Standardized: chaste tree
Vitex agnus-castus L.
The chaste tree is a small shrub with lance shaped leaves and purple flowers. It is native to the eastern Mediterranean and has since been cultivated in temperate climates around the world. Its peppery fruit has been used for over two thousand years; at least since the time of the Greek physician Dioscorides who recommended it to help the wives of soldiers remain chaste while their husbands were in battle. The vitex berry was used by both men and women in ancient Greece and Rome, and by monks during the Middle Ages in order to suppress sexual desire. Pliny the Elder noted that Athenian maidens would put the leaves under their beds during the festival of Thesmophoria to help preserve their chastity.
Acubin, agnuside, casticin, chrysophanol D, alpha- and beta-pinene, isovitexin and vitexin.
Dried fruiting berry
Usually used as a tincture, however may be cracked and sprinkled on food, producing a slight pepper taste or as a tea infusion.
The German Commission E has approved of vitex berries to support a healthy and regular menstrual cycle. Studies have shown efficacy in reducing the unpleasant symptoms of the menstrual cycle. When combined with other herbal ingredients, vitex has been shown to support menopausal health.
Specific: Vitex berry is not recommended for use with hormonal contraceptives.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.