Because chasteberry is a type of herbal supplement, it has not been adequately studied to determine a safe and effective dosage. Even if dosing information for chasteberry were available, there may be significant variability of the content, purity, and strength among different brands of supplements, making a consistent dosage difficult. It is important to understand that chasteberry has drastically different effects on hormones at different dosages.
An Introduction to Chasteberry Dosing
As is the case with natural products and herbal supplements, there is no clearly established safe and effective dosage for chasteberry (vitex) at this time. As a result, much of the available information for dosing chasteberry comes from small clinical studies or from practical experience with the supplement.
Reasonable Dosage of Chasteberry
There are a few different reasons why it is difficult to recommend a chasteberry dosage. Unlike for prescription or non-prescription drugs, there is no standard recommended dose for herbal supplements, such as chasteberry. Additionally, there may be significant variability of the content, purity, and strength among different brands of the same herbal supplement, making consistently safe and effective dosing difficult.
A wide range of chasteberry dosages have been used, from as low as 1.6 mg up to as high as 1800 mg daily. It is important to note that chasteberry seems to have drastically different effects on hormones at different dosages. Lower dosages seem to increase prolactin levels, while higher dosages seem to decrease prolactin levels.
Because there is little high-quality information about chasteberry dosing and because there may be significant variability in the active component content among various chasteberry products, it is probably a good idea to follow the instructions of the label of your specific product.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Jellin JM, editor. Pharmacist's Letter/Prescriber's Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Web site. Available at: http://naturaldatabase.com/. Accessed March 16, 2009.
National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine. National Institutes of Health. Herbs at a glance: chasteberry (April 2008). NCCAM Web site. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/chasteberry/. Accessed March 16, 2009.
Roemheld-Hamm B. Am Fam Physician 2005;72(5):821-4.
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