April 6, 2022
Lauren Tannenbaum and Mara Santilli, writing for Wellnest, the blog of HUM Nutrition, extensively cited Dr. Leena Guptha, DO, MBA, BCTMB, Pacific College’s Academic Dean of Online Education in a recent article on chasteberry for PMS. Tannenbaum and Santilli introduced the plant’s lengthy history (it even makes an appearance in the 8th century BCE Greek epic poem the Iliad) and debunked the most common myth about the peppercorn-like fruits it produces: they do not decreases libido. Dr. Guptha, however, recommends chasteberry to treat symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), such as headache, fatigue, stress, and sleep issues. It may even be beneficial for premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a more severe form of PMS.
The mechanism by which chasteberry functions merits more research, but some evidence indicates that it may decrease levels of prolactin, a stress hormone associated with the menstrual cycle, and influence dopamine production. Dr. Guptha explains that it may also balance hormones by increasing progesterone and decreasing estrogen levels. As a powerful antimicrobial, it may also have positive results as a treatment for thrush and acne.