Vitex (Chaste tree) has been used for thousands of years for its beneficial affect on the female glandular system, and its restraining effect on male hormones. Modern research has confirmed at least one of these uses, and the berries are now widely used to restore balance and function to the female reproductive system, by stimulating the natural production of progesterone.
Some of the old herbals classify the berries as anaphrodisiac, accounting for the name Monk's pepper, and the tradition of using the kernels to lessen the urges of the flesh. Other sources list the Vitex fruit as aphrodisiac, implying the opposite tendency. The truth is that the Vitex, like many other herbs, exerts a normalizing influence on the body restoring that which is absent, and constraining excessive tendencies.
Vitex acts upon the pituitary gland, reducing the production of certain hormones and increasing the production of other, shifting the balance in favor of the gestagens, hormones that normally condition the body for pregnancy. It has found a wide following of users for imbalances of the female reproductive system, especially when they are related to excessive estrogen or xen-estrogen influence, and has been used with great effect in restoring absent menstruation, regulating heavy periods, restoring fertility when caused by hormonal imbalance, relieve PMS tension, and easing the changes of menopause.
A tincture of the berries has also been used externally for the relief of paralysis, pains in the limbs, and neuropathic muscular weakness.
Internal Indicated Usages:
External Indicated Usages
Large doses of Vitex has been known to cause a nervous disorder known as formication, which manifests as a tingling sensation on the skin.
Vitex berries can be used as a mild substitute for black pepper, and can even be ground in a pepper mill. Not only will the safrole in the pepper be avoided, but the libido may get an attitude adjustment.
Uses: Like many other bulk herbs, we add it to many food recipes (salads, meat dishes, soups, stews, etc.) in small amounts for added nutrition and fiber without affecting the flavor. Chaste berries can be used to benefit men, women (including before, during or after pregnancy, and nursing) and children. It can be used as often as you would like.
Storage: Like many other bulk foods, Chaste berries store fairly well. It should be kept in an airtight container and stored in a dark, dry, and cool place.
Questions?: Check out Frequently Asked Questions.
April 28, 2008 at 1:48 pm
I bought this product for my horse who has Cushings symptoms. I grind it in a coffee grinder and mix it with her senior feed. Since starting her on this last Summer she started shedding out completely for the first time since I have had her in 4 years. This spring she has shed out sooner than my gelding. Overall her health has improved dramatically, she's happier, more energy overall feeling great. I will keep her on this permanently. thank you.
May 8, 2008 at 10:14 pm
I just wanted to comment on this as I also put my mare on Chaste Tree and grind it the same way. I read about it on a rescue site and thought I'd look for myself and found MoreThanAlive! Just started about 2 or 3 months ago (Feb. 08) and I am having great results too. I also give it to my gelding and they are both way more happy/mellow and looking really good - healthy. I live in San Diego and they are both almost completely shed out and lookin' fine. I was so happy with this website that I decided to also put both horses on Rosemary, black walnut (for worms), Pau D'Arco, Stevia, Garlic, vinegar, cinnamon - and a few others occasionally. I am really thrilled with how these herbs have helped our family. This is a wonderful company and I feel really blessed to have come accross it in my search for answers about my insulin resistant and cushing horses.
Thank you Vlad and Joy and Beeyoutiful, I have become a customer for life.
Blessings to you,
May 28, 2009 at 7:36 pm
I have a 26 yr old gelding with Cushings Disease and I have been giving him 1 mg of Pergolide daily for over a year but he still will not shed. I see a place called Starwest Botanicals where you can order chasteberry POWDER in a 1 lb container and I am wondering how much to feed. Can you help me?
September 29, 2009 at 1:33 pm
I have used it for the past 4 months for Hank, my Belgian gelding. The web article I had found on its use suggests 1Tablespoon of powder 2x a day. I guess that it tastes good, Hank eats it up! The article also suggests on 3 weeks & off one week.Although Hank (age 23) does not have all of the symptoms of cushings, he has shown some signs of it with weight loss & less energy. The chaste tree berry has helped him overall. I will continue to use it
November 2, 2009 at 7:18 pm
I got my info from a rescue site. They use the Chaste Tree berry Powder year round on all their Cushings horses, including geldings. They do not claim to be doctors nor do I. They swear by the results and I know Pergolide can have bad side effects. the amount they prescribe is 1 tsp. two x a day, a heaping one for larger horses. they feed it for 3 weeks on and o week off so they don't build immunity. My horse had Cushings and Lymes, she has only been on the powder about a month, and was also on Doxy for the Lymes, but she isn't cranky like she was which was unlike her...I feed the powder, don't want to grind and put it in her senior and she never slows down. spring will be interesting but i hear lots of good reports and natural is always better! blessings to you and you 26 yr. old baby, my paint is 26 also! Betsy
September 10, 2008 at 1:04 pm
We're using ground chaste tree berries for our pony as well (Miniature horse/Hackney pony cross). She tested negative for Cushings and insulin resistance, but still tends to have weight gain in areas typical of Cushings (over the shoulders, over and behind the eyes, etc.). We give her 1 tsp. of ground berries twice a day with her starch free feed, 3 weeks on and 1 week off. From what I understand the week off is important for mares. Much as it is a source of occasional distress, we ladies need that hormonal ebb and flow. Interestingly, when my daughter stopped grinding the berries and gave them whole, the pony's symptoms came right back and she gained considerable weight before I found out what was going on (about 2 weeks). This was with no change in the amount of food she took in.
Ground chaste tree berries (we use a coffee bean grinder) are an efficient, cost-effective treatment that I'd recommend for anyone with a "too easy keeper." I don't think you'll find fresher or less expensive berries than are available from More Than Alive.
October 28, 2008 at 12:40 pm
My mare does not like the taste or smell of chaste tree berry.What do you mix yours with.I have been mixing with applesauce and using a sirenge.
November 25, 2008 at 12:52 pm
You're doing exactly what I do. I also give my mare MSM for inflamation (she's 22 yrs old). She doesn't like the taste of that either. So I mix the chastetreeberry and MSM in a little dish with some applesause and water then put the mixture in a syringe. I can't think of any other way. If your mare gets tired of the applesauce, you can always try some watered down molasses. Horses really like that too.
October 6, 2011 at 11:21 pm
I give my horse MSM everyday mixed in 1 cup of Silk Very Vanilla Soy Milk then I mix that into his senior feed. Loves it. No problem at all. I discovered it when I was taking MSM and found when it was in Silk soy milk I could not taste it.
If it needs sweetening for your horses taste add Stevia.
March 18, 2009 at 10:32 am
We have read that Black Walnut is poisonous to horses. I was surprised to read a comment about someone feeding Black Walnut to their horses. For humans it is non-toxic, but for horses it is touted as deadly. Do you have any information/science about this topic?
March 24, 2009 at 5:41 pm
Black Walnut is poisioness to horses. I have no idea as to what extract from the black walnut a person might be able to feed their horses. When we moved to a new place that had a large black walnut tree, the first thing our vet told us was to be sure that the horses never got near enough to munch on it or the walnuts.
November 29, 2009 at 8:29 pm
I bought this to try on a mare that I have that has painful heat cycles. Her first couple of days of heat are the worst; she will colic from the pain. The chaste tree berry has not stopped the pain, but so far it seems to be regulating her cycle. She has been on it now for a little over two months. I am giving her 1 TBSP twice a day. I have recently started her on Black Cohosh root to see if that will help with the pain.
August 28, 2011 at 5:46 pm
My horse refuses to take the chasteberry. I've tried baking little muffins with apple sauce and hiding the chasteberry powder inside before I feed it but he just spits it out. Any idea! I board my horse so I cannot mix with anything other than his feed.
September 18, 2011 at 10:15 am
I had the same problem of finding a way to get my mare to take the chasteberry. If you are treating for cushings or IR you should NOT be allowing any sugar or simple carbs into the diet, what we did was soak 5-6 alfalfa cubes until they break apart really nice and almost make a mash, then we mix in the chasteberry powder. For our mare it works like a charm. Hope this helps :)
November 17, 2011 at 9:59 am
If you are giving this to your horse, I asume he has foundered or has developed cushings. In either case, NO other 'snacks' should be given. Alfalfa free hay, soaked beet pulp and chaste tree berry is all he will ever need. Beet pulp is available at most feed stores and is a guaranteed analysis, soak 2 cups over night, put 1/3 tsp chaste tree berry powder in it in the morning and mix it up. If still no luck, put a tiny bit of Equine Senior in it too. I have a very picky eater and he gobles this up!
October 15, 2011 at 6:23 am
I'm glad this is working for geldings, mares, etc. However, can someone tell me if this has helped any women with menstral cramps? Thanks~
January 25, 2012 at 12:00 am
Dose for horses... I used a rounded scooper for mine, about 2 tablespoons worth over her sweet feed 2x a day. My mare was 17hh and about 1500 pounds (so skinny we could not keep weight on her in her old age) I gave mine to an old mare (32!) for two years at the vets last ditch effort to keep her going. Her hooves improved and her coat improved and she was able to put weight on.
October 24, 2012 at 7:14 pm
I want some testimonies or reviews for people, humans. I wanted to see if it might be helpful for myself. It might help boys mood actions too
November 6, 2012 at 12:00 pm
Hi, I have a 23 yo Arab mare (have had her since she was 8 mo old). I've had her on Chasteberry for the past year and the improvements I've seen are amazing. She is 14.2 hands and weighs 800-850 lbs. Her weight used to be 750 before when I was using Pergolide. She was lethargic/depressed, no energy, couldn't keep weight on, etc.
Basically, her changes were minimal with the Pergolide. Plus, FDA disapproved Pergolide last November for a perscription alternative that I wasn't willing to put her on.
I started doing some research and found Chasteberry (Vitex) had amazing results. So, I have had her on it for almost a year. The most telling was that she shed out normally in the spring. Plus, she was so alert and perky. She acts like she's 5 instead of 23. Also, the farrier made a comment that her feet look better.
I give her a level tsp a day. I don't know what that comes to in ml but it seems to work for her. I plan on having some bloodwork done to see how she looks internally.
Just as a sidenote I also give her a couple of Tbs of coconut oil daily. This helps with coat, any stomach issues, etc. She is quite a happy girl.
Posted by Beverly Jordan on 9th May 2013
Have been using ground vitex on my 20 year old gelding for almost two weeks. He loves the taste, has started shedding and and has so much energy and zest. Wish we were showing.
Posted by Just Joan on 25th Mar 2013
The chasteberries (vitex) arrived very fast, packaging excellent and berries smelled very fresh. I grind them up and feed 1 tsp per horse 2X daily. On the berries for a little over one week.
My horses literally whinnie for it. They love it. For my gelding and suspected Cushings disease and my mare for being a marish mare. Here's praying I can keep him off the medicine. He is also IR and being treated for hypothyroidism.
Posted by Unknown on 10th Mar 2013
Love this stuff for my horse. He is doing well on it.