Latin names: Vitex agnus-castus, Vitex rotundifolia
Other names: chaste berry, chaste tree, monk’s berry
What is Vitex?
Vitex, also commonly known as chaste tree, is a low-lying shrub indigenous to the Eastern Mediterranean. It is found throughout the world in warm, temperate climates. The upper part of the stem is harvested, including the leaves, flowers and berries, but it is the berry that is most often used. Medicinal use of this herb dates back in history to the time of ancient Greece. It was administered to the wives of soldiers, to help them remain faithful while their husbands were off on distant campaigns. Later, it was used by monks to reduce their libido.
What are the health benefits of Vitex?
Today, vitex is used mainly to treat constipation, as well as PMS symptoms—especially breast tenderness, water-weight, and related fatigue. It can also bring on menstruation and treat hangovers. It is most often taken as a tincture, though the dried berry may also be ground and sprinkled on food or into a drink.
Are there any precautions for taking Vitex?
There is conflicting information about use of this herb by men. As it is thought to raise testosterone levels, repeated use may result in testicular atrophy.
Where can I find Vitex?
Vitex can be found in health food stores, online, and at the offices of herbalists.
You can find this herb combined with other herbs in the Traditions of Tao formula:
Regenerating Cream, which nurtures the skin cells, minimizing the appearance of aging and scarring and improving skin quality.
To unlock more health secrets from the Natural Health Dictionary, download your copy for Amazon Kindle.