Are you aware of the benefits of vitex agnus castus and its impacts on infertility? Did you know that vitex agnus castus can be used to tackle infertility? Infertility has become an increasing health challenge for many couples and apart from being tackled medically, herbal remedy has become an effective means of proffering solution.
There has been an increasing research on the immense benefits of medicinal plants as the main source of therapeutic cure for human diseases. Researchers continue to pay closer attention in discovering and verifying some essential plants that are integral for the treatment of various diseases.
Furthermore, certain parts of medicinal plants such as the seeds, stems, barks, leaves and fruits have been proved effective for tackling health challenges and one of such areas of health challenges is infertility.
According to NHS, infertility is when a couple finds it difficult to conceive despite having regular unprotected sex. Approximately, one out of seven couples find it difficulty to fall pregnant. About 84% of couples naturally fall pregnant within one year of having regular unprotected sex.
Howbeit, couples who fail to conceive after three years of trying to conceive (TTC) without success are usually diagnosed as being infertile. Two types of infertility are primary (someone that has not had a baby before but finding it difficult to conceive) and secondary infertility (someone who had previously conceived but later finds it difficult to have another baby).
Causes of Infertility
Infertility can affect either a man or woman. Some causes of infertility in men include impotence, poor semen quality and unhealthy lifestyles while infertility in women can be as a result of irregular menstruation, anovulation (failure of the ovaries to release mature eggs over a period of time generally exceeding 3 months), endometriosis, fibroid cysts and blocked fallopian tubes. Furthermore, studies reveal that the causes of infertility in 25% of couples remain unclear.
Treatment Options for Infertility
Infertility can be tackled either medically or herbally. Most trying to conceive couples end up becoming pregnant by adopting eating style, healthy lifestyle, shedding excess weight, exercising and having regular health checks. This post centers on herbal treatment, precisely the use of vitex as a treatment option for infertility.
There are over 250 recorded species of Vitex genus all over the world ranging from Vitex negundo, Vitex lucens, Vitex capitata, Vitex zeyheri, Vitex alata, Vitex lindenii, Vitex longisepala,Vitex doniana,Vitex pinnata, Vitex obovata, Vitex chrysocarpus, Vitex cannabifolia to vitex agnus-castus etc however, the most effective one for tackling infertility is the vitex agnus-castus.
Benefits of Vitex agnus-castus
From time immemorial, vitex agnus-castus (L. Verbenaceae) has been used to tackle the symptoms of several gynecological issues. Vitex agnus-castus, which is also known as the chaste tree, monk’s pepper, women’s herb or chasteberry is an essential herb used especially in folk medicine for alleviating women infertility especially female hormonal disorders.
This deciduous shrub is originally from the Mediterranean and Asian continents before spreading to other subtropical and warm temperate regions such as North America and Europe.
Presently, various parts of vitex agnus-castus such as the fruit, leaves and seeds are being used in Ayurvedic medicine for treating male impotence, female infertility, female endocrine system disorder, amenorrhea, premenstrual syndrome, menopause, menstrual disorders, mastodynia (breast pain), acne, uterine bleeding, fibroid cysts, ovarian deficiency and PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome).
Mayoclinic defines polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) as a disorder of the endocrine system experienced by women of reproductive age. Some women with PCOS notice the signs and symptoms of this health condition immediately after the onset of menstruation (menarche). However, some women develop pcos later during their reproductive age.
PCOS is symptomized by irregular or prolonged menstrual periods, anovulation, difficulties in getting pregnant, hormonal imbalance, obesity, subfertility, pelvic pain, insulin resistance, excessive androgen (too much male sex hormone such as testosterone), obstructive sleep apnea, enlarged polycystic ovaries with tiny follicles, skin changes, endometrial cancer, mood disorders, excess hair growth (hirsutism).
Unfortunately, the actual cause of polycystic ovary syndrome (pcos) is still unclear. To a larger extent, hereditary factors are believed to play a significant role in the onset of polycystic ovary syndrome by creating room for the production of anomalous high androgen in the ovaries. This leads to disruption of the menstrual cycle, abnormal ovarian cycle and folliculogenesis.
Vitex is also used in folk medicine for alleviating sexual dysfunction, indigestion, headaches, pain and rheumatism. It also blocks the pituitary gland from producing prolactin and shortens the luteal phase. It can also help to prevent miscarriages, boost progesterone production, inhibit follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and normalizes menstruation after stopping contraceptive pills.
Vitex agnus-castus is also a calmative (sedative effect); emmenagogue (capable of stimulating and increasing menstrual flow); lactagogue (capable of inducing lactation); anthelmintic (capable of destroying parasitic worms); anti-inflammatory (capable of reducing inflammation); vulnerary (can be used as a remedy for healing wounds) and has also been proven effective for preventing infections (anti-infective). Vitex agnus-castus is effective for tackling all these identified health issues due to the estrogenic effects of phytoestrogens in this herb.
Interestingly, the use of vitex agnus-castus as a treatment option has received worldwide recognition due to the minimal side effects associated with this herb. Vitex boosts fertility by gently regulating, supporting and nourishing the body system unlike the prescription drugs that forcefully changes the body system.
Vitex agnus-castus is characterised by its thin spikes of violet blue colourful flowers that measure approximately 8 to 10 cm. Vitex agnus-castus is an excellent source of agnuside, diterpenoids, alkaloids, p-hydroxybenzoic acid and flavonoids especially casticin and vitexin.
Ways to Use Vitex
Vitex can be in the form of capsules, herbs, powder and tinctures. Whichever form of vitex you purchase, use as prescribed by the manufacturer. Ideally, vitex should be taken first thing in the morning before breakfast and should be taken consistently throughout the monthly cycle.
Many women have reported they fall pregnant shortly after taking vitex however, if pregnancy doesn’t occur within three months then take a break from the vitex for at least one week before continuing.
Use of Vitex During Pregnancy
Vitex has not been proven to interfere with clinical medicines such as birth control due to lack of clinical findings. Nonetheless, it is highly recommended that this herb should not be used together with any hormonal drugs to avoid interference with their actions.
While some researchers agree that vitex agnus-castus should not be used during pregnancy to avoid complications others agree that vitex can be taken through the end of first trimester in order to help prevent miscarriage. Pregnant women are recommended to consult their doctors or midwives while taking vitex during pregnancy.
This post is for enlightenment purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for professional diagnostic and treatments. Remember to always consult your healthcare provider before making any health-related decisions or for counselling, guidance and treatment about a specific medical condition.
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