Vitex agnus castus dried berries
Do not use if taking oral contraceptives, pregnant or breastfeeding.
Parts used: Mature berries
Habitat: An aromatic deciduous shrub or small tree originally native to Southern Europe and West Asia in moist, well drained sunny places. Frost resistant, drought tender. Cultivated in gardens around the world.
Constituents: Iridoid glycosides including agnuside, aucubin, eurotoside. Flavonoids mainly casticin, also orientin, eupatorin, apigenin and others. Essential oil: monoterpenes, diterpenes and sesquiterpenes. Fatty acids including linoleic acid. Vitamin C and carotene.
Actions: Hormone Regulator, Galactagogue
History, folklore, taste and energetics: Monks were reported to use agnus castus berries as pepper (hence the old common name) to aid chastity and celibacy, though this is not a common use today.
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