Chaste Tree (Vitex agnus-castus)


Chaste Tree Overview:

Chaste tree, also referred to as vitex, is a large shrub native to the Southern parts of Europe. the berries are used to promote fertility, and treat menstrual irregularities and PMS. It is one of the most well-rounded female tonic herbs available, treating a wide range of female reproductive issues.

Chaste tree has a side effect of reducing libido, which has made it popular in the past by those searching for this action. Monks, and Roman soldiers are well know for using this herb for this reason, which has even lead to one of its common names "Monks Pepper".

Herbal Actions:

  • Galactagogue
  • Female tonic
  • Prolactin inhibitor
  • Dopamine Agonist
  • Progesterogenic
  • Uterine Tonic


  • Mensruation disorders
  • Ammenorrheae
  • Metrorrhagia
  • Oligomenorrhoea
  • Polymenorrhoea
  • Latent hyperprolactinaemia
  • PMS (except type C)
  • Insufficient lactation (small doses less than 150mg per day)
  • Infertility (due to decreased progesterone levels)
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Endometriosis
  • Follicular ovarian cysts
  • Breast cysts
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sjogrens syndrome
  • Juvenile arthritis
  • Reiters syndrome


  • Caution advised during pregnancy


  • Dopaminergic effect triggers FSH, LH, and prolactin release.

Main Uses:

Chaste tree is most commonly used for PMS, menopausal complaints, PCOS, female infertility, acne, fibrocystic breast disease, menstrual irregularities, and uterine fibroids.


Daily Dosage

Liquid Extract

Ratio: 1:2

1-3 mL

Weekly Dosage

Liquid Extract

Ratio: 1:2

5-20 mL


Part Used

Dried ripe berries

Family Name



Southern Parts Of Europe

Cultivated worldwide.

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Constituents of Interest

  • Vitexilactone
  • Casticin
  • Eupatorin
  • Penduletin

Common Names

  • Chaste Tree
  • Vitex
  • Monk's Pepper
  • Gatillier (France)

Botanical Info:

Chaste tree used to be part of the Verbenaceae fmaily of plants before being moved to the lamiaceae family (the mint family) after the invention of phylogenic studies of DNA sequences in the 1990's. This large family of plants contains as much as 236 genera, and between 6900 and 7200 species.

Within the Vitex genus, there are 18 known species.


Research Overview:

Level Of Research:


Clinical Applications Of Chaste Tree:

Chaste tree is useful for improving fertility in women, as well as treating a range of conditions related to the female hormonal system. This may include PCOS, PMS, uterine fibroids, menopausal complaints, acne, and fibrocystic breast disease.



Chaste tree should not be consumed while pregnant.


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For a list of references, visit the full chaste tree monograph