Vitex agnus-castus, Chaste Tree
Upright panicles of fragrant lavender flowers. Aromatic mid green leaves. Culinary; historically the seeds were used as a pepper substitute.
• Hardiness: H4 (-5 to -10C)
• Type: Deciduous shrub
• Height: up to 2.5m
• Spread: 2m
• Soil type: Sand, Chalk, Loam, Free Draining
• pH: Universal pH
• Habit: Bushy
• Flowering colour: Lavender
• Flowering time: Early Autumn after 5 years
• Uses: Medicinal (Read Jekka's Guide to Medicinal Herbs for more information)
• Attracts pollinators: No
• Container suitability: No
• UK native: No
• Caution: Do not self administer
Probably best known as a women’s herb for balancing hormones, chaste berry is thought to have a beneficial role in all areas of reproductive health. It may help with painful or irregular periods, and can be of benefit in cases of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) where it is regarded as helping to ease tension, headache, breast tenderness and fluid retention. By balancing hormones, fertility can be improved resulting in better chances of conceiving. The actions of chaste berry make it a prime herb for herbalists to treat cases of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Finally, it is used to help alleviate symptoms associated with menopause such as headaches, hot flushes and night sweats.
Caution: Avoid during pregnancy and when taking the contraceptive pill or undergoing fertility treatment.
Please note: The information provided here is for educational interest only and is not intended to be used to diagnose or treat significant health problems. Any serious or long-term health concerns should always be discussed with a healthcare professional.
See our blog for more information about the National Institute of Medical Herbalists
At Jekka’s we sell herbs in 1 Ltr and 2 Ltr pots. These are established and hardy herb plants that are grown following organic principals and to survive the UK climate. Please read Jekka's blog that contains her top steps to growing on your herbs.
Our herbs are designed to be grown in containers or planted in the garden. Although some herbs will be quite happy indoors, most prefer being outside. Please see our indoor growing blog for more information.
If you think your herbs need a little more attention we always recommend an environmentally friendly solution, and these are Jekka's top three:
- Maxicrop liquid seaweed: 'Feed on Fridays' as Jekka always says for all round good plant health.
- SB Invigorator: a safe and effective insecticide and fungicide to help control a wide range of pest species
- Epsom salts: the horticultural equivalent of what you put in your bath to top up magnesium and stop orange leaves.
One of our three core roots is that we are Environmentally Conscious and for the past 30 years all the herbs grown at Jekka’s have been raised following sustainable, environmentally friendly and organic approaches resulting in a remarkable biodiversity at the herb farm.
Our herb seeds are also untreated and can be used to grow organic herb plants.