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.)
PREPARATION / DOSAGE
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
- The Way of Herbs, Michael Tierra
- Holistic Herbal, David Hoffmann
- Homegrown Herbs, Tammi Hartung
- photo credit: rachelgreenbelt myyard, vitex, vitex agnus-castus, jdy173 XX201206212124.jpg via photopin (license)
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!