Vitex

Botanical Name: Vitex angus-castus Family: Verbenaceae

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

GROWING

  • 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

HARVESTING

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

MEDICAL

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”).

CHINESE MEDICINE

Bitter, acrid, cool

SOURCES 


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!

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