Vitex agnus-castus, Chaste Tree, Chasteberry, Abraham's balm, Lilac Chastetree or Monk's Pepper is a typical medicinal plant with a very long history in folk medicine. Our Vitex essential oil is distilled in Croatia from a combination of leaves and berries.
In Greek mythology Hera (the wife of Zeus) was the guardian goddess of matrimony and it was said that she had been born under a chaste tree, so subsequently this plant became a symbol for chastity and monogamy within a marriage. During medieval times leaves and berries from the plant were added to meals as a seasoning by Benedictine monks to help them keep to their vows of chastity, for it was thought to quell sexual desire, hence the name 'Monk's Pepper'. For centuries it was believed to be an anaphrodisiac but its effectiveness still remains controversial. The species name 'Agnus Castus' originates from the Greek 'Agnos Castus' which means chaste.
Vitex essential oil is extracted from the leaves and fruits (berries) of the chaste tree cultivated in sub-tropical and tropical regions with small sweet scented white over pink/lilac to deep blue flowers. Vitex is from the Lamiaceae family of plants and is native to the Mediterranean region. Our current Vitex essential oil from Croatia has major constituent percentages detected by GCMS analysis being: Sabinene 32.64%, Eucalyptol 24.08%, a-pinene 6.60%, a-Terpinyl acetate 4.94%, b-pinene 4.93%, Farnesene <Epi-beta> 4.03%, trans-Caryolphyllene 3.51%, a-Copaene 2.84%, Bicyclogermacrene 2.38%, and Terpinen-4-ol 1.98%.
Today Vitex essential oil is widely reported to be very powerful in treating premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and various menopausal, perimenopausal and menstrual aches and pains in women relieving the discomfort of cramps, hot flushes, night sweats, breast swelling and various pains associated with a woman's menstrual cycle. Vitex has also been used to treat various diseases of the breast as well as many menstrual abnormalities.
Due to the overabundance of estrogen like substances present within the modern environment many of the conditions mentioned above are likely to be the consequence of progesterone deficiency.
It has been reported that Vitex can help to balance the levels of the hormones progesterone and estrogen by acting directly on the hypothalamus and pituitary glands increasing luteinizing hormone (LH), and modulating prolactin, resulting in the balance of the two gonadal hormones estrogen and progesterone. So far no adverse side effects have been reported by those using this oil on women, although much care must be taken not to use Vitex when pregnant or taking birth control medication. For individuals on Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), do consult with your healthcare provider because an adjustment of dosage might be necessary once you begin using Vitex.
Vitex, or Chasteberry, is a powerful hormone balancing essential oil for PMS, peri and post menopausal symptoms. As with any essential oil, please keep pertinent safety concerns, cautions and warnings in mind before use.
Vitex essential oil is suitable for women of all ages, and when used with care it can help to calm the nerves, relieve pain and relax the liver, intestines and uterus. It is also known to be beneficial as a decongestant and stimulant.
For relief from PMS and menopausal symptoms, mix Vitex Essential Oil with a carrier oil or lotion and apply to the pulse points on the body. To balance and stabilize hormones, inhale directly from the bottle or diffuse. As a helpful sleep aid, create a sachet by placing 1 or 2 drops of Vitex Oil on a soft square of flannel and tuck the sachet into the bottom of your pillow before bedtime. For a similar effect, a few drops can be added to a bedroom diffuser.