How Vitex (Chaste) Berry Supports Women’s Health

Published on April 15, 2023

By Lisa Stockwell

Lisa Stockwell

Lisa Stockwell has worked as a copywriter, writer, author, and editor for 35 years, specializing in the field of healthcare since 2009. She recognized the need for reliable health information while supporting friends through unique health challenges and refocused her career to bring clarity and compassion to healthcare communications. Lisa is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and a lifelong Northern Californian.

As a woman, managing your daily health needs can be challenging. It’s stressful trying to “do it all.” Add to that menstruation, birth control, fertility, menopause, and aging. It can be a struggle to maintain positive energy, vitality, and mood from month to month and year to year.

If you haven’t heard of Vitex Berry, also known as vitex agnus-castus, chaste tree berry, and chasteberry, get to know this powerful little berry. It may be the supplement you need to support your physical and emotional health — with a long history of safe use. 

Let’s look at the numerous ways Vitex Berry has benefited women for centuries and how it may help you too.

What is Vitex Berry Extract?

Vitex Berry extract comes from a small gray berry that grows on the chaste tree, a plant native to the Mediterranean region. In the Middle Ages, a tincture of vitex berries was given to monks, believing it would reduce their libido. There is no scientific evidence that it reduces sexual desire in men or women. However, over the centuries, it has proven to be an effective supplement in supporting healthy female hormone balance.

Today, Vitex agnus-castus is approved for use in Europe in many medicinal products. While the supplement has not yet gained the same acceptance in the United States, the German Commission E, a scientific advisory board that evaluates the safety and efficacy of herbs to be used in licensed medications, has approved Vitex Berry for the treatment of menstrual cycle irregularities, premenstrual syndrome, and breast pain (mastalgia).

4 Ways Vitex Berry Supports Women’s Health

Many aspects of women’s health are affected by hormonal imbalance. Too much or too little of any hormone can impact both your physical and mental health.

Vitex Berry is believed to help regulate several reproductive hormones, including luteinizing hormone (LH), progesterone, and prolactin. It supports the production and distribution of these hormones as needed, keeping them in the right balance for your unique body. While Vitex Berry has outperformed placebos in multiple clinical studies, more research is needed to explain how it works.REF#1291 

The most common benefits associated to date with Vitex Berry include:

1. Supporting the Reduction of Premenstrual Syndrome Symptoms 

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) affects over 90% of people with uteruses. You may have mild symptoms of irritability or bloating. Or, you may suffer from serious mood changes, depression, headaches, breast tenderness, or fatigue. If you suffer from PMS, Vitex Berry may provide relief.*

In a study of 1,634 patients with PMS, 93 percent experienced a decrease and some reported elimination of symptoms after three months of taking Vitex Berry extract.REF#1292 None of the patients reported adverse effects. 

Many women with PMS have high levels of prolactin, a condition called hyperprolactinemia. Prolactin is an essential hormone that supports milk production while a mother is nursing. It helps limit progesterone and estrogen levels postpartum to suppress ovulation. When you’re not pregnant or nursing, excess prolactin secretion may be caused by physical or psychological stress.REF#1293 

High prolactin levels can cause breast pain (mastalgia), breast enlargement (gynecomastia), low estrogen levels, irregular menstrual cycles, fertility issues, low sex drive, and headaches. 

Multiple studies have shown that Vitex Berry effectively reduces prolactin levels and the resulting PMS symptoms, including breast pain.REF#1294 REF#1295

2. Supporting the Regulation of Menstrual Cycles*

If you have issues with your menstrual cycle — frequent, infrequent, or no periods — your hormones may be out of whack. You may have abnormal levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) or an imbalance of progesterone to estrogen. Or you may have elevated prolactin levels. 

During a menstrual cycle, both the pituitary gland in your brain and your ovaries need to secrete the right amount of specific hormones at the right time to keep everything working as it should. 

In a normal cycle, from days one to five, estrogen works to thicken the lining of your uterus, preparing it for egg implantation. From day six to 14, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) increases to nurture the growth of follicles in your ovaries (to form a mature egg). 

Luteinizing hormone (LH) increases around day 14 to help your ovaries release the egg, the process called ovulation. From about day 15 to the end of your cycle — the luteal phase — the egg leaves the ovary and travels down your fallopian tubes, and progesterone increases to prepare your uterus for pregnancy. If the egg is fertilized, it attaches to your uterine wall. If not, both progesterone and estrogen levels drop. A normal cycle takes roughly 28 days. 

How Does Vitex Berry Affect This Cycle? 

Vitex Berry is thought to have a regulating effect on the pituitary gland and its release of luteinizing hormone (LH), helping it secrete the right amount of LH at the right time throughout your cycle. In doing so, it may indirectly optimize progesterone and estrogen levels.* 

Additionally, since Vitex Berry has been shown to reduce prolactin levels and high prolactin levels can cause irregular or long menstrual cycles, Vitex Berry extract may support a normal menstrual cycle, however, more research is necessary to confirm this benefit.*

3. Supporting Healthy Fertility

When you have an irregular menstrual cycle with a shortened second half, you may have what is called a luteal phase defect, which can cause fertility problems.REF#1296 The condition is associated with high prolactin levels. Vitex Berry is commonly used as a fertility supplement for women. Vitex may help you in your quest to get pregnant by lowering prolactin and supporting the balance of your hormone levels.*

Several studies using Vitex agnus-castus combined with other herbal extracts have had positive results in shortening the menstrual cycle and improving pregnancy rates for women with infrequent periods or menstrual irregularities due to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).REF#1297 REF#1298 REF#1299

Because most research that has studied the effect of Vitex Berry on infertility has been done in combination with other herbs or drugs and sample sizes of studies have been small, it is too soon to conclude that this is an effective option as an alternative or adjunct to conventional fertility treatments. But the results are promising.

4. Supports the Relief of Some Symptoms of Menopause

Menopause can create serious discomfort for many women, as reproductive hormone levels drop and ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone.

Vitex Berry is used in Europe and other Mediterranean countries to help alleviate menopause symptoms, but no large-scale human studies have been done to prove or explain its effectiveness. 

Vitex Berry contains phytoestrogens, which mimic your body’s estrogen. This may help explain why Vitex Berry helps relieve menopause-related symptoms. Phytoestrogens have been shown to reduce menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes and vaginal dryness in human studies.REF#1302 REF#1303

In a 2019 randomized controlled double-blind clinical trial with 52 women, the group taking Vitex Berry experienced fewer hot flashes and anxiety than those taking a placebo.REF#1300 They found no difference in symptoms of insomnia, night sweats, or sexual dysfunction between the two groups.

Another 2016 study with 60 postmenopausal women showed that Vitex Berry had a positive influence in reducing hot flashes.REF#1301

If you’re suffering from menopause-related symptoms, there is little risk in trying Vitex Berry. If it doesn’t work for you, there are other options available. Side effects are rare, and mild if they occur.

Gaia Herbs’ Vitex Berry-Based Supplements 

Natural herbal supplements can be an effective complement to a healthy, well-balanced diet, exercise, and good sleep hygiene — the three lifestyle habits essential to good lifelong health.

Gaia Herbs offers Vitex Berry supplements in several forms, all rigorously quality tested at every step to ensure your product is pure and potent, without any artificial ingredients added: 

  • Vitex Berry liquid phyto-caps for a healthy menstrual cycle balance 
  • Chaste Tree Berry, Certified Organic, a liquid extract to help support balanced hormones through all stages of life
  • Women’s Balance, a combination of Vitex, Black Cohosh, St. John’s Wort, and Oats in an easy to swallow phyto-cap to support physical and emotional wellness during the menstrual cycle and menopausal transition
  • Fertility Support, liquid phyto-caps that combine Chaste Tree, Ginger Root, and Cramp Bark

Before adding this powerful berry to your health routine, talk with your healthcare provider. They can help you determine if Vitex Berry is right for you and suggest the best dosage and form for your needs.


  • 1. M Diana van Die et al, "Vitex agnus-castus extracts for female reproductive disorders: a systematic review of clinical trials", Planta Medica, May 2013.
  • 2. EG Loch et al., "Treatment of premenstrual syndrome with a phytopharmaceutical formulation containing Vitex agnus castus", PubMed, April 2000.
  • 3. Curt W. Burger, "Stress-Induced Hyperprolactinemia: Pathophysiology and Clinical Approach", Obstetrics and Gynecological International, May 9, 2018.
  • 4. A.R. Carmichael, "Can Vitex Agnus Castus be Used for the Treatment of Mastalgia? What i the Current Evidence?", Hindawi, Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, September 2008.
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  • 8. J Bergmann et al., "The efficacy of the complex medication Phyto-Hypophyson L in female, hormone-related sterility. A randomized, placebo-controlled clinical double-blind study", Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd, August 7, 2000.
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  • 10. Rozita Naseri et al., "Comparison of Vitex agnus-castus Extracts with Placebo in Reducing Menopausal Symptoms: A Randomized Double-Blind Study", Korean Journal of Family Medicine, November 2019.
  • 11. Zahra Abbaspoor et al., "Effect of Vitex agnus-castus on Menopausal Early Symptoms in Postmenopausal Women: A Randomized, Double Blind, Placebo – Controlled Study", British Journal of Medicine & Medical Research, January 2011.
  • 12. M-n Chen et al., "Efficacy of phytoestrogens for menopausal symptoms: a meta-analysis and systematic review", Climacteric, Volume 18, 2015 - Issue 2.
  • 13. Oscar H. Franco, MD, PhD et al., "Use of Plant-Based Therapies and Menopausal Symptoms: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis", AMA, June 21, 2016.