aim to take care of your body, eat healthy, get plenty of sleep, exercise regularly, manage your stress levels, and avoid ingesting toxins and eating unhealthy junk foods or foods treated with chemicals and pesticides, as these can all affect hormonal health.
If you’d like to learn more about how to balance your hormones, check out our article “How to Detox the Body & Balance Hormones.”