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Chaste Tree – (Vitex agnus-castus)

Chaste Tree

Also known as vitex, monk's pepper and wild pepper, the chaste tree is a small flowering tree that grows well in hot regions. In the Middle Ages, the tree was used to lower the sex drive of monks so it was easier to remain celibate. Various herbal remedies have been used to treat women's complaints for over 2,500 years. The tree has been associated with several ancient Greek and Roman festivals.


Key Medicinal Uses

Internally – Chaste tree tea and tincture are used to help premenstrual syndrome, regulate the menstrual flow, increase the production of milk in new mothers, and to reduce male sex hormones to limit the libido. It has also been used for paralysis, weakness and pain in the limbs. Some women use this herb to regulate hormones. It has also been used to treat the symptoms of menopause. It has been used to treat infertility because it gradually normalizes the FSH and LH levels, allowing for normal ovulation and pregnancy. Chaste tree is also taken sometimes to treat flatulence, diarrhea, snake bite, fever and diseases of the spleen. It promotes urination.

Externally – Not used externally.

Other Uses – Chaste tree is used in homeopathy to treat impotence, depression and to increase milk production.

Herbs to Combine/Supplement

Chaste tree is often combined with black cohosh and soy to relieve the stress of menopausal symptoms. Mixed with black cohosh alone or cramp bark, it relieves cramps. Blend with California poppy and you get a formula to relieve anxiety. Combine this herb with dandelion for an herbal treatment to increase milk production. Combined with dong quai, it can keep the blood nourished and tone the female reproductive organs. Added to lavender, this herb can strengthen the nerves and increase relaxation.

Parts Used

Fruit – The dried ripe fruit are used medicinally.


Pregnant women should not use this herb. Side effects that have been reported include itching, nausea, rash and upset stomach. It may also occasionally cause a heavier menstrual flow in rare cases.

Preparation and Dosage

Chaste tree is slow to act. It may take a few months to see any results from taking it, except when it comes to lactation. It can improve milk production in a few weeks. The herbal remedy can be found tinctured, powdered and in capsules. The flavor is very bitter, so tea is not usually prescribed.

For a tincture, take ¼ to ¾ teaspoon up to three times per day. Begin to reduce the dose once you notice the desired effects.

For liquid extract, 40 drops can be mixed into a glass of water in the morning.

Chaste Tree Herbal Remedies Top