Vitex agnus-castus, also known as Chaste Tree, Chasteberry, Abraham's balm, Lilac Chastetree, or Monk's Pepper, is a medicinal plant with a long history in folk medicine. The essential oil of Vitex is distilled in Croatia from a combination of leaves and berries.
According to Greek mythology, Hera, the wife of Zeus, was the guardian goddess of matrimony. It was believed that she was born under a chaste tree, which subsequently became a symbol for chastity and monogamy within a marriage. During medieval times, Benedictine monks added leaves and berries from the plant to their meals as a seasoning to help them keep their vows of chastity. The plant was thought to quell sexual desire, hence the name 'Monk's Pepper.' For centuries, it was believed to be an anaphrodisiac, but its effectiveness 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, which are cultivated in sub-tropical and tropical regions. The plant belongs to the Lamiaceae family and is native to the Mediterranean region.
Today, Vitex essential oil is widely reported to be powerful in treating premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and various menopausal, perimenopausal, and menstrual aches and pains in women. It relieves the discomfort of cramps, hot flashes, night sweats, breast swelling, and various pains associated with a woman's menstrual cycle. Vitex has also been used for various diseases of the breast, as well as many menstrual abnormalities.
It has been reported that Vitex may 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), consultation with a healthcare provider is necessary 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.
From PubMed: ''Vitex agnus castus was the more investigated remedy (four trials, about 500 women), and it was reported to consistently ameliorate PMS better than placebo.''
Vitex essential oil is suitable for women of all ages, and when used with care, it can help calm the nerves, help relieve pain, and relax the liver, intestines, and uterus. It is also known to be beneficial as a decongestant and stimulant.
To relieve PMS and menopausal symptoms, some sources indicate mixing 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.
Batch specific GC/MS analysis for this essential oil is available by clicking on the green tab above.