Vitex agnus-castus

Names

Names

Scientific: Vitex agnus-castus

English: Vitex, Chaste Tree

Portuguese: Árvore da castidade, anho-casto

Origins

Origins

Family: Lamiaceae

Origin: Mediterranean Europe and western Asia

Life Cycle: Perennial

Properties

Properties

Aroma
Medicinal
Edibility

Parts Used

Parts Used

See Here
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Scientific NameVitex agnus-castus
English NameVitex, Chaste Tree, Chasteberry, Abraham's Balm, Monk's Pepper, agnus castus, tree of chastity.
Portuguese NameÁrvore da castidade, anho-casto, agno-casto, flor-da-cavidade, pimenteiro-silvestre.
German NameMönchspfeffer.
FamilyLamiaceae
OriginMediterranean Europe and western Asia.
Preferences CultivationShrub native to the Mediterranean region and western Asia is grown in many subtropical areas worldwide. It is found in Portugal in hedgerows, riverbanks and wetlands, especially in Tras-os-Montes. The preferred habitat is forests and sunny gardens.
Life CyclePerennial
HabitatFrequent watering, well-drained, moist soils but intolerant of waterlogged soils, adapts well to dry soils. Sunlight but sheltered from cold, dry winds. Resistant to temperatures down to about -10°C.
Method of propagationSowing - seeds do not require pretreatment. Germination is usually quick and easy.
Ornamental CharacteristicsFlowering from summer to autumn. H, 3,5 m, ᴓ 1,5 m
Description of smells and flavorsThe whole plant is aromatic, flowers are deliciously fragrant and dry seeds emit a pungent citrus scent.
Properties MedicinalThe whole plant is anti-inflammatory, diaphoretic, expectorant and laxative. Internally: treatment of bronchitis, respiratory catarrh, coughs, asthma.
Properties EdibilityThe fruit is used as a replacement for pepper.
Properties OtherOrnamental.
Contraindications / Side Effects / CommentsSide effects: if therapeutic doses are not respected, then could increase menstrual flow, headache and tingling of the skin. Contraindications: low production of FSH, treatment with female hormones. Do not use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Precautions: If there are no benefits, not continue with the treatment for more than six months. Can aggravate spasmolytic dysmenorrhoea not associated with postmenopausal syndrome.
Pests and diseases & how to fight themUnknown
How and When to harvest and / or pruning and which parts used. How many cuts per year?Parts used: fruit. Pruning: cut the dead wood and shorten flowering branches of the preceding year, shall be held in the spring. In November, we should cut the aged wood of the current year.
Can be used in intercropping ( repellent / attractive ) or is biopesticide?Attracts pollinators and beneficial insects.
Curiosity / Personal ExperiencesIt was thought that the tree-of-chastity reduced sexual desire and therefore the monks chewed it with intent to control the libido.

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