Agnus Castus – Benefits and Uses Overview
Agnus Castus, which sometimes goes by the names monk’s pepper, chasteberry, and vitex, is known for its medicinal effect on the endocrine system. Agnus Castus is said to normalize the pituitary gland in the production of progesterone. It is also said to be useful as an aphrodisiac.
Agnus Castus in History
Agnus Castus began its reputation in ancient Greece, where it was believed to have sacred powers. It is said that a Greek goddess strung leaves of the Agnus Castus plant to ensure her virginity. Agnus Castus branches were used to honor Demeter, the goddess of fertility. Hera, the goddess of marriage and sister of Zeus, was born under an Agnus Castus tree. Agnus Castus got the name “monk pepper” because it was eaten by monks in an effort to suppress sexuality.
Agnus Castus Benefits
It is primarily the dried fruit of the Agnus Castus that is used in herbal remedies. This fruit contains many medicinal components, including flavonoids – such as isovitexin, casticin, and quercetagetin – essential oils, diterpenes, and glycosides.
- Flavonoids: Flavonoids are antioxidants that may protect the body against premature cellular aging and cancer.
- Diterpenes: The diterpenes contained within Agnus Castus are thought to affect dopamine, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood.
- Glycosides: Glycosides found in Agnus Castus are most likely the component that stimulates the hormones.
- Essential oils: The oils in Agnus Castus may be used as insect repellents and have antibacterial as well as antifungal properties because they contain limonene, pinene, and acetate. Research suggests that Agnus Castus taken as a whole is more powerful as an alternative medicine than the individual elements, which interact synergistically.
Agnus Castus and Women
- Traditional uses: Agnus Castus is thought to a particularly useful medicinal herb for women and historically has been used for female ailments such as menopause and issues with menstruation. Some believe that it is because Agnus Castus affects the uterus and ovaries, but research has shown this is not necessarily true. Agnus Castus indirectly affects the female reproductive organs by influencing the hormones that stimulate these organs. Agnus Castus stimulates the pituitary gland as well as the hypothalamus, which release hormones such as the follicle stimulating hormone, or FSH, and the luteinizing hormone, which affect estrogen levels in the female body.
- Modern uses: Women use Agnus Castus today for different reproductive health issues. Some suggest Agnus Castus may benefit women who are rebalancing their hormones after extended use of prescription birth control or after giving birth. Agnus Castus may balance FSH levels for women who are having difficulty becoming pregnant. PMS symptoms, such as tension, mood changes, insomnia, and anxiety, may be relieved by Agnus Castus.
- Other uses: Agnus Castus has been used to treat amenorrhea, breast tenderness, endometriosis, dysmenorrhea, fibrocystic breast disease, menstruation (it is used both to reduce and to encourage menstrual flow), progesterone deficiency, and overactive libido.
The information on this site it intended for general inquiry and informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you think you, or those under your care, are ill or in need of health care, please seek immediate medical attention. Always consult a doctor or other competent licensed clinical for specific advice about medical treatments for yourself or those under your care. Any use of, or reliance in any way upon, the information contained in the AlternativZ site and/or accessed through this site is solely at your own risk.
Please Leave a Comment, Your Thoughts are Welcome.
You Must Log In or Resister to Post a Comment.