Chaste Tree Berries Organic 1oz
Chaste tree berries are often used as a female tonic. They benefit both the body and the mind through their balancing and normalizing properties, and they’re often used for support during change-of-life periods.
Botanical name: Vitex agnus-castus L.
Botanical Family: Verbenaceae
Common name: chaste tree
Synonyms: monk’s pepper, chasteberry, Agnocasto (Spanish)
The Plant: Chaste tree is a large shrub or small tree, reaching 10 to 20 feet in height. A sun-loving native of southern Europe, it’s not particularly cold-hardy, although it holds up well to drought. Grown as an ornamental in the southern United States, chaste tree occasionally escapes the garden and becomes naturalized.
Chaste tree berries are the fully ripe, dark red fruits harvested in the fall.
Constituents of Note: The most important compounds in chaste tree berries are the iridoid glycosides, aucbin and agnoside, and flavonoids, including casticin, to which extracts are often standardized. Chaste tree berries also contain an essential oil (0.5 to 2%) and around 5% fatty acids, primarily alpha-linolenic acid.
Quality: The hard, round-to-ovoid dried fruits are grey with a rough surface. Inside, they’re red-black and contain four seeds. The flavor is strong, spicy, bitter, and peppery, with a spicy, somewhat pine-like aroma.
Minimal amounts of stem and unripe berries should be present. Occasionally chaste tree berries are adulterated with other species of Vitex. Although similar in appearance, they can usually be identified by size and flavor of the fruits.
Regulatory Status: GRAS (Title 21 182.10 and 182.20) as a spice, natural flavoring and seasoning, and Dietary Supplement
Did you know? The names chaste tree and monk’s pepper come from a medieval European custom of monks seasoning their food with the ground berries in the belief it would help them to remain chaste