Chaste Tree (Vitex agnus-castus) is a popular herbal treatment, predominantly used for a range of female reproductive conditions. One of my favourite herbs for women’s health and regularly prescribe it. As previously written in an article for my website some years ago, depending on the presenting symptoms, I typically combine Chaste Tree with Dong Quai, Corydalis, Crampbark, Ginger, Paeony, Turmeric, Magnesium, and Vitamin B6. This combination covers most women’s health issues. I increase broccoli for its health benefits. With Magnesium, I tend to prescribe 150-200 mg twice daily. The Vitamin B6 is for hormone and neurotransmitter regulation, and metabolism of delta-6 desaturase and metabolism of fatty acids. The Ginger and Turmeric work via anti-inflammatory effects. Depending on the situation, I might increase Vitamin B3 for its circulation effects, along with energy production, neurotransmitter regulation, and metabolism of fatty acids. I am a big fan of Ashwagandha and regularly prescribe it for anxiety, stress, and as an adaptogen. Ashwagandha is very beneficial for supporting women’s health, particularly with PMS, anxiety, and stress.
In a systematic review of clinical trials, seven of eight trials for premenstrual syndrome found Vitex extracts to be superior to placebo (5 of 6 studies), pyridoxine (1), and magnesium oxide (1). In premenstrual dysphoric disorder, one study reported Vitex to be equivalent to fluoxetine. The results from randomised, controlled trials suggest benefits for Vitex (Chaste Tree) in the treatment of premenstrual syndrome, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and latent hyperprolactinaemia.
Reference: van Die et al. Vitex agnus-castus extracts for female reproductive disorders: a systematic review of clinical trials. Planta Med. 2013 May; 79(7): 562-75.