Native to Greece, Italy, and parts of Asia, vitex is closely related to the grape tree. Technically named vitex agnus castus, this small, deciduous tree grows to a height of about 20 feet and bears beautiful, slender spikes of violet-blue flowers which remind one of lilac blooms.
The vitex plant also produces berries (which are the beneficial part of the plant) from long terminal shoots. The berries are highly aromatic and have a pepper-like taste. In fact, the small, reddish-black fruits look, smell and taste a lot like black peppercorns.
Vitex is commonly known as chaste tree, but it has also been called hemp tree, sage tree, wild pepper, Abraham's balm, lagano, monk's pepper, and others. About 18 unique species are known, with some featuring very flexible stems useful for basket weaving. Still others are used for lumber.
- Vitex is known as a traditional herb for women's health.
- Vitex supports menstrual and menopausal health.
- Vitex gives you the holistic support you need to relieve the periodic discomfort, mild mood changes, cramping and breast tenderness associated with the menstrual cycle and menopausal changes.
- Vitex promotes breast health.
Vitex was known and used in Greece as a wellness-promoting herb back in the time of Homer a full ten centuries before it was first used in China. In fact, vitex was mentioned by Homer in The Iliad.
At one time, the effects of vitex were believed to include a sharply reduced libido the loss of sex drive. As a result, monks reportedly spent a lot of time chewing on the berries. In fact, that's why monk's pepper is one of the alternate names for vitex.
- Vitex includes flavonoids, alkaloids, progestins (including testosterone), volatile oil, and essential fatty acids such as palmitic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, and stearic acid.
- Vitex is believed to have an effect on women's health, and is sometimes used for the health of the female reproductive system. It has been used for many years to to relieve the periodic discomfort, mild mood changes, cramping and breast tenderness associated with the menstrual cycle and menopausal changes.
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