Vitex agnus-castus tree is a shrub that is native to the Mediterranean and Central Asia. The shrub has long, finger-shaped leaves, blue-violet flowers, and dark purple berries. The fruit and seed are used to make medicine.
Vitex agnus-castus is taken by mouth for menstrual cycle irregularities, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), a more severe form of PMS called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), and symptoms of menopause. It is also used for treating “lumpy” (fibrocystic) breasts, female infertility, preventing miscarriage in women with low levels of a hormone called progesterone, controlling bleeding and helping the body force out the placenta after childbirth, and increasing breast milk.
Vitex agnus-castus is also taken by mouth to increase the flow of urine in men, for treating benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and for reducing sexual desire. Historians say that monks chewed chaste tree parts to make it easier to maintain their celibacy.
Some people also take vitex agnus-castus by mouth for acne, nervousness, dementia, joint conditions, colds, upset stomach, spleen disorders, headaches, migraine, eye pain, body inflammation, fractures and swelling.
Some people apply vitex agnus-castus to the skin to flush out parasites and to prevent insect bites and stings.
How does it work?
Vitex agnus-castus seems to affect many hormones that regulate women’s reproductive cycles.