Chasteberry, the fruit from the chaste tree, is a popular method of alleviating negative symptoms associated with menstruation, among other women's reproductive processes. Some of these symptoms include pain, bloating and mood swings. The Mayo Clinic's "Guide to Alternative Medicine 2007" says chasteberry appears to be a gentle remedy. Victoria Zak, in "20,000 Secrets of Tea," explains that chasteberry works by influencing the pituitary gland. It eases the physical and emotional symptoms of menstruation by balancing hormones.
Purchase chasteberry supplements in tablet, capsule, or liquid form at health food stores or some supermarkets. A 2005 article in the "American Family Physician" journal says that the suggested dose differs depending on the brand, the form and the person. One hundred and twenty mg per day is considered a low dose, whereas a high dose is 480 mg each day. Speak to your physician about what dose to take.
Swallow the supplement with a glass of water.
Take chasteberry in this form every day of the month, according to Anne McIntyre in her book, "The Complete Woman's Herbal." The number of times per day will vary according to brand, type, individual and doctor's advice.
Purchase pre-packaged chasteberry teabags, or buy loose chasteberry herbs, according to Victoria Zak in her book "20,000 Secrets of Tea."
Create chasteberry tea by steeping a teabag or any combination of the berries, leaves and seeds of the chaste tree in boiling water for 10 minutes, says Anne McIntyre in "The Complete Woman's Herbal."
Drink the chasteberry tea during menstruation and throughout the rest of the month to ingest the healing benefits of the chasteberry, says McIntyre.
Wrap dried or fresh chasteberry in muslin cloth, according to Anne McIntyre in "The Complete Woman's Herbal." Victoria Zak, in "20,000 Secrets of Tea," says the leaves, berries and seeds are the beneficial part of this plant, so these are the parts to include in the cloth. Tie the cloth with a string to seal it shut.
Add the herb-filled bag to a hot bath and let it steep for 10 minutes, according to McIntyre.
Soak in the bath for 15 to 30 minutes to absorb the healing benefits of chasteberry through the skin, says McIntyre.
Only use one of these methods of taking chasteberry at a time.
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, or NCCAM, warns that although chasteberry is generally mild with few dangerous side effects, it does have some concerns associated with its use. Chasteberry is linked to digestive problems, skin rashes and dizzy spells. It is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women, or those on the birth control pill. NCCAM also advises people who take drugs that affect dopamine levels to stay away from chasteberry. Speak with your doctor to decide if chasteberry is right for you.