Chaste Tree (Vitex agnus-castus)

A deciduous shrub growing to 3m/9ft by 3m/9ft. Flowers from September to October. Prefers well-drained soil and can tolerate poor soil.  Needs full sun.

The fruit of the Chaste Tree is used as a pepper substitute. The aromatic leaves are also used as a spice.

Chaste Tree has been used for thousands of years for its effect on the female hormonal system. The seeds are used to help restore absent menstruation, regulate heavy periods, restore fertility caused by hormonal imbalance, relieve pre-menstrual tension and ease menopausal symptoms. Caution advised: excessive doses can cause a nervous disorder known as formication, which manifests as a sensation of insects crawling over the skin. 

Not recommended during pregnancy and could inhibit milk production.

Other uses: perfume can be made from the flowers. Young stems are used in basket making. A yellow dye is obtained from the leaves, the seed and the roots.


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