Chasteberry whose scientific name is Vitex Agnus-Castus is the fruit of the Chaste tree and is also known as “monk’s pepper” or “women’s herb”. It is known as women’s herb because it is primarily used as a medicine for treating ailments in women such as irregular periods, PMS, prevention of miscarriage, symptoms of menopause, infertility in women etc.From the wide range of uses that it has Chasteberry may sound like a magical herb. But beware; it has several serious side effects which are usually ignored.
Listed Below Are Some Of The Side Effects Of Chasteberry:
1. Reduces The Efficacy Of Invitro Fertilization
Studies show that Chasteberry reduces the efficacy of invitro fertilization. Therefore if a woman has opted for this method and uses Chasteberry then it can interfere with the procedure and can also bring down the success potential of the invitro fertilization.
2. Can Cause Rashes
Chasteberry has certain chemicals which can cause serious allergic reactions and result in sudden outbreak of rashes. Therefore it is important to check if you are allergic to the fruit by taking it in small amount initially. However if rashes do appear then immediately see a doctor who will prescribe proper medication to treat the rashes.
3. Severe Headaches
Chasteberry is known to cause severe headaches .In fact people suffering from migraine should try and avoid the berry as it can make the condition worst.
4. Should Be Strictly Avoided By Pregnant And Lactating Women
Use of Chasteberry by pregnant and lactating women is found to cause serious problems as it affects the hormonal balance. Therefore pregnant and breast feeding women should strictly avoid Chasteberry.
5. Can Result In Acne
Since Chasteberry is altering the hormonal balance it can result in an acne attack because one of the reasons for acne is hormonal imbalance.
6. Mild Insomnia
Since the herb affects the brain as well it can bring about changes in the sleeping pattern resulting in mild insomnia. If you have trouble sleeping then it is best to avoid the berry.
7. Can Make Hormone Sensitive Conditions Worst
Since Chasteberry affects the hormonal balance it has been noted that consuming the drug in case of certain hormone sensitive diseases can aggravate the disease further. Therefore if you are suffering from breast cancer, fibroids, endometriosis, ovarian cancer or uterine cancer then Chasteberry can aggravate the condition.
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8. Hampers The Treatment Of Parkinson’s Disease
Chasteberry affects the brain and also has chemicals which interfere with the medicines of Parkinson’s disease and can thereby interfere with the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.
9. Decreases The Efficacy Of Birth Control Pills
Since Chasteberry brings about hormonal changes it interferes with birth control pills and brings down its efficacy and therefore Chasteberry cannot be taken along with oral contraceptives.
10. Can Cause Diarrhea
Chasteberry is known to result in stomach upset and indigestion. It can even result in diarrhea and should therefore be avoided if you have an upset stomach.
11. Can Result In Weight Gain
Chasteberry can interact with hormones which are responsible for depositing fats in the body and can cause increase in weight and bloating. After consuming the berry for few days check your weight. If you gain weight then probably Chasteberry is not meant for you.
12. Nausea And Vomiting
Chasteberry has been found to result in nausea and vomiting in some people. If that is the case then it is best to look for other options and stop consuming Chasteberry with immediate effect.
13. Can Aggravate Vertigo
Chasteberry is found to result in dizziness in some people and aggravate vertigo problems. If that is the case then it is best to avoid Chasteberry.
14. Interferes With Schizophrenia And Psychotic Disorder Drugs
It has been found that Chasteberry affects the chemical dopamine in the brain and can therefore reduce the effectiveness of drugs used for schizophrenia and psychotic disorder. Therefore Chasteberry should be avoided if a person is under psychiatric treatment.
15. Increase Menstrual Flow And Fatigue
Since Chasteberry causes hormonal imbalance it can result in increased menstrual flow and that can cause fatigue and tiredness.
Like any other herb Chasteberry too has its pros and cons. To be on the safe side it is recommended that you take the berry only under medical guidance in order to avoid any untoward conditions. If you observe any side effects after consuming the herb then immediately stop taking the herb and seek medical advice on priority.