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InstructorMarch 20, 2022 at 11:10 am
I think Vitex (aka Vitex Agnus Castuss AKA Man Jing Zi AKA Chasteberry) is a wonderful herb, but it’s important to know when it’s indicated, and when it’s not. Chinese herbal medicine rarely only uses one herb at a time, so even though this herb is categorized as cool, acrid, and surface releasing, in the context of a formula, it can also help move qi below the surface. I use vitex frequently for patients with damp pathologies, PCOS or other anovulatory presentations. That said, it’s not indicated for patients with underlying yin and blood deficiency, so it’s important to have those patients on plenty of herbs and nutrients to balance their constitution. From a western perspective, Vitex has been shown to increase serum progesterone levels via stimulating the pituitary to release more LH. You can see from this that Vitex has a Qi moving property (stimulation).
One of our most important job as herbalists is to help our patients decipher which herbs are the most appropriate for their constitution. Vitex has the potential to be very helpful, but can also be harmful if prescribed incorrectly. I hope that helps!