Vitex Herb Profile

Vitex- and herb for hormones and fertility

What is Vitex/Chaste Tree?

Vitex, or Chaste Tree or Chasteberry, is native to Greece and Italy and has a long history of use for supporting fertility and hormone balance.

From Mountain Rose Herbs:

The chaste tree is a small shrub with lance shaped leaves and purple flowers. It is native to the eastern Mediterranean and has since been cultivated in temperate climates around the world. Its peppery fruit has been used for over two thousands years; at least since the time of the Greek physician Dioscorides who recommended it to help the wives of soldiers remain chaste while their husbands were in battle. The berry was used by both men and women in ancient Greece and Rome, and by monks during the Middle Ages in order to suppress sexual desire. Pliny the Elder noted that Athenian maidens would put the leaves under their beds during the festival of Thesmophoria to help preserve their chastity.

How Vitex Works

Current scientific understanding suggests that Vitex/Chaste Tree works by regulating and supporting the pituitary gland, which is considered the master gland for hormone production.

In studies it has been shown to support the body’s natural progesterone and luteinizing hormone production. In other countries it is used (even my doctors) to help reduce endometriosis. It is often prescribed by herbalists to help ease PMS, menstrual difficulties and infertility.

As it helps regulate the menstrual cycle, Vitex is especially helpful for those with irregular cycles or those coming off of hormonal birth control (as it can take years for the cycle to completely regulate).

Some herbalists suggest it to boost fertility and even through the first trimester to help prevent miscarriage. It is said to help new mothers increase milk supply and regulate hormones. Its balancing action on the hormones also makes it useful for some women during menopause.

How to Use Vitex:

Vitex is considered a slow-acting herb, so it often takes several months to see its full effect. Since it supports the body’s own hormone cycle rather than providing any hormones itself, it works more slowly while the body adjusts to normal hormone production.

Often, the most noticeable effect is seen after 3-6 months of use.

Vitex is available in capsule, dried berry or tincture form. It has a bitter taste, so often capsules or a tincture with other herbs is the best option. The most inexpensive option is to grow or order the dried berries and make a tincture at home. To make a tincture, the proportions from this recipe can be used with just Vitex in place of the other herbs.

Caution/Side Effects of Vitex

Vitex is generally considered a safe herb, though as this article notes, it should be used with caution in some cases:

“Vitex has been used for over 2,000 years with no significant side-effects reported. Some minor and infrequent side-effects (1-2% of users may experience) have been nausea, gastrointestinal upset, skin reactions, and headache. Women with a history of depression taking vitex for menstrual irregularity may experience an exacerbation of depressive symptoms.

Even though it has been shown to have no interference with oral contraceptive vitex should not be used in conjunction with prescribed progesterone containing medication such as birth control pills in case it may interfere with their activity.

Some women do experience a shift in their cycle when they first begin using vitex. The length of the menstrual cycle may shorten or lengthen temporarily before it finally stabilizes. This is just the body balancing itself out and is completely normal.”

Some herbalists recommend using it during early pregnancy to keep progesterone levels high, though there is no research on this (just lots of historical use) and with any herb, I would recommend talking to a doctor or health care provider before taking any herb, especially during pregnancy. More often a natural progesterone cream is used instead.

It is not recommended for men, though Maca is a great fertility-promoting herb for both men and women.

Sources/Additional Info:

Vitex Chasteberry Uses and Dosage

Chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus)–pharmacology and clinical indications

Have you tried Vitex before? Will you now? Share below!

You May Also Enjoy These Posts...

Reader Interactions

It Shouldn’t Be This Hard to Be Healthy…

Become a Wellness Mama VIP member for free and get access to my handbooks & quick start guides to help you detox your home, become a master of home remedies, make beauty products from scratch, and conquer mealtime madness!

Yes! Let me in!

Wellness Mama widget banner

Reader Comments

  1. I enjoy learning about natural methods to help with fertility, but I’m in that stage in life where you’re preventing birth. I was wondering if you could write about natural birth control methods. I’ve read that there are a few methods out there using herbs, but I would like to hear your opinion on the subject.

    • PLanning to write on that soon, but I don’t recommend the herbs as many of them are abortifacent and have some nasty side effects (like increased risk of some cancers, etc)

      • I’m looking forward to reading it. And yes, that was what concerned me about some of them.

      • I just bought Chastetree berry powder,to be made into a tea. I have gotten conflicting information on when I should start taking it.During menstruation or after?How ,any days after?Or it does not matter at all? I’m taking it for a slight hormonal imbalance.

    • Check out the book “Fertility Awareness Method”.

  2. I used vitex in capsule form to help me overcome infertility two years ago (in combination with other vitamin supplements). I can’t say for certain that any one factor helped me conceive (it was almost certainly a combination of factors), but I’m back to using it again, with the hopes that it will help me conceive a second time! Glad to see it profiled here.

    PS – I found your breech home birth story yesterday SO INSPIRING! I think I help my breath through the whole thing . . . So intense! Congrats!!

    • How long did it take ttc

  3. I have been struggling with secondary infertility for three years and was diagnosed with endometriosis last year. After reading your post about fertility I was looking at adding maca as a supplement. Now I’m not sure if I should do vitex instead, or maybe both? I also started taking fclo about a month ago. Should I be taking just the fclo or the fclo/high vitamin butter? I’d really like to help my body heal or rebalance so that I can conceive again naturally, but I’ve also been waiting for so long that I find myself contemplating ivf. I already eat grain free, organic produce, pastured meat, and I use coconut oil.

    • I”d probably stick with the Maca for now as it works more quickly and is a little stronger. The Vitex might help more with the endometriosis, but the Maca will probably help you conceive more quickly… FCLO is probably fine on its own if you are eating enough butter and coconut oil…Best of luck!

    • I was useing vitex and maca root for a month along with opks for my irregular periods and I just got a postive hcg test !!! My husband took a multivitamin and maca root and this how we conceived

      • Bianca,
        Your post really inspired me. I just bough the chaste tree extract and the maca. I’ve been taking the maca for almost a year now and still not conceiving. I’m hoping that taking both of them may increase my chances. How did you take those supplements? Pills, extracts..? thanks

  4. well, my experience with this herb was a scarring one…
    Hearing that it helped with hormone issues (acne, pms, menstrual cramps) I decided to give it a try-
    I made a tincture (together with Yarrow and Chamomile) and would splash a bit in a glass of water and drink it regularly. (tasted gross)
    after a few weeks I noticed the reasons I had started taking it for just seemed to worsen!
    My acne was worse then ever before, and I would have terrible cramps (that I had to control with pain killers). I stopped taking it and havn’t had the guts to take a tincture internally ever since.
    Any ideas why this happened??

    • Hi there,

      I am guessing that as our bodies regulate our hormones symptoms could worsen and then improve. I did read that that can happen.

      I am taking it again and this time I’m experiencing a lot of anger and fatigue. Im taking it for low progesterone. The first time I took it a think I had increased low mood before feeling great the next month and has a 28 day cycle for first time in several months. It started to work within weeks. I became pregnant but lost it at 4 weeks because I weaned off Vitex too soon.

    • @Tal Rosenberg: it sounds like there is an imbalance with your estrogen more. Do you know if you produce more estrogen? I am reading Period Manual Repair book and I remember seeing something regarding your symptoms deal with estrogen levels being off. My menstrual cycle hormonal imbalances suggest I need to increase my progesterone levels to prevent my excruciatingly painful menstrual migraines/depression/anxiety. Also look into reading Taking Charge of Your Fertility it is highly recommended. Many blessings to all women dealing with any issues regarding fertility and hormonal health ?

  5. I just started on Vitex, Maca and Tribulus, so I was glad to see vitex mentioned here. I might have to look into making the tincture myself to save money, like you said. I’m hoping it will help restart my cycle (along with diet) and help me to conceive again. fingers crossed!

  6. So to make a tincture you would just fill a jar 1/3 to 1/2 full of the Vitex berries and then fill the rest with alcohol (Vodka, 80 proof)?

    • Yep 🙂 You can also pour a tiny amount of boiling water over the berries first to pull more of the properties out and then add the alcohol but that is an optional step…

  7. Do you know if it is safe to use in combination with maca? And you mentioned that it is good for milk production so I assume it’s safe to use while nursing?

    • It is generally considered safe while nursing, and you can use in combination with maca, though depending on your goal, one or the other might work…

  8. I have been struggling with horrible menstrual cycles and avoiding prescriptions. I am so glad I came across this and can’t wait to give it a try

    • has this worked for you nicole?

  9. Hey Wellness mama, I know this post is a bit old, but I have been adding supplements to my diet recently for endometriosis and fertility. We also tried to conceive for 2 years with no success. I have a diet full of organic fruits/vegetables, some pastured meats, lots of pastured eggs, coconut oil, safe pots/pans, etc. I also have completely cut out all/most toxins in the home from shampoos, cleaners. etc. I read the articles you posted about Vitex but also read several more that said to NEVER take Vitex with endometriosis or any hormone sensitive condition such as breast/ovarian/uterine cancers. It seems that everywhere I look, it says to either take it for endo or completely avoid it! I’m so confused!

  10. I can take vitex and maca if a taking birth control pills?

  11. Hi Katie can you please help me! I started taking chaste tree just over a month ago (Dec 22) (1 cap 300mg p/day, also contains Dong Quai) to help shorten my 44 day cycle as maca didn’t seem to make a difference. Several weeks later I got my period at a 33 day cycle (11-16 Jan) but then the weirdest thing happened I got them AGAIN on 21-26 and again today (30th Jan).
    Is this just how chaste tree works to balance by cycle or should I stop taking it?? Needless to say I am beyond confused and a little freaked out.

    • That can happen, but you could take a smaller dose or only take for part of your cycle.

      • wellness mama, do i take this everyday for 3 months to see effect or just premenstrual? I’m taking this to alleviate the heavy mood swings i get prior to start of menstrual cycle. or do you recommend something else?
        Thanks! :p

  12. Hi, Your blog is truly inspirational. Thank you so much for writing and inspiring us.
    You have written good things about the Vitex and Maca. Can you please let me know if it is ok to take both . My doctor suspects I might have stage 1 Endometriosis . I am Hypothyroid as well. Which one would you suggest.
    Thanks
    Priya

  13. Hi Katie. I had my son in 2011 and my periods have been irregular ever since. They lasts between 5-7 days but comes every other week, sometimes 3 times a month. Can Vitex or Chasteberry help regulate it? Please help!

  14. Hello,
    I just wanted to add my experience with vitex. I’ve had very irregular cycles for as long as I can remember. My two last cycles were 92 days and 75 days long. I’ve been taking vitex and this time my cycle was only 41 days, which is great news for me 🙂 So as far as I can see, it (as well as a lot of prayer!) has helped shorten my cycle length. I was also diagnosed with hypothyroidism and am taking levothyroxine everyday. We’ve been trying to conceive for about a year with no luck yet. My question is, do you think vitex is the right herb for me to be taking to increase fertility or should I try Maca as well?
    thank you!

  15. I recently purchased vitex tincture, maca, and prenatal vitamins in hope to regulate my periods and I would like to have children with in the next year. This last year has been very stressful for me and I have a history of irregular periods but I think the stress makes it worse. Is there anything else I could take to help this process along? am I taking the correct herbs and vitamins?

  16. Hello kati,

    Just started on Maca and Vitex from day one to date. I don’t seem to have any serious problem but we can’t conceive even with ivf in the last 2 years. We have 7 failed ivf. My progesterone seems to reduce even when am on progesterone tablets. I thought its progesterone deficiency so I decided to try both maca and vitex together. My periods are regular but very scanty and comes for three days only at times two days. My tests shows that my uterine lining is ok, I even uterine scratching to help shed any stagnante blood and that time I bled for four heavy days. Now, I have saw boobs, headaches, mild pelvic cramps, bloated and feeling full all the time. My last period was 4th March 2014, with these feelings, do you think I might be pregnant? I have not tasted ‘yet, waiting to see if AF comes on. My cycle range between 29 days and 31 days.

  17. I starting vitex when my son was 8 months old and still breastfeeding. Then 3 months later (still breastfeeding) I became pregnant. I miscarried at 10 weeks due to blighted ovum. It is now 2 weeks since my m/c. I have weaned my son and hope to become pregnant very soon. Should I take vitex again or do you think it caused the miscarriage? Can it mess cycles up at all or only help? Also, I noticed mid-cycle spotting while on vitex. Does this mean I shouldn’t be taking it? I find it so difficult to find people who actually know anything about this subject. Thanks!!!

    • To update those who are thinking about taking vitex. After several months of weird cycles after the miscarriage, I got back on Vitex. 3 months later I was pregnant, so it really works.

      • Thanks a lot!!! I highly appreciate people who take out the time to update the results.

        One question, as you have taken it during breastfeeding, Does it increase the milk supply as well? I have a 7 month old son and thinking of taking it for increasing my milk supply.

        • No it stops prolactin released by your pituitary which is almost the opposite of creating milk. Try fenugreek fennel or aniseed teas

      • Hi Lisa! Did you continue to take Vitex while pregnant as well? I’m 5 weeks today and began taking Vitex just last month to lengthen my luteal phase (began day 1 of my cycle) :). Just trying to research how long I should continue taking it for. Thank you!

  18. Is it ok to take Vitex during your period? Should I lower the dose during this time? currently taking 3 pills in the morning 400 mg/each. Also going to start taking Maca in a few days. Trying to conceive #2.

  19. my period have size for over three month now and am not pregnant nor infected. am very much affriad that am not a complete woman please what medication should i take.

  20. Hi Katie,
    I’m curious about this in affect with nursing. I’m still nursing my 17m old and my cycle hasn’t returned. I don’t think I’m infertile, and I have a false period it seems each month without spotting so after reading this I was thinking it may help.

    What are your thoughts? Did you use this?

  21. I just had a miscarriage on June 8th. I took vitex capsules and red raspberry tea capsules from before I got pregnant and was gonna continue till 12wks. But when I went for my ultrasound at 11wks. they could not find a heartbeat! Do you think it was from the pills or was it something else! I really thought I was doing everything to try and keep this pregnancy since I suffered 2 previous losses! Any info would be greatly appreciated since my own doctor didn’t even want to care for me any longer let alone answer questions once she found out I wasn’t pregnant any longer!

    • I’d ask a doc or midwife but I never take vitex once I get pregnant and red raspberry is controversial until second trimester. So sorry for your loss!

      • Thank You so much Katie I really appreciate all your help! If I get pregnant again I will switch to progesterone cream!

      • I just wanted to say that I am really bummed that in a previous article.. On how to become pregnant you talk about Raspberry Leaf but do not say that it could cause a miscarriage. I took it everyday because I was following your advice and had a miscarriage. I don’t know if that is what caused it but now I sit here wondering. Very frustrated that you didn’t include that side note to stop once pregnant directly next to the information about it.

        • Hi Nat- I am so sorry for your loss! I’ll add a note about your experience to the post, but all of the evidence I’ve seen shows that it is fine, even during early pregnancy. At the recommendation of my midwife, I’ve taken it early on with all of my babies, and never had a problem because of it. This article has some good information about where the idea that it wouldn’t be safe in early pregnancy came from (http://www.motherandchildhealth.com/Prenatal/raspberry.html) but in short, a concentrated extract of part of the plant was used in a study, but the whole leaf has never been shown to cause miscarriage in any literature that I’ve seen. That being said, I’d definitely always check with your own doc or midwife before continuing to take anything during pregnancy.

          • Do you know if this is good to stop a miscarriage?

        • Listen as a registered nurse. Don’t blame her because she didn’t include it. That is no guarantee that this cause the miscarriage( raspberry leaf) it could have been stressed, and many other things but because you decided to take it you’re upset because she didn’t include something she may not have known? Unless she made the leaf herself how does she know? It could have been hormones that they put in out foods, chemicals that we inhale every single day or something else you put but don’t blame her because you’re angry about loosing your child. I ask the best of Gods blessings upon you

  22. I have suffered from small acne all thru my 20s, esp during my menstral cycle. Im 30 yrs old and have dry skin mostly. I came upon the Citrus Clear face wash, and within 1 week, my acne cleared up 80%. I wear heavy makeup daily for work, and wash my face every night with Citrus Clear before bed. This really takes the makeup off well, makes my skin feel fresh and it can breathe. I apply the Citrus Clear Moisturizer (sensitive skin) as a moisturizer as well every morning and night.

    • I’ve always had bad acne … Usually a week before my period. I would break out with this big cysts on my face and they would be just gross and greasy…. It wasn’t until my acupuncturists, told me to try the specific carbohydrate diet. So I started that diet in November 2014, and my face cleared right up… Only broke out with acne once and that was when I tried eating quinoa… It’s illegal to eat on the scd diet, but to balance hormone levels. I wanted try it… Still haven’t broken out since…

      Does anyone know if there is a support group for people that have tried for over 5 1/2 yrs and no success in getting pregnant … My husband and I have been trying for 5 1/2 yrs… Been on the adoptions list for almost a year, was told it could take ten years to get a child… And then in April I was told that I have polycystic ovarian syndrome … Mean cyst on the ovaries and that makes it a bit harder to conceive … I was on the pill for two months ( broke out with acne the whole time) got off the pill and went straight on vitex right away… Been on vitex a month and haven’t noticed a change. But I was on vitex before two years ago and once my three months hit… Oh my, no cramps during my cycle, no pms before my cycle… I felt like I could live again. I was looking forward to my period instead of complaining about it…

  23. Hi

    Im so glad I found this blog . I recently had a missed miscaraige ( went for 9 week u/s and showed baby stopped growing at 6 weeks with no heartbeat . I have bee told by doctors that this is normal but it’s hard to have no answers especially when it took us half a year to conceive . When I went to my nutrition store the lady mention thyroid problems plus I’ve been reading tons on low progesterone . I do have lots of the symptoms for low progesterone but my doctors won’t seem to give me any testing since this is my first mc . And yes I’ve seen 4 different doctors with no help. . I am currently taking prenatal vitamins , b complex , and maca but I want to do my very best to make sure the next time I get pregnant , I get a healthy baby in my arms 9 months later .i read that month to month hormones change and if your progesterone is low during the literal phase of you cycle you baby will not make it . Do you think vitex will help safely increase my chances of getting pregnant and making a healthy baby ? Is it safe to take until and during my first few months if pregnancy and with my other vitamins ?
    I would live to hear any success stories and advise 🙂

  24. Hi
    Quite informative site and I love to read everyone’s stories .i have a PCOS and tried many things and conceived 2 kids…thank God.
    I have a history of missed periods then long horrible periods.
    Began maca recently.it did bring on the period and gave me energy and I loved that.But I found it made the period ultra heavy.to the point that I stopped maca..and I was taking only 1/4 teaspoon.i wish to try maca again but I agree some hormonal conditions are worsened by maca.

    To anyone with heavy bleeds please please try raspberry leaf tablets.it’s been a godsend four me.

    Takecare guys..wish u all a good health .

    • Ruksana,

      Can you please share what things or herbs you tried to conceive please. I think I might have PCOS too.

      Thanks a bunch

      • Hi

        Do get pcos checked.i had to go to my doc n ask to b checked.

        I wud definitely say try metformin. Many doc give it for pcos as its also an insulin resistance. It made me periods regular ( 2 montly) and i conceived with 6 months.it also made me lose weight.

        I benefitted from maca as well.

        And i would suggest trying raspberry leaf tablets for heavy /painful periods.
        I tried 2 years of chastree vitex, clomid.did not work for me .

        my progesterone was 0.5.which is pre menopausal levels.n i was just 33.im glad i didn’t give up.

        Good luck.hope all goes well

  25. If I make my own tincture, what is the recommended dosage?

  26. Hi,I’m 32 and have been ttc for the past 6yrs with no luck.My periods are irregular ever since I started menstruating.I can go for 3 to 4 months without seeing AF and when she comes,it gets so heavy and lasts for12 to 14 days.Recently a friend advised me to take aloe Vera gel which I’m taking for the past two weeks now but I’m considering vitex together with Maca.Could there be a problem taking these herbs while taking aloe Vera gel?

  27. Hi Katie,

    Please help me I am a 42 year ole women and have been taking Vitex for about 3 months now and I would like to get off now. Can you please advise on how I should do this. I only take a capsule once a day. I feel like when I first started it I had weird bleeding once I was off or I thought I was a day later bad cramps and walla I would start again. Now that has stopped but I start to get weird like crying spells for no reason at all so I want to get off of this what do you suggest I do? PLEASE LET ME KNOW..

    Thanks so much,
    TZ

  28. Hi – I am just confused about when to stop taking Vitex. If I start taking it and find out I am pregnant (probably 2 weeks after conception), should I stop taking it right away? Should I stop taking it immediately after ovulation each month and start again when my cycle restarts?
    When I do stop because I am pregnant, do I go cold turkey or should I wean myself off?
    Same questions for anything else I should stop once pregnant (I think you mentioned Red Raspberry Leaf, for example).
    THANK YOU for your help Wellness Mama!

    • I’d ask a doc to be sure. I took pre-ovulation each month and stopped after ovulation since this cycling is actually beneficial to the cycle anyway. I took raspberry leaf during pregnancy but this is definitely controversial so I’d ask a doc to be sure.

      • Hi;
        I had 2 misc in 2012 and I never stop trying but nothing has happend. Where or who can I get hold of vitex and maca captules. I would really like to try again if it’s possible because I’m 40yrs old.

  29. Hello!

    I was on BC for several years. I stopped taking BC on Jan 31. In hopes to try to have another baby. Got my period march 3rd. June 21. May 31. I haven’t had it since. I have taken several pregnancy test. Before I got on BC I had very irregular periods. I have read a few articles about vitex and it regulating you …Do you think this would be something good for me to take? Not sure what is going on here.

    Any help would be appreciated.
    thank you!

    ~Leigh~

  30. should you take chaste tree berry even if you have no hormonal imbalances?

  31. I have been taking vitex for about a month now had my first period I have PCOS and I just want to know if it really works and how long it takes to take effect and if anyone has acctully had a baby I just have been trying for ever to have a baby I really need advice… and to know I am not at another dead end.

    • Hi maria i just wanted to let you and others know about my experience with vitex. After years(8) of infertility i got pregnant yet still ended with mc. Then i read about vitex, i started taking it. What i find out was that i was not ovulating. So i had low progesterone, causing me to have irrigular periods, or heavy at times. Anyway i started taking vitex, vitamin b6 and prenatal vitamin. Here is the dosages vitex 1500-3000mg, vitamin b6 200mg prenatal vitamin. Believe me i got healthier more energy. I started getting my periods, ovulating regular after 5months of taking i got pregnant with my daughter. I recently started taking it again i will update if i get pregnant soon. I love vitex it helped me in every way.

      • Hi Zam, did you continue taking Vitex once you discovered your pregnancy?

  32. Is that ok to take vitex and maca at the same time?

  33. Hi
    My naturopath has suggested Chaste Berry for heavy periods, low progesterone, infertility and short cycle. I have had some really scary heavy bleeds where I had to take progesterone to stop the bleeding as the amount of blood loss was dangerous. As I have read you shouldn’t take Chaste berry and progesterone together I am worried that if I take CB and have a heavy bleed I won’t be able to stop it with progesterone. Am also worried as have read that it can make periods heavier which woud be terrible for me.

  34. Is there a possible side effect or danger taking Vitex and increased chance of extra Estrogen production and breast cancer? Also is it safe to continue to take Vitex during ovulation or during your period? Would you advise taking it every day? Is Vitex safe to take with Maca?

    • Hi Rissa,

      I just want to preface this with saying that I am not an expert, just a well-read mum.
      How you take Vitex depends on the problem your are trying to balance. From what I’ve read, for some women it is important to take every day, for others up until ovulation. You’d have to research this more on the web or ask a naturopath to see what is right for you.

      In regards to safety, there was an article I read which speculated that it may not be good to take something that, even indirectl, balances hormones over the long term. It is always better to address the root problem which may be lifestyle, diet, stress etc. In the short term (several months) Vitex seems to help people’s bodies remember the right balance and they can often stop taking it and hormone balance is maintained.

      You can take Maca with vitex. In the powder form you buy in the supermarket it’s basically food and complements vitex.

  35. Hi,
    I have started taking Vitex. Is it also safe to take it during pregnancy or should I stop once I get the positive test?

    • Hi Irina,

      A friend and I both took Vitex in the first trimester, weaning off slowly between weeks 11-13. While we did not seek advice, we read widely and made the decision that it was right for us and the hormonal problems we had. It worked for me.

  36. hi Katie
    We have been trying to conceive for over a year. We got pregnant and lost it at 8 woks after we went in for an u/s and it had stopped growing and had no heartbeat. It’s been 3 months and we are ready to try again but I had low progesterone last time and I was on cream
    For it. I heard about the vitex and thought it would be something good to try but looking for more info about it and if it really helps and what are other ways to help. Please help
    Me!!

  37. I am a BIG supporter of chaste tree berry. After being on birth control for much of my early life as a woman (starting at age 16 and not considering long term effects at the time) I decided to stop and everything would be right, right? Wrong! I stopped having any form of a period and would go 9+ months without any form of a cycle. Because of this I gained 30 pounds and worried the whole time I had ruined any chance of ever having children. I went to a fertility specialist doctor who confirmed via ultrasound I had not been ovulating and was lacking progesterone. The birth control had not only suppressed my hormones as it is supposed to so that you don’t get pregnant, they had been suppressed into almost non existence ( something that is not widely talked about especially with young women who aren’t always thinking of their lives 10 years down the line). After an unnecessary MRI to confirm there was not a possible brain tumor affecting my hormones the doctor actually suggested to me that I go BACK on birth control to “regulate” myself out. And I said “why would I go back to something that has caused so much damage?”. I left and never went back. I started my own research and discovered chaste tree berry and black cohosh. Within a good 6 months I was starting to have more “normal cycles” aka they would appear every 2-3 months but I was so glad! I felt better and knew everything would be okay.

    Long story short this herb does take a long time for you to see a physical change but have faith and it will work. I started on 2 tablets per day and now after several years just take 1. It has been about 5 years since stopping birth control and I would say it took about 2.5 years to actually get a normal schedule going. I also had a few sessions with an acupuncturist who said it was nice to see a younger woman taking control of her body instead of waiting for a problem (aka waiting until I wanted to get pregnant to address the problem, don’t ignore your bodies ladies!)

    I strongly recommend this herb for women!

    • Hi Sara! Thanks so much for your story. I have had a really similar story line and have discovered that all my hormones are super low now (I’m 25). My naturopath wants me to use NHRT and my western doc wants me to use BC to gain my cycle back but I really want to do it the natural way as I have already gone both of those routes and they are not for me. I am currently taking Gaia Vitex2x in the AM but also want to try black cohosh b/c my estrogen is quite low. I was trying to research how to use black cohosh with Vitex, which is actually how I found this article. Would love to know what you do and which brand! Thank you!!

  38. Thanks for the info,had my last depo shot Oct 29 last year Ws due for my next jab 23 Jan which I didn’t follow through since I’m ttc and I haven’t had my period yet,and I’m definitely going to try vitex and I’m currently on prenatal vitamins.

  39. Hi There I have been taking vitex 1000mg for 3 weeks for PCOS and PMS and haven been getting depression and anxiety the last week or so and seems to be getting worse. I took my last one yesterday. How long do you think it will take to leave my body so I can start to feel mysf again. Thanks so much

  40. Hi, the same thing happened to me. I was very depressed, moody and crying all the time after only 6 pills. I had no clue that it could be caused by Vitex until I did some research and saw that many women experienced it and it shouldn’t be taken by people who have a history of depression like I do. Anyways, back to your question …to me it took about a week before I felt myself again but I think that it’s individual.

    • Thanks Irina, I appreciate your reply , I’m also pre menstrual and I get PMS pretty bad so I am sure once I get in a couple of days, the symptoms should subside. Thanks so much feeling a bit better this morning

  41. I took Fertilaid which is Vitex 8 times. I stopped it because I am going on Clomid and I didn’t like the way it made me feel. It has changed my menstrual cycle. I went from 22 days on average to not getting it at all now. I am on day 36 and still no period. I need to menstruate to take Clomid to ovulate. The comments from other women on numerous other sites are not good. The information regarding the bad side effects have made me very nervous. I am extremely worried. I want to cry. I stopped taking it 4 days ago and still no period. I want this out of my system. How long does Vitex stay in my system?

  42. i m 22 year boy having night false n quick false issue…will vitex leaves help me on this ????

  43. Hi,

    I’m 34yrs and suffer from PCOS and anovulation. Up until Jan 2015 I was having cycles every month, lasting only 2 days. I’m wondering if Maca or Vitex would help in regulating my cycles, and help me with ovulation .

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    THANK YOU

  44. Hi all,

    Can someone please tell me if it’s ok to start taking chasteberry supplements whilst I am breastfeeding my 7 month old son? I’m only partially breastfeeding him, could this make a difference? From what I have read on the internet it says no, it’s not safe.

    I’d love to start taking them as I have low progesterone levels and stage 3 endo. My luteal phase is only 5-9 days long.

    I’d be grateful for anyone’s knowledge and opinions

    Thank you

    • Hi there,

      A lot of the time drugs and herbs may be safe but because no one is willing to test these on breastfeeding mums they prefer to just say no to it. From what I have read, it is probably safe but it might decrease your supply. It also may not, as it effects you depending on the hormone imbalance YOU have. Vitex balances your particular hormones in an indirect way. It’s not as though you are putting a synthetic hormone into your body that would then go to baby.
      I had short luteal phase and miscarried twice due to suspected low progesterone. I started taking vitex and within a couple of months my cycles were 28 days and ovulation was very obvious! I kept taking it through the first trimester, weaning off over weeks 11-13. I was still breastfeeding my 3 year old when I started talkig Vitex but had barely any milk as she had nearly self weaned. I hope this helps and I’m sorry it’s so hard to know if these things are 100% safe.

      • Hi Jen!

        I am in my first trimester (11 weeks) and as I had been taking Vitex for about a year before I conceived (to help with severe PMS and to regulate my cycle a little more), I was afraid to stop it cold turkey. Like you, I decided to wean myself off of it. Pre-concepetion, I was taking 2 capusules a day, at 500 mg each for a total of 1000 mg a day. Once I saw my bfp, I cut that doseage down to 1 capsule per day. from weeks 9 until now, I have been dumping approximately half of the capsule out. and taking what is left. My question is: how did you wean yourself off in the last couple of weeks of your first trimester? I know everyone is different, so I am not looking for scientific certainty, just anecdotal.. Thanks so much!

  45. Hello! I just want to know if its okay to take vitex while I am on hypothyroidism drug? My doctor prescibe me this medication because I’ve been trying to cincieve for more than 3 years now.Please advise. Thank you so much.

    Bella

    • You might want to check with your doctor about it… There are lots of drugs for that, and your doctor should have an idea about drug interactions.

  46. Please can anyone help me if it is safe to take vitex and does it stop menstruation
    i have been taking it for 4 monthes but no regular cycles , sometimes It takes 40 days and does ovulation happen
    ,I am 48 good helth and didnt have improper cycles since nov 2014
    need your help
    thank you

  47. I have been taking Vitex and Red Raspberry Leaf to regulate my cycle and help with my fertility. Now, I’ve found out that I’m three weeks pregnant, and half of the stuff I read says stop taking them because they could cause a miscarriage and the other half says keep taking them because they prevent miscarriage. I don’t have an appointment with my doctor until next week. Can anyone advise me? If I should stop taking them, do I stop completely right away or wean myself off? Thank you.

    • Honestly, I would see if you can call your doctor before your appointment. Better safe than sorry!

  48. Romona ,

    Continue to take the Vitex . Please do not stop cold turkey . You can do more harm by doing so . I’ve been on Vitex since 4/18/15 and I just found out I’m 6 weeks pregnant . My doctor told me to continue taking it until at least 13 weeks . It helps keep progesterone up . Stopping cold turkey can do more harm than good and can quite possibly cause a M/C.
    Take care and don’t stop taking the Vitex .

    Elena

  49. I am new to the TTC club. I have been having issues with irregular periods and ovulation issues. I recently found an article about Vitex & Maca Root, along with Royal Jelly capsules for fertility. I have been taking all 3 (3 vitex daily & 1-2 maca daily & 1 royal jelly daily) for 1 week. I already see a difference. Fingers crossed these will help me conceive.

  50. I’m noticing a pattern with my eczema flaring up more just before and during menstruation. I just started adding maca to my diet to try to balance my hormones. Could I also add this or should they not be used in conjunction? Is one better than the other?

  51. I have under active thyroid and PCOS. I currently take levothryoxine and metformin medication for these two conditions. Reading about the wonders of chaste berry here, what would you suggest as I consider switching to the berry. Not sure about this but It appears I shouldn’t be taking it with metformin from reading other comments. does this apply to levothyroxine as well?

    Thanks

  52. Love every article in this blog and I have been following wellness mama for a long time now.

    In the case of Vitex I would like to add to be cautious about it. I have had hormone problems for ever, specially high prolactin levels which stops you from ovulating. After years on medication, that was giving me all kinds of weird reactions (to be able to control the prolactin levels), I decided to try something more natural. I study Vitex for months before buying it and it seemed ok.

    As usual I started with a low dose because I am very sensitive to everything. On the second week on Vitex I started feeling very depressed, on the third week I was not able to do much outside the house and I had nightmares, then on the fourth week, I had suicidal thoughts and high levels of depression. I did not realise it was Vitex doing that to me, I thought there was no help and all I wanted to do was to get out of the misery in my head, even if it meant to leave this world. My husband searched on line for days and days, using all kinds of google search and it was only one woman´s blog who gave me the answer, she had had the same reaction to Vitex like me. I stopped taking it and after 6 or 7 days I started feeling like me again.

    So, if you take Vitex and start feeling depressed, now you know it can be one of the reactions, so stop taking it and look for another natural remedy to help you.

    Needless to say I never got pregnant, still with hormone problems, even worse now that I am peri-menopause, so hormones are really having crazy parties in my body. Never the less I will always try something natural rather than lab drugs.

  53. I have PCOS. We are ttc. Failed clomid & femara over the last 6 months. I started vitex & got my first natural period after 5-6 weeks of taking it (first natural period in decades, was on oral contraceptives prior). My question is, should I add Maca to the Vitex supplement that I take?

    Will adding Maca increase my chanes at conception?? Or just stay the course with vitex? My main issue is high testosterone and not ovulating.
    Thanks!!

  54. Hi Katie,

    I’ve been taking Vitex for a week now and I’m really not feeling well – I think I may have hopped on the bandwagon too quickly. I didn’t consult with anyone before starting on it, I just went off of the great things I read on the internet. Anyway, I’m so unbelievably exhausted that I don’t know how to cope. I am going to stop taking it, but I’ve found some forums where people say that taking Vitex has caused them irreparable or severe health damage (things like thyroid issues and disrupted sleep and fertility cycles). I’m now really worried that I’ve caused irreversible harm to myself taking this herb without medical recommendation.

    Can you help shed some light? Is it likely that I’ve caused lasting damage?

    Thank you!

    • I’d absolutely check with a doctor before taking it and stop taking it until you do…

  55. Very good article and very informative. I have previously purchased a tincture that was pitch black in color and once that ran out I purchased from a different company and it was very pale sand/yellow in color. They claim it’s normal but I’m not sure if it’s been diluted or something. I’m nervous to use it :/ Based on your experience what is the normal color of the vitex tinctures? Should I be concerned with the coloring of this one? Looking forward to your response thanks in advance!

  56. Hi Katie, I got introduced to your site through my mom and really love it. I was reading the vitex post and had a question. My cycles are very irregular, very heavy bleeding, painful cramps so bad I have to just lay out on the couch for the first two days. Even Ibuprofen doesn’t completely kill the pain. But I think I should get checked for endometriosis, and was wondering if I should take Vitex, Maca, or a mixture of both. Any info woul be great!

  57. Hi. Great article indeed, am 33yrs old and trying to conceive. I also suffer from irregular periods. Sometimes I go for three months without seeing auntie Flo. Looking forward to starting my first dose of vitex in two days, hope it will work in my best interest. Fingers crossed

  58. Good day. i have had 2 misscairages both early on in the pregnancy. i have been taking vitex in tincture form now for 2 months. i have read that it can help prevent misscairage in helping progesterone levels. i can only get it in tincture form. my question is can i still take it in early pregnancy if the tincture has alcohol in it? Thank you

    • I would ask your doctor about that… Better safe than sorry.

  59. Hi, ladies! I wanted to share my Vitex story in hope that it can help anyone in need.

    I started taking Vitex in August 2015 (1000mg a day). I have suffered from extremely painful cramps during AF and also very long cycles. There have been some years where I only saw AF maybe two months out the year. There have been other years where I saw AF multiple times per month. I was completely miserable, not to mention the irregular cycles were having an effect on my ovulation. I had several conversations with my doctor and she diagnosed me with a hormonal imbalance, and at our last talk (before I decided to start vitex) she stated that a year before I was ready to conceive, she would put me on Metformin or Clomid. Of course I went home and did days of research on both and I was not a fan. I then began to search natural fertility aids and that is when I came across Vitex. After starting Vitex, my next 3 cycles were AMAZING! They were each 29 day cycles, I had minor cramps and minor PMS symptoms. In addition to all of that, I am happy to announce that after only 3 months of using Vitex, I got my BFP!!!!!! I actually got it 5x, because I was in disbelief I kept testing. I plan on continue taking Vitex at least until my 2nd trimester. After, I will have all my levels checked and if things seem clear, I will begin to wean myself off slowly but surely. I have a scan schedule on the 18th of this month and then another on the 6th of January. I’ll be sure to provide updates to anyone who is interested!!

    Best of luck to all of you!

  60. Hi there,

    This is a different subject then above. I’ve had 5 children and tied my tubes with last one 20 months ago. My periods and hormones, PMDD were so bad I could not function or be a happy person for my family. Everything intensified after the litigation. They recommend I get ablation done or birth control. Which both are not good choices. So I tried Chastberry vitex first. I’ve been taking 1 in the morning and one at night for almost 6 months now. It did help my cramps, my PMDD, the bleeding has gotten crazy, it’s mostly better but still have a couple days so heavy I can hardly leave the house. So all effects have been good, except my sexual drive has now almost disappeared! And I have never had any problems with this, ever. I have to ween down and stop the chastberry to try and see if they come back. I’m only 34 years old btw, it almost feels like the chastberry is helping to start premenopause for me? Any suggestions? Has anyone ever said it killed their sex drive?

  61. Good day! I would like to start taking Vitex & Maca. I’ve had 2 failed IUI’s & my FSH is so high that IVF has not worked either. Haven’t been able to get pregnant is many years. I have endometriosis & had surgery last year. How should I begin taking Vitex & Maca? Thank you for your help!!! Xx

  62. I’m currently 8 weeks pregnant. My doctor has me on chaste tree 1 tsp once a day to maintain progesterone levels since my last pregnancy ended in mc. I’ve been taking it for two weeks now and my last hcg and progesterone levels were great. However, It is causing cramping and just a few days ago I was spotting. I was sent for my next hcg and progesterone check today and should find out tomorrow if another mc has occurred. My question is, if progesterone levels are normal, can vitex be fatal during pregnancy? Also, has it even been active During the two weeks I’ve been taking it since its a slow acting herb?

  63. can you take chaste tree berry through out the whole pregnancy?

  64. Hey is it a safe herb for a 14 yr. old to take ?

  65. I am 41 and started suffering from perimenopause about a year and half ago. It may seem early to some but for me it’s about right considering I began my menstrual cycle at the age of 10. I went from having periods that were 3 to 4 days long , light, and I didn’t even have symptoms they were coming. To massive cramping, to the point my mom said it was like contractions in child birth ( I have not had children), irregular periods some 17 days other’s 19 and son on, to extreme bleeding and massive clotting, hot body on the inside felt like me entire body had a small fire in it, extreme tiredness and fatigue and so on .. It just came on and stayed on and got worse as the months progressed.

    I started taking an everyday vitamin ..Larger dose of Garden of life Vit C to make more progesterone, Spectrum Flax seed oil capsules to help with progesterone, Now Vit K 2, I then added Organic India Turmeric because it’s good for getting rid of indometriosis, uterine cysts, and tumors, Gaia Liver Cleanse ..to help my body get rid of any built up estrogen in my liver, Gaia Vitex Berry to help support my pituitary gland in balancing my hormones and lastly Emerita Progest cream. So far I am 4 months in ..for every day vitamins and progest cream and 2 months in on the additional supplements. My periods are back to a 28 day cycle. Heat is gone from my body, moods better, lighter periods, large clotting is getting less, Cramping is getting better but I still used Swansons Cramp Bark to help with the cramping that I had. I know it all takes time but I already have seen a huge improvement and am so thankful for all these natural ways to treat this rather than ending up on BC from a dr. which would only worsen issues.

    Love your blog ! Thanks for all the info on so many great issues !

    • Sara, I am very glad you were able to control it all and reduce the bad periods and heavy bleeding. I had the same type of thing happen to me over the past twelve months. I was 40 and my period went crazy and the cramps were so bad, I was told too it was like child birth as I never had kids. It turned out I had fibroids growing at an alarming rate that I had to have an emergency hysterectomy within 5 months. I basically collapsed from pain and blood lost one day and woke up in the hospital having blood transfusions and four weeks later the surgery. Does anyone know a herb or two that will help with estrogen dominance. I basically feel like my period is always beginning but as it cannot I do not get the relief that women get when it starts and the estrogen is counterbalanced.

  66. I’m not trying to remedy infertility but instead just regulate my hormones (I have horrible periods). Is this something that would be taken every day or at the beginning of pre-menstrual cycle to alleviate PMS symptoms and then stopped after my menstrual cycle ends?

  67. Hi, heard so much about vitex capsule , am also in vitex for almost a month now, complimenting it with vit e and folic acid, pls is there any other thing I can add? Am TTC, having irregular menses, low progesterone, no ovulation and can I include metformin?

  68. hi sorry for the late question on this post back really had to ask a question…. Anyway i purchase a bottle of NatureWay vitex capsule last week an haven starting taking it yet because i was wonder is it safe to take during your menstrual cycle or should it b taken after it has ended… cause i’m trying the vitex cause i heard it dood for women who is TTC an its good for Hormones Imbalance. Thank U

  69. I’ve been taking VITEX for about a month and a half and have not gotten my period since. My cycles have been long (about 42 days) but regular since coming off of birth control 9 months ago, but since I’ve been taking VITEX I have not gotten my period. Currently on CD 55. Is this normal? Should I stop taking VITEX? I also haven’t noticed any difference in my horrible symptoms since going on VITEX – insomnia, depression, anxiety, acne. My progesterone levels are super low (0.6) and we’re trying to conceive, so any advice would be appreciated! I was hoping VITEX would help, but can’t tell if it is making things worse. Thank you.

  70. I’ve been taking vitax 2 capsule a day for about a week trying to conceive would Maca be something good to add with vitax ? Thank you.

  71. Hi Wellness Mama,

    I just love your blog and refer to it often. I am a 47-year-old peri-menopausal woman and had my last period in January. Ugh. I feel better in general when I am menstruating and lately have been having some cramps periodically and getting my first bit of acne EVER in my life. My doctor (who is thankfully a holistic-leaning MD) mentioned that I should try Chasteberry 700-1000 mg per day. I started Vitex capsules about two weeks ago, and my cramps, acne and moods are worse. I am guessing that this is just part of the hormonal adjustment, but I wondered if you could shed some light on this to help me decide if I am on the right track.

    Thanks so much!

  72. Hi Wellness Mama,

    I am so grateful for your blog and all that I’ve learned from you. Thank you so much for your (unwitting) contribution to my life! I’ve got a couple of questions about Vitex. I would prefer taking Vitex as a tea, since I have the dried berries and I don’t mind the bitter taste. I’m wondering what measurements would you use to make a Vitex tea? And how much would you drink daily?

    Love, Miranda

  73. Hi. I’ve been having issues the past 6 months – have been experiencing anovulatory cycles. I have been drinking vitex as a tea every day for about 4 months and am not seeing any results. DH and I are ttc our first – even though we’re both in our 40’s. Do you think a capsule form would be better ? Am also considering maca – would that help with ovulation ? Any info you could give would be greatly appreciated. I’ll be seeing a natropath dr in a few days. Thanks so much for the great posts! Very informative and helpful!

  74. I just wanted to share my experience because I was not aware of the negative effects of Vitex which are not mentioned in many places, I had only seen glowing reviews until I dug a little deeper and realized it was the cause of some issues for me.
    I started taking 800 mg last month but stopped after about 5 days because I felt like my milk supply had gone way down (I breastfeed a toddler and have always had excellent supply, she is very well fed, so I am not just paranoid about it). We would like to conceive but my luteal phase is short so I tried again this cycle but started on 400 mg. On the sixth day of taking it I developed a bad headache, which has still not gone away after 3 days. It took away my appetite (I have some nutrient deficiencies which require me to eat well daily, so this left me worse off), left me nauseous, and messed up my digestion. (I stopped taking it but am not sure how long it will take to start feeling better)
    After looking up vitex and headaches and than other side effects, I began to realize that my extremely heavy period that lasted 9 days (rather than a light 4-5 day flow) was most likely due to the 5 days I took vitex last month. In addition, both toddler and I have been sleeping very poorly and she has been very clingy and fussy, I know it has affected her even though everyone likes to claim it has no effect on breastfeeding.

  75. Hello,

    I saw this on another blog about vitex:

    “The only research done on maca in women is to raise estrogen levels post menopausally. Women with early menopause or premature ovarian failure may have good results with it, but if a woman has low progestersone the last thing they need is more estrogen in their systems.
    And because they do opposite things, there is no need to take maca and vitex together.”

    I saw you recommend somewhere else on your blog that you can take them both at the same time, so I’m very curious what your thoughts are. Thank you! 🙂

  76. I am 41yrs, i have high prolactin and low oestrogen, i have been trying to concieve but no way, i read about vitex chasteberry can it help and how do i get it in southern Nigeria and how much. Tnx

  77. I am 35 y/o and was trying to regulate my menstruation cycle. I have always been irregular and get my period every few months or so. Now that I am trying to prepare my body for pregnancy I started taking VITEX (chastberry) to regulate my periods. Once I got my period I suddenly stopped taking the the Vitex and continue bleeding past my cycle. So I realized I didnt wean myself off the pills so I started taking them again. When I showed my GYN the the Vitex in an effort to show him what I am doing to regulate my cycle he didnt know anything about it and gave me progesterone pills to stop the bleeding and told me to take iron. I am still bleeding and actively on Vitex. I am suppose to get a consult this weekend with a holistic provider. I figured whats going on is that my estrogen levels are high and need to balance out with my progesterone. I just dont know how long I should take the Vitex or the dosage so hopefully the holistic practitioner can assist with that. Estrogen levels being high have killed my libido. This is such a pain. Totally frustrated just looking for light at the end of the tunnel. I really want to just understand and know my fertile time so I can plan pregnancy.

  78. Pls what was the progesterone pills you were given? Thanks

    • Just a generic progesterone 5mg

  79. I have high prolactin is it okay to take Vitex? Will it help to balance my prolactin and what else I can take. I want to conceive.