Botanical Name: Vitex angus-castus Family: Verbenaceae

Common name(s): Vitex, Chasteberry, Chaste Tree, Monk’s Pepper, Hemp Tree


  • Woody, perennial | Zone 6-9 | 2-10 feet tall | Lavender-colored spikes of flowers in mid-to-late summer (beginning in the second year). In colder climates, it may not flower or bear fruit.
  • Full sun/partial shade | Well-drained soil| Likes some humidity


Harvest the topmost (upper 4 inches) leaves, roots, and ripening seeds.  (Some people only use the fruit.)


Infusion: Pour 1 cup boiling water over 1 teaspoon of ripe berries and let sit 10-15 minutes. Drink 3x/day.

Tincture: 1-2ml 3x/day


Constituents: Essential oil, glycosides, flavonoids, castine (bitter principle)

Actions: Emmenagogue, tonic

Uses: Regulating menstrual cycles and relieving painful menstruation, PMS & menopausal symptom relief, as a tonic to normalize pituitary gland function, especially progesterone (which also makes it good to take when coming off “the pill”).


Bitter, acrid, cool


Seems like this plant is just a little out of my growing range. Personally, I’m on the other side of all the issues it addresses, but it’s good to know about this plant!