/m/21000/21434/templates/7203/images/WoLheader.gif
Wheels Of Light
Chaste Tree Berry for Women
Source:  Susun Weed

 

Chaste Tree Berry (vitex agnus castus) has been recommended for many female conditions, including hormone related acne, fibrocystic breast syndrome, endometriosis, infertility, lactation difficulties, hot flashes, cramps, ovarian cysts and uterine fibroids.  It comes from berries of the chaste tree.  The ancient Greeks used it as a symbol of chastity in young women, hence the name. 
 
Chaste Tree Berry does not contain hormones.  It acts on the pituitary gland to increase the production of luteinizing hormone (LH).  LH stimulates the ovaries to release eggs, as occurs with ovulation.  Ovulation triggers a surge in levels of the hormone progesterone.  This release is important in maintaining a balance with a woman’s estrogen levels.  When a woman has too much estrogen relative to progesterone, she suffers symptoms of estrogen dominance. 
 
Estrogen Dominance
 
With our growing technological society, we have more chemicals in our bodies than ever.  Chemicals cause the liver to go into overdrive, and it loses its ability to function properly.  The liver metabolizes excess estrogen and is a key player in peri-menopause.  If it is over worked or clogged, it cannot metabolize excess hormones.  This results in PMS-like symptoms and inflammation in the body. 

Additionally our environment is loaded with Xenoestrogens.  These are in most plastics and mimic estrogens.  These are highly potent, fat soluble, non-biodegradable, and extremely toxic, even in the smallest doses.   The female body can host many toxins making you look puffy and bloated. 
 
The symptoms of estrogen dominance may include fatigue, headaches, bloating, gas, flu like symptoms, allergies, hives, acne, psoriasis, dark circles and yellow nails.  In extreme cases, it can manifest as cancers, arthritis, lupus, MS…all autoimmune diseases.  Rheumatoid arthritis, for instance, occurs three times more in women than men.
 
 
Uterine Fibroids
 
Uterine fibroids, also called fibroid tumors, are solid muscle tissue growths in the uterus.  The causes of uterine fibroids are unknown, but it seems likely that estradiol (the strong estrogen made during the fertile years) promotes their growth.  Also there has been a link to fibroids and not being able to birth your creative pursuits.
 
Uterine fibroids may respond to high estrogen levels during the menopausal years and cause aggravating symptoms.  Occasionally a fibroid will become as large as a grapefruit or a cantaloupe, but the majority remain as small as a walnut.  
 
Small fibroids rarely cause symptoms and often disappear spontaneously.  Large fibroids can exert pressure on the bladder and bowels, causing a variety of symptoms including dull pelvic pain, bloating, frequent urination, constipation, infertility and menstrual pain.  While large fibroids are more difficult to resolve than small ones, many women have shrunk theirs without resorting to hysterectomy.  Uterine fibroids usually disappear after menopause, unless you take hormones.
 
Some women with fibroids have extremely heavy periods, resulting in anemia and fatigue.  If a woman’s hormones are out of balance (common during peri-menopause), she can develop hemorrhaging from the fibroid.  Adding iron the diet is generally recommended.  Stinging Nettle (urtica dioica) herb tea works quite well to supply iron and is easier to digest than pills.
 
Fibroid degeneration occurs when the fibroid outgrows its blood supply.  The center of the fibroid is deprived of oxygen from the blood, and the nerves deep inside this tissue register a lack of oxygen as pain.  The pain is a condition, but usually not dangerous.  The degeneration usually causes shrinkage in the size of the fibroid.  This may happen as hormones begin to balance through diet and eliminating stressors.
 
Healing Fibroids
 
  • Chaste Tree Berry (vitex agnus castus) often shrinks small fibroids within two to six months.  
  • Energy treatments have been helpful to some women with large fibroids. 
  • Fibroids may be thought of as “too much energy” staying in the uterus, generally anger.  Here’s one way to move it:  Sit or recline comfortably and pay attention to your breath.  Imagine that you are breathing out of your womb and out of your vagina.  Breathe into your vagina and into your womb.  Pause a moment and feel the breath spiral inside the uterus.  Breathe out, pause a moment, breathe in.  Continue for at least ten breaths.
  • Sound Healing – Listen to healing chanting and gongs.  Get some bells or cymbals and ring them over your womb every day.
  • Lignans found in all whole grains are anti-estrogenic phytoestrogens.  Consuming three or more servings of whole grains daily is said to reduce the size of fibroids, and offer protection from several cancers.  Women with fibroids seem to have an increased risk of these cancers (breast, endometrial).   Lignans are present in:  flax seed, rye, buckwheat, millet, oats, barley, corn, rice and wheat. 
  • Beans have lots of anti-estrogenic phytoestrogens.  All beans give you benefit, but lentils work the best.  Like whole grains, used daily, beans can reduce the size of fibroids and reduce cancer risk.  Avoid tofu, soy milk, soy cheese and other processed forms.
  • Dietary Changes – A diet high in trans-fats (partially hydrogenated), refined carbohydrates, and low fiber can increase circulating estrogens.  Avoid prepackaged foods, cookies, white bread, French fries, candy and pasta.  Add organic fruits and veggies and whole grains.  Try eliminating dairy for two months.
  • Acupuncture treatments can shrink fibroids.
  • Warm castor oil packs on the belly, or ginger compresses relieve pain and help shrink the fibroids.
  • Large fibroids may be reduced by reducing the amount of estrogens in the blood. Avoid birth control pills, and hormone replacement therapy.  Because some agricultural chemicals mimic the effects of estrogen (xenoestrogens) in the body, detoxify seasonally.
 
In Conclusion
 
Remember any menstrual difficulties aren’t the norm.  Listen to your body and consider chaste tree berry tea or tincture for yourself.  It can assist in everything from mood swings, cramps, hot flashes and shrinking fibroids.  Through herbs we can heal as we are all made up of the same chemical constituents as plants. 
 
In any herbal healing undertaken, diet is also very important. Herbs are not meant to be used in the place of a doctor’s advice. If you feel you may have a chronic illness, please get diagnosed by a physician.
 
Maggie Batt is an herbalist, energy healer, intuitive counselor, workshop leader and yoga teacher in the Tampa Bay area.  Learn more about herbs at www.wheelsoflight.org