Vitex Berry - Vitex agnus-castus

Vitex Berry

Vitex agnus-castus

Vitex berries are renowned for their ability to support hormonal balance, especially in women. They are frequently used to treat irregularities associated with menstrual cycle, premenstrual syndrome, and menopausal symptoms.

  • Plant Family: Verbenaceae
  • Plant type: Perennial
  • Other names: Chaste tree berry, chasteberry, vitex, monk’s pepper
  • Medicinal: Yes
  • Culinary: Yes
  • Ceremonial: No
  • Parts Used: Berry
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About Vitex Berry

Vitex agnus-castus is a deciduous shrub or small tree that can typically reach 3 to 6 m (10 to 20 ft) and has an upright, bushy growth habit. Its leaves are palmately compound with 5 to 7 lanceolate leaflets and are aromatic when crushed. The plant produces small, fragrant, lavender or lilac-colored flowers in dense spikes during the summer months. After flowering, it produces small, dark brown to black, berry-like fruits, which are Vitex berries.

Vitex berries are not typically consumed as food in terms of culinary applications. They are more suited as ingredients in herbal medicines, tinctures, capsules, or teas due to their potent therapeutic characteristics than as food items. Vitex berries are renowned for their ability to support hormonal balance, especially in women. They are frequently used to treat irregularities associated with menstrual cycle, premenstrual syndrome, and menopausal symptoms. It is believed that vitric acts on the pituitary gland to control the release of hormones like progesterone and estrogen. 

Vitex berries are also occasionally used to improve female fertility by encouraging regular ovulation and treating hormonal abnormalities that can prevent conception. Due to its hormone-regulating properties, it may be beneficial for individuals experiencing hormonal acne, as it can help reduce excess sebum production and inflammation.



Vitex berry plants can be started in spring or fall, depending on the climate and location. In regions with mild winters, fall can also be an excellent time to plant Vitex. If you are in a region with cold winters, wait until the danger of frost has passed in the spring before planting your Vitex. This will give the plant time to establish its root system before the hotter summer months.

It is not suitable for indoor plantations due to its specific environmental requirements and size. It thrives in full sun and requires at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight to flourish. Also, it requires a warm temperature with a sufficient water supply. Allow the soil to dry before another round of watering to avoid root spoilage.

Vitex berry seeds can take 2 to 6 weeks to germinate. As the seedling grows, it develops its first set of leaves and establishes its root system. Once the Vitex plant reaches maturity, it begins producing flower buds. It is known for its attractive spikes of lavender or lilac-colored flowers that typically bloom during the summer months and are a valuable source of nectar for bees and butterflies.

After successful pollination, the flowers are fertilized, and the plant starts developing small, dark brown to black, berry-like fruits known as Vitex berries. The ripe berries fall to the ground, and the seeds within them are dispersed through water and animals for the perpetuation of the life cycle.



Vitex berries can be harvested in late summer or early fall when the berries have turned dark brown to black, indicating that they are ripe and fully mature.

Vitex berries can be harvested by gently plucking them from the stems or using pruning shears to cut the berry clusters. 

After harvesting, store the berries in a cool, dry place, and if you plan to use them for medicinal purposes, consider drying them before use. Spread the clean berries in a single layer on a drying rack and place the drying rack or tray with the berries in a warm, well-ventilated area with good air circulation. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can cause excessive drying and loss of potency in the berries.

Once they feel adequately dried with a leathery texture, transfer them to an airtight container, such as a glass jar or a sealable plastic bag, and store the container in a cool, dark place away from moisture and direct light.




  • Tincture: Dried Vitex Berries are submerged in high-proof alcohol for 4 to 6 weeks and then strained using a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to obtain a saturated tincture in a clean glass bottle. 
  • Tea: Dried Vitex berries are steeped in hot water for 10 to 15 minutes to enjoy a cup of Vitex tea.
  • Decoction: Boil a cup of Vitex berries in 2 cups of water for 15 minutes and strain it to attain an all-natural and healthy Vitex decoction.
  • Salve: Vitex-infused oil is stirred in melted beeswax pellets to formulate a smooth salve.
  • Syrup: Dried or fresh Vitex berries can be rolled in sugar solution for 10-15 minutes on low flame to formulate a syrup.
  • Infused Oil: Combine Vitex berries and carrier oil (olive oil) in a double boiler and heat it on low flame for an hour or 2 and strain in a glass bottle for later use.