Vitex - agnus is shrubby, deciduous, aromatic and gives a beautiful display of lilac flowers in Spring and summer.
As a garden plant Vitex-agnus is easy to grow and maintain, requiring little help except for the odd prune and a tidy up at the end of Autumn.
Vitex is the dried fruit or seed that has become popular culture in the health food stores because of it's hormone like constituents that stimulate progesterone production in the body.
I have seen some references to it that call for it's use as a pepper substitute but can only imagine that this has come from mis-reading it's ancient history with the common term 'Monk's Pepper' used to describe the herb.
We would never use it as a spice!
As a repressor of sexual desire in men it was gratefully accepted in the monasteries of Europe for several centuries.
Vitex-agnuss' primary function as an herb is to help regulate periods and treat the symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome.
30 fresh seeds $3.95
Degree of difficulty in germination.....9/10 (1 is easy - 10 very difficult)
Chaste Tree fruit
Agni casti fructus
Published May 15, 1985; Replaced December 2, 1992
Name of Drug
Agni casti fructus; chaste tree fruit, vitex fruit.
Composition of Drug
Chaste tree fruit composed of the ripe, dried fruits of Vitex agnus castus L. [Fam. Verbenaceae], as well as their preparations in effective dosage.
Pharmacological Properties, Pharmacokinetics, Toxicology
There is evidence that aqueous-alcoholic extracts of chaste tree fruit inhibit secretion of prolactin in vitro. In human pharmacology there are no data about the lowering of prolactin levels. There is no knowledge regarding pharmacokinetics. Systematic studies about toxicology are unknown.
Irregularities of the menstrual cycle. Premenstrual complaints. Mastodynia.
Note:In case of feeling of tension and swelling of the breasts and at disturbances of menstruation, a physician should be consulted for diagnosis.
Occasional occurrence of itching, urticarial exanthemas.
Special Cautions for Use
Use During Pregnancy and Lactation
No application during pregnancy.
In animal experiments an influence on the nursing performance was observed.
Interactions with Other Drugs
Interactions are unknown. In animal experiments there is evidence of a dopaminergic effect of the drug; therefore, a reciprocal weakening of the effect can occur in case of ingestion of dopamine-receptor antagonists.
Unless otherwise prescribed:
aqueous-alcoholic extracts corresponding to 30 - 40 mg of the drug.
Mode of Administration
Aqueous-alcoholic extracts (50 - 70 percent v/v) from the crushed fruits taken as liquid or dry extract.
Effects on Operators of Vehicles and Machinery