Are You Taking Vitex Berry/Chasteberry? Then You’ll Love These Herbs for Women’s Health, Hormones, & More

Published on April 14, 2023

By Kristen Boye BS, Natural Health

Kristen Boye

Kristen Boye is a natural health expert, writer, copywriter, and editor. Kristen was raised on an organic farm in British Columbia which inspired her life’s work. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Health, is a Certified Natural Foods Chef, co-owner of a medicinal herb farm, and is a natural foods and children’s health advocate. Kristen lives with her husband and two children on their medicinal herb farm in Western North Carolina.

Are you a fan of Vitex Berry (also known as chasteberry or chaste tree berry) for supporting a healthy period, mood, and overall hormonal health?*

If so, you’re in good company.

At Gaia Herbs, our Vitex-containing formulas are some of our best-sellers.

The rise in Vitex’s popularity is primarily due to the education efforts of countless holistic integrative women’s health experts (which is a beautiful example of women helping women).

However, despite its glowing reputation and safety record, Vitex isn’t the only herb suitable for supporting women's unique needs.

In this article, we’ll share some of the lesser-known herbal allies for promoting women’s hormonal health, energy, stress levels, mood, and more (many of which complement the benefits of Vitex).

Five Incredible Herbs To Support Women’s Health & Happiness (Besides Vitex)

Although biological women generally live longer than men, research has shown they are more likely to suffer from chronic health issues.REF#1221

However, women are also more likely to seek help with their health concerns than men, which has led them to herbs, nutrition, and integrative health.

A holistic, integrative approach to women’s health typically encompasses a combination of lifestyle changes like optimizing nutrition, sleep, movement, stress management, adopting a low-tox lifestyle, and traditional herbs and supplements.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the best herbs to support the concerns of modern women.

#1: Maca Root

If you’re taking Vitex Berry/Chasteberry to support a regular period, fertility, or help with energy, Maca could complement your herbal regime.*

Maca root, also known as Peruvian Ginseng or Lepidium meyenii, is a cruciferous vegetable native to the Andes mountains.REF#1222

Once considered more precious than gold, maca was traditionally used to: 

  • Promote fertility*

Maca is an adaptogen, which means it helps your body better adapt and respond to physical, mental, and emotional stress.*

Due to its successful traditional use and growing popularity, many studies have been conducted on Maca Root. 

Here’s what research has revealed about Maca’s potential benefits for women’s health:

  • Maca may help support fertility in women via its effects on hormone production,REF#1223 REF#1224 HPA (hypothalamus pituitary adrenal) and HPG (hypothalamus gonadal adrenal) axis function,REF#1224 and stress response
  • Maca promotes a healthy stress response via its supportive effects on normal cortisol levels (your body’s master stress hormone)REF#1225
  • Bioactive substances in maca, such as prostaglandins, sterols, and aromatic isothiocyanates may support healthy libido in womenREF#1226
  • Maca may provide relief for menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, sleep disturbance,REF#1227 libido, mental/emotional well-being, and supporting normal blood pressureREF#1228 REF#1229

Note: Vitex has been traditionally used to lower libido, hence the name “Chastetree” or “Chaste Berry.” REF#1230 Therefore, some women may benefit from taking Maca with Vitex to support libido.

Learn more in Does Maca Work For Libido? What You Need To Know.

Discover all the ways Maca can support women’s health in 9 Ways Maca Benefits Women’s Health, Hormones, and Happiness.

You can find Maca Root in the following Gaia Herbs products: 

    #2: St. John’s Wort 

    Vitex Berry can be fantastic for menstrual, premenstrual, or menopausal support.* However, if you need a little more emotional support, consider St. John’s Wort.*

    Named after John the Baptist, St. John’s Wort has been used since the Ancient Greeks for occasional anxiety, mood support, respiratory issues, nervous system complaints, skin issues, inflammation, and hormonal imbalance.*

    Modern research has validated many traditional uses, especially for mental/emotional support and stress response.REF#1231 REF#1232

    St. John’s Wort has also demonstrated other potentially beneficial effects on women, including:

    • Promoting healthy menopause by reducing hot flashes (either alone or combined with Black Cohosh) and supporting better sleep, mood, and quality of life REF#1233 REF#1234 REF#1235
    • Small studies have shown St. John’s wort may support a healthy period by possibly reducing physical and behavioral symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) REF#1236 REF#1237 

    The mechanism of action behind St. John’s Wort isn’t established. However, its supportive effects on feel-good neurotransmitter production, like serotonin and dopamine, may play a role.*

    Gaia Herbs offers pure organic St. John’s Wort in Liquid Phyto-Caps or Tincture. You can also find it in our Emotional Balance® formula featuring St. John’s Wort with Passionflower, Vervain, and Oats.

    Note: There are some reports of adverse effects with St. John’s Wort while using some medications – ask your doctor about using St. John’s Wort while on prescription medications.

    #3: Cramp Bark

    Menstrual cramps can range from mild to severe and affect many women and girls.

    If you’ve experienced cramping, you know how uncomfortable and painful it can be.

    However, the worst part is often the lack of options for pain relief. 

    You’re often out of luck if you don’t want to rely on over-the-counter pain medicines (and their potential side effects) every month.

    Fortunately, wise women and herbalists have long relied on plants and herbs, like Cramp Bark, to help ease menstrual cramping.

    Although the research on its actions is sparse, Cramp Bark is believed to work by having an antispasmodic effect on the uterus.REF#1238

    This is likely due to the plant compound methyl salicylate, a precursor to salicylic acid that is used in aspirin.

    Cramp Bark has also been shown to be potentially effective for supporting endometrial health and function, although more robust studies are needed.REF#1239

    Traditional herbalists, midwives, and practitioners would recommend Cramp Bark as a tea to be taken several times daily to ease menstrual discomfort.* It is now available as a tincture and in capsules.

    Cramp Bark can be taken alone or in combination with other herbs, such as Vitex for menstrual support or Turmeric and/or Ginger for pain.*

    #4: Black Cohosh

    Women often turn to Vitex Berry to support menstruation and fertility.*

    However, did you know Vitex has also demonstrated beneficial effects for menopausal women?REF#1240

    For this reason, Vitex Berry and Black Cohosh are often combined in herbal formulas and supplements designed to promote healthy menopause.*

    Black Cohosh is legendary in traditional herbalism for supporting and empowering women during this change and transformation.

    Black Cohosh has been shown to promote menopausal health by:

    • Supporting mental and emotional health during menopauseREF#1241
    • Reducing menopausal symptoms without affecting estrogen levelsREF#1242
    • Improving hot flashes, cognitive health, and bone health either taken alone or in combination with Red Clover or St. John’s Wort REF#1243

    Black Cohosh can be found in these Gaia Herbs products:

      #5: Ashwagandha

      Ashwagandha, also known as Indian Ginseng, Winter Cherry, or Withania somnifera is an ancient plant used extensively in Ayurveda (the traditional medicine of India) for over 3,000 years.

      Some of Ashwagandha’s traditional uses include: 

      • Adrenal health*
      • Cognitive function*
      • Energy*
      • Immunity*
      • Menstrual difficulties such as PMS or irregular periods*
      • Sex drive*
      • Sleep*
      • Stress*
      • Thyroid support*

      In herbalism, Ashwagandha is considered a nervine, which supports the nervous system, and an adaptogen, which helps the body adapt to physical, mental, and emotional stress.*

      Ashwagandha has demonstrated several potential benefits for women’s health, many of which may complement the effects of Vitex.*

      Some of Ashwagandha’s benefits for women include:

      • Supporting various aspects of libido and sexual function REF#1244
      • Promoting thyroid function REF#1245
      • Promoting better sleep quality, efficiency, latency (the time it takes to fall asleep), duration, and efficiency REF#1246 REF#1247 REF#1248
      • Helping with occasional anxiety and providing mood support REF#1249 
      • Supporting women during perimenopause REF#1250
      • Reducing stress and supporting resilience REF#1250
      • Supporting bone health during menopause REF#1251

      Learn more about the possible benefits of Ashwagandha for women in How Ashwagandha Can Benefit Women.

      You can find Ashwagandha in these Gaia Herbs products:

        How To Use Herbs To Support Hormonal Health

        The best herbs to support your hormonal health will depend on your individual goals, health concerns, history, lifestyle, current medications, supplements, and many other factors.

        Therefore, it’s best to speak with your doctor or integrative healthcare practitioner to determine the best combination of herbs.

        If you’re ready to get started using herbs for hormonal support, this list is a great place to start.

        When taking herbal supplements, choosing the highest quality from a source you trust is critical.

        This means looking for supplements that:

        • Are certified organic, wild-crafted, or naturally grown
        • Have a traceability program, so you know where your ingredients are coming from
        • Are third-party testing for identity, purity, and contaminants
        • Contain no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, or fillers
        • Are made in a facility that follows cGMP manufacturing guidelines

        For more information on herbs for women’s health, check out the following resources:


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