by Christi R. Pugh
for Nature's Gift Inc.
Menstrual irregularities are often a source of great frustration for women, & the choices available for treatment are not always the most desirable. An interesting “women’s” oil available for use in aromatherapy is Vitex agnus castus from the leaves and/or berries of the Vitex Tree, also known as Chaste Tree or Chasteberry of the Verbenaceae family of plants native to the Mediterranean.
For many years the herb has been used mainly as a tincture with success but more recently, the essential oil has been studied for its reported ability to balance estrogen-progesterone in females: those having menstrual difficulties such as PMS or those experiencing menopausal symptoms. Vitex is a key component of our Passages blend of essential oils.
It is particularly helpful where an overabundance of estrogen is present, it seems, helping alleviate painful periods & PMS symptoms such as severe cramping, hormonal headaches and/or hot flashes & night sweats for those experience menopause or perimenopause. The oil may be used stand alone via inhalation from the bottle or an inhaler or in a low dilution in a lotion or crème, & some have experimented with internal use of one drop a day which so far has shown no adverse results, according to Dr. Kurt Schnaubelt in Medical Aromatherapy. (If you use Vitex internally the gentler Vitex Leaf is a better choice than the Berry, we believe.) We also offer Vitex Hydrosol (floral water) which the distiller recommends at one half teaspoon per day in a bottle of water, eventually increasing intake to up to one tablespoon per day as needed.
Not for use by men, pregnant women, or by those taking birth control pills. For individuals on Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), a recalibration of dosage might be necessary once you begin using Vitex. As with any essential oil, please keep pertinent safety concerns, cautions, & warnings in mind before use.
For more information on other blends & oils recommended for women see http://www.naturesgift.com/aromatherapy_women.htm.