The Tree Story
Chaste Tree (Lifespicer) – Vitex agnus castus
The Chaste Tree grows wild and abundantly all over the Mediterranean and surprisingly it stays green and flowers long after the rains have stopped. It loves dry hot sun, and from each flower come profuse amounts of berries looking like pale gray peppercorns. It is these that have been used in plant medicine to help regulate hormone disorders and cycle irregularities. This essence however is made from the flower stage before (or during) its fertilization. A shepherd’s wife stopped me as I was gathering the flowers and whispered that women make a tea from the berries for their husbands in the winter when there is not much shepherding to do, as the pregnant ewes are not producing milk. “They stay home too much.” She was laughing as she whispered “It stops their, ‘you know what’,” pointing downward. “We tell them it makes them strong.” It is also known as Chasteberry or Monk’s Pepper for its effect on men as an anaphrodisiac.
For women it has been used for hundreds (perhaps thousands) of years to regulate cycle problems, raise fertility, influence prolactin output and balance the levels of follicle stimulating and estrogenic hormones.