As a person that loves summertime, it is normal for me to feel a sense of relief when spring approaches. I enjoy soaking up the suns rays and not needing to wear many layers. Although I have no desire to be stuck in one place, I know that if I were a plant I would want to take root in the sunniest part of the garden.
One plant that actually needs to be planted in direct sunlight is Chaste tree. Chaste Tree, also known as Vitex chaste tree, chaste berry, Abraham’s balm, lilac chaste tree, monk’s pepper, or its scientific name—Vitex agnus-castus grows primarily along the Mediterranean coast, but is native to Europe and Asia. Throughout history, the chaste tree has been used for many purposes, including women’s health support, support for gastrointestinal health, and lactation.
Chaste Tree Through the Ages
Ancient Greeks and Romans used the plant to promote a healthy internal response and to promote spleen health.
Chaste tree assumably gets its name from the fact that it was thought to suppress libido and promote chastity in the late 1600s. Monks used vitex as an anti-aphrodisiac and the practice of placing vitex chaff in where one sleep is still practiced today by some Italian orders.
Traditional Chinese medicine recognizes vitex for its ability to support healthy eyes, relieves headaches, and support joint health. Chaste tree is also used in US homeopathic medicine. It is recognized for possibly being able to support spleen health, dental health, and promote male sexual functioning.
In the twentieth century, German physicians hypothesized that chaste tree supports lactation. The claim was confirmed in a 1990 study.¹
Among those listed above, the chaste tree may also provide the following benefits:
- Fertility support
- Support for healthy hair and skin²
- Hormone balance
- Menstrual cycle regulation³
- Support for PMS symptoms⁴
- Prostate health support⁵
Potential Side Effects
While side effects are rare, the following can potentially occur after ingestion of the herb: allergic reaction, dizziness, constipation, weight gain, hair loss, heavy periods, and insomnia. Chaste tree supplements should not be taken by children or pregnant women.
Chaste Tree Supplementation
Chaste Tree supplements are available in traditional veggie capsules, in liquid form (can be taken alone, added to juice, or added to water), and in combination with other supplements as a blend.