Chasteberry is the fruit of the chaste tree, a small shrub with purple flowers that grows in subtropical regions of the world. It has been used as a treatment for menstrual complaints for centuries, and is European doctors' most commonly prescribed herbal remedy for PMS (premenstrual syndrome).
Some substance in these dried berries seems to trigger the pituitary gland to message the ovaries to produce more progesterone. PMS is thought to be the result of a progesterone deficiency in the latter two weeks of a woman's cycle, so chasteberry helps restore the estrogen/progesterone balance. This can relieve symptoms such as bloating, moodiness and depression.
Chasteberry also seems to lower one's production of prolactin, which can eliminate PMS symptoms of breast tenderness. This herb has had some success with infertility patients and can help restore the cycle of women suffering from amenorrhea (loss of menstruation). Menopausal women may find chasteberry helps alleviate hot flashes.
Chasteberry is available in table, capsule, dried tea and tincture forms.