By Dr. Christina Melancon, ND, CPT, CDS II, CECP, CPI
Nature hosts some magnificent plant medicines for the female reproductive system. Among those is the Chaste Tree Berry plant, a beautiful balancer, and a life saver for me!
I first discovered the healing properties of Chaste Tree (Vitex) about twenty years ago when I developed polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). At that time, I was on birth control pills and had a family history of ovarian health issues. This set me up for multiple episodes of ovarian cysts that landed me in the ER along with hospital stays for internal bleeding. I also had acne, facial hair, skin tags, and painful periods. I received no viable help from the medical community to cure my condition. The only solution was switching the birth control prescription over and over or getting a hysterectomy at a very young age. Each new prescription had its own side effects to adapt to, and surgery was not an option for me. I wondered what was happening to me? I thought I was healthy. I lifted weights regularly and ate a high protein diet. So, what was wrong with me?
This dilemma of no sound solutions and an urgent medical condition fueled my natural health search and led me to a plant-based diet low in sugar, processed foods, and stimulants (coffee). In addition to cleaning up my diet, I added in herbal remedies to bring my body into balance. I also got off of birth control, because it no longer fit into my natural health lifestyle. One of the amazing plant medicines I took advantage of was Chaste Tree Berries (Vitex). My diet changes along with this herb, helped me reduce PCOS symptoms dramatically. Chaste Tree helps progesterone production. One of the main issues with PCOS is excessive androgen hormones, excessive estrogen, and low progesterone. It’s simply an imbalance of hormone production and not an incurable disease. Reducing processed carbs and excess sugar is key to improving PCOS. Many become insulin resistant, because overall PCOS is a metabolic condition. Again, a healthy, balanced diet will help improve the way you metabolize food, reducing the risk of insulin issues. It’s been my personal experience that a high-protein diet also caused my imbalances. When you eat meat, you are also eating the adrenal hormones of the animal. This weakens your own adrenal glands causing deficiencies in your own hormone production. Where there is adrenal gland weakness there is likely kidney insufficiency, leading to the inability to discard the byproducts of protein metabolism. This increases acidity (uric acid) and causes cellular breakdown in the body. Choose plant-based protein sources that are easier for your body to absorb and utilize. If you choose to eat meat, choose anti-biotic free, grass fed, organic meat and eat it in moderation. Improve kidney function and digestion so you can metabolize this source of protein.
Chaste Tree has several benefits for the reproductive system. It reduces PMS, reduces hormone-related headaches, improves acne, stimulates libido, reduces inflammation, balances estrogen and progesterone levels, reduces blood pressure, and helps reduce endometriosis and fibroid tumors. I can’t say enough about this herb. I included in my Femme Balance herbal tincture to help balance the female reproductive system for all ages (it also helps pre and post menopause symptoms). Find it HERE Femme Balance – Ivy Vitality