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Vitex Essential Oil aka Chasteberry

Vitex agnus-castus

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Essential Facts

Notes & Use

What Stillpoint "Nose"

Vitex is THE Essential Oil for hormonal imbalance.  Women have been using vitex aka chasteberry for thousands and thousands of years.  Vitex has the ability to balance the hormones, in particular during menopause.  According to Kurt Schnaubelt it has the ability to to balance the hypothalamus and through that it balances estrogen and progesterone, no matter which one is deficient. The improvement is natural and gentle and it can take several weeks before a change is noticed.
 
Vitex has been known to reduce the frequency of hot flashes, stabilize mood swings, lessen depression and reduce anxiety that accompany menopause changes.
 
The best way to use this varries from person to person, as is the truth with all essential oils and natural remedies.  Some of my clients have found relief:
  • Using Vitex in an aroma stick
  • Applying a few drops topically
  • Ingestion (under the care of Clinically certified aromatherapist)
  • Dropping a few drops in the shower

Traditional Use of Vitex aka Chasteberry

For over 2500 years chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus) has been used for gynecological conditions since the days of Hippocrates. Today and in modern world  there is sufficient research that supports the historical tales of use.  Now we can find chaste tree fruit preparations being a phytomedicine of choice by European gynecologists for treatment of various menstrual disorders, PMS, and other conditions.
 

Botany

Vitex, is a genus from the Verbenaceae botanical family. And this Genus consists of about 60 species in the tropics and subtropics growing in both hemispheres. This tree is native to Greece and Italy,
 
Vitex agnus castus is in the vervain family (Verbenaceae) and is a well-known aromatic shrub to small tree growing in the Mediterranean area to western Asia. The plant has long spires of pale lilac or rose colored flowers and small grey-brown, hard fruits, which is the part used medicinally. It is often found growing next to streams, and it loves water, but Dr.Christopher Hobbs has seen it growing in very dry, rocky spots on the Greek islands.
 
Vitex usually grows from three to nine feet tall, but under cultivation can develop to 20 feet tall. The bark is white-felted, the opposite leaves are palmately compound with 5-7 leaflets. The flowers are in interrupted spikes and the corolla is two-lipped from 6-9 mm long. The fruit is a small hard reddish-black drupe with a persistent calyx.
Energetics

Energetic, Spiritual, and Emotional Qualities of Vitex aka Chasteberry

Vitex is a wonderfully grounding and balancing on all levels. Being distilled from the berries and leaves it has an affinity to the second and fourth charkas. I find it very effective when used in meditation to find the root or the truth of the issue. It is protective of the spirit and also the heart.

Traditional Folklore

Vitex and the Chaste Tree has aancient connections to Europe both in mythology and in custom.  In a festival held in honor of Demeter, the Greek goddess of agriculture, fertility and marriage, women. women who remained chase during the fesival of Thesmophoria used chaste tree blossoms for adornment. And  twigs and leaves, were strewn around Demeter's temple during the festival. 
 
In another Greek Myth, According to Greek mythology, Hera, sister and wife of Zeus, who was known as protectress of marriage, was born under a chaste tree. Hence this tree becaame a symbol for chastiy.
 
Benedictine Monks also used this to help them remain faithful and loyal by adding the leaves and berries to meals. 
 
Ancient traditions associating the shrub with chastity were also  adopted in Christian ritual. Novitiates entering a monastery walked on a path strewn with the blossoms of the tree, a ritual that continues to the present day in some regions of Italy.
Chemistry
Recipes & Blends
Safety Etc.

Safety Information for Vitex aka Chasteberry

Avoid in case of using hormonal treatments, pregnancy and breastfeeding.

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