Chaste tree berries Vitex L. look like light grey brown wrinkled peppercorn fruit or allspice. These berries also have the same spicy, warm and pungent qualities like peppercorns, but taste more bitter in flavour, not hot. They are not sweet like blueberry fruit, they were used more like cracked pepper spice.
This very popular berry is native to the Mediterranean and has a long history of being used to regulate sex organ functions. Chastetree berry has both relaxant and stimulating actions that normalize and restore.
It is a pituitary and ovary tonic that balances all conditions of the Female reproductive system including PMS, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, menopause and infertility.
Chaste tree berry regulates hormonal balance and ovary function through the action of the female hormones: estrogen and progesterone; although primarily progesterone.
The pituitary gland gets stimulated to increase or decrease progesterone or estriol levels.
It therefore treats progesterone deficient conditions, such as: osteoporosis, fibroids or fibrocystic Breasts, along with other female complaints.
The reproductive restoration is also due to a dopamine action that reduces prolactin release.
It reduces male hormones and has been called monks pepper or cloister berry, because it was popular among monks, or men of the cloth to help temper sexual desires. It was used as an anaphrodisiac to treat sexual overstimulation and to curb nymphomania.
When given to nuns however, it turned out to be a female fertility tonic and aphrodisiac.
It is also a good herb for the digestive system, treating poor digestion or liver function, which may be contributing to female reproductive conditions.
It is best taken in a tincture, the long infusion tea needs to be mixed with some better tasting herbs. Also mix in other female friendly herbs in the tincture like mother wort to create a formulation.
There are also two Asian Vitex species used in Chinese medicine: Mu Jing-five leaf chaste tree berry and Man Zing Zi- Seashore chaste tree berry that are used in the same way. They all share the same bitter pungent taste, having the same essential oil constituents and flavonoids, and are used also for rheumatic and arthritic conditions.
|Common Name||Chastetree berries aka monk’s pepper, Chaste Lamb|
|Latin Name||Vitex agnus-castus|
|Parts Used||Perennial shrub mature fruit/berries picked in the Fall|
|Target Organs||Female reproductive, urogenital, intestines, liver, pituitary, sinews,|
|Common Uses||Pituitary Ovary Tonic
Female reproductive: PMS, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, menopause, infertility in women, hormonal imbalance, imbalance of ovary function, fibroids, swollen Breasts, withdrawn,
premature ejaculation, sexual overstimulation, sexual disinterest, progesterone deficiency,
Stimulates circulation, chills, painful joints, muscle tension, osteoporosis, fatigue,
Stimulates digestion, liver congestion, indigestion, fluid congestion,
|Properties||Bitter pungent, drying, regulating, anti-inflammatory (local, systemic) general antispasmodic (digestive, uterine) anxiolytic, astringent, analgesic, anti-androgenic (reduces male hormones) warming carminative, circulatory stimulant, diaphoretic, bitter digestive tonic stimulant, emmenagogue tonic, nervine, relaxant, female reproductive tonic, tranquilizer, uterine relaxant, ovarian tonic, pituitary tonic, progesterone, aphrodisiac/anaphrodisiac,|
Flavonoids: casticin, isovitexin, orientin;
Iridoid glycosides: aucbin, agnoside
|Cautions||mild remedy- Do not use during pregnancy or lactation|
|Dosage||Tincture: 1-3ml Tea: long infusion 4-10g|